“The Table In Mr. Ross’s Office Where We Used To Sit To Work On Pictures”; Book Of Interest: Alay-Oop By William Gropper; A Case For Pencils On Maddie Dai’s Tools Of The Trade; Daily Shouts & Daily Cartoon Cartoonists

“The Table Where We Used To Sit To Work On Pictures”

A photo I’ve seen before on the web, but never with the note attached you see above. The letter, signed “Jim”  was written by the then art editor James Geraghty.* The “Gardner” it’s addressed to was likely Gardner Rea, one of the magazine’s artists. There’s another possibility: the “Gardner” could’ve been Gardner Botsford, a New Yorker editor, but it makes more sense that the art editor was sending one of his artist’s a photo of the art table.  You’ll notice up on the wall is a poster listing some of the magazine’s artists, from Charles Addams to Gluyas Williams.  Also on the wall are five Thurber drawings on the Art Meeting, titled The Art Conference. You can see the series on pages 157-160 in Collecting Himself: James Thurber On Writers And Writing, Humor And Himself.  Edited by Michael Rosen. Published by Harper & Row, 1989.

For further reading on The New Yorker‘s weekly meeting where the table played a part, here’s a Spill post, “The Art Meeting from 2012.

*it has been suggested to me that the “Jim” is actually James Thurber as the provenance of the photo mentions Mr. Thurber but not Mr. Geraghty (the photo is part of the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art’s holdings). I have my doubts it’s “Jim” Thurber, but put the suggestion out there for anyone to confirm, if possible.

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Books Of Interest: Alay-Oop By William Gropper

Out this past June from New York Review Books, Alay-Oop by William Gropper. Mr. Gropper contributed to The New Yorker just once, meaning he’s a Spill One Clubber. More about Alay-Oop here.

Here’s Mr. Gropper’s A-Z entry:

William Gropper (Self portrait, from The Business of Cartooning, 1939) Born, December 3, 1897, NYC. Died, January 6, 1977, Manhasset, NY. 1 drawing, April 11, 1942. Quote:”I owe a great deal to the east side of New York. I was hit on the head with a rock in a gangfight…that’s how I became an artist.” [Quote from catalogue, Meet the Artist, 1943]. For a brief bio of Gropper “the workingman’s protector” visit: http://specialcollections.wichita.edu/

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A Case For Pencils On Maddie Dai’s Tools Of The Trade

Jane Mattimoe’s latest A Case For Pencils post features Maddie Dai, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

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Daily Shouts & Daily Cartoon Cartoonists

Yesterday’s Daily Shouts cartoonist: Liana Finck (part of her “Dear Pepper” series). Ms. Finck began contributing to The New Yorker in 2013.  Visit her website here.

Yesterday’s Daily cartoonist: Emily Flake, who began contributing to The New Yorker 2008.  Visit her website here.

 

Special Screening Of Stevenson Lost And Found For New Yorker Cartoonists; Meet The Artist (1943): Mischa Richter; David Remnick On Ross And Shawn

Special Screening Of Stevenson Lost And Found For New Yorker Cartoonists

The Spill has learned there’ll be a special screening for all New Yorker cartoonists next Tuesday of the documentary film, Stevenson Lost And Found. I asked the film’s director, Sally Williams to explain how this came about:

The idea for this screening came about from Nathan Fitch who is making the George Booth documentary.  We met up prior to our STEVENSON – LOST AND FOUND world premiere to compare notes and see how we could help each other out.  I think I found the idea of a New Yorker Cartoonist screening appealing because it creates a space for a different dialogue around the film.  There will be aspects that cartoonists recognize and connect with that others do not, I thought it would be interesting and valuable to have that insight from the current pool of New Yorker cartoonists.  As filmmakers, artists, illustrators it can be a bit of a sequestered road at times – so any excuse to interrupt that and bring people together is worth it I think.

(If you are a New Yorker cartoonist and want further info on the showing, please contact me).

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Meet The Artist : Mischa Richter

This is the second in a series of New Yorker artist’s self portraits included in the 1943 catalog, Meet The Artist

Here’s Mr. Richter’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Mischa Richter (photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon). Born, Kharkov, Russia, 1910. Died, March 23, 2001. New Yorker work: January 10, 1942 – January 20, 2003 ; Key books: This One’s On Me! (McGraw-Hill, 1945) , The Cartoonist’s Muse, co-authored by Harald Bakken (Contemporary Books, 1992). )

 

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David Remnick On Harold Ross And William Shawn

If you, like me, never got around to picking up a copy of The New Yorker‘s 2016  anthology The 50s: The Story Of A Decade (Random House), you probably missed New Yorker editor David Remnick’s Introduction.  Lithub has the intro here.

Here’s a sample, with Mr. Remnick talking about the Shawn style of editing the magazine vs Ross’s.

“…Shawn assumed for himself far more authority than Ross, who was prepared to delegate a greater amount to his various deputies, or “Jesuses.” Shawn was also quiet, subtle, secretive, elliptical, and, to some, quite strange. He was a variety of genius who enjoyed funny writing as well as serious fiction, supported completely the individual artists and writers on a profoundly variegated staff, and expressed his myriad curiosities about the world by sending writers out to explore its many corners.” 

 

From 1943’s Meet The Artist: Steinberg; Article Of Interest: Sempe’s Love For Paris; Release Party For Peter Kuper & Company’s World War 3 Issue #50; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

From 1943’s Meet The Artist: Steinberg

Some years back, hunting through the humor section of a (now closed) used book store in Ellsworth, Maine, I came upon a wonderful catalog, Meet The Artist: An exhibit of self-portraits by living American artists,  published in 1943 for an exhibit at San Francisco’s M.H. de Young Memorial Museum. Among the exhibit’s 150 portraits are 18 by New Yorker contributors. For the next few weeks the Spill will post these 18 self-portraits.

We begin with Saul Steinberg:

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Article Of Interest: Sempe

Here’s an article from a few years back that escaped my attention:  From Bonjour Paris, June 13, 2016, “Sempe, the Celebrated Cartoonist and His Love for Paris”

Mr. Sempe began contributing to The New Yorker in 1978.

— pictured: paperback edition of Sempe’s first collection, Rien N’est Simple (Nothing Is Simple), published 1962.

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Event Of Interest:

This notice of a release party for World War 3  Issue #50:

A release party featuring LIVE presentations by the artists is happening Sunday December 8th at Printed Matter’s New York Chelsea neighborhood shop at 231 11th Ave, (at 26th Street) New York, New York 10001. The event starts at 4pm and runs through 6pm. Many artists will be on hand to sign work and answer questions!

From the publishers:

World War 3 Illustrated is an American comics anthology magazine. Established in 1979 by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, and Christof Kohlhofer. Now in its 40th year, it continues its proud tradition of publishing more new comic book artists each issue than any publication of its type.

Visit the WW3 website here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Ellis Rosen on… the winter coat. Mr. Ellis began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit his website here.

An Upside Down New Yorker Cover And More From A New Yorker State Of Mind; Today’s Daily Cartoon & Cartoonist

Here’s a fun post from A New Yorker State Of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker Magazine. The unusual cover art* is by the great Rea Irvin.

Mr. Irvin’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Rea Irvin  (Self portrait above right from Meet the Artist) Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925. He was the magazine’s first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

*Mr. Irvin’s upside down cover was a first for the magazine. The next upside down cover appeared April 12, 1947. It was also by Mr. Irvin. There wasn’t another upside down cover until the anniversary cover of February 11, 2008 (Mr. Irvin co-credited with Seth, who incorporated Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with Irvin’s Eustace Tilley trappings).

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoon & Cartoonist

The office cold by Elisabeth McNair, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2018. Visit her website here.

 

Late Notice: A Launch Party Tonight With Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell Live-Drawing; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of November 18, 2019; Some Thoughts After Seeing The Documentary Film, “Stevenson Lost And Found”

Late Notice: A Launch Party Tonight With Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell Live-Drawing

From the Facebook Invite:

Come celebrate the release of Sarah Dooley’s new book ‘Are You My Uber?’ which is a parody of the P.D. Eastman classic ‘Are You My Mother?’ Listen to comedians Sydnee Washington, Eva Victor, Larry Owens, Pat Regan, Marcia Belsky, Gabe Gonzalez, and Taylor Ortega tell hilarious stories of wild cab experiences while Hilary Campbell, the book’s illustrator, does live drawings.

Ms. Campbell began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017. Visit her website here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

A leafy Daily from Chris Weyant, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1998. Visit his website here.

 

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The Cover: I see leaves. The fifth cover (below right) by Brigit Schossow.  Read a Q&A with her here.

There’ve been a lot, a whole lot, of leafy New Yorker covers, but this current one by Ms. Schossow  brought to mind (courtesy of a helpful New Yorker colleague) the beauty below left by the magazine’s former art & cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz.

 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A scattering of thoughts about just a few of the cartoons in this issue:

P.C. Vey’s bear and couple in the woods (on page 33) made my day.

Something totally unexpected cartoon-wise is usually always good, and so it was coming upon a Jack Ziegler cartoon. Especially nice that the drawing is set in one of his favorite cartoon scenarios: a bar.

A fun Pete Mueller drawing (p.27).  Two Mueller drawings in two issues. Yay!

Ellis Rosen’s friend’s shower (p.56) is different. Like the choices of warm/cold and cold/warm.

Needed a ten second Googled refresher course with Liana Finck’s drawing (p. 60).  Not so much what her drawing means, but the meme’s origin (just curious, y’know).

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Am hoping to open the issue one day and see Mr. Irvin’s iconic design has returned. No dice this week. For now, there’s that re-draw. Read about the classic Irvin Talk masthead here.

Here’s the real deal:

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Some Thoughts After Seeing The James Stevenson Documentary Film, Stevenson Lost And Found

A few random thoughts after attending last night’s premiere of Sally Williams’ fab documentary film, Stevenson Lost And Found.  There are are so many moments in the film — too many to go into here — that cartoonists and people who love New Yorker cartoons will treasure.

One instance I found particularly fascinating: the animated sequence showing what might go through cartoonists brains as they sit down and begin the day’s work. We’re shown a series of cartoons covering a wide variety of subject matter. It is, for this cartoonist, a relatable experience, as the mind careens through unlimited places every morning.

Another instance: in some eye-popping sequences we’re shown images of Mr. Stevenson’s children’s books lined-up, as well as Mr. Stevenson’s New Yorker  black scrap books (shown above) kept in the magazine’s library. These books contain every single signed New Yorker contribution by Stevenson, whether it’s his writing or drawing (including covers of course).*  Most of The New Yorker’s nearly 650 cartoonists (from 1925- present) have not had their work collected in one scrap book, let alone five. **

At the screening, I was lucky enough to be seated next to the legendary artist, Edward Sorel. During one of the sequences in the film where we are grasping the enormous amount of work Stevenson did (both published and unpublished) Mr. Sorel leaned over and said to me, “Do you feel as much like an underachiever as I do?”

In a perfect cartoon world, there’d be films such as Lost And Found for a number of the magazine’s artists. It’s heartening that there is already a Thurber film out there, and an Addams documentary in the works, as well as a film about George Booth.  But how about a Steinberg documentary, and one about Steig***?  I can dream, can’t I.  For now, we are quite fortunate to have this gem on Stevenson showing on the big screen. Go see.

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* I say “signed” because The New Yorker  did not and does not scrap book cartoon ideas handled by other artists. Mr. Stevenson, early in his New Yorker career, wrote a large number of captions for some of the magazine’s artists (read about his “secret job” here).

**Artists (and writers) without an enormous amount of work are scrap booked in alphabetically  cataloged books, along with other contributors.

***A short video accompanied the Steig exhibit that ran at The Norman Rockwell exhibit.

There is a 20 minute film about Edward Sorel available here.

A 40 minute Eldon Dedini film here, 

And a short film about C.E.M. (Charles E. Martin) here.