Peter Kuper on John Bolton.
Mr. Kuper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2011. Visit his website here.
Peter Kuper on John Bolton.
Mr. Kuper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2011. Visit his website here.
Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials
Here are three essential books for any and every New Yorker cartoon library. All were compiled and edited by the former New Yorker art/cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz. My understanding is that there were to be more in the series, but we all know how fickle the publishing biz is (wouldn’t it have been just incredibly wonderful to have had an Essential Robert Weber!). What you’ll find in each book is a compact history of the subject, with early work, and interviews, bibliographies, favorite cartoon topics, and plenty of cartoons. The first two in the series came out in 1998 (Booth & Barsotti), followed by the Essential Ziegler in 2000. Mr. Lorenz also gave us a great book on William Steig, as well as an overall look at The New Yorker‘s art and art department from its beginning. Those titles are essential too — they just don’t include the word “essential” in their titles.
From the Spill‘s A-Z, the entries for those mentioned above:
Lee Lorenz ( Photograph taken 1995 by Liza Donnelly) *Born 1932, Hackensack, NJ. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). New Yorker work: 1958 –.
Charles Barsotti Born, San Marcos, Texas, September 28, 1933. Died, Kansas City, Mo., June 16, 2014. Mr. Barsotti was briefly the cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post ( from 1968 until its demise in 1969). The New York Times review of his 1981 collection “Kings Don’t Carry Money” led with the following:”Thurber lives, in Kansas City under the name of Charles Barsotti.” His deceptively simple line drawings of pups and kings, and businessmen have been a presence in The New Yorker for over fifty years. It is likely that Mr. Barsotti is the only New Yorker cartoonist to have ever run for Congress (an unsuccessful bid, in 1972, in Kansas). New Yorker work: 1962 – . Key collections: Kings Don’t Carry Money (Dodd, Mead, 1981), and The Essential Charles Barsotti, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz (Workman, 1998). Website: http://www.barsotti.com/ ……Link to Ink Spill’s Charles Barsotti appreciation.
George Booth (photo above taken in NYC 2016, courtesy of Liza Donnelly) Born June 28, 1926, Cainesville, MO. New Yorker work: June 14, 1969 – . Key collections: Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead, 1975), Rehearsal’s Off! (Dodd, Mead, 1976), Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth ( Congdon & Weed, 1984), The Essential George Booth, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 1998).
Jack Ziegler (photo by Michael Maslin, taken at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC, 2008) Born, Brooklyn, NY July 13, 1942. Died, March 29, 2017. New Yorker work: 1974 – 2017. Key collections: all of Ziegler’s collections are must-haves. Here’re some favorites: Hamburger Madness (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), Filthy Little Things ( Doubleday/Dolphin, 1981) and The Essential Jack Ziegler, Complied and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 2000)….. Link here for Ink Spill’s Jack Ziegler interview from late 2016.
Robert Weber (Pictured mid 1980s. Photograph by Liza Donnelly) Born April 22, 1924, Los Angeles, California. Died, October 20, 2016, Branford Connecticut. NYer work: nearly 1500 cartoons, and close to a dozen covers since 1962…. Read Ink Spill’s November 2016 Appreciation of Mr. Weber here.
The terrif cartoonist Kim Warp has today’s Daily Cartoon. See it here.
Ms. Warp has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1999.
Mr. Polan was the subject of a New Yorker Talk piece by Naomi Fry, “Taco Bell Drawing Club,” in the issue of Sept. 24, 2018.
His Every Person In New York was published by Chronicle Books in 2015.
More reading: from Vice: “Jason Polan Is Trying/Failing To Draw Every Person In NY”
The Cover: a snowy bridge. Read the Q&A with the cover artist here, and see the pretty digital snowflakes fall.
In a throw back to earlier Monday Tilley Watches, I’ll take a quick tour through all the cartoons in the issue; a mostly text-driven drive-by of the work.
The first drawing, by David Sipress, references the recent demise of Mr. Peanut (is he really gone, or was it just a dream?). The topic of the late legume was recently covered here.
…Julia Suits’s pirate in cargo shorts on a gangplank is next (cannot see cargo shorts/pants on a New Yorker cartoon character without thinking of the below cargo pants drawing by the late great Leo Cullum — it appeared in The New Yorker, August 17, 1998:
…The third cartoon (oh, alright: drawing) in the issue belongs to Barbara Smaller, who’s been contributing to the magazine since 1996. A bedroom, a married couple, and a reasonable question.
…next is a Zach Kanin poker game (assuming it’s poker — I see chips on the table). I really like the three card players Mr. Kanin has drawn. The fellow to the left looks a little like Ernest Borgnine (with a pinch of Broderick Crawford tossed in?):
To me, the guy on the far right resembles Mandy Patinkin.
…next up: Liana Finck on an age-old flooring concern. Nice floating ghost.
…Harry Bliss and one of his collaborators (Steve Martin) address a potential problem for passengers on one of those floating mini-cities sailing the seven seas.
…five pages later: an Emily Flake drawing far far removed from her usual style and cartoon concerns. Think Hindenburg disaster mashed with social media done in a sort of Stuart Leeds style.
…on page 45, a Tersa Burns Parkhurst retirement party. Dunno why but the cartoon reminds me of MAD magazine’s Dave Berg’s “Lighter Side Of…” drawings (that’s a good thing!).
…on page 43 is a drawing by Mick Stevens, one of the most veteran artists in this issue. He began contributing in December of 1979 (Roz Chast in this issue with a full page color Sketchbook, beats him out by more than a year– her first drawing appeared in June of 1978). I wonder if the male dancing bird in Mr. Stevens’s drawing was originally in color. Either way (color, or b&w), a fab cartoon.
…David Borchart’s auto rental drawing (page 43) gets a Spill gold star for the use of the word “rassle.” Zeke, the fellow that’s prepared to rassle, is also mighty terrific.
…On page 54 is an Ed Steed drawing that at first glance reminds me of Zach Kanin’s in this same issue, but only because, in both drawings, the viewer is seeing a table front and center and from near precisely the same angle. Instead of card players (as seen in Mr. Kanin’s drawing) we have animated garden utensils and tools. They’re plotting something.
…next up is a Robert Leighton drawing of mountain climbers. I love how Mr. Leighton has immediately tossed us into a situation that would normally demand the best possible equipment available. You gotta feel for the climber who came unprepared.
…Thoroughly enjoyed — as usual with Lars Kenseth’s work — his drawing of campers situated down on the ground, and in much nicer weather than Mr. Leighton’s. Look at the care he took in adding the reflection of the moon on the lake.
…next up is a three panel hat x-ray drawing by Liza Donnelly ( who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1982). This drawing answers the oft-asked question of what could possibly occupy all that beanie air space. Love the kitty!
Lastly, Adam Douglas Thompson (the most junior artist in this issue — his first drawing appeared in The New Yorker in the issue of April 8, 2019) gives us a sort of contemporary Chon Day drawing (it’s on page 68). “Sort of” because Mr. Thompson’s line and Mr. Day’s line have different flows.
The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:
This man (Rea Irvin) is wondering what happened to his beautiful Talk masthead design (shown below). You know — the one that appeared in The New Yorker for 92 years, not the re-draw that’s been around since May of 2017. Who took the iconic masthead away, and why, and where oh where can it be? Actually, the answer to the first question is easy. Perhaps the last question is easy as well. It likely resides in a file on a desktop, easily accessed. The question of why is the puzzler. Read more about its disappearance here.
Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist
The Daily Cartoon: by Brendan Loper, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.
…and a Daily Shouts by J. A. K., who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014.
The arrival of a New Yorker original here at Spill headquarters is always a “moment.” Yesterday’s addition to the Spill collection — an I. Klein original published in the June 19, 1926 issue — instantly became the second oldest New Yorker drawing in the house (the earliest is an Alice Harvey cartoon, published October 25, 1925). Here’s how Mr. Klein’s drawing looked as published (below left):
Here’s what the original looks like:
When the drawing arrived — when any pre-1952* New Yorker original drawing arrives — the first thing my eyes go to is the “R” usually found on either the upper right hand corner of a drawing or on the back of the drawing. The “R” was The New Yorker‘s founder and first editor, Harold Ross’s way of noting a bought drawing. You can clearly see the “R’ on the upper right hand corner of Mr. Klein’s drawing:
Ross’s “R” is mentioned in a memorable passage on page 61 of James Thurber’s must read, The Years With Ross. Here’s Thurber talking about a drawing** he loved enough to resubmit despite Ross’s initial rejection:
“I’ll send that drawing in to every meeting until it’s bought and printed,” I told him [Ross]. I think it was bought on the third resubmission. Some of my drawings were held up much longer than that, and one night I got into Ross’s office with a passkey, faked his R on three drawings I especially liked, and sent them through the works the next day.
Ross’s “R” appeared elsewhere, as on this New Yorker reprint of a Joseph Mitchell piece. We perhaps should assume that the initial indicated approval of this special issue.
*Ross died in December of 1951. His successor William Shawn, did not seem to initial bought drawings.
**The drawing of “a would-be woman purchaser” of a dog at a pet shop, being told by the proprietor, “I’m very sorry, madam, but the one in the middle is stuffed, poor fellow” was published March 7, 1936.
Here’s I. Klein’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
I. (“Izzy”) Klein Born Isidore Klein, Newark, New Jersey, October 12, 1897. Died, 1986. His papers can be found at Syracuse University. New Yorker work, over 200 drawings from 1925 through 1937.