As we’ve seen, from time-to-time The New Yorker likes to rush release a cover (new issues are usually published online very early Monday morning). Above is next week’s effort by Barry Blitt.
One of the best things about visiting a used book store is coming upon the unexpected. Nearly all of the above came to me that way. Of all these, my favorite cover is one of the simplest: the 1962 edition of Thurber Country, published by Penguin Books in Great Britain:
Finally, if you want a brand new Thurber book to dive into, I highly recommend Michael Rosen’s fab A Mile And A Half Of Lines: The Art Of James Thurber.
Radio Interview Of Interest: Bob Eckstein
Here’s a recent radio interview with the indefatigable Bob Eckstein (shown above, working while waiting, at The Society of Illustrators). From wfuv.org, February 19, 2020, “In Conversation: Author- Cartoonist Bob Eckstein”
Mr. Eckstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. His latest book is Everyone’s A Critic: The Ultimate Cartoon Book (Princeton Architectural Press). His next — the third in the Ultimate Cartoon Book series, All Is Fair In Love And War: The Ultimate Cartoon Book has just been listed on Amazon (no cover yet!). It will be out this October.
Video Of Interest: “Downhill” Cast Members Take A Shot At The New Yorker’s Caption Contest
“Downhill” cast members (l-r) Zoe Chao, Zach Woods, Will Ferrell, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus caption cartoons by Harry Bliss, Michael Crawford, Tom Cheney (twice), and Liza Donnelly (whose cartoon appears on the easel in the above screen grab). Watch the video here.
Today’s Daily Shouts & Daily Cartoon
The Daily Cartoon: qualifying for the debate.
Mahood’s 1958 Cartoon Collection: Not A Word To A Soul
Ordered not long ago (for one dollar(!), plus s&h) from a seller across the big pond, Kenneth Mahood’s 1958 cartoon collection arrived today and has been added to the Spill‘s cartoon library. Was very happy to see the dust jacket (and a protected dust jacket at that) in such great shape. What I didn’t realize about this collection (until today) is that it is made up entirely of captionless cartoons, such as you see on the cover. From the inside flap copy:
“…the intelligent enquirer after knowledge today does not need a preamble of word or lengthy caption to point the humour…The pictures tell their own wordless story, with your intelligent help. The story is all there for you, and it is much better that way.”
Here’s Mr. Mahood’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Kenneth Mahood Born, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1930. New Yorker work: 1951 -1996. Mr. Mahood’s bio from the British Cartoon Archive.
From Lars Kenseth, “A Celebrity Profile Of My Cat”
Mr. Kenseth began contributing to The New Yorker in
2016. Visit his website here.
Further reading: this Spill piece on Mr. Kenseth from 2017.
And Yesterday’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist was Ali Fitzgerald: “America!: How To Throw A Wild Presidents’ Day Party”
…See more of Ms. Fitzgerald’s New Yorker work here.
J.A.K. on the 4 day work week.
Mr. K. began contributing to in 2014. His book, Everything Is An Emergency: An OCD Story In Words & Pictures will be out this June from Harper Perennial.
Last week’s 95th anniversary issue was a double issue, dated February 17 & 24, as you see below. So (sigh) no new cartoons to discuss until next Monday.
In the meantime here’s a rarity courtesy of Spill friend, the author, Steve Stoliar. He recently acquired a copy of The Ritz Carltons, published in 1927, authored by Fillmore Hyde, with illustrations by the one-and-only Rea Irvin. Mr. Stoliar, whose copy is signed by the author and the artist, informs us that:
Fillmore Hyde was The New Yorker’s first literary editor and first writer of “Talk of the Town,” as well as humorous pieces from the mid-20s to the mid-30s. “The Ritz-Carltons” were a posh family that appeared in a series of New Yorker pieces, before being collected in this book.
And as to graphic content, here’s Mr. Stoliar again:
There are 15 Rea Irvin illustrations in all; some full-page, some smaller or even spot.
Digging a little deeper into Mr. Hyde (in Thomas Kunkel’s fabulous biography of Harold Ross, Genius In Disguise), we learn that it was Fillmore Hyde who brought Katharine Angell (later Katharine White) to Ross’s attention. Ross hired her about six months into The New Yorker‘s first year. From Linda Davis’s terrif biography, Onward and Upward: A Biography of Katharine S. White, this passage of interest:
It was the summer of 1925. A Sneden’s neighbor named Fillmore Hyde, who was working for the newborn New Yorker magazine, told Katharine he thought she would make a good first reader, and he suggested she go to see the editor, Harold Ross. “Before applying at The New Yorker, I asked the advice of Henry Seidel Canby, then editor of the Saturday Review of Literature. He said that The New Yorker was nothing and that I would make a great mistake to join it because he thought it would never amount to anything. I listened to him and then went back and immediately applied for the job.”
— My thanks to Mr. Stoliar for sharing.
The Spill‘s Rea Irvin entry on the A-Z:
Rea Irvin (pictured above. Self portrait above 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.
And here’s Fillmore Hyde’s New York Times obit, January 27, 1970
Fillmore Hyde, author and editor, who was a former national amateur squash tennis champion, died Sunday at Funchal, Madeira, where he lived. He was 73 years old.
Mr. Hyde was born in New York and graduated in 1915 from Harvard University, where he wrote the music for the Hasty Pudding show. He served in the Army in World War I.
He was an editor of Newsweek from 1930 to 1933, of Today in 1933, and publisher and editor of Revue in 1934. He helped start Cue magazine, and had also been with The New Yorker.
After World War II, he took charge of Pan American Air lines operations in Frankfurt, Germany. Later he was administrative assistant to the dean of the division of general education of New York University and a member of the faculty of the Washington Square Writing Center.
From Ms. Isaacs: