The First New Yorker Cartoon Issue…and the Last

From 1997 through 2012, the New Yorker published a “Cartoon Issue”; that there was a special issue wasn’t news — the magazine had started publishing them in its new era of ownership under Conde Nast (purists might argue that the issue of August 31, 1946 was the magazine’s first special issue. Beyond the Goings On About Town section, the entire issue was devoted to John Hersey’s Hiroshima. There were no cartoons, and no illustrations — just spot drawings).  The first Cartoon Issue came in the year of more change: the cartoon editorship passed from Lee Lorenz, who had held that position for 24 years, to one of the magazine’s cartoonists, Bob Mankoff, who had been contributing to the magazine for 20. [The Spill will take a look at the How and Why of that change in editorship in a future post].

The very first Cartoon Issue, dated December 15, 1997 was a celebratory explosion of the magazine’s signature art.  From the fold-out cover collage to the wonderful Jack Ziegler cartoon, “No comment” appearing where the “Comment” section would normally appear, it set the bar very high.  Also in this issue, the three section (originally planned as two section)  fold-out photograph of cartoonists taken by the acclaimed Arnold Newman, the mini bios of each cartoonist in the issue, Roger Angell’s Onward and Upward With the Arts piece (“Congratulations! It’s a baby”), Roz Chast’s graphic ode to Charles Addams, a double page photograph of George Price, a special feature by Richard Cline, Lee Lorenz’s “Cover Stories” …and more. 

In that first issue, the cartoons nearly took over the magazine. The majority of the pieces on the Table of Contents were cartoon-themed; 51 cartoonists were given brief bios.  In  the last Cartoon Issue,  28 cartoonists contributed and the issue’s special cartoon features were bundled together in the middle of the book, from page 60 to 76, with a smattering of single panel cartoons (16 cartoons to be exact) 5 multi-page spreads and 2 full page spreads, one of which, Joe Dator’s, “How We Do It: A Week In the Life of a New Yorker Cartoonist” is a classic piece of work.   As I wrote in 2012 when the issue appeared, “this Cartoon Issue veers from its predecessors in that its cover, cartoons and cartoon spreads are predominantly politically themed.”  

 Although all of the Cartoon Issues had elements that were exciting and fun — for instance, the Charles Barsotti cover on the second Cartoon Issue in 1998, and covers by New Yorker cartoonists such as George Booth, Ms. Chast, Harry Bliss, Edward Koren, Bruce Eric Kaplan, etc. —  that first Cartoon Issue, with its electric zeitgeist, remained the one to beat.  By October of 2011, when I mentioned to Jack Ziegler that the latest Cartoon Issue was probably due any week, he responded to me (via email) that it was “the moment we all dread.” By that time, the so-called “bookazine” Cartoons of The Year had already appeared and would shortly supplant the Cartoon Issue. On June 13, 2013, the magazine’s cartoonists received an email from the cartoon editor saying: “there definitely is not going to be a cartoon issue this year.” And that, as they say, was that.

(Below: the last Cartoon Issue, cover by Roz Chast)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Noth & Dernavich in Princeton; After the All-Trump Cartoon Issue… All-Kasich, All-Clinton, All-Cruz Cartoon Issues?

princeton drew paulHere’s a short video of Paul Noth and Drew Dernavich doing their thing at McCormick Hall in Princeton last Thursday.

Link here to Mr. Noth’s website

Link here to Mr. Dernavich’s website

Paul & Drew

[Paul Noth on the left, and Drew Dernavich. All photos courtesy of Attempted Bloggery‘s Stephen Nadler]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tilley Watch...…By now, most everyone has had a week to absorb the all-Trump cartoon issue of The New Yorker (the issue of April 25th). There’s even a short video about it. Do we have all-Kasich, all-Clinton, all-Cruz cartoon issues in store for us in these last few months of campaigning?

Politics reigns in New Yorker’s Cartoon Issue.

 

Out now: The 2012 New Yorker Cartoon Issue.  This is the 15th year the Cartoon Issue has appeared. That first issue, dated December 15, 1997, featured a cover collage of cartoonists’ work, a fold out Arnold Newman photograph of forty-one of the magazine’s cartoonists and one of my all-time favorite Jack Ziegler cartoons (it appeared in the Comment section). Also in that issue, under the heading Cartoonists was an alphabetical list of and mini-bio for each artist. If you don’t have a copy, it’s well worth seeking out.

The latest installment features a politically themed cover by Roz Chast (her 2nd Cartoon Issue cover, her first appeared in 1999). This Cartoon Issue veers from its predecessors in that its cover, cartoons and cartoon spreads are predominantly politically themed.

One non-political full page stands out:  Joe Dator’s “How We Do It” A week in the life of a New Yorker Cartoonist. Of note: Aline & R. Crumb reappear (Mr. Crumb made news in 2010 when he said he’d “never work for The New Yorker again”). Also of note: Andy Friedman, whose cartoons hitherto appeared in the magazine under the pseudonym Larry Hat (his New Yorker illustrations appear under his own name), appears here under his own name.

 

Here’s a full rundown of the cartoonists (and, in one case, a cartoon collaborator) featured in the issue:

Cover: Roz Chast

Spreads and full pages: Aline & R. Crumb, Joe Dator, Alex Gregory, Zachary Kanin, Ruben Bolling, Barry Blitt, Simon Rich & Farley Katz

Cartoons: Paul Karasik, Ariel Molvig, Barbara Smaller, Tom Toro, Andy Friedman, Joe Dator, Charles Barsotti, Lee Lorenz, Liam Francis Walsh, William Haefeli, John O’Brien, Danny Shanahan, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Zachary Kanin, Michael Crawford, Frank Cotham, Christopher Weyant, Farley Katz, Kim Warp, Paul Noth,  Carolita Johnson

 

 

 

 

Algonquin to close for renovations; Video: Joe Farris’s Soldier’s Sketchbook; Bob Mankoff on The New Yorker’s Cartoon Issue

 

From hotelchatter.com,  October 28,2011, “The Algonquin Hotel to Close This Winter for Renovations” ( post includes a nice photo of the Hotel’s  New Yorker cartoon wallpaper)

A short Youtube video about Joe Farris’s new book A Soldier’s Sketchbook.

From The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs, October 27, 2011, “The New Yorker’s ‘Cartoon Issue’: Bob Mankoff lets us peek behind the scenes”

 

 

Mick Stevens’ Illustrated song; Peter Steiner’s blog Hopeless but not Serious; New Yorker’s Cartoon Issue out

From Mick Stevens’ site mickstevens.com, October 24, 2011,  this illustrated song

 

And a reminder that Peter Steiner has a brand new blog, Hopeless but not Serious, wherein he posts daily energetic graphic swipes at politics, politicians, etc..

 

Finally:  The 15th annual New Yorker Cartoon Issue hits the stands today.  It features a wonderful cover by George Booth, and includes color work by the likes of Mark Alan Stamaty, Emily Flake, Zach Kanin, and Roz Chast.   There’s a b&w spread of work by the late Leo Cullum, and The Funnies, where you’ll find drawings by Jack Ziegler, Lee Lorenz, Bruce Eric Kaplan, and more.  There’re a handful of cartoonists sprinkled among the ads as well (Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, and Liza Donnelly).