Cross Overs: Cartoonists on the Cover

It’s a rare breed now, but once upon a time New Yorker cartoonists who contributed covers to the magazine were the norm.  Rea Irvin, who everyone associates with the magazine’s mascot, Eustace Tilley, was the first cross-over New Yorker cover artist/cartoonist. Inotherwords, he did both covers and cartoons.  Al Frueh was the first to accomplish both: his was the magazine’s second cover and his cartoons appeared twice in the first issue.  ( Rea Irvin’s first cartoon didn’t appear until the issue of June 6th, 1925).  An even rarer subset of contributors includes the handful who’ve contributed covers, cartoons and written pieces ( Peter Arno, James Thurber, James Stevenson, Lou Myers, Lee Lorenz, Bob Mankoff and Roz Chast come readily to mind).

Up until 1992, when Tina Brown became editor the greater per centage of the year’s covers were executed by cartoonists. When Ms. Brown divided the Art Editor’s position in two, with a Cartoon Editor responsible for cartoons and an Art Editor  responsible for covers, the majority of covers began to be executed by illustrators,  graphic artists and in some cases, fine artists, such as Red Grooms, and more recently, Wayne Thiebaud.

Here’s a list of cartoonists who’ve contributed to both the outside and inside of the magazine (contemporary cartoonists who’ve continued to cross-over in  the most recent years are high-lighted in blue):

Charles Addams

Peter Arno

Niculae Asciu

Perry Barlow

Charles Barsotti

Ralph Barton

Ludwig Bemelmans

Abe Birnbaum

R.O. Blechman

Harry Bliss

George Booth

CEM (Charles E. Martin)

Roz Chast

Whitney Darrow, Jr.

Robert Day

James Daugherty (aka Jimmy-the-Ink)

Abner Dean

Richard Decker

Leonard Dove

Alan Dunn

Joseph Farris

Douglas Florian

Al Frueh

Arthur Getz

Alice Harvey

Helen Hokinson

Stan Hunt

Rea Irvin

Bruce Eric Kaplan

Edward Koren

Anatole Kovarsky

Robert Kraus

Arnie Levin

Lee Lorenz

Kenneth Mahood

Robert Mankoff

Reginald Marsh

Warren Miller

Frank Modell

Lou Myers

John O’Brien

Mary Petty

Garrett Price

George Price

Gardner Rea

Donald Reilly

Mischa Richter

Victoria Roberts

Carl Rose

Charles Saxon

Ronald Searle

J.J. Sempe

Danny Shanahan

Barbara Shermund

Stephanie Skalisky

Edward Sorel

William Steig

Saul Steinberg

James Stevenson

Anthony Taber

Richard Taylor


Barney Tobey

Dean Vietor

Robert Weber

Gahan Wilson

Jack Ziegler

One comment

  1. Nice piece, I had no idea that the covers job was split by Tina Brown.

    Perhaps it was serendipitously timely, as there are many more people who might have become cartoonists in the past, becoming comic artists, illustrators, or “graphic novelists” today, as the age-old magazine cartoon markets diminish. There is, therefore, a much wider pool of talent that could have gone untapped if the cover jobs had been largely left only to New Yorker cartoonists; and illustrators like Seth, Adrian Tomine, Daniel Clowes, and other “underground” but now mainstream illustrators would have remained unfamiliar to many New Yorker readers. That championing of underground cartoonists/illustrators is, of course, due largely to the efforts of Françoise Mouly.

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