The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker (Double) Issue, July 8 & 15, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

The Cover: A hot dog cart guy gets some beach time on Peter De Seve’s cover.  Read the Cover Story here.

The Cartoonists:

The Newbies: Making their New Yorker print debut this week: Victor Varnado and Akeem Roberts. They become the record-setting nineteenth and twentieth new cartoonists entering the magazine’s stable of artists this year and the forty-fifth and forty-sixth new artists brought in under cartoon editor Emma Allen’s stewardship, begun in May of 2017.

The Cartoons: Brief thoughts on some of the thirteen cartoons in the issue:

Roz Chast’s Ordinary Kreskin drawing (p. 37).  Love Ms. Chast’s right-to-the-point drawings, like this one. Perhaps not so unusual, but noticeable: she’s drawn Mr. Kreskin with five fingers (a lot of cartoonists find four will do for their cartoon characters). 

Liana Finck’s talking baby (p. 44).  A terrific twist on an end-of-life sentiment. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been equally successful had the baby been talking to another baby.

Ed Steed’s hammered drawing (p.54).  At first glance on my laptop, before zooming in on the drawing I thought that Mr. Steed had done a mash-up drawing with George Booth. If you squint your eyes, it’s a very Boothian room (the perspective, the hanging ceiling lamp, the floorboards, wall objects). 100% Steedian is the idea itself and the Steedian happily hammering woman.

My confused initial take on seeing the drawing leads me to toss out a suggestion. There’s been plenty written on this site about cartoon collaboration, but those duets have involved a writer teamed with an artist (or two artists collaborating) with just one person doing the drawing.  Howz about for fun we see some artists team-up and create a drawing or two with multiple styles in one frame. Some suggestions: Chast/Finck, Dator/Donnelly,  Hwang/Shanahan, Sipress/Allenby,  Kenseth/Koren…just a thought. (Liza Donnelly and I had a ton ‘o’ fun doing a series of mash-up full-page graphic pieces for our 2009 collection, Cartoon Marriage)  

Paul Noth’s line of succession drawing (p. 58). Mr. Noth delivers a great drawing.  I only wish it had been given more breathing room (such as Mr. Steed’s). 

Robert Leighton’s drawing (p.32) features a caption that would probably be right at home in a positive thinking seminar.  Yet another Leighton drawing destined for many a refrigerator.   

Karen Sneider’s funny fish in bed recalls the classic George Price drawing published in the magazine’s issue of December 21, 1963

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin (with Harold Ross and his then-wife, Jane Grant) was a founder of The New Yorker‘s graphic architecture. Consider his adapted typeface (the so-called Irvin typeface) that is part of the magazine’s DNA, the breadth of cartoon worlds he encouraged as art supervisor, his department heading designs, and his numerous covers (including, of course, the magazine’s brilliant first that gave us Eustace Tilley). Tis a puzzlement that his iconic heading for the Talk Of The Town remains under a tarp. Here it is below, and here’s where you can read about its removal in 2017.

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

Singin’ under the drip from Amy Kurzweil, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.

The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 1, 2019; Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: David Sipress

The Cover: Summertime is very much here. I confess to being puzzled by the columns on this new cover but figured all would be revealed if I went to the now-standard Q&A with the cover artist (and all was). I guess I need to spend more time in Brooklyn. 

The Cartoonists

Last week I mentioned a collaborative cartoon effort; this week there are two sets: Pia Guerra & Ian Boothby, and, Seth Roberts & Brian Hawes. 3/4ths of the collaborators are making their cartoon-connected print debut (everyone but Pia Guerra, who has been contributing since 2017).  If we accept that each team contains at least one artist (i.e. someone had to draw the cartoon), then there is at least one new name to add to the newbie list. The addition of one new cartoonist from the group brings us to the 17th new cartoonist of the year (I’ll sort out who is who eventually).

But wait! Emily Bernstein is also making her debut in the print magazine, so just-like-that we’re now up to 18 new cartoonists added this year.  18 newbies this year, and 44 newbies in all under Emma Allen’s watch as cartoon editor (she began in May of 2017).

The Cartoons

 There are two kinds of cartoons that have always fascinated me. One is the drawing I linger over because I’m not at all enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world. The other kind is the drawing I linger over because I’m thoroughly enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world,  wanting to hang out with it, explore it, and learn from it. The best cartoons are shorthand graphic short stories. P.C. Vey‘s death on the beach drawing (p.18) is solidly the latter kind — a wonderful addition to the magazine’s archive of beach cartoons. It’s a drawing where everything works.

Also working is Liana Finck‘s one-two punch take on the devil and angel on one’s shoulders scenario (p. 24). I found myself studying the framework around the character — an unusual blending of box and body.

The Felipe Galindo drawing on page 70 is a fun twist on the lion tamer scenario crossed with the small but growing canon of cat scratch cartoons (a personal cat scratch favorite is this Mike Twohy classic from June 5, 1995). 

The Caption Contest Cartoonist: Liza Donnelly

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead

Still in storage: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead design, replaced in Spring of 2017 by a redraw(!). Below is Mr. Irvin’s drawing for those who don’t know what they’re missing, and for those who do know what they’re missing.

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Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon

A New Yorker Cartoonist Mt. Rushmore:  From left to right: Charles Saxon, Former New Yorker Art Editor, James Geraghty, Dana Fradon, and Whitney Darrow, Jr.. Westport, Connecticut, 1982. Courtesy of Mr. Geraghty’s daughter, Sarah Geraghty Herndon).

Mr. Fradon, the subject of a lengthy Spill piece in 2013, will speak this Fall at Western Connecticut State University.  Here’s a chance to see one of the cartoon gods of The New Yorker‘s golden era.  Everything you need to know about the event here.

Mr. Fradon’s entry on the A-Z:

 

Dana Fradon Born, Chicago, Illinois, 1922. Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to service in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Following his service, he attended the Art Students League of New York, New Yorker work: May 1, 1948 – . Collection: Insincerely Yours (Scribners, 1978).

 — My thanks to Warren Bernard for bringing Mr. Fradon’s event to the Spill’s attention.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Trump cartoon by David Sipress, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1998.

George Booth’s New Yorker Golden Anniversary!

Let us raise our cartoon glasses and toast to the great New Yorker artist, George Booth. His very first New Yorker drawing appeared in the issue dated this day in 1969. His most recent drawing appeared in the magazine’s issue of June 10, 2019. My math tells me that he has now been contributing to The New Yorker for half a century.

I’ve always felt that Mr. Booth’s arrival at The New Yorker  was part of a transitional moment for the magazine’s art, helping it move from its mid-1950s Eisenhower-ish slumber to the excitement right around the bend in the late 1960s and 1970s. In the decade Mr. Booth’s work appeared, The New Yorker had lost two of its giants: James Thurber in 1961, and Peter Arno in 1968. Tremendous losses, but also a decade of tremendous gain for the magazine when the art editor, James Geraghty brought in a number of artists who would also become giants in their field: Edward Koren in 1964, Charles Barsotti, Sam Gross, and George Booth in 1969.  How fortunate we are that three of these artists continue showering us with their work right up to today (Charles Barsotti passed away five years ago this week).

By the time I was making a serious effort to get into The New Yorker in the mid 1970s (my work rejected a mountain of times by Mr. Geraghty), Booth, Koren, Barsotti and Gross had already been added to the New Yorker’s  Mt. Rushmore of cartoonists; their work impossibly inspiring. I felt (and still feel) about Booth’s drawings as I felt about work by Thurber and Hokinson and Steig and Saxon, and Peter Arno and Steinberg (and many more): it cannot get any better than this

(above: A Booth New Yorker cartoon from the issue of March 25, 1991)

As with so many, if not all of the New Yorker great artists, there is an education for aspiring cartoonists, and published cartoonists as well, in every single one of their drawings. Even this morning looking through Booth’s work, I find my electrical cartoon current even buzzier than usual. There’s beauty and excitement in Booth’s art, and of course, there’s that signature Boothian barrel of fun.

For those wanting more of his work, Omnibooth is a great place to dive in.  Find Lee Lorenz’s The Essential George Booth (Workman Publishing Company, 1998) and you’ll be treated to a mini-bio of Booth as well as samples of pre-New Yorker work. There is also his classic 1975 collection, Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead & Co.).

And very luckily for us all, Nathan Fitch’s documentary film on Booth, Drawing Life  is well on its way.

I  leave you with a small sample of Mr. Booth’s cover work, and with hearty applause for George Booth — a fine person, and an exceptional artist.

 

Note: Here’s what Fred Taraba of Taraba Illustration Art had to say about the Skittish Dog drawing shown at the head of this post: Not published, rather a version of one of Booth’s most recognized cartoons. The published version appeared in The New Yorker on August 15th, 1977. A third version appears in the book, Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth.

 

 

Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig; Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Maddie Dai; A Weekend Shouts By Liana Finck; The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig

A current exhibit at The Carle Museum focused on William Steig’s classic Sylvester and the Magic Pebble includes “Steig’s preliminary sketches, story boards, and dummy books related to the seminal publication.” Info here.

William Steig’s entry on the A-Z:

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 14, 1907, died in Boston, Mass., Oct. 3, 2003. In a New Yorker career that lasted well over half a century and a publishing history that contains more than a cart load of books, both children’s and otherwise, it’s impossible to sum up Steig’s influence here on Ink Spill. He was among the giants of the New Yorker cartoon world, along with James Thurber, Saul Steinberg, Charles Addams, Helen Hokinson and Peter Arno. Lee Lorenz’s World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998) is an excellent way to begin exploring Steig’s life and work. New Yorker work: 1930 -2003.

Of Note: From The New Yorker, June 3, 2019, Rumaan Alam’s  “William Steig’s Books Explored The Reality Adults Don’t Want Children To Know About”

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Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham

From Memphis Magazine, The Well-Drawn World of Frank Cotham— this piece on the long-time contributor to The New Yorker.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Maddie Dai Kingly drawing. Ms. Dai began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

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A Weekend Daily Shouts…

…by Liana Finck. Another installment in Ms. Finck’s “Dear Pepper” series.

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The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

The Cover: A fitting  Bruce Eric Kaplan cover for the “fiction Issue”  — it’s always a pleasure to see one of the magazine’s cartoonists work appear there.  Read more about Mr. Kaplan’s cover here.

More “Tweaking” Of Note: This is the second issue of the magazine in a row not listing the Cover Artist on The Contributors page (Barry Blitt was not credited there last week). The last issue to credit the cover artist (Malika Favre) was the issue of May 27th.  The cover artists are still credited on the table of contents. Example:

As tweaking continues to occur it’s perhaps a good time to recall what the magazine’s Creative Director, Nicholas Blechman told MAGCulture in June of 2017:

The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time. Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. Since I arrived in 2015, we’ve been fine tuning an incredibly resilient and elegant design. Our road map for design changes in the print magazine is mostly complete. I think the table of contents could be tweaked, and the design of the Fiction page could also be tinkered with. Most of the big innovations you will be seeing at The New Yorker will be online, as we contemplate a web redesign and introduce improvements to The New Yorker Today app.

While I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Blechman’s first sentence (The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time) I must disagree with the first half of the sentence that follows:

Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. 

There was in fact an enormous design change (and changes in the magazine’s DNA) beginning with Tina Brown’s first issue, October 5 1992. Here’s a link to Walter Goodman’s September 29, 1992 New York Times piece assessing that issue.

The Cartoonists:

Of Note: The lead cartoon by George Booth, one of the New Yorker‘s all-time great artists, appears on the 50th anniversary of Mr. Booth’s first cartoon in magazine, June 14, 1969 (the Spill will celebrate accordingly on June 14th).

Of the 14 cartoonists in this issue, two are making their New Yorker print debut: Eugenia Viti and Lydia Conklin, making them the 15th and 16th new cartoonists brought into the magazine’s stable in 2019, and the 41st & 42nd to be brought in since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in May of 2017. With 16 new cartoonists, the magazine has now tied the 2016 record for new artists. And, of course, we’re only half-way through the year.

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead is still a-missin. Read about it here. Here’s the real deal:

 

 

 

 

A New Yorker State Of Mind: Barney Tobey’s First Cover; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Lisa Rothstein

Barney Tobey’s First Cover

 A New Yorker State of Mind takes its usual thorough look through a past issue.  This week it’s the issue of April 26, 1930, which features Barney Tobey’s first (of four) covers for the magazine.  Read all here

Mr. Tobey’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Barney Tobey Born in New York City, July, 18, 1906, died March 27, 1989, New York. New Yorker work: 1929 -1986. Essential collection: B. Tobey of The New Yorker (Dodd Mead & Co., 1983)

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

 

Jeopardy…by Lisa Rothstein, making her second (?) appearance on the Daily.