The Tilley Watch; Liza Donnelly’s Veterans Day Animation; Joe Farris’s Soldier’s Sketchbook

The Cover: this week’s cover (titled “Welcome to Congress”) by Barry Blitt was mentioned here last week (it was released early). It received a bit of media attention. One example: this Huffington Post piece. 

The Cartoonists, the Cartoons:

13 cartoons this week.  19 illustrations, with 5 of them full page.

Two items of note in the list of cartoonists: a joint effort by Mick Stevens and Jenny Allen.  And, unless I’m mistaken, Lonnie Millsap is making his debut in the magazine. If that’s accurate (someone please advise if it’s not) he is the 9th new cartoonist this year, and the 21st since Emma Allen was appointed the magazine’s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Update: Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead is still a-missin (you can read about it here). This is what it looks like:

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And:

here’s Liza Donnelly’s Veterans Day animation for CBS News .

…this is a good day to recall A Soldier’s Sketchbook by the late New Yorker cartoonist Joe Farris.  Published in 2011 by National Geographic, the book is available online at the usual places. 

Here’s the Booklist review:

“Farris, best known postwar as a cartoonist for the New Yorker, offers this evocative memoir-album, with a scrapbook graphic design. Replete with faux-yellowed pages, it chronicles his tour of duty using his contemporary illustrations, his letters to his Connecticut family, and present-day reflections on the attitudes and fears of his innocent 19-year-old self. With meticulous National Geographic maps tracking his regiment’s advance through France and Germany, Ferris’ is an honestly written, visually captivating volume and a superb addition to the genre of WWII artwork.”

 

The Tilley Watch: A Collaboration; A Correction

A Correction: The original Spill post under “Papaerwork” [I’ve left it intact below] incorrectly stated that the appearance of Tadhg Ferry’s cartoon in this latest issue was his first cartoon in the magazine. Jane Mattimoe, of a Spill favorite blog, A Case For Pencils,  has sent me a cartoon of Mr. Ferry’s that appeared in the September 19, 2016 issue. My apologies to Mr. Ferry, and my thanks to Ms. Mattimoe for setting the record straight (the good news is that Mr. Ferry’s name was added to the A-Z, albeit belatedly. This bit of information about Mr. Ferry led to the addition of one cartoonist to the #218 below, making it 219 new cartoonists brought in from 1997 through 2017; at the same time one cartoonist is subtracted from Emma Allen’s total thus far, from 19 to 18).  

Paperwork: a new cartoonist in the issue (it’s the “Money Issue”…well, okay) of October 22, 2018:  Mr. Ferry is the seventh new cartoonist added this year, and the nineteenth new cartoonist added since Emma Allen became the magazine’s cartoon editor in May of 2017.  Her predecessor added two hundred and eighteen new cartoonists in his close to twenty year stint, or approximately eleven new cartoonists a year. His predecessor, Lee Lorenz, added approximately forty-five new cartoonists in his twenty-four years as art/cartoon editor, or approximately 2 a year.

 Noted: a rare co-credited cartoon in the issue: Joe Dator & Dan Yaccarino. For more on the subject of New Yorker cartoon collaboration, go here and here.

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk masthead is still stuck in a drawer somewhere at the New Yorker‘s offices, having been replaced by a redrawn (!?) version in the Spring of last year.  Read more here. Below: what the shelved masthead looks like, lest we forget:

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of August 20, 2018

Seems like a long long time since there was a Monday Tilley Watch (it wasn’t really that long; must’ve been the endless Summer days making the stretch seem more stretched out).  The cover of the new issue is messagey — you can read what the cover artist, R. Kikuo Johnson, had in mind here.

Worth noting there’s gender equality, cartoonist numbers-wise, in this issue.  Also of note, and maybe this was purely expectation on my part of a barrel full of cartoons greeting us this week: there are but nine single panel cartoons in the issue (there’s a full page drawing provided by Roz Chast).  

This will be the last week I note the number of illustrations appearing vs the number of cartoons as it seems to be the norm now that illustrations outnumber cartoons, both in actual number and in space given in the magazine’s pages.  

Also ending this week, I will no longer mention that Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead is missing. I will however, continue to post his masthead (on Mondays) until I’m told by someone with clout to cease. 

One cartoon in this issue has caused me to continue thinking about it longer than I would usually think about a specific cartoon. That’s either a good thing, or a bad thing.  In this case it’s a good thing.  The P.C. Vey drawing (on page 22) of a couple in a kitchen alongside a loose change machine made me think of Charles Addams’ work (always a pleasant diversion). It’s in the Addams mode, yet it’s also very much in the Vey mode. My thinking is that Addams might’ve handled it in some other way — perhaps the machine would’ve been out on the street(?). Perhaps the cup holders would’ve been less economically well-off(?). This splendid drawing has done its job just the way it is, but it also allows for some fun cartoon speculation.  It deserves a round of Spill applause.  

   

And here’s Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead, not for the last time. Read about it here:

Note: for the next week or so the Spill will appear irregularly.  It’ll be back on track by the beginning of September.

Personal History: Tearsheets

Quite a while ago (decades, in fact) I began collecting tearsheets of my New Yorker work (and back then, tearsheets from other publications that would have me). The New Yorker drawings  were kept in the black 3-ring binders you see above (non-New Yorker work was placed in 10″ x 13″ envelopes).  The binders seemed like a great idea, as the only record keeping I knew of were the black books the New Yorker kept (and keep) of everyone’s work. Here’s a shot of my black book (book-ended by some recognizable names) in the New Yorker‘s library. 

For a very long time this household received two copies of each issue, making it easy to rip out my work (and/or my wife, Liza Donnelly’s work) from issues and save the other issue.  This practice went on until the early 2000s when I decided that the New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank was, in effect, doing my work for me by running a well-organized easily searchable database.  While it wasn’t ever a complete picture (a hundred or more of my drawings never made it into their database), it was a good source.  Along with that was the publication of several databases: The Complete New Yorker‘s 8 discs, and The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker‘s 2 discs (just 1 disc in a later edition).

As all the work, up that time, was right there, all printable, it seemed silly to continue ripping out pages from the print magazine. The Complete New Yorker‘s discs covered February of 1925 through February of 2005 — with a promise to continue updating the work; The Complete Cartoons covered 1925 thru 2004.

Now some ten years after abandoning the tearsheet practice (the last tearsheet in my black volumes shown above is dated October 20, 2008), I regret not continuing.  There is currently no reliable contemporary archive online or on disc. The magazine’s online search function (available to subscribers) is inadequate.

I’d hoped that any forthcoming celebration of the magazine’s cartoons for The New Yorker‘s 100th birthday in 2025 might update the cartoon database. Heck, update the database for the entire magazine. If you own the aforementioned 8 discs from the Complete New Yorker, you’ll eventually discover that the discs will not work with modern computer systems. Luckily I have an ancient  iBook around and use that to search the database. 

So far, there is no mention in any of the promotional text accompanying the upcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons that it includes a database — its interests seem to be fashioned around cartoon “tropes” — but we’ll see.

Interesting then that it’s back to where it started here: with collecting hard copies.  In my case, I held on to a large number of back issues of the magazine, but not enough issues to fill in these past 8 years. In the last year I’ve started ripping out tearsheets, but they’ve yet to be placed in the binders.  The chronologist in me wants to pick up where I left off, in 2008, and move forward. 

Perhaps I should’ve known better.  Having a binder in front of you, with everything in chronological order is the best way to go. I’ve used these binders as reminders of certain moments tied-in to the drawings (if there was something memorable to record). Here’s an example: a drawing published March 16, 1987.  As you see in the note attached, the drawing includes a nod to William Shawn. 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch Online: June 11-16, 2018; More Arthur Getz (at The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon)

Yet another Trumpian week for the Daily Cartoon. 

The participating cartoonists:  Danny Shanahan, one of the magazine’s modern masters, appeared twice in the week, with his second a nod to the climbing racoon we all fell in love with; Lars Kenseth, whose one-of-a-kind drawings also appeared twice (neither was a racoon drawing, unfortunately), and Lisa Rothstein, possibly making her Daily debut (someone please advise if this is incorrect).

And the Daily Shouts contributing New Yorker cartoonists were Tom Chitty Jeremy Nguyen with David Ostow, Liana Finck, and honorary New Yorker cartoonist, Colin Stokes (he’s the magazine’s assistant cartoon editor, and… he’s co-written a published New Yorker cartoon or two).

You can see all of the above work, and more, here.

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More Arthur Getz

I recently drove over to Sharon, Connecticut to catch the Arthur Getz exhibit at the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon. It runs til the end of this month, so hurry and go before it’s gone! One of the New Yorker‘s great cartoonists, Peter Steiner, joined me to tour the art on the walls, including the original art for the terrific cover shown above. This is a large piece (my guess is it’s about a yard tall), graphically powerful as a cover and even more so when you’re up close to the original (it’s currently hanging along a staircase). There are a number of other originals like it (in the wow category), but also a good number of small pieces (many “killed” covers) as well as some pastoral watercolors. Many of the pieces are for sale. A portfolio of work sits in one of the rooms — you can breeze through and pick up the original art for as close a look as you want.

Getz’s New Yorker work really shines through in this show. Mr. Steiner and I spent some time gazing at them, marveling at Getz’s ability to grasp the big picture so beautifully. I’m reluctant to label any specific period of The New Yorker as golden or aluminum or silver, or whatever, but as Mr. Getz’s career spanned 50 years (1938-1988)  his work certainly was being published during the magazine’s so-called Golden Age.

As mentioned on the Spill not long ago there’s a companion exhibit at the nearby Moviehouse in Millerton (NY) featuring much more of Getz’s New Yorker work. You really need to see that too (it runs through the end of August).