Tom Toro in The Paris Review; Blogs of Interest: Attempted Bloggery, New Yorker State of Mind

Tom Toro in The Paris Review

Mr. Toro is illustrating a series, Life Sentence, for the Review, illustrating one sentence at a time. See his work here.


Two blogs of note today, both very familiar to Spill visitors by now.

The first is Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery  where he has posted, “Anatol Kovarsky: Leda and the Swan” —  in anticipation of next week’s opening of the Kovarsky exhibit at the Society of Illustrators.   Read it here. 

(above: Mr. Kovarsky’s one-and-only collection, published in 1956.  How I wish we had a follow-up!)


And then there’s A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of the New Yorker,  which, in this latest post,  takes a fascinating look at the issue of November 10, 1928 (shown above).

Unseen Kovarsky, Pt. 3! More Unpublished Work by the Great New Yorker Artist

Here at Ink Spill, we are celebrating the upcoming must-see exhibit, “Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons from The New Yorker” at The Society of Illustrators.

  This is the third in a series of unpublished artwork by the late great Mr. Kovarsky, who contributed to The New Yorker from 1947 through 1969. My sincerest thanks to the Kovarsky family for sharing these pieces with us. 

Note: all work shown here is copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky

 Today’s post is book-ended by two pieces titled “Season’s Greetings” — the one above (dated 1969) and the black & white drawing appearing at the end of this post. In between, three drawings with subjects Mr. Kovarsky returned to over the years. If you happened to have read the piece on this site few years back about the Spill’s visit with Mr. Kovarsky you might remember that his wife, Lucille, told us that the large studio Kovarsky once used in lower Manhattan was divided in two: one part for doing drawings, the other for paintings. Lucille said, “He would switch from one to the other.”  I can’t help but believe the division blended from time-to-time resulting in the many many drawings he did of an artist at his easel such as the multi-panel piece below from the mid 1950s.  Kovarsky was one of the few New Yorker artists able to produce an abundance of un-captioned work. The Trojan Horse drawing (directly below the artist & model multi-panel) is an excellent example.


More Unseen Kovarsky: Unpublished Cartoons and Covers!

Here at the Spill we’re celebrating the upcoming Society of Illustrators exhibit, “Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons From The New Yorker” by presenting unpublished cartoons and cover art by the late great artist. Enjoy!

— all work shown here courtesy of the Kovarsky family; all art copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky. 

Below: The Kiss (c.1955-1962)

Below: Caroling on Fire Escape  (a sketch for a series of holiday cards, 1959)


Below: Holiday Shopping (cover idea sketch c.1960s)

Mr. Kovarsky’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

Anatol Kovarsky (photo above, NYC, 2013. By Liza Donnelly) Born, Moscow. Died, June 1, 2016, NYC. Collection: Kovarsky’s World (Knopf, 1956) New Yorker work: 1947 -1969. Link to Ink Spill’s  2013 piece, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”


Unseen Kovarsky: Unpublished Cartoons and Covers From the Late Great Artist

A special treat!  In celebration of the upcoming exhibit at The Society of Illustrators, Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons From the New Yorker,  the Spill is presenting unpublished work by this wonderful artist who contributed cartoons and covers to The New Yorker from 1947 through 1969. Today and next Wednesday, and possibly even a few more Wednesdays after that, I will  post cover sketches and drawings generously provided by Mr. Kovarsky’s family.  My sincerest thanks to them for allowing us to see this beautiful work.

— Note: all the work shown is copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky.


— And for those who may have missed it, here’s a link to the Spill piece on Mr. Kovarsky from the summer of 2013, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”



A Rafter of Kovarsky Turkeys; A Favorite Thanksgiving Cartoon Revisited

A Rafter of Kovarsky Turkeys

Thanks to the generosity of Anatol Kovarsky’s family, here are a number of the artist’s unpublished sketches (mostly turkeys, plus a few chickens) as well as an unpublished sketch of his Thanksgiving New Yorker cover of November 24, 1962 ( the finished cover art appears as well). Mr. Kovarsky’s work will be celebrated this coming January in an exhibition at the Society of Illustrators.


For more on Mr. Kovarsky, who passed away in 2016, here’s a Spill piece from 2013, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”  (this piece also appeared on the New Yorker‘s website in a slightly edited form).


A Favorite Thanksgiving Cartoon Revisited

The above drawing by Bob Eckstein appeared in The New Yorker, November 26, 2012. It remains one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving cartoons.  When it appeared I asked Mr. Eckstein a few questions about it:

Michael Maslin: Bob, your drawing, The First 3-D Thanksgiving, is, I believe, the first 3-D cartoon in the magazine’s history (if anyone out there finds another, please bring it to my attention).  Is it actually 3-D?  If I was wearing 3-D glasses right now, and looking at your drawing, would it be appear three-dimensional?

Bob Eckstein: It works, but not as well as it could, but that is by design.  It is 3-D but we reeled it back.  Knowing the reader wouldn’t have glasses, I went for the most readable degree of 3-Ding the cartoon so it still looked like a cartoon and not this heavy ominous image on the page which would have distracted from the joke.

MM: We should probably give a shout-out to Norman Rockwell, whose famous 1942 Saturday Evening Post “Freedom From Want”  piece is obviously referenced in your drawing.  Did you have Rockwell’s work in front of you when you were working on your finished piece?

BE: I had it in front of me, and underneath me, as I did trace most of the guy in the back and then glanced over to draw the rest of the set-up.  My initial sketch had the whole family shocked at the dancing turkey but it looked too forced and too different from the Rockwell iconic piece.  I realized Rockwell had it right the first time except he forgot the glasses.