The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 11, 2020: Let Us Now Praise George Booth’s Auto Repair Shop Cartoons

The Cover: The ninth coronavirus-themed cover out of the last ten issues. Here’s a Q&A with cover artist, Christoph Mueller.

From the Dept. of Broken Records: sorry, but do New Yorker covers really need titles? This one would be fine standing all by itself.

The Cartoonists:

Let Us Now Praise George Booth’s Auto Repair Shop Cartoons

In a departure for the Monday Tilley Watch, I’m going to talk about just one of this week’s cartoonists, and his garage-centric drawings. When one thinks of New Yorker car drawings, there are at least two possible candidates that come readily to mind: the late great Joe Mirachi* and the singularly sensational soon-to-be-94 year old George Booth.  As you see in the above list of this week’s contributing cartoonists, Mr. Booth leads off the issue. What a kick to see this cartoon! What fun! The drawing is of a garage mechanic telling a customer, “We found a dangling participle in your carburetor, Professor.”  In Mr. Booth’s fifty-one year history of contributing to The New Yorker, his garage mechanic drawings rank up there with, among others, his guy in the claw-foot bathtub, his cave people and, of course, his dog and cat drawings.

When I think about New Yorker artists who have been with the magazine for some time — Mr. Booth’s first appeared in 1969 — I’m always curious to see when it was that one of their special interests began. With Booth, it didn’t take long at all for his first car mechanic cartoon to appear.  Below is his third New Yorker drawing (it appeared in the issue of March 7, 1970).

I don’t have access to an up-to-the minute accounting of Booth’s New Yorker work, so I’m unable to give an accounting of how many garage mechanic drawings the magazine’s published (if you type in “car” on the magazine’s database in association with George Booth’s name, 65 results are returned. But the database is good only up to February 14, 2005). Here are just a few of Booth’s classic additions to The New Yorker‘s cartoon car canon, beginning with a favorite from January 13, 1973.

 

And from March 25, 1974:

Finally, this beauty from May 27, 1991:

It’s tempting to remark on the detail you see in all of Booth’s repair shop drawings, but heck, detail has been Booth’s middle name throughout his more than eight hundred-and-fifty cartoons published thus far. His love of the scene found inside (and outside) the garage is obvious — all those golden graphic opportunities. We are fortunate Booth finds the elements in and around the shop worthy of pen and ink examination: the mechanics themselves in their well-worn grease-splotched coveralls, and then of course, the puzzled customers and their cars (what great cars!) and the ever-present Booth cats (and/or dogs).

I’ve spent a lot of time waiting in auto repair shops; it’s always a bit of a Boothian experience, looking around, noting the “stuff” — seeing it as Booth sees it. I owe George Booth plenty for his love of capturing the car shop — it clearly inspired my repair shop drawings, and “inspired” is putting it mildly as is clear in the below drawing of mine from The New Yorker issue of December 24, 1984.

Hats and caps off to Booth!

 

* Below: a Joe Mirachi New Yorker car cartoon, published November 24, 1986

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 13, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

To my readers: This being the time we’re in, the online issue has not yet been posted (as of 11:00am), so what follows is a shortened version of The Monday Tilley Watch. Long-time visitors might recall I prefer first sightings of new cartoons in situ, but in order to provide at least some basic info, I’ve gone to the slideshow (it’s posted here — scroll way down).

The Cover: The last time we saw a Pascal Campion cover (Jan.6, 2020) the Spill pointed out its uncanny resemblance to an Arthur Getz cover from 1965. This week Mr. Campion speaks with The New Yorker‘s art editor, Francoise Mouly, about Mr. Getz’s (and Sempe’s) influence on his work.

 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Just as The New Yorker ran a good number of war cartoons during World War II (enough to fill an Album of war cartoons), we are beginning to see a number of corona virus-related cartoons during this particular war. In the latest issue, five of the eleven cartoons are tied-in to the virus, with another few possibly so.

Update after the digital edition was posted: a color strip by Ed Steed is also virus-related.

The Rea Irvin Masthead Talk Masthead Watch:

Without access to the digital edition, I can’t say for sure that Christoph Niemann’s Talk masthead redraw(!) still appears instead of Mr. Irvin’s iconic masthead.  If I had to guess, I’d say the real deal (just below) is still on a shelf, waiting to be dusted off.

Update after the digital edition was posted: the redraw remains…for now.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Jeremy Nguyen on what everyone’s doing again.

Mr. Nguyen began contributing to The New Yorker in

2017. Visit his website here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 6, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Cover: A heart-strings reflection of the issue’s Health Issue theme (but it’s tempting to believe we’d see a cover along these lines even if it wasn’t the Health Issue).

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

An umbrella observation from the get-go:  the abundance of color pieces (one by Roz Chast, one by Emily Flake, and one by Liana Finck) in this issue at times kind’ve almost sorta made it feel as if I was paging through a Cartoon Issue. However, unlike the special pieces found in Cartoon Issues of yore, all three of these new pieces are distinctly linked to one subject (can you guess what it might be?).

There are a number of cartoons in this issue that got my attention, beginning with Barbara Smaller’s (p.26) — my favorite Smaller drawing thus far this year. Also eye-catching: Justin Sheen’s castle & moat drawing; Brendan Loper’s getting away from it all cartoon, and Ed Steed’s survivor. All four enjoy a sharply written caption.

A number of drawings (beyond the color pieces mentioned above)  are either directly related to, or can be seen as related to the coronavirus, foremost being Joe Dator’s terrif drawing (p.69), P.C. Vey’s (p.31), and Mr. Loper’s cartoon on page 39. Tom Chitty’s friendly city drawing (p.57), as well as John O’Brien’s drawing (on page 72) could possibly be read as corona-related cartoons. The folks in Mr. O’Brien’s supermarket all seem to be spaced at least six feet apart, but, as with most all of Mr. O’Brien’s drawings, it’s an evergreen.

The remaining four drawings: Sofia Warren’s, Amy Hwang’s, Teresa Burns Parkhurst’s, and an effort from the Bliss/Martin duo, are comic relief unrelated to the health crisis.

Paperwork: the aforementioned Justin Sheen is new to the New Yorker cartoonist fold. He’s the 4th new cartoonist of 2020, and the 57th new cartoonist brought into The New Yorker since Emma Allen was appointed cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Read about Rea Irvin’s mothballed iconic Talk masthead (above) here.

And This:

Just noticed that The New Yorker‘s Facebook New Yorker Cartoons page received a make-over. The new look is shown below — new (old) typography, and a (recycled) Rea Irvin inspired banana peel-inspecting Tilley icon replacing Christoph Niemann’s guy at a table icon. Mr. Niemann’s icon showed up in the Spring of 2017, and replaced an existing icon — a drawing by Jack Ziegler.  It puzzled me at the time (and thereafter) that work by a non-New Yorker cartoonist (Mr. Niemann) was chosen to replace an icon drawn by an iconic New Yorker cartoonist.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Kendra Allenby on the newest normal.

Ms. Allenby began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.

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Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

Avi Steinberg gives us “Things That Used To Be Annoying But Are Now A Comfort” — Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of February 3, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Cover: a snowy bridge. Read the Q&A with the cover artist here, and see the pretty digital snowflakes fall.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

In a throw back to earlier Monday Tilley Watches, I’ll take a quick tour through all the cartoons in the issue; a mostly text-driven drive-by of the work.

The first drawing, by David Sipress, references the recent demise of Mr. Peanut (is he really gone, or was it just a dream?). The topic of the late legume was recently covered here.

…Julia Suits’s pirate in cargo shorts on a gangplank is next (cannot see cargo shorts/pants on a New Yorker cartoon character without thinking of the below cargo pants drawing by the late great Leo Cullum — it appeared in The New Yorker,  August 17, 1998:

…The third cartoon (oh, alright: drawing) in the issue belongs to Barbara Smaller, who’s been contributing to the magazine since 1996.  A bedroom, a married couple, and a reasonable question.

…next is a Zach Kanin poker game (assuming it’s poker — I see chips on the table). I really like the three card players Mr. Kanin has drawn. The fellow to the left looks a little like Ernest Borgnine (with a pinch of Broderick Crawford tossed in?):

To me, the guy on the far right resembles Mandy Patinkin.

…next up: Liana Finck on an age-old flooring concern. Nice floating ghost.

…Harry Bliss and one of his collaborators (Steve Martin) address a potential problem for passengers on one of those floating mini-cities sailing the seven seas.

…five pages later: an Emily Flake drawing far far removed from her usual style and cartoon concerns. Think Hindenburg disaster mashed with social media done in a sort of Stuart Leeds style.

…on page 45, a Tersa Burns Parkhurst retirement party. Dunno why but the cartoon reminds me of MAD magazine’s Dave Berg’s “Lighter Side Of…” drawings (that’s a good thing!).

…on page 43 is a drawing by Mick Stevens, one of the most veteran artists in this issue.  He began contributing in December of 1979 (Roz Chast in this issue with a full page color Sketchbook, beats him out by more than a year– her first drawing appeared in June of 1978).  I wonder if the male dancing bird in Mr. Stevens’s drawing was originally in color. Either way (color, or b&w), a fab cartoon.

…David Borchart’s auto rental drawing (page 43) gets a Spill gold star for the use of the word “rassle.” Zeke, the fellow that’s prepared to rassle, is also mighty terrific.

…On page 54 is an Ed Steed drawing that at first glance reminds me of Zach Kanin’s in this same issue, but only because, in both drawings, the viewer is seeing a table front and center and from near precisely the same angle. Instead of card players (as seen in Mr. Kanin’s drawing) we have animated garden utensils and tools. They’re plotting something.

…next up is a Robert Leighton drawing of mountain climbers.  I love how Mr. Leighton has immediately tossed us into a situation that would normally demand the best possible equipment available. You gotta feel for the climber who came unprepared.

…Thoroughly enjoyed  — as usual with Lars Kenseth’s work — his drawing of campers situated down on the ground, and in much nicer weather than Mr. Leighton’s. Look at the care he took in adding the reflection of the moon on the lake.

…next up is a three panel hat x-ray drawing by Liza Donnelly ( who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1982). This drawing answers the oft-asked question of what could possibly occupy all that beanie air space. Love the kitty!

Lastly, Adam Douglas Thompson (the most junior artist in this issue — his first drawing appeared in The New Yorker in the issue of April 8, 2019) gives us a sort of contemporary Chon Day drawing (it’s on page 68). “Sort of” because Mr. Thompson’s line and Mr. Day’s line have different flows.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

This man (Rea Irvin) is wondering what happened to his beautiful Talk masthead design (shown below). You know — the one that appeared in The New Yorker for 92 years, not the re-draw that’s been around since May of 2017.  Who took the iconic masthead away, and why, and where oh where can it be? Actually, the answer to the first question is easy. Perhaps the last question is easy as well.  It likely resides in a file on a desktop, easily accessed. The question of why is the puzzler. Read more about its disappearance here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Daily Cartoon: by Brendan Loper, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

…and a Daily Shouts by J. A. K., who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 23, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Emma Allen’s Year In Review Not-To-Be-Missed Daily Shouts; Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

The Cover:  Ed Steed’s third New Yorker cover in five months. This makes my day: it’s always great to see a New Yorker cartoonist cross-over from the cartoon department to the art department (shades of the pre-Tina Brown days when the cartoonists provided the majority of covers). Here’s a Q&A with Mr. Steed about his latest cover.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Zipping through this new issue I see it’s loaded with cartoons (yay!).  I also see that the freshman class of the 1970s is well represented: Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, the late Jack Ziegler, and myself; there are also four freshman from the class of the 1990s: P.C. Vey, Nick Downes, Kim Warp, and Barbara Smaller. And at opposite ends of the time line are George Booth, a freshman in the class of the 1960s (1969 to be a little more precise), and Keith Knight, who makes his New Yorker debut in this issue (so a freshman in the class of the 2010s). Mr. Knight is the 27th newbie of the year, and the 53rd to join The New Yorker‘s stable since Emma Allen took the cartoon department reins in the Spring of 2017.

Seeing the Booth cartoon (it’s on p.32) takes me right back to my fledgling days at The New Yorker and my belief that Mr. Booth’s work is what the magazine’s cartoons are all about: superb drawing, and a precisely defined world of personalized humor. Some forty plus years after I discovered Mr. Booth’s world I still get revved up and inspired from seeing one of his drawings.

A couple of thoughts on a couple of drawings: both Sofia Warren’s fine drawing (p.51) and Nick Downes’ wonderful Rockefeller Center skating rink drawing would’ve benefited us (the readers) had they been allowed more space. These are drawings full of great detail.

On the other hand, Roz Chast’s funny Abominable Snow-Woman (p.73) seems just the right size. Such a good drawing. It would be great if she marketed her snow-woman as a stuffed toy (I’d want one).

Really enjoyed Paul Noth’s Bat-signal/Robin-signal drawing (p.42).  I especially like the work he put into Batman and Robin’s outfits.

Speaking of cartoon worlds, as I was earlier in regards to Mr. Booth’s work, I cannot leave this ramble on the cartoons without mentioning how missed Jack Ziegler’s cartoon world is. Seeing his drawing in this issue is a tip of the iceberg reminder of what a spectacularly funny cartoonist he was. If you don’t already have his masterpiece collection, Hamburger Madness, get it.

 

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Bah, humbug…nothing has changed.  The redrawn masthead, installed in the Spring of 2017 still sits where Mr. Irvin’s beauty once sat. Below is Mr. Irvin’s classic design; here’s where you can read more about it.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Ellie Black on a critic’s crisis.

Ms. Black has been contributing to The New Yorker since February of this year.

 

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Shouts In Review

Emma Allen, The New Yorker’s cartoon editor, and editor of  Daily Shouts, lists Shouts highlights.

A whole bunch of New Yorker cartoonists are therein.

 

 

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Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

From “Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook,” a flashback to February of 1972, when Nixon met Mao. Above: the real deal.