The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 24, 2018

The Cover:

Adriane Tomine returns with a cover steeped in dreams. Read about it here. The cover appears related, in color palette and style, to last week’s cover, by Chris Ware. They even share a large circular object hovering along the right side of the frame  (Mr. Ware’s is a tree, Mr. Tomine’s a logo).

The Cartoons:

Two pieces of good news. There are 18 cartoons in the issue. We haven’t seen this many in an issue since May 14th, when there were 19. Perhaps the surge to 18 is a result of this being the “Entertainment Issue” –or maybe it’s just one of those things.

The other piece of good news is that many of the cartoons — more so than in any issue in recent memory —  are given a lot of breathing room on the page. P.C. Vey’s cartoon is a good example, as is Zach Kanin’s, Seth Fleishman’s, Tom Chitty’s, and Barbara Smaller’s. Most of the other cartoons also seem to occupy more space than has been the case; just a few seem squeezed in.

If the Spill was in the business of handing out blue ribbons like they do over on the Cartoon Companion, one would be pinned on Bruce Eric Kaplan’s drawing (p. 61). Also of note: Lars Kenseth’s log flume ride drawing (p.78).

Update:  Sadly, Rea Irvin’s classic masthead (below) is still in mothballs.  Read about it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch Online; More Spills: A Charles E. Martin (CEM) Comic Strip, An Exhibit Down South

Gee whiz, it seems like the Olympics happened months ago, but last Monday’s Daily Cartoon by Pia Guerra reminds us that the torch was extinguished just a week ago. After the torch cartoon it seemed* to be all politics on the Daily, with work by Ellis Rosen, Julia Suits, Brendan Loper, and Peter Kuper.

*Ms. Suits’ drawing might be construed as political, but then again, it might not be.

Over on Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists were Julia Wertz, Barbara Smaller, Christian Lowe, and special guest, Colin Stokes (Mr. Stokes is the New Yorker‘s Assistant Cartoon Editor and a co-author of at least one published New Yorker cartoon).

All of the work mentioned above, and more, can be found here.

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…From The Stripper’s Guide, February 28, 2018, “Obscurity of the Day: The Scuttles”  —  a look at a single panel comic strip by Charles E. Martin, before he became a regular New Yorker contributor (covers and cartoons).

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

Charles E. Martin ( CEM) (photo left above from Think Small, a cartoon collection produced by Volkswagon. Photo right, courtesy of Roxie Munro; a CEM New Yorker cover, July 18, 1977) Born in Chelsie, Mass., 1910, died June 18, 1995, Portland, Maine. New Yorker work: 1938 – 1987.

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…If you’re down south you might seek out the Matthew Diffee exhibit at the Hickory Museum of Art.  It runs through July 8th.  Info here.  

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of March 5, 2018; Cover Update: The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons

Hooray for Hollywood?  This week’s cover (artist: Chris Ware) reminds us — not that we need reminding –that Tinsel Town is a troubled town. 

Shout out to the Cartier folks for the pretty street lamp that greets you as you open the magazine. Nice also to see the photo of David Bowie (however much I disagree with this current usage of the Goings On About Town opening page, i.e., with a nearly full page photo. It never fails to trick me into thinking I’m seeing an ad).

Speaking of being in disagreement, the stand-in remains in place for Rea Irvin’s iconic design for the Talk Of The Town.

Here’s what the original looks like:

And here’s the stand-in:

Alrighty then, on to the issue’s cartoons. 

The very first cartoon is by David Sipress.  A somewhat retired theme (torture) returns. Torture rack drawings popped up more ages ago, replaced (if my unscientific memory search is slightly accurate) with another kind of torture: prisoners hanging by handcuffs up on dungeon walls. I feel for the fellow in Mr. Sipress’s drawing who is about to undergo the “procedure.”

Five pages later a couple of “Casablanca”-era Humphrey Bogart-like fellas at the end of a pier, courtesy of Carolita Johnson. As discussed last week (Frank Cotham’s drawing of thugs planning just such a pier push) this is a standard situation a lot of cartoonists are attracted to (including this one). Here’s one more — a personal favorite of mine. 

On the very next page, a robot drawing by Navied Mahdavian, whose debut drawing was last week. I recall Zach Kanin bringing robots back into usage a few years ago (or maybe it was Roz Chast…or was it someone else. New Yorker cartoon robot aficionados please advise). In this particular case I was a bit worried that the scientists had their backs to the dancing duo. Perhaps it was this portion of the caption: “They [the robots] don’t appear to want to take over…” [bolded words mine]. Hmmm, if there’s any doubt, any doubt at all as to the robots’ intentions, perhaps it’s best to observe them in an fortified isolation booth or something.

Three pages later a Danny Shanahan drawing. Fun drawing perfectly synced with a wonderful Shanahan-esque caption. If I was awarding ribbons as they do over on the Cartoon Companion, I’d pin one on this drawing (and on the P. C. Vey drawing that we’ll get to in a minute).

Eight pages later, a Roz Chast NYC-centered alien “take us to your leader”-type drawing. I enjoyed examining the screens on the aliens’ chests. Would love to see Chastian aliens in color.

On the very next page (and I should say, very nicely sized and placed on the page) is a terrif Chris Weyant drawing. The caption’s sterling construction reminds me of captions once written by the likes of James Stevenson, Donald Reilly, and Charles Saxon.  Applause applause!

Two pages later, a real gem by P.C. Vey. A cave couple. Mr. Vey’s world is such a fun treat (and isn’t that why we love cartoons?). I find it hysterical that:

1. The cave woman looks nothing like a cave woman (her hair’s perfect and she’s wearing a somewhat stylish shift).  

2. The cave man is so well-groomed (both hair and beard).

The next two drawings (the first by newbie Pia Guerra, and the next by veteran-newbie Will McPhail) reminded me, in their construction (not style) of ancient friezes:

If you placed a ruler along the base of the feet in each drawing, you’d see that every foot (and one paw) touches the edge of the ruler (with the exception of Ms. Guerra’s wolf’s right paw, and a kicked-up foot on the person to the extreme right of Mr. McPhail’s drawing). There is no reason to note this other than that I don’t recall ever seeing two frieze-like drawings back-to-back before.

Four pages following the second frieze  cartoon is a Maggie Dai Atlas drawing that sent me to the search box. Now I know what “leg day” refers to.  On the very next page, the instantly recognizable style of Drew Dernavich, who delivers an Oscars drawing.

Three pages later a delightful Barbara Smaller drawing. Nice to see bigger picture work by her. On the very next page, an Ed Steed sports drawing (basketball). Five pages later Paul Noth references  fine art.  I recall that  Roz Chast handled Venus on a cover not too very long ago.  My memory is that Addams liked to work with Venus too.  Am I wrong, but aren’t bathtubs the preferred bathroom fixture for home births rather than sinks?  Of course, it being cartoonland and all, anything’s possible.

Case in point: the last drawing of the issue, by JAK (otherwise known as Jason Adam Katzenstein).  We see a card game with a Wolf Blizter-like guy in an open collared rumpled shirt, a well dressed woman (she’s wearing pearls), and a wolf(?) in a tuxedo.

  The popped eyes and slack jaw suggest animation as inspiration, like so:

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Cover Update: The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons

If you’ve been following the Spill ‘s coverage of cover art (or lack of) for The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons (due in October from Black Dog & Leventhal) you might find it interesting that we now have the below image to contemplate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tilley Watch Online; Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind; Even More Hoff on Attempted Bloggery; Cartoon Cliches (3 parts)

Not so unusual: mostly a Trump week on the Daily, which leads me to note this online query that popped up recently.

Four out of five of the week’s Daily cartoons feature Mr. Trump, while the fifth is inseparable from him. The Daily cartoonists this week: David Sipress, Brendan Loper, Lars Kenseth, Ellis Rosen, and Peter Kuper. All of these drawings can be found here

And over on the Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Barbara SmallerSara Lautman, and Jason Adam Katzenstein (illustrated by Hope Larson).

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Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind

This blog, with the subtitle of “Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker Magazine” is now up to January 19, 1929;  the focus of the post is prohibition. What fun! Read it here.

(above: a drawing from the issue by Constantin Alajalov, still spelling his name with “d” in 1929)

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Even More Hoff on Attempted Bloggery

Stephen Nadler’s site continues its (Syd) Hoff Fest.  See it here!

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Cartoon Cliches (3 parts)

Mike Lynch has been posting cartoons from Dick Buchanan’s incredible cartoon clip file. The subject  in recent days is cartoon cliches.  Examples include work by a number of cartoonists published in The New Yorker, including Joe Farris (above), Bud Handelsman, Al Kaufman, Vahan Shirvanian, John Norment, Lee Lorenz, and many more.  See all the parts here.

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of October 2, 2017

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.

October already? Well yes — that’s the way it is on magazine covers.  Always one week ahead of reality (or if it’s a monthly, one month ahead of reality). The cover of this weeks issue, graphically speaking, reminded me of Gretchen Dow Simpson’s work (she did 58 covers for the New Yorker ). A number of Ms. Simpson’s  covers involved stairs, and all the wonderful shadows and angles associated with stairs. She did one New York City stoop cover as well (it was this cover that came to mind when I first saw the latest one by Kadir Nelson. Like Mr. Nelson’s,  Ms. Simpson’s cover has a somber cast of its own. 

I note while zooming though the Goings On About Town the ad for Spielberg (“Direct From the Heart”) — he looks a little like John Lennon there, specifically the photo of Mr. Lennon taken outside Mr. Lennon’s New York City Bank Street address.

Spielberg and Mr. Lennon (with stethoscope):

Okay, now in to the issue and onto the cartoons. The first, on page 20, is by Barbara Smaller, who began contributing to the New Yorker in 1996.  An excellent sizing of Ms. Smaller’s drawing — we can really see her work here. It’s funny, but with this kind of space, her work makes me think somewhat of the late great Robert Weber’s. Perhaps it’s the caption, or tone of the caption — very Webery (Webbery?). Google search Robert Weber New Yorker images and you’ll get an eyeful. I’d direct you to a Weber collection but, sigh, there never was one (some day I hope!).   

Four pages later is a mob drawing by relative newbie, Christian Lowe (first New Yorker appearance: February 2016).  Again, nice placement on the page. The caption forced me to visualize cinematic baseball bat moments involving mobsters.  Did Robert De Niro’s  Al Capone do a bat flip in that memorable scene from The Untouchables?  Nope. 

Four pages later a rapunzel drawing by J.A.K. (Jason Adam Katzenstein).  Mr. Katzenstein (first New Yorker drawing: 2014) manages, in a two-part drawing no less, and using barely any of Rapunzel’s tower or hair, to succinctly convey an idea. Most cartoonists would show the whole tower and all the hair, as well as the sun, and Icarus. In this case, not necessary. J.A.K.’s drawing is immediately followed by a two page color spread by Roz Chast (her work began appearing in the magazine in 1978). An incident taken from a day in Ms. Chast’s life, involving a knife.  Three pages later a  drawing by  — I believe! — a brand new newbie, Jon Adams.  The drawing features a burning bed that is in no way connected to the 1984 Farrah Fawcett film, The Burning Bed.  

Two pages later, an Avi Steinberg drawing set in one of a cartoonist’s best friend scenarios: the doctor’s office.  I toyed with the idea that the caption should read “Just as I suspected. This thing makes everything louder” instead of the published “Just as I suspected. These things make everything louder” —  it’s the kind of brow furrowing decision-making that makes this cartoon biz so darn demanding.

Four pages later, the distinctive work of Lars Kenseth (first New Yorker cartoon: 2016).  Sharks! I wish we could see a Kenseth shark some day.  In this case the fins suffice. The fellow in the foreground is holding a small piece of wood.  I appreciate the care Mr. Kenseth has taken drawing that little piece of wood — the detail makes me laugh. 

After another four pages is a well placed Paul Noth drawing incorporating a wee bit of color.  Mr. Noth’s first drawing appeared in The New Yorker in 2004.  Like Mr. Steinberg’s doctor’s office, the wise man on the mountaintop is also a favorite of New Yorker cartoonists (I’ve done a number of both, and will continue to do more — they’re like potato chips: you can’t stop at one, or even a dozen).  On the very next page is a Farley Katz drawing.  Mr. Katz, like Mr. Kenseth, has a truly distinctive style.  You know it’s his work before you’ve had time to even wonder whose work it is (if that makes sense). There are certain cartoonists whose every drawing is akin to coming upon a blind curve — you have absolutely no idea what you are about to see. This is a very very good thing. In this latest drawing, there’s shopping action that (for me anyway) recalls the game show Supermarket Sweep. Again, Mr. Katz does not fail to deliver something unusual. 

A Tom Chitty drawing follows Mr. Katz. Talk about your distinctive styling. This is a three parter, with the third part using a party punch bowl, something not seen in New Yorker cartoons very often. If there’s been a punch bowl in recent times, I can’t recall it. Please correct me if I’m mistaken. The first Chitty New Yorker drawing appeared in 2014.  Three pages later, Emily Flake mashes pirates with ‘splaining. I’m curious as to where this  pirate get-together takes place. It looks kind of like a lodge, or a finished basement.  Ms. Flake’s first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 2008. On the very next page is a BEK (Bruce Eric Kaplan) drawing.  Another distinctive stylist with the added bonus of some of the best written captions the magazine publishes. They just flow.  Mr. Kaplan’s first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1991. 

Eight pages later, the final drawing of the issue (not counting the Caption Contest drawings) and it’s by newbie, Teresa Burns Parkhurst. Technically not Ms. Parkhurst’s first appearance in the magazine — she was part of last week’s caption contest.  Another cartoonist’s chestnut scenario: the boardroom.  This time the focus is on the always awkward situation of whether or not to tell someone they’ve some foreign body (food, usually) stuck on their face. 

And that is that. See you next Monday.