The Tilleys They Are A-Changin’… The New Yorker’s 95th Anniversary Issue, February 17, 2020

The cover above, by Rea Irvin, appeared on the very first issue of The New Yorker — thereafter it showed up for every anniversary issue from 1926 through 1993. If you happen to have a bunch of those anniversary issues and fan them out on your floor — such as I did back in 2008 — they look pretty neat:

In 1994, Tina Brown broke the string of Rea Irvin Tilleys by running Robert Crumb’s “Elvis Tilley.”  Since 1994 Mr. Irvin’s original cover (with slight alterations from time-to-time) has been seen in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009. It was last seen 2011.

In 1995, Irvin’s Tilley appeared swimming in gold to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary. When the original Tilley hasn’t appeared he’s been replaced by look-a-likes, or take-offs, or homages, or what-have-yous. Sometimes Tilley has been left off/left out altogether. On this week’s 95th anniversary issue, there is, what’s described on the Table of Contents, an “origin” cover by Barry Blitt (who also supplied the Tilley-ish spot drawings this week).

My instinct to gather has led to the below gallery of substitute anniversary covers, from Crumb to Blitt. Included are the covers that have no Tilley reference whatsoever but appeared in the anniversary slot.

Above: the non-Tilley anniversary cover artists: R. Crumb (1994), R.O. Blechman (1996), Art Spiegelman (1997), Michael Roberts (1998), Edward Sorel 1999), William Wegman 2000), Chris Ware (2005), Seth (2008), Chris Ware (2010), Bruce McCall (2012), Simon Greiner (2013) Jorge Colombo (2014), Barry Blitt (2015), Liniers (2016), John W. Tomac (2017), Malika Favre (2018), Kadir Nelson (2019), Barry Blitt (2020)

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

 Zoe Si is the first newbie of 2020. She is the fifty-fourth new cartoonist brought into the magazine’s stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Fourteen cartoons in this issue (fifteen cartoonists as Emily Flake provided a “Sketchpad”), with two cartoon gods on board: Edward Koren and George Booth.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, cartoon love is in the issue, including a great cupid cartoon by Paul Noth and a fab love & justice drawing by Peter Vey.  A Spill round of applause for those as well as Bruce Eric Kaplan’s splendid dinner party drawing.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: this being a big birthday issue, I had low high hopes for a return of Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead (shown below).  Alas, the spring of 2017 re-draw is still in place. Read about the original and its replacement here.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 20, 2020

Random thoughts on the cartoons (and other stuff) in the latest issue of The New Yorker

The Cover: a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Diana Ejaita.  Read a Q&A with her here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Another issue with a healthy dose of cartoons, taking place in far and afield scenarios including a yoga class (courtesy of Lila Ash), an amphitheatre (by Brooke Bourgeois), an infested restaurant, (courtesy of Joe Dator), and a health and fitness club (courtesy of P.C. Vey).

The first cartoon in the issue is by Bruce Eric Kaplan — it’s a gem. Mr. Kaplan manages to convey a lot of information within his trademark rectangle with a broad vertical right bar. We’re shown just enough of the fallen giant; we can fill in the rest. The caption, as usual with Mr. Kaplan, is succinct —  “…dead giant” seals the deal.

Of the sixteen cartoons in the issue, one is a dual effort by Kaamran Hafeez & Al Batt. Their drawing closely recalls the structure of Peter Steiner’s famous New Yorker drawing of July 5, 1993, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” 

…Enjoyed Harry Bliss’s kid with a winged visitor cartoon (on page 35). I wonder though, if it’s already too late to close the sunroof (?).

… Suerynn Lee’s drawing (page 57) caught my attention. All the elements are there, including   excellent breathing room on the page.

…Johnny DiNapoli’s fun walrus drawing (on page 66) recalls Charles Barsotti’s simple and highly effective work.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: it was recently suggested to me that this ongoing Rea Irvin Masthead Watch is akin to tilting at windmills. To clarify the reference, here’s the relevant passage from Cervantes’ Don Quixote:

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

…Hmmm, wow. Well, I don’t know. I never did well in lit classes. All I’m striving for is a return of Rea Irvin’s beautiful masthead. You can read more about that here.  Below is Mr. Irvin’s mothballed iconic design.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of November 25, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonists

The Cover: It’s the Food Issue and it’s the Thanksgiving issue, so surprise: a turkey. You can read a Q&A with the cover artist here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons… random comments on a few of the cartoons in this issue:

…Mick Stevens delivers a fab caveman drawing (it’s on page 69).  Beautiful drawing with a great caption.

…another fine drawing/caption from Bruce Eric Kaplan (p.50).

…a full page color “Sketchbook” by Kendra Allenby, as well as drawings by Amy Kurzweil and Lonnie Millsap reflect the issue’s food theme (and, for good measure, a drink drawing by Ellie Black).

…a Thanksgiving drawing by one of The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Gods, Gahan Wilson.

… a fun evergreen caption by Frank Cotham.

…I wonder how many of you will turn T.S. McCoy’s drawing (p.72) upside down.

The Rea Irvin Missing Talk Masthead Watch:

Sadly still missing from The New Yorker (but you can see it directly below). Read about it here.

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Meet The Artist (1943): Richard Taylor

Another in a series of self portraits of New Yorker artists included in the Meet The Artist catalog published by the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1943.

Richard Taylor’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Richard Taylor Born in Fort William, Ontario, Sept. 18, 1902. Died in 1970. New Yorker work: 1935 -1967. Collections: The Better Taylors ( Random House, 1944, and a reprint edition by World Publishing, 1945), Richard Taylor’s Wrong Bag (Simon & Schuster, 1961). Taylor also authored Introduction to Cartooning (Watson -Guptill, 1947). From Taylor’s introduction: the “book is not intended to be a ‘course in cartooning’…instead, it attempts to outline a plan of study — something to be kept at the elbow to steer by.”

Below, the great photo of Richard Taylor from his book Introduction To Cartooning.

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Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonists

Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon: Robert Leighton on government officials. Mr. Leighton began contributing to The New Yorker in 2002. Visit his website here.

Today’s Daily Shouts: “Dating Material: Stalking Your Ex Throughout History”  by Julia Edelman & Olivia de Recat.  Ms. de Recat has been contributing to The New Yorker (print magazine) since 2018. Visit her website here. Ms. Edelman is a writer who has contributed Daily Shouts pieces illustrated by New Yorker artists.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of October 21, 2019; Head-Scratching Quote Of The Year; Addams’s Wednesday

The Cover: a somewhat menacing image by Mark Ulriksen that could’ve easily been used for Halloween (all it needs is a witch riding through the sky on a broom). But its title “Towering Wealth” heavily suggests a tie-in to this special Money Issue. Read a Q&A with Mr. Ulriksen about his cover here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Random thoughts after a few tours through the the issue…

Was much fun immediately running into Robert Leighton’s observatory cartoon (page 25). We don’t see too many observatory cartoons anymore.  One that will forever stick in my mind is John O’Brien’s fabulous Coca-Cola bottle telescope from October 9, 2000.

Any issue of The New Yorker with a George Booth cartoon (p.38) is an issue off to an excellent start. It is simply a delight seeing his work in the magazine.

As enjoyable as seeing a Booth cartoon is seeing a Koren cartoon. He is this issue’s most veteran artist, having begun contributing to The New Yorker in 1962 (Mr. Booth began contributing in 1969).  To my eye, Both Mr. Booth’s drawing and Mr. Koren’s sit perfectly on the page, the better for us to enjoy them.

Bruce Kaplan’s dishtowel drawing (p.55) wins the award for most unexpected cartoon of the issue. There is nothing more fun in The New Yorker cartoon universe than the unexpected; it’s a cartoon moment.

Liana Finck’s drawing (p.46) is another solid cartoon moment.  Drawing + perfect caption = job well done.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Mr. Irvin’s wonderful design (below) was removed in the Spring of 2017 and replaced by a redrawn version. Further reading here. It remains puzzling (to me anyway) how something so perfect can be mothballed.

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Head-Scratching Quote Of The Year

This from Francoise Mouly, The New Yorker’s art editor in an October 11th Washington Post piece on Charles Addams.

“Addams is one of the few New Yorker cartoonists who was consistently laugh-out funny,” says Francoise Mouly, the magazine’s art editor since 1993.”

 

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Addams’s Wednesday

From The New York Times, October 14, 2019, “The Many Shades Of Wednesday Addams”

Miss Addams is shown above sitting on her father’s shoulder. According to Linda Davis’s wonderful biography of Charles Addams, Addams wrote in his production notes for the television series that “he found [Wednesday] ‘secretive and imaginative, and  poetic.'”

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker October 7, 2019

The Cover: The most recent cover by Barry Blitt has drawn a bit of press.  Here’s Mr. Blitt talking about his latest contribution.

The Cartoonists & Cartoons:

Sharp-eyed Spill visitors might’ve noticed the “Spots” artist is included this week. It’s a special treat to have R.O. Blechman‘s work in the issue. Mr. Blechman is one of the giants of this nutty business. Here’s his entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

R.O. Blechman (photo: Hillsdale, NY, 2017. photo by Elwood Smith). Born, New York, 1930.  New Yorker work:  Mr. Blechman is, among many other editorial and commercial pursuits, a cover artist for The New Yorker, with his first appearing on the issue of April 29, 1974.  His last cover, titled “Eustacia Tilley” appeared on the magazine’s anniversary issue of February 26, 1996. It was inspired by the magazine’s inaugural issue featuring Eustace Tilley. Website: http://www.roblechman.com/

Some random thoughts on just a few of the drawings in this issue:  Two gym-related drawings — one by Carolita Johnson (on page 30), the other by Pat Byrnes (p.70)…Emily Flake is represented twice in the issue: a drawing (p.58) and, on page 17, a two-column Artist’s Sketchpad that looks very much like an excerpt from her upcoming book,That Was Awkward: The Art and Etiquette of the Awkward Hug…Amy Hwang’s drawing (p.54) will likely appeal to those among us who have an affection for sugar — it’s my favorite drawing of the year by Ms. Hwang (her work is included in this upcoming exhibit).

Applause for Julia Suits’ fab nod to Goodnight Moon. A number of cartoonists have played off of  the classic kids book over the years (Harry Bliss, Bruce Eric Kaplan, and James Stevenson among them). The award for most outrageous goes, appropriately enough, to the late very great Jack Ziegler for his New Yorker drawing of November 17, 1997.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: No dice on Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead (below) reappearing this week. Read about it here.