“Max” and “Simon” are back with a close look at ( and ratings for) the cartoons in the latest issue of The New Yorker — the issue of April 30, 2018. Regular visitors to the CC may have noticed the arrival of a bonus feature: a photo and micro-bio of the cartoonist awarded the “Top Toon” blue ribbon. See the CC’s latest post here!
Baseball in the air, on the field and on the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker (actually, stickball’s on the cover, which appears, to me anyway, as if it’s a page out of an illustrated book).
Fewer illustrations/photos this week than last, but still, there are three full pages (including a full page photo of Hitler), and close to full page photo on the Goings On About Town lead page. How I wish we could see cartoons occupy a larger space every so often. Below are two pages from the issue of November 15, 1930. You can see how the drawings dominate the page and how the type follows the drawing. For instance: in the drawing on the left, by the great Barbara Shermund, the hanging plant is allowed to push up and compress the column of text. Notice too how the space afforded her beautiful drawing allows us to get far more visually involved in her work than if it had been squished in a rectangle.
And now on to the issue’s cartoons. A fun issue, mostly.
It starts off well with a Danny Shanahan politically tinged(?) monkey drawing. Going out on a limb here, but Mr. Shanahan’s fabulous monkeys are the obvious heirs to Charles Addams’ takes on our ancestors.
Next up, three pages later, Jason Adam Katzenstein (aka JAK) goes to where many-a-cartoonist before him has gone: to the myth of Sisyphus. After I sped through an online refresher course about the King’s uphill struggle, I realized how this scenario beloved by cartoonists has oftimes become untethered from its backstory. No matter — that’s how we cartoonists roll. As Robbie Robertson wrote: “Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest…”
Speaking of backstories, three pages later Ben Schwartz gives us Beethoven on stage. What’s really interesting about the drawing is Mr. Schwartz’s sly nod to the great Al Hirschfeld. Do I, or do I not see Nina-esque shout-outs in the drapes. I do.
Five pages later, a Mick Stevens cave man drawing (he also had one two issues back). I like that he’s used the words stalagmites and stalactites. A little memory trick I learned back in fourth or fifth grade — how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites: stalactites are the ones pointing down; they need to hold on “tite” to the ceiling.
Three pages later, a shrink meets legume drawing by the wonderful Victoria Roberts. A fun and funny drawing. What more can one ask for.
Next up, a domestic situation courtesy of Will McPhail. Funny. Another three pages brings us to a sidewalk scene from Pia Guerra. Dogs lined up to use a fire hydrant. I found myself wishing for a line-jumping dog instead of a fireman…
Two pages later another intensely graphic drawing from William Haefeli. Detail-city! And very slice-o-life.
Three pages later, a typically formatted (three panel) Roz Chast drawing. The word “Comix” pops out here. On the very next page, A Haefeli-like (in its use of detail) drawing by Jeremy Nguyen. Yet another slice-o-life drawing. I like how he’s given us two folks in silhouette in the foreground — that’s different.
Four pages later a subway drawing from P.C. Vey (although here the subway is not central to the drawing — the situation could’ve taken place in any number of situations). A few pages later A Zach Kanin drawing focused on recreational drugs. On the very next page, A Lars Kenseth drawing. You know it’s his work within a nano-second of turning the page. No one draws like this. I don’t rate cartoons like the Cartoon Companion boys do, but occasionally I applaud a drawing.
On the next page Kim Warp has drawn a Spill favorite scenario: a bakery (in this case, a cupcake bakery). I didn’t realize at first that there as an enormous Charles Addams-like cupcake involved in the drawing (initially saw the drawing on a tablet screen before switching to a laptop). An unusual cartoon in that I think it works both ways (with the big cupcake, and without). Sweet.
On the following page, a Paul Noth drawing with a splash of color. You have to be familiar with the commercial character who’s central to this cartoon. Three pages later a Carolita Johnson umbrella triptych just in time for May showers. Six pages later, immediately following that aforementioned full page photo of Hitler, is an Amy Hwang domestic situation — another go-to for many cartoonists: the couple discovered in bed by a significant other. Three pages later, the last cartoon of the issue (not counting the caption contest drawings): an online whack-a-mole scenario from Sam Marlow.
Finally: we are oh-so-close to the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Rea Irvin’s classic Talk Of The Town masthead. Here’s a Spill piece about it from last Fall when I was convinced the masthead would soon return. Not giving up hope on this, folks!
Here’s the missing masthead:
*Dept of Corrections: an earlier version of the Monday Tilley Watch for the April 30th issue incorrectly listed Sam Marlow as Sam Means.
Kickstarter of Interest: Maine Cartoonists
Here’s a short Kickstarter video for Lobster Therapy & Moose Pickup Lines by Maine cartoonists Bill Woodman, John Klossner, and David Jacobson (and one very-close-to-the Maine-border-cartoonist, Mike Lynch).
Cartoon Companion Rates the New New Yorker Cartoons
“Max” & “Simon” focus on all the cartoons in the latest issue of The New Yorker — the issue with the Hockney on the cover. Read it all here.
The CC looks v-e-r-y closely at the cartoons in the issue of April 16, 2018. Cartoons about pizza, a whale, a magician, bears (the three…), and Art with a capital “A” are among the rated. See it all here.
Talk of Interest: Joe Dator
From The Pioneer, April 3, 2018, “New Yorker Cartoonist Shares Insight”— a piece about a recent talk at Long Island University by one of the New Yorker‘s best contemporary cartoonists (above, right, a segment of his classic piece, How We Do It from the New Yorker, September 24 2012
A New Yorker State of Mind Looks at the Issue of March 16, 1929
This blog is enjoyable as heck. Bonus: lots of Ralph Barton in this particular post . See it here.
Book of Interest: Van Spatz by Anna Haifisch
A book bringing together Walt Disney, Tomi Ungerer, and Steinberg? Read about their fictional intersection here.
Arno Included in a Stanley Kubrick Photo Exhibit
An exhibit of Stanley Kubrick’s photos for Look magazine will open May 3rd at the Museum of the City of New York. Peter Arno will be among the subjects on display. Kubrick spent three days photographing Arno in late July 1949. As I wrote in my Arno bio: “The photographs amount to the best visual insight we’ll likely ever have into Arno’s private life…”
I used two photos from the Museum’s Kubrick collection in the Arno bio; one appears on the back cover shown above (that’s the actress Joan Sinclair he’s with at Joan Braun’s Palace Bar). You can see all the photos — nearly 300 — in the Museum’s collection here.
Cartoon Companion Rates This Week’s New Yorker Cartoons
It wouldn’t be Friday without a brand new Cartoon Companion (well, it would be, but never mind). The CC’s “Max” and “Simon” return with a rated close look at the cartoons appearing in the issue of April 9, 2018 (it’s the one with the Bruce McCall gluten themed cover). It’s always fun to see how much one agrees or disagrees with their ratings.