A Shermund Mystery Cartoon; Donnelly’s “How To Draw A Dog”; New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons Falls Below $40.00

A Shermund Mystery

Who doesn’t like a good cartoon mystery. Over on Attempted Bloggery you can read all about a Barbara Shermund drawing with an unknown publishing history.  Read here. 

And don’t forget that Ms. Shermund’s art is being celebrated at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

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Liza Donnelly’s “How To Draw A Dog”

 Liza Donnelly’s memoir-ish  “How to Draw A Dog” has been posted on Medium Read here.

Ms. Donnelly’s latest book (she did the illustrations) is Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are.

 

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New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons Falls Below $40.00

Amazon now is listing the heavy red trope box at $39.72.  Originally offered at $100.00, it’s now approaching the very outer range of stocking stuffer territory (but make sure it’s a heavy duty stocking).

The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 10, 2018

The Issue: Ah, the Edward Gorey special issue! Juuuust kidding, folks. It’s not a “special” issue of any kind. I’m going to go out on a limb though and suggest that this may be the very first cover story issue of The New Yorker.* [and within minutes of posting this, Stephen Nadler of Attempted Bloggery, has corrected me, thankfully!].  If I’m wrong, let me know (it’s possible this may have happened in the Tina Brown era, but I cannot recall the issue). Historically the magazine’s cover has not reflected content (think especially of the famous issue of August 31, 1946 — the issue containing all of John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Charles E. Martin’s  birds eye view cover of folks going about summertime leisure activities offers no hint of what reading awaits inside the magazine. 

Although that tradition has been eased at times in recent years, usually due to the so-called special issues, or a very big story in the news, the reading inside (and/or the cartoons) is in relatively small parcels.  So to be clear, here is what I mean by “first cover story issue”:  the cover (by Edward Gorey) is mirrored by a significant article on Mr. Gorey inside the magazine (the piece is by Joan Acocella, the magazine’s dance critic). I do not recall ever seeing a New Yorker cover by an artist, or about an individual, carrying over inside the magazine in a significant way.  “Significant” is the key word here (you can tell it’s significant because I’ve now used the word four times). Six pages on Gorey, including a full page photograph, and an example of his work — 2 examples, if you include the cover — qualify as, well, you know… significant (now used five times).  As always, I welcome corrections, amplification, disagreements, denials.

This week’s cartoonists:

This week’s illustrations: there are 22 illustrations (that includes photos) with 4 1/2 full pages, and a six page spread with each page half given over to illustrations by Bill Bragg (so six half pages = 3 full).  So really 7 1/2 full pages of illustration.

Still missing: Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead (shown below) hasn’t been seen for quite some time now in the magazine (since the issue of May 22, 2017 to be exact). For a small recap of its disappearance, link here.

*Stephen Nadler has pointed out the Tina Brown era issue of October 22, 1992 as the first cover story.  Josh Gosfield’s cover of Malcolm X, is followed inside by a lengthy piece by Marshall Frady. My thanks to Mr. Nadler.

 

 

Beginning To Take It Personally: The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985

The other day I wrote about the New Yorker Anniversary album: 1925-1975.  Following up on that, here’s a little something about the Album that immediately followed it, The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985.  In the entire run of Albums, this one would have to rank #1 in understated covers. A bit of trivia (or maybe it’s not so trivial): this is just the second time an Album title referred to the magazine’s drawings as “cartoons” —  (the first was 1958’s New Yorker Album of Sports & Games: Cartoons of Three Decades. Non-purists might argue that the special issue Armed Services New Yorker War Cartoons with The Talk of the Town, published in 1945 was the first instance, but it was not an Album, nor was it, as you see in the title, purely cartoons).

Of note: 1975-1985 is the first Album since the early 1930s not designed by Carmine Peppe.  The design and layout is credited to a trio of New Yorker staffers: John Murphy, Bernard McAteer, and Joseph Carroll (who succeeded Mr. Peppe as head of the make-up department. Mr. Carroll was also a published New Yorker cartoonist, with one drawing, in the issue of January 16, 1984. That one and only appearance qualified him as a member of the Spill‘s One Club).

Of further note: this was the last Album published during William Shawn’s long tenure as editor of the New Yorker. It was published the year The New Yorker‘s ownership changed hands from the original owners, the Fleischmann family, to the Newhouse family. Mr. Shawn, who was appointed editor in 1952, was replaced in 1987 by Robert Gottlieb.

 

Admittedly, I have affection for this Album out of some self-interest: it was the first that included my work.  But it also included, for the first time in an Album, work by the wave I came in with — that included, among others, cartoonists such as Mick Stevens, Thomas Cheney, Peter Steiner, Richard Cline, Leo Cullum, Roz Chast, and Liza Donnelly. 

Truly exciting were the number of established cartoonists we kids found ourselves in the company of. To be included in this volume (and later Albums) with them was, and still is somewhat unbelievable. 

As with previous Albums, the cartoon choices are excellent.  The Album begins with an exquisite Robert Weber full page drawing (full page in the Album, and run as a full page in the magazine in the issue of July 2, 1984)…

…and ends with a classic Charles Addams drawing (a fellow is installing yet another of many locks — and bolts — on his door. At his feet is a semi-circle made by an active saw blade coming up through the floor). In between these two cartoon gems is an accurate reflection of the state of the magazine’s cartoon world in that decade.  As with previous Albums, the balance of work placement and selection is superior. There’s enough work by Booth, Steinberg, Koren, Saxon, Steig, George Price, Addams, Stevenson, Levin, Modell, Lorenz, both Martins (Henry, and Charles) to please anybody, but also well-represented are the large number of artists who flourished just out of range of the spotlight. 

Along with the publication of the Album was a touring exhibit of work.  I wrote about this Album and that exhibit a year ago, but in a slightly different context. You can see that earlier post here

 There was no official album a decade later (instead we were gifted Lee Lorenz’s Art of The New Yorker), and ten years after that was the The New Yorker 75th Cartoon Collection, which bears a cover opposite the understated cover of the 1975-1985 album.   

The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of November 26-30, 2018; More Spills!

New Yorker cartoonists that contributed to the Daily Cartoon this week: Brendan Loper, Sophia Warren, and Pat Byrnes. (No worries, you’re sure to see some Trump-related cartoons in the bunch). 

And the New Yorker cartoonists contributing to Daily Shouts: Liana Finck, Mick Stevens, and Olivia de Recat.

To see all the work above, and more, link here.

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…The Amazon price is plummeting for the recently published New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons (originally offered at $100.00). The big red trope box can now be yours for a mere $40.38.  Just four days ago it was $45.83. I smell a bargain.

…Even more Edward Koren.  This short piece on Mr. Koren  has been picked up by the AP and is showing up all over the place today. Below: Mr. Koren’s latest collection.

A Go-To New Yorker Cartoon Book: The New Yorker Album Of Drawings 1925 – 1975

With a new entry in the New Yorker cartoon collection in the market place, the weighty and curious New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons, I thought it might be time to swing the spotlight another way — to a favorite New Yorker cartoon-related anthology, The New Yorker Album Of Drawings 1925 – 1975; a proven time-tested book that never ever fails to thrill and inform  — I learn something whenever I look through it. 

 My collection of New Yorker cartoon anthologies began with this book, given to me the year it was published, two years before I began contributing to the magazine. I’ve spent more time with it than any book I ever had in school. If I was teaching a class about New Yorker cartoons, this would be  required reading/viewing.  As you’d expect, the book is a greatest cartoon hits from the magazine’s first 50 years, but it also thoughtfully digs into the archives for what could be the best representative work by the non-hits artists.

It’s not just the selection of work that lifts this anthology to a higher plane, it’s the balance of the work as well. All credit for that balance goes to The New Yorker‘s Carmine Peppe, (“the fabled Carmine Peppe” as Roger Angell tagged him). Mr. Peppe is credited with the book’s “design and layout.”  That makes sense as he was head of the magazine’s editorial make-up department since 1932. He was also credited with design and layout of every anthology beginning with the 25th Anniversary Album, published in 1950 (I think it’s safe to assume he also designed, uncredited, the Albums that were published since 1932). Mr. Peppe’s roots ran as deep as anyone’s at the magazine, having joined the New Yorker a few months into its run in 1925. Mr. Peppe will forever be linked to Jack Ziegler as it was Peppe who famously held up running Mr. Ziegler’s first drawings when he broke into the magazine in 1974. Mr. Ziegler told Richard Gehr in I Only Read It For the Cartoons, “He [Peppe] didn’t like my work, apparently…”

In the magazine’s obit for Mr. Peppe in 1985, William Shawn had this to say (in part) about Mr. Peppe’s substantial contribution to the magazine:

Carmine Peppe had the hands of a master craftsman, and he had the eye and the soul of an artist. He lived with love at home, and he worked with love at his demanding job…

His aesthetic instinct for what drawing should appear on what page and what its size on the page should ideally be was faultless. If, say, a drawing was an eighth of an inch too wide, he saw it as jumping off the page, and he was right. His meticulousness, his precision, his attention to detail were fanatical.  In the last analysis, it was Carmine who determined, early in our history, how the pages of The New Yorker should look, how the magazine as a whole should look. Since what he designed for us was appropriate to our intentions and was classic, we stayed with what he gave us.