Here’s a fun crowd dining out on the left coast. From lower left, clockwise: Lars Kenseth, Lila Ash, Olivia de Recat, Sharon Isadora Levy, Ivan Ehlers (Mad Magazine cartoonist and a contributor to The New Yorker‘s Daily cartoon), David Ostow, and American Bystander‘s Michael Gerber. (My thanks to Mr. Ostow for the photo).
The above cover does not appear on the New Yorker‘s 94th Anniversary issue; note the date and price. I’ve posted it — the very first New Yorker cover — because sentimental me misses seeing Rea Irvin’s iconic curiously curious Eustace Tilley, dressed in his oddly compelling finery. He hasn’t shown up since 2011 (below)…that seems like such a long time for him to be away. Sometimes it’s good to go back, before, you know, you drift too far from shore (to read about Kadir Nelson’s Tilley-inspired take-off on the cover of the current issue, go here).
It has made my week seeing George Booth’s drawing in the issue (p.47). It’s classic Booth. And no small thing, it inhabits the perfect space on the page — it is where it should be and it looks as it should look. And… it looks great. I could, and will, say the same for Edward Koren’s drawing (p.80).
Two of our cartoon gods delivering the goods, continuing to share their worlds, a half century or more since they began contributing to The New Yorker (Mr. Koren began in 1962, Mr. Booth in 1969).
Of interest to the weedsy cartoon folks: there is not just one caption-less cartoon in the issue — there are three (Seth Fleishman, Will McPhail, and Ed Steed). By caption-less, I should clarify that I mean a cartoon that appears without assistance from words in a box, or a title, or a thought balloon.
Finally, I end as I began: by mentioning the work of The New Yorker artist Rea Irvin. His beautiful masthead — the one that ran for most of the magazine’s 94 years but went missing in the Spring of 2017 (read about it here) is also still out of sight this anniversary week (well, two weeks, as it’s a double issue). It appears here once again, as it always does on Mondays, until someone tells me to cut it out (so to speak) or until it reappears in the magazine (and wouldn’t that be great).
This looks to be a fun year for New Yorker cartoon aficionados, with a number of books already listed. Some have cover art, some don’t; some have more descriptive material from the publisher than others, at least one has no descriptive text at all…yet. All books are listed in chronological order:
The Ultimate Cartoon Book Of Book Cartoons, edited by Bob Eckstein (Princeton Architectural Press). April 2, 2019. A classic cartoon anthology. From the publisher:
“This exuberant collection of cartoons is an enthusiastic love letter to books and bookstores. The cartoons celebrate and critique the literary world through the work of thirty-three of the masters of cartoon art …”
Why Don’t you Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?: A Mother’s Suggestions by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast (Celedon Books) April 2, 2019. Ms. Marx and Ms. Chast join forces once again. “…One-line witticisms from [Ms. Marx] accompanied by [Ms. Chast’s] full color illustrations…”
Why Did We Trust Him? by Shannon Wheeler (Top Shelf Productions) August 20, 2019. According to his publisher, this collection is “a more personal set of single panel comics.”
Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, And Notes To Self by Liana Finck (Random House Trade Paperbacks) September 24, 2019. The cover art isn’t available yet. But here’s some of the publisher’s text:
Excuse Me assembles more than 500 of her most loved cartoons from Instagram and The New Yorker over the past few years, in such distinctive chapters as Love & Dating; Gender & Other Politics; Animals; Art & Myth-Making; Humanity; Time, Space, and How to Navigate Them; Strangeness, Shyness, Sadness; and Notes to Self.
Big She Bang by Marisa Acocella (Harper Wave) October 15, 2019.
Cover art not yet available. Here’s what her publisher has to say about the book:
New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella tells an alternate her-story of the world in a new brilliant graphic book. Narrated by God the Mother and featuring all of the bad-ass women who have been relegated to footnotes, or worse, vilified for daring to speak their minds, The Big She-Bang goes head to head with the big “book written by men about a bunch of men” to tell it like it is.
Everyone’s A Critic, edited by Bob Eckstein (Princeton Architectural Press). October 22, 2019
Cover art not yet available, nor is there any text from the publisher. However, I think it’s safe to say that this collection will be filled with the work of New Yorker cartoonists, just like Mr. Eckstein’s Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons mentioned at the top of this post.
On this Super Bowl Sunday, thoughts turn to how football has intersected with my favorite magazine’s covers. Closing in on its fourth birthday,The New Yorker had run plenty of sports themed covers (baseball, tennis, horse racing, sculling, hockey…) but not anything football-related until I.G. Haupt‘s cover shown above. This was Mr. Haupt’s third cover for the magazine. He came on like gangbusters following his debut on the magazine’s September 3, 1927 issue — by year’s end, he’d had five. In all, there were forty-four Haupt covers, the last January 21, 1933.
The next football cover, published nearly a year later, was by an up and coming artist, Peter Arno (this was his eighth cover):
Looking through the magazine’s football covers you see a lot of huddles, like the Arno above and this one from the great Abe Birnbaum (which seems like an inspiration for a later cover):
Mr. Birnbaum was also the artist behind this somewhat unusual take from October 1950: