Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonist; Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

A Hamburglar cartoon by Farley Katz, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. Mr. Katz has also contributed today’s Daily Shouts.

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Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

Over this past weekend a number of visiting colleagues paused to look at a Charles Saxon original drawing that hangs on a wall here at Spill headquarters. The Saxon drawing is displayed because it amuses and inspires (the same goes for the several dozen others also on our walls by various New Yorker artists past and present; the earliest drawing, by Alice Harvey, was published October of 1925, the most recent, by Ed Steed, was published in April of 2019). Saxon’s drawings have long been considered a high bar by his peers — a reminder of how elegant (a word used by one of the visitors) cartoon art can be (I’ve always felt Thurber’s drawings to be another kind of high bar).

Looking closely at the originals in the Spill‘s archives, I see no under -drawing, no pencil marks. The work, in grease pencil(?), appears to be in the school of — as Edward Sorel would describe it — direct drawing.  The lines seem effortless, energetic, lovely, and of course, humorous; it’s an immediately identifiable style. As with so many of his contemporaries, including Robert Weber, Lee Lorenz, James Stevenson and Frank Modell, there’s a joy to the work.

Saxon’s world, both New Yorker covers and cartoons, published from the mid 1940s through the late 1980s, will forever be linked to Connecticut country club country, where he lived (Mr. Saxon, along with his colleague William Hamilton, had that upper-crusty world down). The New Yorker readership from that social strata apparently loved seeing themselves poked and prodded, just as they loved what Peter Arno had done with them and to them in the magazine’s earlier decades. 

Right: a Saxon New Yorker cover: effortless, energetic, humorous

I was fortunate enough to meet Saxon in February of 1986, when New Yorker cover artist Roxie Munro threw a small post-New Yorker anniversary party. Trudging downtown from the Pierre Hotel to Ms. Munro’s mid-town apartment on lower Park Avenue, I was one of the first to arrive. Walking into the living room I found a short man, in dark suit and tie, standing with his back against a living room wall. I introduced myself, not knowing who I was about to shake hands with. I had always imagined Saxon as quite tall — a powerhouse figure. In truth, he was perhaps a half-foot shorter than me. He was also remarkably soft spoken, and extremely polite. I’d always expected that he’d have one of those personalities that would roll right over me. It was quite a nice gift, to able to have perhaps fifteen minutes with this cartoon god, all to myself. 

 

Photo: Charles Saxon, center, with The New Yorker‘s Art Editor, James Geraghty at the magazine’s offices, 25 West 43rd Street, New York City, c.1960s.  Photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon.

Book: Oh, happy, happy, happy!  The earliest Saxon collection, published in 1960 by Golden Press.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 1, 2019; Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: David Sipress

The Cover: Summertime is very much here. I confess to being puzzled by the columns on this new cover but figured all would be revealed if I went to the now-standard Q&A with the cover artist (and all was). I guess I need to spend more time in Brooklyn. 

The Cartoonists

Last week I mentioned a collaborative cartoon effort; this week there are two sets: Pia Guerra & Ian Boothby, and, Seth Roberts & Brian Hawes. 3/4ths of the collaborators are making their cartoon-connected print debut (everyone but Pia Guerra, who has been contributing since 2017).  If we accept that each team contains at least one artist (i.e. someone had to draw the cartoon), then there is at least one new name to add to the newbie list. The addition of one new cartoonist from the group brings us to the 17th new cartoonist of the year (I’ll sort out who is who eventually).

But wait! Emily Bernstein is also making her debut in the print magazine, so just-like-that we’re now up to 18 new cartoonists added this year.  18 newbies this year, and 44 newbies in all under Emma Allen’s watch as cartoon editor (she began in May of 2017).

The Cartoons

 There are two kinds of cartoons that have always fascinated me. One is the drawing I linger over because I’m not at all enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world. The other kind is the drawing I linger over because I’m thoroughly enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world,  wanting to hang out with it, explore it, and learn from it. The best cartoons are shorthand graphic short stories. P.C. Vey‘s death on the beach drawing (p.18) is solidly the latter kind — a wonderful addition to the magazine’s archive of beach cartoons. It’s a drawing where everything works.

Also working is Liana Finck‘s one-two punch take on the devil and angel on one’s shoulders scenario (p. 24). I found myself studying the framework around the character — an unusual blending of box and body.

The Felipe Galindo drawing on page 70 is a fun twist on the lion tamer scenario crossed with the small but growing canon of cat scratch cartoons (a personal cat scratch favorite is this Mike Twohy classic from June 5, 1995). 

The Caption Contest Cartoonist: Liza Donnelly

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead

Still in storage: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead design, replaced in Spring of 2017 by a redraw(!). Below is Mr. Irvin’s drawing for those who don’t know what they’re missing, and for those who do know what they’re missing.

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Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon

A New Yorker Cartoonist Mt. Rushmore:  From left to right: Charles Saxon, Former New Yorker Art Editor, James Geraghty, Dana Fradon, and Whitney Darrow, Jr.. Westport, Connecticut, 1982. Courtesy of Mr. Geraghty’s daughter, Sarah Geraghty Herndon).

Mr. Fradon, the subject of a lengthy Spill piece in 2013, will speak this Fall at Western Connecticut State University.  Here’s a chance to see one of the cartoon gods of The New Yorker‘s golden era.  Everything you need to know about the event here.

Mr. Fradon’s entry on the A-Z:

 

Dana Fradon Born, Chicago, Illinois, 1922. Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to service in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Following his service, he attended the Art Students League of New York, New Yorker work: May 1, 1948 – . Collection: Insincerely Yours (Scribners, 1978).

 — My thanks to Warren Bernard for bringing Mr. Fradon’s event to the Spill’s attention.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Trump cartoon by David Sipress, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1998.

The Tilley Watch Online, Newyorker.com’s Daily Cartoons, February 4-8, 2019; Post-Auction Hokinsons On Attempted Bloggery; A Charles Saxon Shout-Out

This week’s Daily cartoons — close to 100% Trumpian — were contributed by Jason Adam Katzenstein, Michael Shaw, Peter Kuper, Barry Blitt, and Christopher Weyant.

New Yorker cartoonists contributing to Daily Shouts: Ed Steed, Tim Hamilton, Roz Chast, and Emily Flake.

See all of the above and more here on newyorker.com

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Post-Auction Hokinsons on Attempted Bloggery

Published January 1944 in The New Yorker

Attempted Bloggery has been taking a look at a small crop of Helen Hokinson drawings recently up-for-auction. You should take a look too!

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A Charles Saxon Shout-Out

A Charles Saxon cartoon anthology from 1977

It’s always a treat to see one cartoonist say nice things about another. Here’s Bill Abbott on Facebook talking about the late very great Charles Saxon.*

* Mr. Abbott suggests in his shout out that Saxon “never actually wrote any of his own material” — I believe he’s thinking of George Price, who is the only New Yorker cartoonist, other than Helen Hokinson, who relied solely on provided ideas.

And here’s Charles Saxon’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Charles Saxon Born in Brooklyn, Nov 13, 1920, died in Stamford, Conn., Dec 6, 1988. NYer work: 1943 – 1991 (2 drawings published posthumously). Key collection: One Man’s Fancy ( Dodd, Mead, 1977).

Bonus! Here’s a link to a fun Saxon photo I’d not seen until this morning.


Auction Of Interest: Peter Arno, William Steig, Arnie Levin, Charles Addams, Frank Modell, Charles Saxon, And More

Thanks to Stephen Nadler of Attempted Bloggery for alerting the Spill to the new Swann catalog, which contains an abundance of New Yorker art.  A highlight, shown above, is Peter Arno’s New Yorker cover of April 4, 1964. Here’s what it looked like as the published cover:

Other New Yorker work offered by Charles Addams, William Steig, Charles Barsotti, Arnie Levin, Richard Decker, Frank Modell, James Daugherty (aka “Jimmie-the-Ink”), Heidi Goennel, Garrett Price, Mischa Richter, Charles Saxon, George Price, Theodore Haupt, Arthur Getz, R.O. Blechman and the King of the Gagwriters, Richard McCallister. Empty the piggy bank!

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 18, 1984

As mentioned here last week, it’s double issue time again. We’re halfway though it now ; only a week til the new issue (dated June 18, 2018) appears online early Monday morning. Just for fun I thought I’d go back to another June 18th issue — the one from 1984. 

Here’s the cover, by Susan Davis, who contributed fifteen covers to the magazine from 1983 – 1992.

 

And here are the cartoonists in that issue:

A number of New Yorker cartoon gods in that lineup. And, as you might expect, some cartoonists  contributing to the magazine then who still contribute now. On the downside, a number of colleagues who’ve passed on: George Price, James Stevenson, William Steig, Stan Hunt, J. B. Handelsman, Steinberg, Bernie Schoenbaum, Frank Modell, Barney Tobey, Ed Arno, Mischa Richter, Ed Fisher, Eldon Dedini, and Robert Weber.

A quick tour through the issue: Ed Frascino has a very funny cartoon name-checking Indiana Jones; Lee Lorenz ( the art editor at the time) puts the word “glitz” to excellent use; a half page George Price cartoon centered on the Year of the Rat; a beautiful full page Saxon drawing about the Museum of Modern Art; a four part Stevenson spread across two pages. He animates television antenna; a titled Steig: “Eastbound Traffic.” Great drawing!;  Stan Hunt’s drawing is one of those cartoons that could’ve run anytime in the previous thirty years (previous to 1984, that is) — a boiler plate kind of cartoon; “Bud” Handelsman gives us a heaven-based piece; a Roz Chast drawing split into four boxes. It could’ve run this year; an Ed Koren drawing that just is so like butter — drawing and caption;  Steinberg provides an illustration for a Profile piece by E.J. Kahn, Jr.; opposite Steinberg is a Bernie Schoenbaum cocktail party drawing — a scenario employed by nearly every cartoonist back then; a Frank Modell drawing with his signature people — love his grumpy husband; an Arnie Levin caterpillar/butterfly drawing — that that loose Levin line is so great; a Barney Tobey drawing set in another favorite situation: the boardroom; a great Warren Miller drawing:

 Following Mr. Miller’s cartoon is an Ed Arno drawing — that fine controlled line of his! Immediately identifiable; a Mischa Richter dog at a desk drawing; Ed Fisher gives us a weather bureau drawing with lots of fun detail; Eldon Dedini’s cartoon of two guys at a bar with a caption that could run today:Everything’s a trap if you’re not careful.”;  next up, a cartoon that made me laugh out loud, by the great cartoonist, Robert Weber:

Next, a beautiful Sempe drawing (is there any other kind?); and last, a Sidney Harris restaurant drawing. Mr. Harris’s style is his and his alone: an angular line that appears to almost spin out of control, but never does.

So, there it is. A cartoon feast in mid-June, thirty-four years ago.