The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of June 29, 2020

The Cover: a beauty by Diana Ejaita. Her third for the magazine — read about her others here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

The Bruce Eric Kaplan drawing — it’s on page 39 — ever-so-vaguely reminded me of this National Lampoon “Vacation” scene (and that reminded me of the whole movie — not a bad way to begin the week).

Charlie Hankin’s funny quinoa drawing (p.50) made me briefly search my cartoonist memory bank for the correct pronunciation of “quinoa” — a word I’ve heard spoken a-plenty, but not one I’ve spoken (maybe ever). Tom Toro’s bats drawing (p.45) is also fun. I wonder how many bat drawings have been published in The New Yorker with a bat or bats central to the cartoon’s idea, not just background bats.

P.C. Vey’s drawing (p.46) caught my attention for two reasons: 1. it’s funny, and 2. it’s funny that the central character (the fish in the fishbowl) is so small. Finally, a nice surprise to see a magic carpet drawing (courtesy of Victoria Roberts), and see Joe Dator go big (on p. 26) with his museum piece.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: go here to read up on the eighty-sixing of Mr. Irvin’s iconic design for The Talk Of The Town back in the Spring of 2017. Here’s what we’re missing…

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 18, 2020

The Cover: a sign o’ the times graduation piece by Anita Kunz. This is the tenth out the last eleven covers that is coronavirus-related.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

An even dozen cartoons & cartoonists, with a thirteenth, Ed Steed, as this week’s Spot drawing artist. The newbie in the crowd, Oren Bernstein, is the sixth new New Yorker cartoonist of 2020, and the fifty-ninth new addition to the stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Some fleeting thoughts on a few of this week’s drawings:

…The aforementioned newbie’s drawing style looks to be in the school of John O’Brien (although this drawing carries a caption; Mr. O’Brien is one of the masters of the captionless cartoon).

…I was hoping to see a horse in Roz Chast’s ranch drawing, but alas! (I’m a fan of Ms. Chast’s horse drawings).

…two drawings, two very different styles, caught my eye: Mitra Farmand’s cats in bags (p.62)… and Liana Finck’s moonbeam in a jar (p. 40).

…Emily Bernstein’s racoon drawing caption is swell & funny.

…the rhythm of the wording in the boxed title of Maddie Dai’s gameboard drawing (p.37) vaguely echoed (for me) the wording in John Held, Jr.’s New Yorker work (with maybe a dash of Glen Baxter tossed in).

…I like seeing the George Boothian rug in Frank Cotham’s cartoon (p. 44). When I began studying Mr. Booth’s work, I noticed how many of his carpets never quite sat completely flat on the floor. I found this touch of reality (just one of many in Mr. Booth’s work) inspirational. Example (in this May 25, 1998 New Yorker drawing):

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

The above iconic design by the great Rea Irvin was ditched in the Spring of 2017 in favor a redrawn(!) version. Hopefully, one day, someday, the above will return. Read all about it here.

 

 

 

 

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

A Note To Readers: Due to the times we’re in the digital edition of the magazine appears later in the day than usual. Thus, instead of the usual look through the magazine, I’m working off of the slide show of cartoons on newyorker.com, as well as the cover Q&A found there. If any mistakes are made on my part I’ll correct them once the digital issue is posted.

Update: 1:00pm.  Digital issue posted about an hour ago.

The Cover: Owen Smith gives us a tired worker (the piece is titled — and again, why do we need cover titles? —  “After The Shift”)…four out of the last five covers have been corona virus themed. Read about the cover here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

I don’t know how others respond to an issue’s cartoons. For me, it’s always at least a two-level response:

1. How each drawing hits me — did a drawing stand out (for better or worse).

2. The feeling from all the drawings combined: was it a strong issue of work, or not.

This new issue feels strong, covering a wide range of territory in cartoonland, from aliens (courtesy of Charlie Hankin) to a PC Satyr (from Edward Koren), from dolphins in a swimming pool (McPhail), to what might be found on the other side of the mountaintop (Colin Tom)… and so much more.

 

The Rea Irvin Masthead Watch:

Rea Irvin, the fellow shown here, did so much to shape the look of The New Yorker (okay, I’ll say it — he was instrumental). One of his greatest lasting contributions was adapting Allen Lewis’s typeface; it eventually became known as the Irvin typeface, although these days I hear it   referred to as the New Yorker typeface.  Among Irvin’s many contributions other than art supervisor to Harold Ross (in itself a huge contribution!) was contributing covers, including, of course, the very first one, featuring Eustace Tilley. He also contributed cartoons, and headings for various departments. His design for Talk Of The Town stood in place (with a few adjustments in the magazine’s earliest days) for 92 years, until May of 2017 when his iconic design was mothballed and replaced by a redraw.

Am I wrong to think of Irvin’s typeface, his Tilley, his Talk masthead, and his “catholic” taste in cartoon selection as representing the graphic soul of the magazine?  So many modern changes (or “tweaks” as they were referred to) were test ballooned in recent years and then withdrawn (layout, typography, headings, etc., etc.) —  why not bring back this not insignificant bit of soul.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 13, 2020

A few thoughts on the art in the latest issue of The New Yorker…

The Cover: a moment in a museum, courtesy of Bruce McCall (read a Q&A with him here). The second cover in a row with ( for me) a retro feel to it. I could see Charles Addams doing something like this, or the late great Richard Taylor (Mr. Taylor’s January 9, 1937 cover appears below right).

 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A lively bunch of cartoons: 18 of them — 19 if you include Olivia de Recat’s “Sketchpad” on page 17.  Possibly my imagination, but it appears most every cartoon has breathing space this week. There’s not one that looks cramped, nor is there one that looks like it would’ve been better off in a smaller space. Victoria Roberts’s peas in a pod (on page 21) is an excellent example of a drawing that required and received ample space.

P.C. Vey’s drawing (it’s on page 23) surprised me (always a very good thing). His unusual graveyard scenario accompanied by a terrif caption is a treat.

I like the sextet of cartoons that begins on page 40: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell’s burning shorts drawing; Charlie Hankin’s magician (p.43); Lars Kenseth’s Charles Addamsy stomped-on cigarette butt drawing (p.44); Liana Finck’s sedentary whale (p.48); Sharon Levy’s abominable snowperson (p. 52) — which reminds me, pockets-wise of Arnie Levin’s great drawing (shown below) from the issue of December 26, 1977.  And, lastly, Ed Steed’s funny off-the-tracks drawing (p. 55).

Two drawings elsewhere in the issue also caught my eye: the fab P.S. Mueller’s drawing (p.65) with its use of the word “subsequent”… and Ellie Black’s dragon drawing (p.29). Hey, what can I say — I really like drawings of dragons, castles, etc..

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead remains under wraps. I don’t know how much effort it would take to return it to its proper place, but surely it can’t be more than a few clicks on a keyboard.

Read about Mr. Irvin’s masthead here, and see it below:

 

 

 

The Wednesday Watch: Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; New Market Watch…Air Mail; Donnelly Live-Draws Dem’s Debate; A Susanne Suba Re-Issue

Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Desert drinks by Lila Ash, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2018.

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New Market Watch

Considering the narrowing avenues for cartoonists , it’s always a brighter day when a cartoon-carrying publication is launched.  We now have two (online-only) issues of former Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter’s Air Mail to peruse. You’ll find cartoons under the heading “Small Talk” (not an exclusive-to-cartoons-heading). Many, if not all of the cartoonists in these first two issues seem to have caravanned over from the recently de-cartooned Esquire, where Air Mail‘s cartoon editor was formerly (and briefly) the cartoon editor.  New Yorker readers will recognize most of Air Mail‘s cartoonists appearing in these first two issues; they include Alex Gregory, Maddie Dai, Joe Dator, Drew Dernavich, Chris Weyant, Seth Fleishman, David Borchart, and Charlie Hankin.

Two other New Yorker artists (primarily contributors of New Yorker covers ) are given their own “Sketchbook” slots: Barry Blitt, and the legendary Edward Sorel (casually referred to under the heading, “Ed Sorel’s Sketchbook”).

The one nit-picky thing I’ll say about Air Mail‘s cartoon slot is that I wish the space allotted each cartoon wasn’t so compressed (the bright red Small Talk banner actually looks to be weighing down on a number of the cartoons,  invading the cartoon’s space).  I’ve always believed cartoons are better off with breathing room surrounding them (i.e., shown graphic respect).  You’ll notice that a number of text features ( Science, Tech Lab, But First…, Highlight, Crime) all have a horizontal line placed below their heading, cleanly separating the feature’s title from the article.

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Liza Donnelly Live-Draws Dem’s Debate

Check out Liza Donnelly’s graphic take on last night’s debate. 

Ms. Donnelly has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1982.

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A Susanne Suba Re-Issue

Originally published in 1951 by Rand McNally (cover on the left), The Theatre Cat by Noel Streatfeild, with illustrations by New Yorker artist Susanne Suba will be re-issued this September by Scholastic. 

Susanne Suba’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Born Budapest, Hungary 1913. Died February, 2012, NYC. Ms. Suba contributed numerous “spot” drawings to The New Yorker, as well as five covers and one cartoon, published September 18, 1948. Her first cover appeared October 21, 1939, and her last, March 2, 1963. Besides her work for the magazine she was a prolific illustrator of children’s books. A collection of her spot drawings was published in 1944, Spots By Suba: From The New Yorker (E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, NY).

Link to the Spill‘s appreciation of Ms. Suba here.