Five Days Til “A New Yorker Cartoonists’ Tribute To James Thurber” At The Society Of Illustrators; The Tilley Watch Online: The Week Of October 14-18, 2019

At The Society of Illustrators this coming Friday, October 25th, New Yorker cartoonists Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, and Michael Maslin will join Thurber expert Michael J. Rosen in celebrating The Art of James Thurber.  All the info here.

Thurber’s entry on The Spill‘s A-Z:

James Thurber Born, Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 1894. Died 1961, New York City. New Yorker work: 1927 -1961, with several pieces run posthumously.  According to the New Yorker’s legendary editor, William Shawn, “In the early days, a small company of writers, artists, and editors — E.B. White, James Thurber, Peter Arno, and Katharine White among them — did more to make the magazine what it is than can be measured.”  

Key cartoon collection: The Seal in the Bedroom and Other Predicaments (Harper & Bros., 1932). Key anthology (writings & drawings): The Thurber Carnival (Harper & Row, 1945). There have been a number of Thurber biographies. Burton Bernstein’s Thurber (Dodd, Mead, 1975) and Harrison Kinney’s James Thurber: His Life and Times (Henry Holt & Co., 1995)  are essential. A short bio appears on the Thurber House website: http://www.thurberhouse.org/about-james-thurber/

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An end of the week listing of New Yorker cartoonist online contributors

The Daily Cartoon: Maddie Dai, Joe Dator, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Peter Kuper, and Tom Toro.

Daily Shouts: Eugenia Viti, and (cover artist) Jenny Kroik.

Also:

Barry Blitt’s  Kvetchbook…

and a Postscript by Edward Koren on the late Dana Fradon.

The Washington Post’s Dana Fradon Obit; Article Of Interest: New Yorker Cover Artist & Cartoonist Robert Kraus; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; The Asian Babies Exhibition Catalog

From The Washington Post,  “Dana Fradon, prolific New Yorker cartoonist with a satirical edge, dies at 97” by Harrison Smith. The piece includes a terrific photo of Mr. Fradon by Anne Hall Elser who was assistant to Lee Lorenz during his sterling run (1973- 1997) as the magazine’s art editor.

Above: a drawing by Mr. Fradon that appeared in The New Yorker March 22, 1969

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Article Of Interest: Robert Kraus

From The Ridgefield Press, October 19, 2019, “Ridgefield Notables: Robert Kraus, New Yorker Cartoonist”

— above: Mr. Kraus and two of his twenty-one New Yorker covers.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The rich around the campfire by Maddie Dai, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

 

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The Asian Babies Exhibition Catalog

The catalog for Pearl River Mart’s exhibit,  “Asian Babies: Works From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists” is available online as a free download here.

Below, two artist pages out of the ten artists showing their work.

 

The Wednesday Tilley Watch: Trailer Of Interest: Stevenson Lost And Found; Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell & Peanuts; More Dana Fradon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Trailer Of Interest…Stevenson: Lost And Found

Here’s the official trailer for the highly anticipated documentary film on the late great New Yorker artist & writer, James Stevenson: Sally Williams Stevenson: Lost and Found.  Link here to the official trailer.

From the film’s Facebook page:

Writer and artist, James Stevenson was one of The New Yorker Magazine’s most prolific cartoonists. Revered for its weighty commentary on world affairs, The New Yorker found its sweet side in the wit, whimsy and sheer joie de vivre of Jim’s illustrations and articles. Opening as the artist celebrates his 85th birthday, STEVENSON LOST & FOUND is a bitter-sweet romp through the stellar, 67-year career of a remarkable artist. An odyssey of discovery and loss the film unearths a truly dazzling volume of work, while facing, head-on, the dark and tragic struggles of the artist and those who loved him.
And here’s The Spill‘s A-Z entry for Mr. Stevenson:

James Stevenson Born, NYC, 1929. Died, February 17, 2017, Cos Cob, Connecticut. New Yorker work: March 10, 1956 –. Stevenson interned as an office boy at The New Yorker in the mid 1940s when he began supplying ideas for other New Yorker artists. Nine years later he was hired a full-time ideaman, given an office at the magazine and instructed not to tell anyone what he did. He eventually began publishing his own cartoons and covers as well as a ground-breaking Talk of the Town pieces (ground breaking in that the pieces were illustrated). His contributions to the magazine number over 2000. Key collections: Sorry Lady — This Beach is Private! ( MacMillan, 1963), Let’s Boogie ( Dodd, Mead, 1978). Stevenson has long been a children’s book author, with roughly one hundred titles to his credit. He is a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, under the heading Lost and Found New York. Stevenson’s recent book, published in 2013, The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell, is essential.

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Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell & Peanuts

Here’s an excerpt on Longreads  from The Peanuts Papers (out October 22nd from Viking) featuring Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell’s contribution. Ms. Campbell has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2017. Link here to her website.

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More Dana Fradon

From David Pomerantz’s Facebook post, October 14th (re-posted here with Mr. Pomerantz’s permission):

R.I.P. Arthur Dana Fradon.
This one especially hurts as I got to know Arthur a bit, spoke at length with him on the phone (he was sharp, funny and had some terrific stories), had many online exchanges with him (it was a big day if I could make him laugh with one of my little jests), and I hoped that I could make the trip to visit him in Woodstock or Connecticut with a few cartoonist friends. He was the very last contract artist that Harold Ross signed to The New Yorker, a few years after Arthur sold his first cartoon to the magazine in 1948. He was one of the most prolific of artists, selling about 1400 drawings over six decades until he finally retired to work on a novel. (He had some, uh, opinions about new Editor Tina Brown.) He was also a terrific satirical writer, the caption perfectly complementing his drawing. This was in a time (late 40s-mid-60s) when many of the contract cartoonists like Arno, Addams and Darrow, Jr. still worked with other writers’ captions, which eventually faded out when Lee Lorenz succeeded Jim Geraghty as Art Editor in 1973.

Arthur played baseball into his eighties and told Peter Arno biographer Michael Maslin, “I’m not really a cartoonist. I’m a misplaced baseball player or something like that.” I loved his work from when I first saw it in one of The New Yorker collections (he was quite proud of the fact that he had the most cartoons in one of the magazine’s retrospective books); when I mentioned to him how much I liked his “Good morning, beheaded” cartoon, he said that seemed to be the most popular of his cartoon prints sold by the magazine. Condolences to Ramona Fradon and their daughter Amy.

— Cartoon above by Dana Fradon, from The New Yorker issue of June 3, 1991

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Here a subpoena, there a subpoena, everywhere a subpoena —  by Teresa Burns Parkhurst, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

New York Times Dana Fradon Obit; New Books!; New Yorker Cover Artist Roxie Munro Remembers Dana Fradon; Edward Koren On Dana Fradon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Today’s Daily Shouts…By Jenny Kroik

The New York Times Dana Fradon Obit

Here’s Richard Sandomir’s New York Times obit for Dana Fradon, who passed away last week at the age of 97.

Shown above, left to right: New Yorker artist Charles Saxon, New Yorker art editor (from 1939 – 1973) James Geraghty, New Yorker artist Dana Fradon, and New Yorker artist,Whitney Darrow, Jr.

–photo: Sarah Geraghty Herndon

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Here are three books of note out soon (one’s out today).

 

 

Emily Flake’s That Was Awkward: The Art and Etiquette of the Awkward Hug (Viking) is out this very day. Ms. Flake has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2008.  Link here to her website.

 

 

Next week (Tuesday, October 25th)  Everyone’s A Critic  (Princeton Architectural Press) a cartoon anthology that includes contributions by 35 New Yorker cartoonists.  The book is the second in a series edited by Bob Eckstein who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2007.

 

 

On November 5th , Peter Kuper’s Heart Of Darkness is out from W.W. Norton & Co.. Link here to Mr. Kuper’s website. He has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2011.

 

 

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New Yorker Cover Artist Roxie Munro Remembers Dana Fradon

Roxie Munro, who began contributing covers to The New Yorker with the issue of November 9, 1981  has posted the following piece on Facebook about her late colleague and friend, The New Yorker artist Dana Fradon.

My comments on dear friend Dana Fradon’s passing:

Very very sad about Dana. He was a great friend. A wonderfully talented artist and cartoonist. Satirical, ironic, and very quick – at Tuesday lunches after New Yorker submissions, anything in the service of a witty line, even if it meant sharp jabs at friends. All of which were forgiven in awe of the smart retort. Probably the first very very politically liberal person I met. Super original cartoons on many subjects, including political Washington. We shared house rentals a couple times w/fellow New Yorker artists on Cape Cod; spent weeks traveling in the UK, Paris, and the Dordogne (with some great adventures); hung out on weekends in his classic farmhouse in Newtown, CT (he made a great stew with all sorts of meats, and a really good scallop fettuccine); and part of a summer in Lake Como, Italy, at an artist’s workshop. He did two VERY cool children’s books on medieval knights with my publisher. Dana was an original. He was from a rough and tumble area of Chicago, and served in WW II. His like will not be seen again.

Lots of the guys had quirky “issues” with each other. But they all were brothers, in the difficult business of selling cartoons. And, interestingly, they were NOT male chauvinist pigs, at least not to me. They were respectful of women artists, and supportive, and treated us as equals, though we weren’t; that generation of cartoonists were unique artists and very well-read, smart (mostly) men – Ed Fisher, Donald Reilly, Lee Lorenz, Booth, Addams, Hamilton, Chuck Saxon, Modell, Weber, Richter, Meyer, Ross, Tobey, Henry Martin, Dedini, Drucker, Miller, Farris, Mirachi, Frascino (and later, Levin, Gross, Ziegler, Stevens, Cline, Steiner, Koren, and others). What a group of wonderful talented characters!

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Edward Koren On Dana Fradon

From newyorker.com, The Timeless Cartoons Of Dana Fradon, by long-time contributor, Edward Koren.

 

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Peter Kuper does the honors. (See above for more on Mr. Kuper).

 

Today’s Daily Shouts

“The N.Y.C. Bridal Struggle” but cover artist, Jenny Kroik.

Dana Fradon, Harold Ross’s Last Cartoonist, Has Died

Above: The New Yorker artist,Charles Saxon; James Geraghty,The New Yorker’s art editor from 1939-1973; The New Yorker artist, Dana Fradon, and New Yorker artist, Whitney Darrow, Jr.. Photo: Sara Geraghty Herndon.

Dana Fradon, the last surviving New Yorker cartoonist of Harold Ross’s era (he was the last cartoonist contracted under Mr. Ross’s editorship), and one of The New Yorker‘s most prolific cartoonists (he is in the top twenty of the magazine’s artists who have contributed over a thousand drawings), passed away October 3 in Woodstock, New York.  He was 97.  Mr. Fradon’s first cartoon appeared in the issue of May 1, 1948 (it appears below).  His last New Yorker drawing appeared April 21, 2003. Mr. Fradon was born April 14, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois.

Fradon:1stIn the Spill‘s interview with Mr. Fradon in the Fall of 2013, I asked him how he worked:

I had a big pad of paper, 14” x 17” bond paper; I’d make little notes and sketches and see where they’d lead me. Once, when I was giving a talk I said the important thing of thinking of ideas is knowing when to pounce. You kick ideas around in your subconscious and then this one is a straggler and you pounce on it because it seems funny. And that’s the one you draw up. I drew up a lot of rejections too of course [laughing].

When I think of Mr. Fradon’s work for the magazine, I think of the utility player in baseball, who plays many positions well. If you look through Mr. Fradon’s nearly fourteen hundred New Yorker cartoons you’ll see how well he played. His line was effortless, his subject matter both timely and  often timeless, as in his New Yorker drawing below from the issue of  September 23, 1991.

In a funny telling moment from my interview with him, he said, “I’m not really a cartoonist. I’m a misplaced baseball player or something like that.” 

I had occasion to call Mr. Fradon over the years when I had some New Yorker cartoonist history  that needed fleshing out. He was, after all, a direct link to the magazine’s golden age of cartooning.  His recall of New Yorker events and characters was impressive (about seeing Peter Arno at The New Yorker‘s 25th anniversary party: “Arno was the star…he danced all night.“). His sense of humor remained impressive as well.  In one of our last conversations, I called asking him for some insight on a recently departed cartoonist colleague. Mr. Fradon’s first question to me was, “Are you calling because you think I’m next?” 

Above, two Fradon cartoon collections. Insincerely Yours (Scribner, 1978) and Breaking The Laugh Barrier (Dell, 1961)

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To see some of Dana Fradon’s New Yorker work, go the the magazine’s website here.

An obituary appears in The Newtown Bee. Read it here.