Here’s something fun for a rainy, snowy, icy Sunday (at least that’s what it’s like outside here at Spill central). A rare Robert Benchley title from 1929, with illustrations by the (then) New Yorker art supervisor, Rea Irvin.
A brief bio of Mr. Irvin from the Spill‘s A-Z:
Rea Irvin (pictured above). Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925. He was the magazine’s first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.
A few scans below.
Busy In Conference appears here courtesy of David Pomerantz and Steve Stoliar, the author of Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House (Mr. Stoliar worked there as a secretary and personal archivist).
Ink Spill wishes the wonderful Henry Martin a very Happy Birthday! He celebrated his 92nd a few days ago.
Mr. Martin’s first New Yorker drawing was published August 15, 1964 — he went on to contribute nearly 700 more. In his honor here’s a 2014 interview brought to this site’s attention by David Pomerantz. It was conducted by Mr. Martin’s daughter Ann, the author of the enormously popular Baby-Sitter’s Club series. You can read it here.
Below: a Martin New Yorker drawing from 1989, and his collection from 1977.
Toro Talks Trump
From the Huffington Post, July 18, 2017, “New Yorker Cartoonist Breaks down the Details of His Scathing Trump Takedowns” –Tom Toro, who was the subject of an interview here not long ago, talks Trump to HuffPo. Read it here.
From Attempted Bloggery, June 11, 2017, “Lou Myers in Times Square” — this piece on a Lou Myers tour de force promotional mailer from 1973.
Mr. Myers, who died in November of 2005, contributed stories, cartoons and one cover to the New Yorker from 1974 through 1989.
In Mr. Myers’ NYTs obit, Steven Heller wrote: “Mr. Myers developed a deceptively childlike, raw, black brushstroke that gave the illusion of lightheartedness. But his cartoons were more like comic bombs that exploded political and social taboos.”
Here’s his terrific New Yorker cover and a Myers cartoon collection from 1980.
Courtesy of David Pomerantz, this fun ad: