Who, Darrow?

Lately, while rummaging around through my own New Yorker history, I’ve spent a lot of time re-reading what other contributors had to say about the transitional period of Shawn to Gottlieb to Brown to Remnick. There were a number of books,  all published in the late 1990s, early 2000s: Renata Adler’s Gone, Lillian Ross’s Here But Not Here, Ved Mehta’s Remembering Mr. Shawn, John Seabrook’s Nobrow, E.J. Kahn’s Year Of Change. It was the E.J. Kahn book that got me looking over the rest of the Kahn books here at Spill headquarters. 

I ended up going much further away from the late 1990s, back to The Harold Ross years, to 1949, when Who, Me? was published (it’s a collection of Mr, Kahn’s New Yorker pieces).  Either I knew who the cover artist was whenever I bought the book, and forgot — or I never knew.  Either way, it was a pleasant surprise seeing the signature “Darrow” way down at the bottom. At first, I wasn’t positive it was Whitney Darrow, Jr. , the New Yorker artist — the signature was very close, but not exactly as he signed his work at the time.

The inside flap confirmed it: 

Jacket Design by Whitney Darrow, Jr.

 

Here’s what the inside cover looks like:

All very un-Darrow like. Here’s what Mr. Darrow’s New Yorker work looked like the year Who, Me? was published.  The drawing below appeared in the issue of July 2, 1949.

Note:  Mr. Kahn began contributing to The New Yorker in 1932. Mr. Darrow in 1933.  Below is Mr. Darrow’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Whitney Darrow, Jr. (photo above) Born August 22, 1909, Princeton, NJ. Died August, 1999, Burlington, Vermont. New Yorker work: 1933 -1982. Quote (Darrow writing of himself in the third person): …in 1931 he moved to New York City, undecided between law school and doing cartoons as a profession. The fact that the [New Yorker’s] magazine offices were only a few blocks away decided him…” (Quote from catalogue, Meet the Artist, 1943)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Koren Book Events; An Early Release Of Next Week’s New Yorker Cover; Colin Tom Is Pencilled; Live New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers; Cartoon Companion Rates The Latest New Yorker Cartoons

From UV Index, November 8, 2018, “Ed Koren, the ‘New Yorker’ cartoonist who served as Vermont’s cartoon laureate, releases new book” — this press release mentioning two upcoming events featuring Mr. Koren.

Ed Koren began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962. Link here to his website.

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An Early Release of Next Week’s Cover

As happens every so often, the magazine has early-released its upcoming cover (cover artist: Barry Blitt). You can read about it here. 

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Colin Tom Pencilled

Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils’ spotlight falls on Colin Tom. Mr. Tom began contributing to The New Yorker in 2015.

Go here to read all about Mr. Tom’s  tools of the trade.

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Live New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers

The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick (above left) returned to NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” for the seventh installment of “Live New Yorker Cartoons” (this one carried the tag, “Raiders of the Lost Snark”). Cartoons by Liam Walsh, Liana Finck, Jon Adams, Zach Kanin, and Mick Stevens were brought to life.  See it here.

And:  here’s Mr. Remnick’s sit-down chat with Mr. Meyers. It includes some interesting cartoon talk.

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Cartoon Companion Rates The Latest New Yorker Cartoons

The CC’s “Max” and “Simon” focus on all the cartoons in the latest issue of the New Yorker (the one with the row boat on the cover). Read it here.

 

The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons: Gender Studies

Above: two pages of the Index from Volume 1 of The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons

In his Foreword to The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons, the magazine’s editor, David Remnick has this to say about gender equality in the ranks of New Yorker cartoonists:

Any cartoon compilation that draws from these archives makes it clear what a male preserve it was. 

And indeed, this encyclopedia reflects that in numbers of cartoons included by women. Of the advertised 3000 cartoons, 142 are by the 19 women represented. Simple math tells us that the remaining 2,858 cartoons are by men.  If you take Roz Chast’s 54 cartoons out of the 142, you’re left with 88 cartoons by 18 women. I emphasize again, as I did in the previous post about the encyclopedia, that this two volume set is not presented as an all-encompassing anthology representing the magazine’s past 93 years; there’s no expectation of some kind of balanced inclusion based on numbers of cartoons the artists contributed.  That isn’t what this encyclopedia is.

And yet, I did find myself hoping for more work by two major female contributors, Helen Hokinson and Barbara Shermund. They have a combined total of 6 cartoons in the encyclopedia. Ms. Shermund’s work appeared in The New Yorker just over 600 times (including 8 covers). I believe, if my numbers are correct she is the third most published female cartoonist in the magazine’s history. She is represented by 1 cartoon in the encyclopedia. Ms. Hokinson is in the top ten of the Spill‘s 23 member K Club (the group of cartoonists who have 1000 or more cartoons published in the New Yorker).  She is in fact, the most published female New Yorker artist in the magazine’s history with 1,796 cartoons and 68 covers. She is represented by 5 cartoons.

The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of September 24-28, 2018; Early Release Of Next Week’s New Yorker Cover; A Mystery Cartoonist; Three Cartoonists in Pennsylvania: Cartoon Companion Rates The Latest New Yorker Cartoons; The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons: Gender Studies

An atypical less specifically Trumpian Daily Cartoon week — although he hovers. The contributing cartoonists: Kim Warp, Ellis Rosen, Peter Kuper, and Emily Flake.

Daily Shouts contributing cartoonists: Amy Kurzweil with illustrations by Ellis Rosen, and Ali Fitzgerald.

You can see all the work here.

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Early Release Of Next Week’s New Yorker Cover

As happens from time-to-time, the magazine has early released its next cover. Here’s Ana Juan’s cover for next week’s issue, as well as a short piece about it.

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Mystery Cartoonist

Arnold Zwicky’s Blog, which concerns itself with cartoon language, has posted a cartoon by a mystery cartoonist:

 

If you’re able to identify the artist, please contact Mr. Zwicky through his site.

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Three Cartoonists In Pennsylvania

This Sunday, at the Milford Readers & Writers Festival:

11:30AM:-THREE NEW YORKER CARTOONISTS TALK ABOUT FUNNY:- New Yorker Cartoonists CHRISTOPHER WEYANT and DAVID BORCHART join cartoonist and media commentator BOB ECKSTEIN in a conversation about creating humor. There will be plenty of funny cartoons shown.

Mr. Weyant began contributing to The New Yorker in 1998.

Mr. Borchart began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007.

Mr. Eckstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007.

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Cartoon Companion Rates The Latest New Yorker Cartoons

“Max” and “Simon” rate the the cartoons from the issue of October 1st.  P.C. Vey is awarded the CC‘s coveted “Top Toon” blue ribbon.  Read it all here.

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 The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons: Gender Studies

Above: two pages of the Index from Volume 1 of The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons

In his Foreword to The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons, the magazine’s editor, David Remnick has this to say about gender equality in the ranks of New Yorker cartoonists:

Any cartoon compilation that draws from these archives makes it clear what a male preserve it was. 

And indeed, this encyclopedia reflects that in numbers of cartoons included by women. Of the advertised 3000 cartoons, 142 are by the 19 women represented. Simple math tells us that the remaining 2,858 cartoons are by men.  If you take Roz Chast’s 54 cartoons out of the 142, you’re left with 88 cartoons by 18 women. I emphasize again, as I did in the previous post about the encyclopedia, that this two volume set is not presented as an all-encompassing anthology representing the magazine’s past 93 years; there’s no expectation of some kind of balanced inclusion based on numbers of cartoons the artists contributed.  That isn’t what this encyclopedia is.

And yet, I did find myself hoping for more work by two major female contributors, Helen Hokinson and Barbara Shermund. They have a combined total of 6 cartoons in the encyclopedia. Ms. Shermund’s work appeared in The New Yorker just over 600 times (including 8 covers). I believe, if my numbers are correct she is the third most published female cartoonist in the magazine’s history. She is represented by 1 cartoon in the encyclopedia. Ms. Hokinson is in the top ten of the Spill‘s 23 member K Club (the group of cartoonists who have 1000 or more cartoons published in the New Yorker).  She is in fact, the most published female New Yorker artist in the magazine’s history with 1,796 cartoons and 68 covers. She is represented by 5 cartoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Look: The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons

A review copy of the slip-cased two volume New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons has landed here at the Spill. After sitting with it a day I’ve some initial thoughts:

The very first impression, before the shrink wrap was removed, was how heavy the set is ( 14.9 pounds).  An earlier tome, 2004’s Complete New Yorker Cartoons of The New Yorker  weighed in at 7 pounds. Of course, there are two volumes, so we’re back to about 7 pounds per volume. I found the books themselves attractive: the design, the binding, the paper quality, typography.  Once a volume is set down on a flat surface, it opens well, affording a pleasant thumbing through experience. 

The placement of cartoons is two per page (but not exclusively — there are times a drawing is full page, or takes up more than 50% of a page).  Chapter headings are each letter of the alphabet. On those introductory chapter pages, printed on a red base, a full page drawing appears. A nice touch: each drawing’s original publication date is noted.  Occasionally there is what is called a “commentary” (an example: “Banana Peels”). These are unsigned, but a blanket credit, for assisting in the writing is given in the introduction to cartoonists Emily Flake, Pat Byrnes, Tom Toro, Paul Karasik, and the New Yorker’s Assistant Cartoon Editor, Colin Stokes [full disclosure: I was asked to audition for the opportunity to write a number of these commentaries. I declined after learning my efforts, if used, would appear uncredited]. I’ve yet to read these commentaries, so I won’t comment on them, other than to say I wish each was signed, or co-signed.

On to the content of the book itself. The New Yorker has a long history of issuing themed pamphlets (for advertising purposes) and themed anthologies. The New Yorker War Album (published in 1942) was the first themed anthology. The next was The New Yorker Album of Art and Artists (published in 1970). The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons, published in 1991, was the first of many themed anthologies issued in a square format. The theme of this new anthology are cartoon themes themselves, from Accounting to Zorro.

As a cartoonist, I’ve always found themed collections amusing additions to the classic anthologies that began with The New Yorker Album, published in 1928, and continued through to the aforementioned 2004 Complete Cartoons. The classic anthologies are the next best thing to seeing the cartoons in their natural habitat: the New Yorker magazine itself. Mr. Remnick has this to say in his foreword:

A caution to the reader: The usual way to come across New Yorker cartoons is in the magazine or, more recently, on newyorker.com and on social media. There’s something distinctive, maybe even perverse, about the experience of glancing away from a long piece about, say, a particularly dusty province in the Middle East to drink quietly from the oasis of a good cartoon. 

 Leafing through an issue of The New Yorker affords the reader the joy of complete surprise when coming upon a new cartoon. The reader has, at first glance,  no clue as to what the drawing will deliver.  I often mention Peter Arno’s definition of a good cartoon — that is, one that delivers a one-two punch.  The reader looks at the drawing and then, the second punch: reading the caption. If the drawing is successful, the second punch really delivers. In themed anthologies the reader is already  somewhat informed. For instance, in the New Yorker Book of Dogs, you already know that the next cartoon, and the next, and the next, and so on, will concern dogs. The element of complete surprise is gone. But of course, if you are looking through the New Yorker Book Of Dogs, that’s what you want: cartoons about dogs. In the classic anthologies the reader is still afforded complete surprise: you have zero idea what the next page will bring. You may, of course, immediately recognize a favorite drawing first published in an issue of the magazine, but that’s akin to rounding a corner and running into an old friend. What I’m getting at here is that if you’re a person who enjoys some advance notice of what you’re in for, then this encyclopedia, with some 3000 categorized cartoons (in 300 categories) spread out over two volumes, is for you. 

 The contributing cartoonists are listed on Indexes found in each volume. Jack Ziegler’s work is most represented (103 drawings), followed by the encyclopedia’s editor (88).  Some of the cartoon gods of the magazine’s golden age are well represented (James Stevenson, for example, with 55 cartoons), while others less so (Mary Petty is represented by one cartoon, Helen Hokinson, the magazine’s marquee cartoonist, along with Peter Arno, for nearly forty years, is represented by five). To be clear, this encyclopedia is not advertised as some sort of all-encompassing anthology celebrating the magazine’s 93 year history.  Let’s hope the New Yorker has just that kind of collection in mind for its 100th anniversary in 2025.

The cartoons in this heavyweight encyclopedia, some gold, some silver, speak for themselves.