Gil Roth (shown standing in our kitchen last week) has an awful lot of cartoonists on his podcast,Virtual Memories. He visited recently to tape two more (with Liza Donnelly and myself). The interview with Ms. Donnelly will show up a few Tuesdays from now, but in the meantime you can hear Gil grill me here.
Here’s a favorite obscure Peter Arno cover, executed for Comic Relief: An Omnibus of Modern American Humor, published in 1932, edited by Robert N. Linscott. There are but four drawings in the collection, none by Arno (one’s a Thurber drawing from Is Sex Necessary, his 1929 collaboration with E.B. White; two drawings accompany Corey Ford pieces, and one drawing appears with an Ogden Nash contribution). The book is loaded with work by many of the big names of the day: Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Frank Sullivan, Don Marquis, Marc Connelly, Milt Gross among them.
Back in February Ink Spill noted that a cover had been released for Thomas Vinciguerra’s forthcoming Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and The Golden Age of The New Yorker. Mr Vinciguerra tells Ink Spill that his book — due in November — now has a new cover, and he explains:
“John Glusman, Norton’s editor-in-chief and vice president, told me some weeks ago that he pitched ‘Cast of Characters’ so enthusiastically to his sales representatives, and made it sound like such a riot, that they said they preferred a cover that would be a little more ‘fun.’ He asked me if I had any bright ideas; I regret to say that I came up with nothing. And so Norton’s art team worked its magic. I have no idea how this wacky cover will look on a Barnes and Noble display table, but it’s certainly distinctive.”
[On the cover, reading clockwise: E.B. White, Wolcott Gibbs, James Thurber, Katharine White, Robert Benchley, and Harold Ross]
Speaking of new covers, the cover of Emily Flake’s upcoming (October 6th) Mama Tried has just been released. And here it is:
Finally, out this week is a book we’ve mentioned here in past months as it made its way to pub date: Matthew Diffee’s Hand Drawn Jokes For Smart Attractive People.
Of the various New Yorker Armed Services Editions in the Ink Spill Library, this one is possibly my favorite (the Armed Services Editions editions were published during WWII; they’re soft covered,and small enough to fit in a pants pocket).
On the cover of this edition (published in 1945) is a photo of the original book, published in 1938, bearing, of all things, E.B. White’s one cover for The New Yorker, dated April 23, 1932. Below is a scan of the cover as it appeared on the magazine. If my memory is correct, Scott Elledge noted in his excellent biography of White, that the cover idea came to E.B. while he was recuperating in a hospital bed.
It being The New Yorker’s 90th anniversary, how fitting that the cover has been revealed for Thomas Vinciguerra’s Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and The Golden Age of The New Yorker.
Quite a crew gathered for a book party at the Algonquin Hotel in 1938: seated, left to right, Fritz Foord (who ran Foord’s Sanitarium in Kerhonkson, NY*), Wolcott Gibbs, Frank Case (owner of The Algonquin Hotel) and Dorothy Parker; standing, Alan Campbell (Ms. Parker’s husband), St. Clair McKelway, Russell Maloney and James Thurber.
*according to a Thurber biographer, Harrison Kinney, Thurber heard that “O.Henry had used Foord’s as a drying-out place, and later psychically exhausted colleagues would periodically turn themselves in there, too.”
(W.W. Norton & Co. will publish Mr. Vinciguerra’s book in November of this year).
Note: A Case For Pencils asked me to participate in a survey of tools of the trade. You can see it here.