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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoons Holding “A Mirror Up to the War Effort”: The New Yorker War Album… & More

The New Yorker War Album, published in 1942, was the very first themed Album of the magazine’s cartoons. Peter Arno’s cover from the issue of February 28, 1942 was selected as the cover.  As so often the case for the Album series an Arno drawing led off the collection (“Of course if they don’t bomb Sutton Place, I’m going to look like a damn fool.”)

There is no introduction to the work — only the flap copy shown below. “Spot” artists (Susanne Suba being an example) are credited along with the cartoonists.

The back cover, mostly a green field, has a small Alan Dunn caption-less drawing floating in the center:

The War Album follows in line with all the previous Albums in size, quality of layout, and of course, quality of drawings.  The bottom line with these Albums: if you see one, buy it.

Below, a spread with a Roberta MacDonald multi-panel across the top, a Barbara Shermund drawing lower left and a Perry Barlow lower right.

Along with the War Album the New Yorker produced a number of special publications during the war:

The Pony Editions.

These were smaller versions of the magazine, 6″ x 9″, given free to servicemen and servicewomen. These were not exact duplicates of the regular editions of the magazine — they carried no advertising and editorial content was juggled. One striking difference: the back cover was a full page cartoon (as shown above). According to Thomas Kunkel in his Ross biography Genius In Disguise, these editions began appearing in September of 1943 and were discontinued shortly after the end of the war.

The New Yorker War Cartoons.

Paperback, and, like the Pony Editions, 6″ x 9″.  Published in 1945, with an introduction by E.J. Kahn, Jr.. Cartoons with Talk pieces throughout.

The New Yorker Cartoons with The Talk of the Town

Also published in 1945 (and also 6″ x 9″)  Hardcover and softcover editions. An introduction by Russell Maloney.

I like Mr. Maloney’s introduction so much I’m showing a portion below (the whole piece can be found here):

Armed Services Editions.

Judging by the list of available titles provided at the end of each edition there were close to a thousand titles issued during the war (a wide variety, from Mark Twain to Thackeray).  I don’t have a complete list so I’m in the dark about which New Yorker-related  titles were issued other the one shown here, The Thurber Carnival, The New Yorker’s Baedeker, The New Yorker Profiles, and Thurber’s Let Your Mind Alone. (If anyone knows of more please let me know).  These special publications were very small: 3 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ — small enough to fit in a soldier’s pocket.  There was a Bill Maudlin Armed Services title published (it’s #822, Up Front). Technically, he was a New Yorker cartoonist with one drawing published,  April 1, 1950.  But that appeared five years after Up Front was published in 1945.  Splitting hairs, I know.  

 

 

 

Cartoon Companion: Rating New Yorker Cartoons & Beyond; Peter Arno & Football; A Former New Yorker Editor Dies

 

 

 

 

Max and Simon, the mysterious duo behind Cartoon Companion have released this mission statement to Ink Spill:

The Cartoon Companion — www.cartooncompanion.com — is a website devoted to the latest cartoons in The New Yorker magazine. With each new issue, your genial hosts, Max and Simon, offer their highly subjective insights and rate the cartoons on a scale of 1 (not worthy) to 6 (genius!). Future posts will include interviews with New Yorker cartoonists and guest commentary by some of the best in the business, plus cartoons by New Yorker cartoonists that the magazine inexplicably rejected.  

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here’s a just in time for the Super Bowl football-related post from Attempted Bloggery, featuring Peter Arno‘s work.

See it here.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

and finally…a non-cartoonist New Yorker-related note:  Alexander Chancellor has died at age 77. There are plenty of obits to be found (here’s  The Washington Post’s).

Mr. Chancellor, hired by Tina Brown, turned his short stint at The New Yorker into a book, Some Times in America: And A Life In A Year at The New Yorker.  Not a bad read if you feel like re-visiting, or visiting the Tina New Yorker years (if you’re in that kind of mood, I’d  also suggest the late E.J. Kahn’s book, Year of Change: More About The New Yorker & Me.  For William Shawn vintage Kahn,  there’s his About The New Yorker & Me. I could go on with other titles of interest — perhaps another post another time.

New Yorker Cartoons & war

Pictured above:  a handful of World War II era publications from The New Yorker. Beginning at twelve o’clock high, with the red cover is The New Yorker Cartoons with The Talk of The Town (1945) — it’s the hard cover version of the New Yorker booklet to the left (cover by Alajalov). This is an exciting publication, chock full of great work.  The Introduction is by New Yorker writer Russell Maloney who speaks of the qualities that define a New Yorker cartoon.  Here’s an excerpt:

The editors of The New Yorker have, from the very beginning, made things just much more difficult for themselves by insisting on a closer relation between pictures and captions. In a good New Yorker drawing — and mind you, I’m saying they’re all good — the picture doesn’t mean much without a caption, and vice versa. If a picture is self explanatory without a caption, it is printed without a caption; you’ll find a good many in this volume. In The New Yorker the pictures do not illustrate the jokes; they are the jokes.


Continuing clockwise is The New Yorker War Album (cover by Peter Arno, published by Random House, 1942), then a pony edition* New Yorker (cover by Helen Hokinson), Another booklet, this one titled The New Yorker War Cartoons (cover by the ultra-prolific Alan Dunn).  The Introduction is by E.J. Kahn.  Here’s an excerpt:

 

One of the principal virtues of this collection of war cartoons is that they are not aimed at anybody in particular, unless it be the man with a capacity for absorbtion of humor…These cartoons show that a purely civilian organization can good naturedly tickle a military body without hurting any feelings.


Rounding out the collection, another pony edition (cover by James Thurber).

 

*By following the pony edition link above you’ll be taken to the From the Attic section of Ink Spill.  Scroll down to the “New Yorker Overseas 1945” post for a brief history of the The New Yorker Pony Editions