The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker “Cartoon Takeover” Issue Of December 30, 2019

The Cover: The “Cartoon Takeover” theme begins on Robert Sikoryak’s cover as cartoon characters whitewash text. Read a Q&A with the cover artist here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Right off the bat, it should be noted that this issue is unlike the “Cartoon Issue” once produced this time of the year beginning in 1997; that series ended after a fifteen year run. It is also unlike the “Best Cartoons Of The Year” series begun in 2011, and ended five years later. This Cartoon Takeover is unlike those in that it contains a ton of archival material (the issue carries the descriptive “A Semi-Archival Issue” on the Table of Contents). While elements from the Cartoon Issues, and Best Of series are here: the graphic spreads for instance, and a profile of a cartoonist — the old tropes features thankfully haven’t resurfaced. This Takeover is a new and welcome creature, with a pulse I associate with the very oldest issues of The New Yorker.  As befits the issue’s theme, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen, has taken over Talk’s “Comments” section, leading us into the action.

As you see from the number of cartoonists listed above, this new issue is packed with cartoons from a wide swath of the New Yorker‘s history, with work by such luminaries as Helen Hokinson, Barbara Shermund, James Thurber, William Steig, Gahan Wilson, and Steinberg represented. Nice to see Peter Arno’s ultra-famous, “Well, back to the old drawing board” included! Many cartoons from the archives are here as “favorites” selected by cartoonists and non-cartoonists. Free standing cartoons — what you normally see in every issue of The New Yorker — are also from the archives. I was very happy to see one of my favorite semi-modern cartoons included: Joe Duffy’s meta Care to join me in panel #3? (originally published, October 31, 2011).

Not whitewashed over by cartoon characters is a personal favorite John Updike piece (originally published in 1997) on his cartoonist roots, and terrif archival pieces, including two by two late-greats, Veronica Geng and Dorothy Parker. It’s an issue of a little something, and often a lot of something, for just about everyone who loves New Yorker cartoons.

The Rea Irvin Masthead Watch: Normally on the Monday Tilley Watch I woefully acknowledge another issue gone by without the return of Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead.  Since the Spring of 2017, a redrawn version has stood awkwardly in its place. This special Cartoon Takeover issue thankfully replaces the redraw with an Ed Steed take on the Irvin masthead. Mr. Steed’s playfulness is a refreshing delight, incorporating, to my eye, some Steigian/Steinberg elements.

With next week’s issue of The New Yorker the first of 2020, this would be the perfect opportunity to use Mr.Steed’s comic break as the moment to bring back Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead — and really now, why not bring it back?

Below, Mr. Irvin’s beautiful, now moth-balled masthead, and Mr. Steed’s fun take below it.

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 16, 2019; The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, Now On Instagram Stories; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

A Look At Some Of The Cartoonists & Cartoons In The Latest Issue Of The New Yorker

The Cover: What looks suspiciously like a UPS deliveryman is carrying a fully decorated Christmas tree up the steps of a city brownstone. The deliveryman seems to have something in his mouth. A peach? A corn muffin? Or, possibly an ornament that fell off the tree? I was hoping the answer would be found here, in this short Q&A with Peter De Seves — the cover artist, but alas…

[Update on what’s in the deliveryman’s mouth: A friend of the Spill‘s has pointed out that there’s nothing in the deliveryman’s mouth. The way it appears on my laptop screen it appears there is, but upon very close inspection I can see that the thin line of the mouth forms what appears to be the top of a circle. The circular lines of the shaved-chin fill out a circle suggesting a ball-shape. The beard surrounding the ball-shape framed a circle.  Once I saw it, I couldn”t un-see it (even now).  I think too that the ball shape I’m seeing is nearly identical to the Christmas tree balls hanging close-by. The power of suggestion then, perhaps? Anywho, I stand corrected. My thanks to Attempted Bloggery]

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

…A healthy number of cartoons in The New Yorker’s almost last issue of the year.

…The duo of Pia Guerra and Ian Boothbay have contributed a very Charles Addams(y) drawing. It reminded me, structurally, of this Addams drawing from The New Yorker issue of April 28, 1980:

…The Mike Twohy drawing (on page 27) incorporates a semi-popular cartoonist go-to scenario: the large snake that’s swallowed something. A fairly recent example is this Jason Adam Katzenstein drawing for the issue of May 1, 2017. A sampling of others who’ve visited the big snake that’s swallowed something include Sam Gross, Farley Katz, and Ariel Molvig.

…Two other drawings that caught my eye: Peter Kuper’s couple in bed on page 47, and Joseph Dottini’s party scene on page 74.  As mentioned numerous times on the Monday Tilley Watch, it’s the unexpected drawing (ideally both caption and drawing) that keeps me hovering over a cartoon longer than usual.  Both these caused me to hover. A Spill round of applause for Mr. Kuper’s and Mr. Dottini’s work in this issue.

…A drawing by Ed Steed (it’s on on page 67) has caused me to resurrect a listing I started in 2008 on newyorker.com “Some Favorite Things.”   I wrote by way of introducing the list:

Everyone has favorites: flavors of ice cream, baseball teams, nieces and nephews. I have favorite cartoon elements. Like fingerprints, these elements are unique to a cartoonist’s work.

And then I went on to list a bunch of favorite elements. Here’s a sampling:

Bruce Eric Kaplan’s slanted rooms

P. C. Vey’s stiff-legged people

Jack Ziegler’s kids and dogs, and his men’s clothing

Sam Gross’ cats and mice

Well after seeing this latest drawing by Mr. Steed, I’d like to add:

 Ed Steed’s horses

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:  No news isn’t good news. Mr. Irvin’s beautiful masthead, (removed in the Spring of 2017 and replaced by a re-draw) is still gathering dust. For those who miss it, here it is:

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The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, Now On Instagram Stories

The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen has announced a new cartoon caption contest feature. Read about it here. The feature begins with this week’s contest cartoon.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Avi Steinberg on the risk of making friends during the holidays. Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Live” New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers And David Remnick; A Saxon In Stockbridge; Mon., Tues. Wed.’s Daily Cartoonists & Cartoons

“Live” New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers & David Remnick

The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick joins Seth Meyers for the 8th installment of “Live New Yorker Cartoons.” Cartoons by: Ben Schwartz, John McNamee, Maddie Dai, Ed Steed, and Drew Panckeri.  Watch here.

 

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A Saxon In Stockbridge

If you happen into The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts as I did this afternoon, you’ll find an original Charles Saxon drawing hanging on a hallway wall just off the Inn’s pub. According to The New Yorker database it doesn’t appear to have been in the magazine. No matter — it’s a lovely drawing (what Saxon drawing isn’t?).  –photo by Bruce Crocker

Mr. Saxon’s entry on The Spill‘s A-Z:

Charles Saxon (self portrait above left from Best Cartoons of the Year 1947) Born in Brooklyn, Nov 13, 1920, died in Stamford, Conn., Dec 6, 1988. New Yorker work: 1943 – 1991 (2 drawings published posthumously). Key collection: One Man’s Fancy ( Dodd, Mead, 1977).

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Catching Up With The Daily Cartoon Cartoonists & Daily Shouts Cartoonists

Today’s Daily is by Teresa Burns Parkhurst, yesterday’s Daily was by David Sipress, and Monday’s was by J.A.K..

Today’s Daily Shouts...“What Your Followers Were Really Saying When They Liked Your Post” by Tom Chitty and Irving Ruan. Monday’s was by Emily Flake.

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker, October 14, 2019

The Cover: Ed Steed returns with his second New Yorker cover, and like his first (August 26th of this year) it’s a winner.  Read the magazine’s Q&A with Mr. Steed about his cover here.

The Cartoonists & Cartoons:

A number of drawings of special note in this issue:

A fab mouse drawing (it’s on page 30) by the great Sam Gross.  As noted here recently, Mr. Gross is now in his 50th year of contributing to The New Yorker.

Sara Lautman’s “…accompanied” drawing (p. 43) is a fine fun drawing — delivered in a style unlike any other in the magazine’s stable.

Lars Kenseth’s astronauts drawing (p. 58). I’ll just say it:  Mr. Kenseth’s drawing made me laugh out loud.

Sofia Warren’s Charles Addamsy drawing (p. 63).  A good deal of information to absorb, well-handled.

Glen Baxter’s lion in a museum (p. 48). I’m a sucker for (what seem like) bolt-of-lightning drawings. By that I mean drawings that seem instantaneously transferred to us from the artist without labor (Jack Ziegler was a master of the form). I could be completely wrong: perhaps Mr. Baxter spent hours and days developing this particular cartoon. It’s become a favorite Baxter drawing.

David Borchart’s drawing (p.44) is a fine addition to the magazine’s desert island canon. May desert island drawings never end.

From one who loves castles (and drawing them), nice to see Jeremy Nguyen’s different take (p.25).

A newbie in this issue: Yael Green makes her debut appearance (p.74). Ms. Green is the 23rd new cartoonist brought into the fold this year, and the 49th since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Here’s Mr. Irvin’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Rea Irvin  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.

The classic Talk masthead by Mr Irvin that ran for 92 consecutive years  is shown above. It was replaced by a redraw (!) in the Spring of 2017. It’s never too late to bring it back.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of September 9, 2019

The Cover:

It’s the Style Issue this week….thus the bountiful polka dots on Malika Favre’s eighth cover for the magazine. A Q&A with the artist here. If you link to the Q&A you’ll see the polka dot dress swirl.

I can’t see that many polka dots (and red) on the cover without thinking of Peter Arno’s March 23, 1935 New Yorker cover. It was also used as the cover for The Seventh New Yorker Album.

The dalmatians cover is perhaps overly familiar to me because it’s the front endpaper of my biography of Arno. Hey, what can I say? I like dogs…and Arno.

 

The Cartoonists and Cartoons

With the appearance of another team effort (third? fourth?) by Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby I think we’re in new territory as far as crediting a writing team goes for single panel cartoons in the magazine. Someone please correct me if there has been another duo credited beyond one or two appearances (Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb come to mind, but their work is in a different realm, i.e., their “thing” is not single panel cartoons). The duo of Guerra & Boothby have given us a slightly different take on the usual cartoonist’s representation of Noah’s Ark (the drawing appears on page 78). Instead of the long ramp leading up to the ark, it’s more of a tailgate.  It works well here.

Of note: Elisabeth McNair’s drawing of the tortoise and the hare (p. 72). If you remove the art hanging on the wall, and the door frame, the cartoon could easily be seen as descended from the school of (Charles) Barsotti minimalism. Love the turtle’s expression.

Also of note: Hilary Fitzgerald Cambell’s spooky “campfire” story-time drawing (p.49). At first glance I thought the scene was outdoors, but then saw the light sockets in the background with a charging electronic device (a phone?) connected to one of them. That it plays a trick on the eyes — intended or not — is pleasing, as is the drawing itself.

Further of note: Ed Steed adds another drawing to the cartoon canon of mounted something (in this case, someone) or others on the wall (p. 25).

Being the great grandson of bakers, and a fan of baked goods in general, it was a nice surprise  seeing pastries as a focus in Amy Hwang’s drawing (p. 43). Also a nice surprise: seeing Glen Baxter’s drawing (p.68). While a number of cartoonists box in their drawings, Baxter’s boxes somehow seem part of the drawing within, if that makes any sense (is the word “integral” — maybe, maybe not).

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead: Still not home. Read about it here.