Fifty Years Ago this week in The New Yorker…the Cartoons & Cartoonists

From time-to-time Ink Spill looks way way back at The New Yorker’s cartoon universe. Today, we’ll drop in on the issue dated fifty years ago, July 30, 1966 and take a brief look around at the cartoons and cartoonists within. In 1966, William Shawn was in his 14th year as editor of The New Yorker; the Art Editor, James Geraghty, was in his 27th year (back then the Art Editor was responsible for all aspects of the magazine’s art: the spot drawings, the covers and the cartoons).


Reilly 1st cover 



The cover — a beauty — was by Donald Reilly. It was the first of Mr. Reilly’s sixteen covers for the magazine (his last, Feb 10, 1992). Though sixteen covers is impressive, even more impressive are the thousand-plus cartoons he contributed during his time at the magazine.








Here’s his Ink Spill “A-Z” entry:



The Table of Contents back then looked like this (readers were left on their own to identify the cartoonists and the contributors to the Talk of The Town):

TOC Aug 1, '66









The cartoonists in the issue: Whitney Darrow, Jr., William Steig, Saul Steinberg, Joseph Mirachi, James Stevenson, Donald Reilly, Charles Saxon, Frank Modell, Alan Dunn, Robert Day, Warren Miller, Stan Hunt, and Mischa Richter


A deep, albeit all-male, bench of talent.  This New Yorker Cartoonists Hall of Fame line-up doesn’t even include a number of the other regular contributors of the time including Peter Arno, Charles Addams, Syd Hoff, Dana Fradon, Al Ross, Barney Tobey, Robert Weber, Edward Koren, Lee Lorenz, and many more (the work of the great George Price, that master of the quirky split-line is represented in a ¾ page drawing for Iberia Airlines).


The newest addition to The New Yorker’s stable in this issue was Warren Miller, whose first cartoon appeared in the magazine in 1959. The most senior cartoonist was the aforementioned Mr. Dunn. His work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1926.


Of particular note is the six page spread “Come to Britain” by Charles Saxon. We don’t see spreads like this in the magazine anymore – at least on the somewhat regular basis they once appeared. Generally speaking – or even specifically speaking — cartoon spreads are history (A Roz Chast spread in 2014 comes to mind, but it was a bird of a different feather as it was an excerpt from her forthcoming book and not a spread created for the magazine).


What to make of The New Yorker’s cartoon culture fifty years ago: the magazine was seven to eight years away from the end of Geraghty’s long run as art editor (Lee Lorenz was his successor). Although the Geraghty era is sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of New Yorker cartooning – it’s tough to argue it wasn’t –I believe the Golden Age extended beyond Geraghty and into Lorenz’s years as well. Geraghty presided over an amazing collection of cartoon worlds: a mix of veterans, and stellar new additions like Edward Koren, who began contributing in 1962, Henry Martin who began in 1964, and William Hamilton, whose first drawing was published in 1965.


When I think of this era of the magazine I’m reminded of something William Shawn wrote for Brendan Gill’s Here at The New Yorker. In the piece, which was headed “Shawn on Ross” [Harold Ross, the magazine’s founder and first editor]:


“It was certainly not the least of Ross’s talents that he was able to see talent in writers and artists before it was plainly visible to everyone. Also, he understood that talent developed more slowly in some than others, and he was willing to wait. He gradually learned that the primary function of the magazine’s editor, including him, was to create a structure and an atmosphere – a little world apart from the world – within the writers and artists could fulfill themselves.”


Creating that “structure and atmosphere” was, I believe, the secret sauce of The New Yorker. It gave us, the readers, the opportunity to enjoy the worlds these artists found their way into.    


The New Yorker 1955- 1965 Album is an excellent cartoon collection gathering work by all these artists (it’s available for a song on

 NYer Album 55-65back cover Album




Edward Koren to Speak & Sign Books

the_new_yorker_e2730aaa-d9ce-486e-91a8-ca7dfd5d2f5bRoger & Ed KorenOne of the greatest modern day New Yorker cartoonists, Edward Koren will be speaking at the Delaware Art Museum on July 21st (in conjunction with the traveling exhibit of his work, “The Capricious Line”).  All the details here.

[left: Mr. Koren (hatless) with another great New Yorker contributor/editor, Roger Angell. Photo courtesy of Liza Donnelly]

My thanks to David Pomerantz for alerting me to this event

A Major Edward Koren Exhibit in Connecticut; Roz Chast with Hoarder Author in Manhattan; Bob Eckstein, Liza Donnelly Draw The Golden Globes

art_exhibit_banking “Edward Koren: The Capricious Line” will be on view at Fairfield University from February 4th through April 8th, 2016. This is a must see exhibition by one of The New Yorker‘s great artists.

Link here to Edward Koren’s website.

See Mr. Koren’s work on The New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank site here.




61BX+et476L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_mess front FK 1209.inddRoz Chast will be appearing at the Kinokuniya Bookstore  January 27th along with Barry Yourgrau, the author of Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House. Details here.

Link here to Roz Chast’s website.

See Ms. Chast’s New Yorker work at the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site.





tumblr_o0kasdD5H91rxkwhfo1_400Bob Eckstein will be  drawing the action at The Golden Globes.  You’ll be able to track his activity at the New Yorker’s website,

Visit Bob Eckstein’s website here.

See Mr. Eckstein’s New Yorker work here on the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site.



110Liza Donnelly, stylus & tablet at the ready, will be live drawing The Golden Globes (to the left: her take on Tina Fey & Amy Poehler from last year’s show). You can follow her on Twitter  @lizadonnelly

Her drawings will be collected and posted on following the big show.

Visit Liza Donnelly’s website here.

See Ms. Donnelly’s New Yorker work here on the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site.