The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of October 21, 2019; Head-Scratching Quote Of The Year; Addams’s Wednesday

The Cover: a somewhat menacing image by Mark Ulriksen that could’ve easily been used for Halloween (all it needs is a witch riding through the sky on a broom). But its title “Towering Wealth” heavily suggests a tie-in to this special Money Issue. Read a Q&A with Mr. Ulriksen about his cover here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Random thoughts after a few tours through the the issue…

Was much fun immediately running into Robert Leighton’s observatory cartoon (page 25). We don’t see too many observatory cartoons anymore.  One that will forever stick in my mind is John O’Brien’s fabulous Coca-Cola bottle telescope from October 9, 2000.

Any issue of The New Yorker with a George Booth cartoon (p.38) is an issue off to an excellent start. It is simply a delight seeing his work in the magazine.

As enjoyable as seeing a Booth cartoon is seeing a Koren cartoon. He is this issue’s most veteran artist, having begun contributing to The New Yorker in 1962 (Mr. Booth began contributing in 1969).  To my eye, Both Mr. Booth’s drawing and Mr. Koren’s sit perfectly on the page, the better for us to enjoy them.

Bruce Kaplan’s dishtowel drawing (p.55) wins the award for most unexpected cartoon of the issue. There is nothing more fun in The New Yorker cartoon universe than the unexpected; it’s a cartoon moment.

Liana Finck’s drawing (p.46) is another solid cartoon moment.  Drawing + perfect caption = job well done.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Mr. Irvin’s wonderful design (below) was removed in the Spring of 2017 and replaced by a redrawn version. Further reading here. It remains puzzling (to me anyway) how something so perfect can be mothballed.

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Head-Scratching Quote Of The Year

This from Francoise Mouly, The New Yorker’s art editor in an October 11th Washington Post piece on Charles Addams.

“Addams is one of the few New Yorker cartoonists who was consistently laugh-out funny,” says Francoise Mouly, the magazine’s art editor since 1993.”

 

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Addams’s Wednesday

From The New York Times, October 14, 2019, “The Many Shades Of Wednesday Addams”

Miss Addams is shown above sitting on her father’s shoulder. According to Linda Davis’s wonderful biography of Charles Addams, Addams wrote in his production notes for the television series that “he found [Wednesday] ‘secretive and imaginative, and  poetic.'”

 

 

 

 

Gahan Wilson, Cartoon Great, Needs Our Help; The Weekend Spill: From Frank Modell’s Library: Introduction To Cartooning By Richard Taylor; Article Of Interest: Edward Koren; Barbara Shermund’s Marker; The Tilley Watch, September 23-27, 2019; Fave Photo Of The Weekend: Liza Donnelly & Jason Chatfield In Thurber’s Hometown

The Go Fund Me Campaign For Gahan Wilson

As most of you know, Gahan Wilson, one of the cartoon world’s greats, has been in need of assistance over this past year. A Go Fund Me effort set up by his step-son, Paul Winters is now back up to help with issues related to Gahan’s most recent difficulties. Read more here, and help if you can.

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From Frank Modell’s Library: Introduction To Cartooning By Richard Taylor

Among the signed cartoon books in the Spill‘s library, Frank Modell’s copy of Richard Taylor’s Introduction To Cartooning is a special favorite. It’s the only instructional book in our collection by a New Yorker cartoonist that belonged to a New Yorker cartoonist.

 

The book was published in 1947, the year after Mr. Modell began his long association with The New Yorker (as well as a contributor, he was, in his earliest years there, assistant to art editor James Geraghty).  What you see in Modell’s copy of Taylor’s book is what you see in many a textbook: essential passages underlined, circled, sometimes with arrows pointing out a word or two.  Many of the selections go to the heart of what it takes to be career cartoonist. Mr Modell learned his lessons well: he spent over half a century at The New Yorker, contributing well over a thousand drawings, as well as half a dozen covers.

Here are just a few pages from Taylor’s book with Modell’s marked passages.

And a nice surprise at the very end of the book on the inside cover, Modell added some sketches:

Richard Taylor’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Richard Taylor (self portrait from Meet the Artist) Born in Fort William, Ontario, Sept. 18, 1902. Died in 1970. NYer work: 1935 -1967. Collections: The Better Taylors ( Random House, 1944, and a reprint edition by World Publishing, 1945), Richard Taylor’s Wrong Bag (Simon & Schuster, 1961). Taylor also authored Introduction to Cartooning ( Watson-Guptill, 1947). From Taylor’s introduction: the “book is not intended to be a ‘course in cartooning’…instead, it attempts to outline a plan of study — something to be kept at the elbow to steer by.”

 

Frank Modell’s entry:

Frank Modell Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1917. Died, May 27, 2016, Guilford, Connecticut. New Yorker work: 1946–1997. Mr. Modell began his New Yorker career as assistant to the Art Editor, James Geraghty. He soon began contributing his cartoons (and cartoon ideas for others), with his first drawing appearing July 20, 1946. Besides his work for The New Yorker, he was a children’s book author and an actor (he appeared, most notably, in Woody Allen’s 1980 film, Stardust Memories). Key collection: Stop Trying To Cheer Me Up! (Dodd, Mead, 1978).

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Article Of Interest: Edward Koren

From The Manchester Journal, September 27, 2019, “‘Into The Wild’ With A Vermont Cartoonist; Ed Koren’s Drawings Explore The Funny Side Of The Rural-Urban Divide”.

Mr. Koren began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962. Visit his website here.

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Barbara Shermund’s Marker

Stephen Nadler of Attempted Bloggery updates us on the grave marker for the great New Yorker artist Barbara Shermund.  Read here.

Ms. Shermund’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Barbara Shermund (self portrait, above) Born, San Francisco. 1899. Studied at The California School of Fine Arts. Died, 1978, New Jersey. New Yorker work: June 13, 1925 thru September 16, 1944. 8 covers and 599 cartoons. Shermund’s post-New Yorker work was featured in Esquire. (See Liza Donnelly’s book, Funny Ladies — a history of The New Yorker’s women cartoonists — for more on Shermund’s life and work).

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A  end of the week listing of the New Yorker cartoonists who contributed to the magazine’s Daily Cartoon and/or Daily Shouts

The Daily Cartoon: Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Brendan Loper, Lila Ash, Evan Lian, and J.A.K.

Daily Shouts: Liana Finck

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Fave Photo Of the Weekend: Donnelly and Chatfield In Columbus, Ohio

Two New Yorker cartoonists ran into each other in James Thurber‘s Hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Chatfield is attending the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus convention and Ms. Donnelly is there attending the AAEC 2019 Annual Convention.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker (Double) Issue, July 8 & 15, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

The Cover: A hot dog cart guy gets some beach time on Peter De Seve’s cover.  Read the Cover Story here.

The Cartoonists:

The Newbies: Making their New Yorker print debut this week: Victor Varnado and Akeem Roberts. They become the record-setting nineteenth and twentieth new cartoonists entering the magazine’s stable of artists this year and the forty-fifth and forty-sixth new artists brought in under cartoon editor Emma Allen’s stewardship, begun in May of 2017.

The Cartoons: Brief thoughts on some of the thirteen cartoons in the issue:

Roz Chast’s Ordinary Kreskin drawing (p. 37).  Love Ms. Chast’s right-to-the-point drawings, like this one. Perhaps not so unusual, but noticeable: she’s drawn Mr. Kreskin with five fingers (a lot of cartoonists find four will do for their cartoon characters). 

Liana Finck’s talking baby (p. 44).  A terrific twist on an end-of-life sentiment. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been equally successful had the baby been talking to another baby.

Ed Steed’s hammered drawing (p.54).  At first glance on my laptop, before zooming in on the drawing I thought that Mr. Steed had done a mash-up drawing with George Booth. If you squint your eyes, it’s a very Boothian room (the perspective, the hanging ceiling lamp, the floorboards, wall objects). 100% Steedian is the idea itself and the Steedian happily hammering woman.

My confused initial take on seeing the drawing leads me to toss out a suggestion. There’s been plenty written on this site about cartoon collaboration, but those duets have involved a writer teamed with an artist (or two artists collaborating) with just one person doing the drawing.  Howz about for fun we see some artists team-up and create a drawing or two with multiple styles in one frame. Some suggestions: Chast/Finck, Dator/Donnelly,  Hwang/Shanahan, Sipress/Allenby,  Kenseth/Koren…just a thought. (Liza Donnelly and I had a ton ‘o’ fun doing a series of mash-up full-page graphic pieces for our 2009 collection, Cartoon Marriage)  

Paul Noth’s line of succession drawing (p. 58). Mr. Noth delivers a great drawing.  I only wish it had been given more breathing room (such as Mr. Steed’s). 

Robert Leighton’s drawing (p.32) features a caption that would probably be right at home in a positive thinking seminar.  Yet another Leighton drawing destined for many a refrigerator.   

Karen Sneider’s funny fish in bed recalls the classic George Price drawing published in the magazine’s issue of December 21, 1963

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin (with Harold Ross and his then-wife, Jane Grant) was a founder of The New Yorker‘s graphic architecture. Consider his adapted typeface (the so-called Irvin typeface) that is part of the magazine’s DNA, the breadth of cartoon worlds he encouraged as art supervisor, his department heading designs, and his numerous covers (including, of course, the magazine’s brilliant first that gave us Eustace Tilley). Tis a puzzlement that his iconic heading for the Talk Of The Town remains under a tarp. Here it is below, and here’s where you can read about its removal in 2017.

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

Singin’ under the drip from Amy Kurzweil, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.

Two Peacocks Walk Into A Room; Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Cartoon Anthology: Sara Lautman’s Daily Shouts; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Avi Steinberg

In one of those million-to-one cartoon moments, both my colleague Harry Bliss (with his collaborator Steve Martin) and I have similar drawings out this week (his in his syndicated daily spot, and mine in The New Yorker). What’s unusual, besides the timing of publication, and the peacock standing in a doorway in both drawings, is the use of the peacock itself. A quick visit to the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site turned up peacock drawings by a dozen artists. I have to think there were a number more in the magazine’s ninety-four years (the Cartoon Bank site does not provide every cartoon in the magazine’s archive). The listed peacock drawings are by: Mick Stevens, Sam Gross, Will McPhail, John O’Brien, George Booth, Bernard Schoenbaum, George Price, Edward Koren, Saul Steinberg (he has three), Robert Day, Mort Gerberg, and Victoria Roberts. There were also three peacock covers shown. The artists:  Joseph Low (the peacock is a minor character in his cover), Steinberg, and the one-and-only Rea Irvin. 

I asked Mr. Bliss if he’d like to comment on our dual peacock drawings, and here’s what he had to say:

That’s crazy! I didn’t get my new issue of The New Yorker yet, so I didn’t even know that was in there.  When I initially did my drawing, from an idea given to me by Steve Martin, I think I mentioned to Emma [Emma Allen, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] that I wanted it to be in color. Seeing yours now, makes me wonder if they bought yours before they had seen mine and the reason they didn’t buy mine and Steve’s is because they had already bought yours… Similars? Anyway, I think the reason there aren’t that many peacock cartoons out there is because the damn thing is so hard to draw!

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Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Anthology

Warren Bernard (of SPX fame) has alerted the Spill to another rarity: a cartoon collection of work by John M. Price who contributed four drawings to the magazine (Mr. Bernard tells me that three of Mr. Price’s four New Yorker drawings appear in the collection). Here’s Price’s rather skimpy bio on the A-Z (if anyone out there has more info please send this way):

John M. Price Born  (Pennsylvania?) February 5, 1918, died January 19, 2009, Radnor, Pennsylvania. New Yorker work: February 17, 1940, March 9, 1940, June 8, 1941, and August 30, 1941. His work appeared in many publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, The Country Gentleman, and Colliers. Key collection (self published) Don’t Get Polite with Me.

*Chris Wheeler’s fabulous site also has a scan of Price’s book (including the back cover), but I have to admit the cover never registered in my brain’s cartoon catalog. Now, having registered it, the book becomes a must-have for the Spill‘s library.  

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A Daily Shouts By…

Sara Lautman, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016, contributed yesterday’s Daily Shouts.

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

 

An Avi Steinberg summer vacation/global warming cartoon. Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.  More about him here on Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils.

 

 

George Booth’s New Yorker Golden Anniversary!

Let us raise our cartoon glasses and toast to the great New Yorker artist, George Booth. His very first New Yorker drawing appeared in the issue dated this day in 1969. His most recent drawing appeared in the magazine’s issue of June 10, 2019. My math tells me that he has now been contributing to The New Yorker for half a century.

I’ve always felt that Mr. Booth’s arrival at The New Yorker  was part of a transitional moment for the magazine’s art, helping it move from its mid-1950s Eisenhower-ish slumber to the excitement right around the bend in the late 1960s and 1970s. In the decade Mr. Booth’s work appeared, The New Yorker had lost two of its giants: James Thurber in 1961, and Peter Arno in 1968. Tremendous losses, but also a decade of tremendous gain for the magazine when the art editor, James Geraghty brought in a number of artists who would also become giants in their field: Edward Koren in 1962, Charles Barsotti, Sam Gross, and George Booth in 1969.  How fortunate we are that three of these artists continue showering us with their work right up to today (Charles Barsotti passed away five years ago this week).

By the time I was making a serious effort to get into The New Yorker in the mid 1970s (my work rejected a mountain of times by Mr. Geraghty), Booth, Koren, Barsotti and Gross had already been added to the New Yorker’s  Mt. Rushmore of cartoonists; their work impossibly inspiring. I felt (and still feel) about Booth’s drawings as I felt about work by Thurber and Hokinson and Steig and Saxon, and Peter Arno and Steinberg (and many more): it cannot get any better than this.

(above: A Booth New Yorker cartoon from the issue of March 25, 1991)

As with so many, if not all of the New Yorker great artists, there is an education for aspiring cartoonists, and published cartoonists as well, in every single one of their drawings. Even this morning looking through Booth’s work, I find my electrical cartoon current even buzzier than usual. There’s beauty and excitement in Booth’s art, and of course, there’s that signature Boothian barrel of fun.

For those wanting more of his work, Omnibooth is a great place to dive in.  Find Lee Lorenz’s The Essential George Booth (Workman Publishing Company, 1998) and you’ll be treated to a mini-bio of Booth as well as samples of pre-New Yorker work. There is also his classic 1975 collection, Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead & Co.).

And very luckily for us all, Nathan Fitch’s documentary film on Booth, Drawing Life  is well on its way.

I  leave you with a small sample of Mr. Booth’s cover work, and with hearty applause for George Booth — a fine person, and an exceptional artist.

 

Note: Here’s what Fred Taraba of Taraba Illustration Art had to say about the Skittish Dog drawing shown at the head of this post: Not published, rather a version of one of Booth’s most recognized cartoons. The published version appeared in The New Yorker on August 15th, 1977. A third version appears in the book, Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth.