Coming Events Of Interest: Death Panel At The New York Public Library; Eckstein Talks Snowmen; Liza Donnelly Talks Dogs With Carolita Johnson; An Edward Koren Book Event In Vermont

October 31st:  “Death Panels: Comics That Help Us Face End Of Life”  includes work by New Yorker cartoonists Ben Schwartz, Emily Flake and Roz Chast. Info here

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Two Snowman Events with The New Yorker’s Bob Eckstein

Mr. Eckstein, a contributor to The New Yorker since 2007 is the world’s leading snowman expert.  You can catch him at these two locations:

November 7:  Book Culture, Columbus & 72nd St. NYC. 7pm  All the Info here

November 28: New York Public Library, 42nd St & 5th Ave., NYC. 6:30pm Info here.

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Liza Donnelly Talks Dogs With Carolita Johnson

Ms. Donnelly and her New Yorker colleague, Carolita Johnson (far right, above) will be at Books Are Magic, discussing dogs and the just released, Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are (illustrated by Ms. Donnelly). November 2. Info here. 

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Edward Koren at Phoenix Books in Vermont

The one and only Edward Koren will be at Phoenix Books in Burlington Vermont celebrating his latest book, Koren: In The Wild.  November 15th from 7:00pm — 8:30pm Details here

 

 

A Second Look: Steinberg At The New Yorker

In the past week I’ve mentioned two New Yorker cartoon gods, Charles Addams and Edward Koren — here are a few thoughts on another: Saul Steinberg. I admit to not paying enough attention to Joel Smith’s Steinberg At The New Yorker when it came out in 2005. Perhaps, at the time, I was in the early stages of being Steinberged-out.  A traveling exhibit, Illuminations, followed on the heels of this book (I saw, but did not really see the show at the Morgan in Manhattan — it was too crowded; I was jostled every time I paused in front of a piece. I made a second pilgrimage when it traveled to Vassar College, a less crowded venue, far more condusive to examining and enjoying the work (on the back flap of Steinberg At The New Yorker, the author is noted as a curator at Vassar’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, where the exhibit was held). 

I left both exhibits feeling the opposite of how I felt seeing Steinberg’s big solo show at the Whitney in 1978.  In 1978 Steinberg, along with a handful of other New Yorker artists, owned the New Yorker cartoon world. I left the Whitney Steinberg exhibit feeling as if I was coming down from the mountaintop.  An inspiring day (followed by an inspiring intersection with the man himself).

Twenty-five years later, leaving the Vassar exhibit, a large fraction of the awe remained; the mathematical designs, the subject matter, his color pencil work; the way he drew colorful feathers on poultry, the way he used color as pulsating rays emanating from the emergency lights on police cars — all still caused a stir of appreciation.  But…seeing the work hanging on the gallery walls I was too aware of perfection, or my perception of Steinberg’s perfection. The perfection had worn me down.  The designs were too good, the work too beautiful, too creative. No particular piece in the exhibit disappointed, yet the show as a whole disappointed.

This afternoon, while standing in front of the Spill‘s cartoon library wall, I spotted Mr. Smith’s book and took it down. Why not give it another spin around the block. I opened to the back where each and every Steinberg New Yorker cover, from 1945- 2004, is laid out — there are nine to a page. The very first, in 1945 was followed nine years later in 1954.  I hadn’t remembered that — or had never processed it. Nine years between covers…hmmm, hard to believe.

Scanning the covers it dawned on me why I became burned out on the man’s art: I was reminded of a spur of the moment decision years ago while I was walking along 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan: I ducked into Tiffany’s (for the first and possibly last time) to explore the fleet of display cases filled with so many perfect jewels. Looking now at all of these Steinberg covers, encased in a way, I felt much like I felt following my brief tour of Tiffany’s —  I wanted to be back out in our imperfect world.

Going through the rest of the book was a better time. Seeing familiar covers reproduced full page was a treat. This is how to see them, full size, one cover at a time — as originally experienced when they appeared on the magazine. When the covers were doubled up, facing each other across the gutter, I again found the work too rich to enjoy. Oddly enough I don’t have this problem looking at several Addams covers in a row, such as found in The World Of Charles Addams, or a string of covers by various artists such as you find in The New Yorker 1950-1955 Album, or the  essential Complete Covers From The New Yorker: 1925 – 1989. 

Is Steinberg At The New Yorker an essential anthology? Yes, of course.  Besides seeing so many familiar Steinberg drawings, there were many unfamiliar. But again, I preferred a single scoop –seeing a little of the work at one sitting, rather than sitting down with a banana split (sorry about that). I particularly enjoyed Ian Frazier’s Introduction.

As always with every cartoonist mentioned here on the Spill, I encourage looking at the various anthologies that came out during the artist’s lifetime. Here are some favorite Steinberg anthologies, all easily found online.

For further immersion, don’t forget Deirdre Bair’s hefty Saul Steinberg: A Biography:

 

 

 

 

Edward Koren’s New Book!

Yesterday I mentioned Charles Addams as one of a dozen New Yorker cartoonists I’d place in the Cartoon God category.  Today there’s news of a new collection by another of that spectacular dozen, the great Edward Koren.  Mr. Koren’s In the Wild (Button Street Press) will be out in three days.

Here’s the back cover:

Here’s Mr. Koren’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

 

Edward Koren Born, 1935. New Yorker work: May 26, 1962 — . Key collections: Do You Want To Talk About It? ( Pantheon, 1976), Well, There’s Your Problem (Pantheon, 1980), Caution: Small Ensembles (Pantheon, 1983).

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 17, 2018

The cover

If you haven’t already seen the school busses on the road, or the signs posted everywhere advising that school is back in session, Chris Ware’s cover is yet another reminder that it’s back to school time.

The cartoons

Here, for the record, are the contributing cartoonists in the issue:

A quick survey of each drawing: Ms. Suits gives us a cactus drawing (are cactus the new crash test dummies — this being the second cactus drawing out of the past three issues); Mr. Dernavich provides us with an end of summer roller coaster drawing with some unintentional(?) graphic trickery concerning the track itself; Ms. McNair’s couple have neighborly dinner date issues; Farley Katz takes us to a sturdy cartoon scenario of parent reading to a child at bedtime; William Haefeli up next with his trademark drawing style and an excellent caption; an Edward Koren drawing — allowed a wonderful space on the page. Very nice all around!; Ben Schwartz plays with Rodin’s The Thinker; Ed Steed plays around with a clown and a banana peel (and it’s in color); Zach Kanin visits a game of spin the bottle (a scenario we rarely see); Frank Cotham allows us a peek into a room full of sweaty frock-coated gentlemen; Sara Lautman takes us up up and away to the sky god’s territory; Joe Dator’s drawing of a symphony hall is splendid; Kim Warp’s trash-in-the-sea drawing arrives with trash-in-the sea much in the news.  And finally, a nod to the advent of Fall baseball with a meeting at the pitcher’s mound courtesy of Tom Toro.

The issue arrives sans Rea Irvin’s classic masthead. Here it is:

I can’t let mid-September slip by without mentioning the issue of September 11, 1925 (cover by the aforementioned Mr. Irvin).  

New Yorker history buffs will recall that the magazine was nearly put to rest in the Spring of its first year of publication. If not for an overheard remark, the New Yorker would’ve been a magazine that lasted less than half a year. Instead of killing the magazine, it was decided to coast through the summer,  putting renewed energy into the issue of September 12th. You can read about the specifics on content here courtesy of A New Yorker State of Mind.

 

 

Book Talks of Interest: Krimstein’s “Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt”… Peter Kuper’s “Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories”; Vermont: A Sanctuary For Cartoonists

Book Talk of Interest: Ken Krimstein

From Chicago Patch, “Ken Krimstein: The Three Escapes Of Hannah Arendt” — this notice that Mr. Krimstein will present his fascinating new book at the American Writers Museum on September 27th. Details here.

Link here to Ken Krimstein’s website for a whole lot more info.

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Book Talk of Interest: Peter Kuper

Peter Kuper will be in conversation with Jeremy Dauber on September 17th at The Strand, talking about his latest book, Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories All the info here!

Mr. Kuper will also be appearing at Split Rock Books in Cold Spring, New York on September 21 along with Summer Pierre and Chris Duffy.  All the info here for that event.

Link here to Peter Kuper’s website for lots more info on his life and work.

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Vermont Cartoonists

From ANE Online, “The Toon State: Cartoonists Find Sanctuary in Vermont”

— this piece with a good amount of Edward Koren content.