The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 18, 2020

The Cover: a sign o’ the times graduation piece by Anita Kunz. This is the tenth out the last eleven covers that is coronavirus-related.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

An even dozen cartoons & cartoonists, with a thirteenth, Ed Steed, as this week’s Spot drawing artist. The newbie in the crowd, Oren Bernstein, is the sixth new New Yorker cartoonist of 2020, and the fifty-ninth new addition to the stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Some fleeting thoughts on a few of this week’s drawings:

…The aforementioned newbie’s drawing style looks to be in the school of John O’Brien (although this drawing carries a caption; Mr. O’Brien is one of the masters of the captionless cartoon).

…I was hoping to see a horse in Roz Chast’s ranch drawing, but alas! (I’m a fan of Ms. Chast’s horse drawings).

…two drawings, two very different styles, caught my eye: Mitra Farmand’s cats in bags (p.62)… and Liana Finck’s moonbeam in a jar (p. 40).

…Emily Bernstein’s racoon drawing caption is swell & funny.

…the rhythm of the wording in the boxed title of Maddie Dai’s gameboard drawing (p.37) vaguely echoed (for me) the wording in John Held, Jr.’s New Yorker work (with maybe a dash of Glen Baxter tossed in).

…I like seeing the George Boothian rug in Frank Cotham’s cartoon (p. 44). When I began studying Mr. Booth’s work, I noticed how many of his carpets never quite sat completely flat on the floor. I found this touch of reality (just one of many in Mr. Booth’s work) inspirational. Example (in this May 25, 1998 New Yorker drawing):

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

The above iconic design by the great Rea Irvin was ditched in the Spring of 2017 in favor a redrawn(!) version. Hopefully, one day, someday, the above will return. Read all about it here.

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 4, 2020

The Cover: In Francoise Mouly’s Q&A with this week’s cover artist, Chris Ware, she informs us that the issue is anchored by “a kaleidoscopic account of a single day in New York.”  And so we see a cover, in Mr. Ware’s patented style, loaded with snapshots of the city —  a cover nearly devoid of people.

The Cartoonists:

Liza Donnelly, Robert Leighton, Amy Hwang, Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, Liana Finck, Julia Suits, Frank Cotham, Lars Kenseth, Peter Steiner, Karl Stevens, Edward Steed, Elisabeth McNair, Ali Solomon

The Cartoons:

First thing I noticed zipping through this week’s cartoons (via the slideshow on newyorker.com) is that 9 of the 14 drawings contain non-humans. Is this unusual? I don’t know; haven’t kept track of the human/non-human ratio of the cartoons over the years [if anyone has, please let me know — I’d love to see the numbers]. What may be unusual are the three drawings in a row containing two animals apiece: Ed Steed’s two cows, Elisabeth McNair’s pig and squirrel, and Ali Solomon’s two seals.

The remaining half-dozen cartoons featuring non-humans: Peter Steiner’s shark (fins), Lars Kenseth’s multitude of rabbits, Roz Chast’s cow, Liana Finck’s dog(?), and Amy Hwang’s snails. This week’s lead cartoon, by Liza Donnelly, is a direct nod to NYC’s shut-down (it features a none-too-pleased caged subway rat).

The high percentage of animals in the issue reminded me of this passage from Brendan Gill’s Here At The New Yorker:

“Once, Geraghty [the magazine’s Art editor from 1939-1973] mentioned to me that the art department ‘bank’ contained a deplorably high number of jokes featuring conversations between animals. I proposed that the artwork of an entire issue of the magazine be devoted to talking-animal jokes, thus reducing the bank and just possibly causing our readers to lose their minds.  My proposal was accepted, the issue came out, and as far as the magazine could judge, the prank went largely unobserved.” 

Other Cartoons That Caught My Eye:

It seemed pre-ordained that Roz Chast would do a panic buying drawing. Love her (signed) photo drawing of “Der Bingle.” Mick Stevens’s me time drawing is a fine/fun piece of work; applause applause for the way Frank Cotham handled the damned in his splendid media attention drawing. I’ve no idea how Mr. Cotham’s cartoon is sized (I don’t have access to the digital edition yet) but this cartoon would certainly work beautifully on a half-page.  (Update, now that the digital issue is available:  Mr. Cotham’s drawing has been run a bit larger than most of the issue’s cartoons…not a half-page tho.)

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Without having the digital issue in front of me I’ve no idea if Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk masthead (below), shown the door, and replaced by a redraw in the Spring of 2017, has finally returned.  Here’s more information on it.(Update: the redraw still appears. The classic remains in storage)

Behold the real deal!

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 6, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Cover: A heart-strings reflection of the issue’s Health Issue theme (but it’s tempting to believe we’d see a cover along these lines even if it wasn’t the Health Issue).

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

An umbrella observation from the get-go:  the abundance of color pieces (one by Roz Chast, one by Emily Flake, and one by Liana Finck) in this issue at times kind’ve almost sorta made it feel as if I was paging through a Cartoon Issue. However, unlike the special pieces found in Cartoon Issues of yore, all three of these new pieces are distinctly linked to one subject (can you guess what it might be?).

There are a number of cartoons in this issue that got my attention, beginning with Barbara Smaller’s (p.26) — my favorite Smaller drawing thus far this year. Also eye-catching: Justin Sheen’s castle & moat drawing; Brendan Loper’s getting away from it all cartoon, and Ed Steed’s survivor. All four enjoy a sharply written caption.

A number of drawings (beyond the color pieces mentioned above)  are either directly related to, or can be seen as related to the coronavirus, foremost being Joe Dator’s terrif drawing (p.69), P.C. Vey’s (p.31), and Mr. Loper’s cartoon on page 39. Tom Chitty’s friendly city drawing (p.57), as well as John O’Brien’s drawing (on page 72) could possibly be read as corona-related cartoons. The folks in Mr. O’Brien’s supermarket all seem to be spaced at least six feet apart, but, as with most all of Mr. O’Brien’s drawings, it’s an evergreen.

The remaining four drawings: Sofia Warren’s, Amy Hwang’s, Teresa Burns Parkhurst’s, and an effort from the Bliss/Martin duo, are comic relief unrelated to the health crisis.

Paperwork: the aforementioned Justin Sheen is new to the New Yorker cartoonist fold. He’s the 4th new cartoonist of 2020, and the 57th new cartoonist brought into The New Yorker since Emma Allen was appointed cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Read about Rea Irvin’s mothballed iconic Talk masthead (above) here.

And This:

Just noticed that The New Yorker‘s Facebook New Yorker Cartoons page received a make-over. The new look is shown below — new (old) typography, and a (recycled) Rea Irvin inspired banana peel-inspecting Tilley icon replacing Christoph Niemann’s guy at a table icon. Mr. Niemann’s icon showed up in the Spring of 2017, and replaced an existing icon — a drawing by Jack Ziegler.  It puzzled me at the time (and thereafter) that work by a non-New Yorker cartoonist (Mr. Niemann) was chosen to replace an icon drawn by an iconic New Yorker cartoonist.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Kendra Allenby on the newest normal.

Ms. Allenby began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.

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Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

Avi Steinberg gives us “Things That Used To Be Annoying But Are Now A Comfort” — Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of October 28, 2019

The Cover: Trick or treaters in the woods courtesy of Liniers. To me, the creatures appearing in this cover seem to be above-sea-level up-in-the-trees relatives of Ed Steed’s August 26th cover’s creatures. I’m reminded of the fun fans had years ago by hunting for The Beatles faces on the cover of The Rolling Stones album, Their Satanic Majesties Request.

Details from each below, with Mr. Steed’s fabulous creatures on the left and Mr. Linier’s on the right:

                                          The Cartoonists And Cartoons

A number of cartoons to mention this time around beginning with David Sipress’s alien being at the eye doctor’s office (the drawing is on page 29). It’s a clean, clear drawing with an excellent caption. The second I saw it it became my all-time favorite Sipress cartoon (applause, applause)…

…The same applause goes to Ed Steed’s dog at a typewriter (p.56). It’s a captionless drawing that excels because of words, or more specifically one word repeated twenty-two times.  As a bonus,  the drawing has been placed beautifully on the page. It too has risen in status to at least my co-all-time favorite in the Steed canon. Great drawing…

…Roz Chast’s drawing (p. 61) immediately brought to mind this hilarious scene from Jerry Lewis’s 1985 movie “Cracking Up” — Zane Busby is the waitress…

…I wonder how many New Yorker readers will be Googling “Gowanus” after looking at Paul Karasik’s drawing (p.28).  The same cartoon happily led me to thinking about this scene from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”…

…Really enjoyed Lars Kenseth’s good humored and practical dad reassuring his son (p. 34)…

…Frank Cotham’s drawing (p.66) is another which has instantly become a favorite. It reminds me somehow of Charles Saxon’s best work (which is to say, a large percentage of Saxon’s seven hundred and twenty-five New Yorker drawings). Love the mood of the drawing plus its triumphal caption.  Applause Applause…

…Also much fun is Barbara Smaller’s  city dwellers politically flavored Halloween cartoon (p.17). Ms. Smaller sets a fab scene with details galore: the port-hole elevator door window, the number of locks on the apartment door, the taped-up paper pumpkin on the door…and let’s not forget the dandy caption.

The Rea Irvin Talk Of The Town Masthead Watch

The above heading by the great New Yorker artist Rea Irvin sat atop the New Yorker‘s Talk Of The Town for ninety-two years until being removed and replaced by a redrawn(!) version in the Spring of 2017. Here’s hoping the powers that be (or power that be) reverses the situation. Read more here.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of August 26, 2019

The Cover: Way to go, Ed Steed! Mr. Steed’s debut New Yorker cover is a gem.  See the cover and read this short interview about it with Mr. Steed.

It’s always a thrill, and always a reason to cheer when a New Yorker cartoonist’s work appears on the cover. Our presence there took a major hit once the singular title of art editor (last enjoyed by Lee Lorenz) was split in two back in the Tina Brown era. One job became two jobs: a cartoon editor for the cartoons, and an art editor for the covers. For the better part of the magazine’s history, the cartoonists were in the majority as cover contributors (over 60%). That dropped to a single digit percentage in the years since the cover editor’s position was created. Mr. Steed’s breakthrough is encouraging.

The Cartoonists & Cartoons:

A Spill round of applause for several cartoons in the issue that caught my eye: Tim Hamilton’s lion at a party (p.65) is a stand out. Perhaps I’m a sucker for drawings depicting a person held in clenched jaws.  I’m also quite fond of P.C. Vey’s worked-his-way-up-the-ladder chef in a cubicle (p.63). Mr. Vey has given us a very good drawing. Lila Ash’s trapeze artists (p.79) are also a lot of fun; the drawing clicks perfectly with a caption that heavily depends — even more so than usual in this case — on timing.

The over-all cartoon picture for the issue: Just ten cartoons amid a multitude of illustrations (four of the illustrations are full page). I wonder if my colleagues ever submit cartoons as intended full page drawings. Something to ask next time we gather en masse.

Breathing room around the cartoons is good this issue. Frank Cotham’s drawing (p.52) could’ve used a bit more space so we can appreciate and dive into all that’s going on in his court room. Perhaps, as is sometimes the case, that’s not an issue in the print issue.

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead:  It’s been twenty-seven months since it was abandoned in favor of a (gasp!) redraw. Read about it here.

Here’s the real thing: