New Yorker Cartoons On The Empire State Building’s Walls; Jimmy Kimmel’s Cartoon Rejected By The New Yorker; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

New Yorker Cartoons On The Empire State Building Walls

The iconic Empire State Building now boasts half-a-dozen New Yorker cartoons on its walls.  One each by Robert Leighton, Liana Finck, John O’Brien, Tom Cheney, Jason Patterson,  and Frank Modell.

Through the courtesy of Mr. Leighton (who is shown below, at The Empire State Building, with his drawing*) the Spill shows you three of the six cartoons in situ, and tell you a little about their installation and how their installation came to be.

Left: Frank Modell’s drawing, published in The New Yorker, 1975

Mr. Leighton has shared the information he received when the project was first proposed to him:

“As part of ongoing upgrades to the Empire State Building Observatory experience, we’re looking into the idea of installing certain New Yorker cartoons in the stairwells between the 80th floor and the 86th floor.

When visitors come to the Observatory of the Empire State Building, they take the elevator to the 80th floor and transfer to another set of elevators to arrive at the 86th floor open-air Observatory deck. Guests have the option to take the stairs between 80 and 86 instead of the elevator to avoid the lines. We’d like to reward the stair-takers with a whimsical display of New Yorker cartoons in the stairwells. The cartoons would all be thematically appropriate – either relating to the Empire State Building/high rise construction, general unique New York moments or stairs. We think this will be a great “hidden New York” feature that will help guests feel like insiders.”

Asked how the drawings were applied to the walls Mr. Leighton was told:

The design firm, Thinc, used a company called Applied Image. Thinc prepared the graphic image including the title block. They printed the image on a durable, graffiti-resistant, wide format wall vinyl. The vinyl extends to the edges of the available space to avoid picked edges. Then they apply it with adhesive.Here are the official specs: Printed and installed by Applied Image.   Production Method: 3M Envision Print Wrap Film with Avery Anti-Graffiti overlaminate. Anti-Graffiti protects image from scratches, chemicals, solvents or graffiti paint.

—  Above: John O’Brien’s drawing on the wall. Published in The New Yorker 2018.

I asked Mr. Leighton what it meant to him having his drawing chosen:

“When we’re thinking up our cartoons, the most we imagine is that they’ll be printed, saving them from a lifetime of obscurity. For those that see print, our hope is that they’ll be re-printed somewhere, maybe becoming part of a book. To be reprinted like this–becoming a permanent part of the iconic skyscraper of all time–is just a pure undiluted thrill.”

*Mr. Leighton’s drawing, published in The New Yorker February 4, 2013, carried the caption “Escher! Get your ass up here!”  The caption, edited by Mr. Leighton, appearing in the Empire State Building: “Escher! Get back up here!”

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Cartoon Rejected By The New Yorker

Here’s a fun segment from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel program. It features The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen, in magazine’s offices, as well as on stage in Brooklyn with The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

NYC Basketball by Johnny DiNapoli, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2019. Visit his website here.

 

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.

 

 

Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonist; Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

A Hamburglar cartoon by Farley Katz, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. Mr. Katz has also contributed today’s Daily Shouts.

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Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

Over this past weekend a number of visiting colleagues paused to look at a Charles Saxon original drawing that hangs on a wall here at Spill headquarters. The Saxon drawing is displayed because it amuses and inspires (the same goes for the several dozen others also on our walls by various New Yorker artists past and present; the earliest drawing, by Alice Harvey, was published October of 1925, the most recent, by Ed Steed, was published in April of 2019). Saxon’s drawings have long been considered a high bar by his peers — a reminder of how elegant (a word used by one of the visitors) cartoon art can be (I’ve always felt Thurber’s drawings to be another kind of high bar).

Looking closely at the originals in the Spill‘s archives, I see no under -drawing, no pencil marks. The work, in grease pencil(?), appears to be in the school of — as Edward Sorel would describe it — direct drawing.  The lines seem effortless, energetic, lovely, and of course, humorous; it’s an immediately identifiable style. As with so many of his contemporaries, including Robert Weber, Lee Lorenz, James Stevenson and Frank Modell, there’s a joy to the work.

Saxon’s world, both New Yorker covers and cartoons, published from the mid 1940s through the late 1980s, will forever be linked to Connecticut country club country, where he lived (Mr. Saxon, along with his colleague William Hamilton, had that upper-crusty world down). The New Yorker readership from that social strata apparently loved seeing themselves poked and prodded, just as they loved what Peter Arno had done with them and to them in the magazine’s earlier decades. 

Right: a Saxon New Yorker cover: effortless, energetic, humorous

I was fortunate enough to meet Saxon in February of 1986, when New Yorker cover artist Roxie Munro threw a small post-New Yorker anniversary party. Trudging downtown from the Pierre Hotel to Ms. Munro’s mid-town apartment on lower Park Avenue, I was one of the first to arrive. Walking into the living room I found a short man, in dark suit and tie, standing with his back against a living room wall. I introduced myself, not knowing who I was about to shake hands with. I had always imagined Saxon as quite tall — a powerhouse figure. In truth, he was perhaps a half-foot shorter than me. He was also remarkably soft spoken, and extremely polite. I’d always expected that he’d have one of those personalities that would roll right over me. It was quite a nice gift, to able to have perhaps fifteen minutes with this cartoon god, all to myself. 

 

Photo: Charles Saxon, center, with The New Yorker‘s Art Editor, James Geraghty at the magazine’s offices, 25 West 43rd Street, New York City, c.1960s.  Photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon.

Book: Oh, happy, happy, happy!  The earliest Saxon collection, published in 1960 by Golden Press.

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Modell’s Brendan Gill; Tom Chitty Has A Question; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Christopher Weyant; More Steinberg; Today’s Daily Shouts By…Seth Fleishman

Frank Modell’s Brendan Gill

I came away from a recent visit to my favorite (used) book store, Rodgers Book Barn in Hillsdale, New York with the brochure handed out at Brendan Gill’s memorial back in 1998 (see the details of the tribute below). I’m indebted to one of my book store haunting friends, Mark Burns for digging the brochure out of a box of ephemera and placing it right in front of my face (for the record, my other co-haunters were Danny Shanahan and John Cuneo). Frank Modell’s drawing of an exuberant Brendan Gill was new to me, and an obvious must-have, must-buy. 

For more on Mr. Gill, I highly recommend his oft-reprinted Here At The New Yorker (the William Heinemann 1990 edition shown below)And for more on Mr. Modell there’s his collection Stop Trying To Cheer Me Up! as well as James Stevenson’s terrific The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell.

Further Reading: An earlier Spill piece on cartoonists and Rodgers Book Barn.

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Tom Chitty Has A Question

From Jane Mattimoe’s  fine Fine Case For Pencils, “Tom Chitty Has A Question About Dip Pens”

Mr. Chitty began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014.  Visit his website here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

The lack of White House press briefings has been in the news. Chris Weyant comments via a castle cartoon.  Mr. Weyant has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1998. Visit his website here.

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More Steinberg

From The Brooklyn Rail, “Saul Steinberg: Untitled” 

Comments on the Steinberg exhibit currently showing at Totah (til April 28th — hurry!)

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Today’s Daily Shouts by…Seth Fleishman

A fish story from Seth Fleishman who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. See some of his work here on the New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank site.

 

 

A New Yorker State Of Mind: James Thurber’s Art Debuts In The New Yorker; Two New Yorker Cartoonists Cover Cold Comfort Farm; Karl Stevens at The Gardner Museum; Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoonist: Barry Blitt

The must-read blog, A New Yorker State of Mind on the debut of Thurber art in The New Yorker.  Read here.

… And as the subject is Thurber New Yorker firsts, here are others:

Thurber’s New Yorker debut, in the issue of February 26, 1927: two pieces of verse.  The first,  Villanelle Of Horatio Street, Manhattan (19 lines, signed James Grover Thurber); the second, Street Song (10 lines, signed J .G. T.)

Thurber’s first cartoon appeared  in the issue of January 3, 1931, “Take a good look at these fellows, Tony, so you’ll remember ’em next time.” 

Thurber’s first cover: February 29, 1936.

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Covering Cold Comfort Farm: Saxon & Chast

Two New Yorker cartoonists on the cover of the same title: how often does that happen? I’ve never seen it before (if anyone can come up with another duo please forward*).  In this case we see Charles Saxon’s art on the cover of Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm, published in 1964, and on the right, Roz Chast’s cover art in 2006.

*Stephen Nadler of Attempted Bloggery has brought to my attention my own piece concerning three New Yorker artists (Addams, Steig, and Modell) covering Brendan Gill’s Here At The New Yorker.

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Karl Stevens At the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

From artnet.com, February 27, 2019, “Botticelli’s Beauties Meet Contemporary Cartoons at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — See Works From the Show Here” — this piece on newbie New Yorker cartoonist Karl Stevens’ work at the above mentioned museum. Mr. Stevens first New Yorker cartoon appeared in the issue of  January 21, 2019.  Link here for more of his work.

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Today’s Daily Cartoon

Today’s Daily cartoon, Trumpish, of course, is by Barry Blitt. Mr. Blitt began contributing to the New Yorker in 1994. Link here to his website.