55 Years Ago Today; A Timely 1960 Frank Modell Cartoon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist; A Cartoonist At The Culture Desk; The Passing of Mad’s Mort Drucker

55 Years Ago Today

The other day I mentioned that April 10th is the 55th anniversary of the publication of Mort Gerberg’s first New Yorker drawing (I Spilled the drawing published in that issue of April 10, 1965).  It was, however, not the first drawing he sold to the magazine. His first sale appears above (quite a beginning!).  It appeared in the issue of October 30, 1965. The Spill congratulates the artist on his 55th!

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A Timely 1960 Frank Modell Cartoon  

This Frank Modell drawing appeared in The New Yorker February 27, 1960. I’d say that by now most of us have a pretty good idea the answer to the question.

My thanks to Daniel Borinsky for finding and sending the drawing along.

Frank Modell’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Frank Modell (photograph taken early 1990s) 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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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Comforting bunny talk from P.C. Vey. Mr. Vey began contributing to The New Yorker in 1993.

Visit his website here.

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Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

From Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell: “Movies Remade for Socially Isolated Viewing”

Ms. Campbell began contributing to The New Yorker in November of 2017.  Visit her website here.

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From The Culture Desk

Paul Karasik on the death of John Prine.

Mr. Karasik began contributing to The New Yorker in 1999.

 

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The Spill Notes The Passing Of The Great Mad Artist, Mort Drucker

I have to believe that untold numbers of New Yorker cartoonists self-educated by looking through MAD magazine. A large part of that education would’ve included taking in Mort Drucker’s gazillions of drawings. Mr. Drucker, who passed away this week at age 91, was one of the Mt. Rushmore figures in Mad’s stable (the Usual Gang of Idiots).

The National Cartoonists Society Tweeted the below:

And here are just a few pieces published since the news broke:

From Mad Magazine: “RIP Mort Drucker 1929-2020” by The Editors.

From The New York Times: “Mort Drucker, Master Of The Mad Caricature, Is Dead At 91” by J. Hoberman.

From The Washington Post: “Mort Drucker who drew humor from life in Mad Magazine dies at 91” by Matt Schudel.

From The Washington Post:  “Mort Drucker’s legendary Mad magazine caricatures spoofed Hollywood — and Hollywood loved them” by Michael Cavna.

From Rolling Stone “Mad magazine cartoonist Mort Drucker dead at 91” by Jon Blistein

…and from the New Yorker cartoonist, Jason Chatfield, this tribute.

 

Steve Stoliar On Meeting Charles Addams; Gil Roth Interviews Emily Flake; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon (And Yesterday’s)

Steve Stoliar On Meeting Charles Addams

Mr. Stoliar, the author of Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House (BearManor Media, 2015), posted the following birthday tribute to Charles Addams on Facebook. My thanks to Mr. Stoliar for allowing it to appear here.

Note: Dick Cavett’s New Yorker Cartoonists episodes were broadcast in March of 1978 (one taping, broken up into two programs). Besides Mr. Addams, the panel included Frank Modell, George Booth, and Lee Lorenz. ________________________________________________________________________

Gil Roth Interviews Emily Flake

Gil Roth, who has interviewed many many cartoonists over the years on his Virtual Memories podcast, speaks with Emily Flake in this podcast.

Ms. Flake began contributing to The New Yorker in 2008. Her latest book is That Was Awkward: The Art and Etiquette of the Awkward Hug (Viking).

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

John Klossner on longer days. Mr. Klossner began contributing to The New Yorker in 2008.  Visit his website here.

…and Yesterday’s

Lila Ash on keeping Christmas lights up. Ms. Ash began contributing to The New Yorker in December of 2018.  Visit her website here.

The Weekend Spill: Happy 125th James Thurber!; Three New Yorkers; New Cast Album For Arno’s 1930’s Musical “The New Yorkers”; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of December 2-6, 2019

Happy 125th James Thurber!

Anyone who follows the Spill knows that James Thurber is a mighty big deal around here. I’ve written numerous times over the years how seeing his drawing, “What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?” changed everything for me. Today marks the 125th anniversary of Thurber’s birth.  Michael Rosen’s recently published A Mile and a Half of Lines: The Art of James Thurber is an excellent book to throw yourself into today, or any day.

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Three New Yorkers

The three issues above unexpectedly arrived in the mail the other day, courtesy of a friend.  I immediately shoved my stack of drawing paper to the side and dove into the magazines. When I look through older copies of The New Yorker I focus on the art (so many cartoons to see, so little time).

So, what do these three issues have in common besides being three issues of The New Yorker and all published in the early 60s? Each has at least one drawing by Frank Modell, James Stevenson, and Dana Fradon. That trio, in their time, along with perhaps ten other cartoonists, anchored hundreds, if not thousands of issues of The New Yorker.

When I arrived at The New Yorker in the late 1970s, Messrs. Modell, Fradon, and Stevenson had already been contributing for decades, with Frank Modell the most veteran of the bunch, having begun at The New Yorker during the mid-1940s.  As I was beginning my New Yorker education by studying back issues of the magazine I was astounded to discover how long these artists had already been at the magazine. Even more astounding: there were cartoonists who’d been at The New Yorker even longer, and were still contributing — such greats as Al Ross, who began contributing in 1937, Whitney Darrow, Jr. (1933), George Price (1929), and William Steig (1930).

I was lucky enough to meet and get to know (if only a little) most of the cartoonists mentioned above. Of the three exceptions: Steig, Darrow, and Price, I communicated via a few letters with Steig — Whitney Darrow turned an idea of mine into a New Yorker drawing. I regret not walking over and meeting Whitney Darrow, and George Price at the only once-in-a-lifetime  opportunities I had with each. I’ve written before of the magazine’s artists family tree — the generations overlapping at the magazine. Just a few weeks ago I met several New Yorker cartoonists who’ve just started their careers in the past couple of years — one in just the past six months. Picking up almost any issue of the magazine, from the earliest years to the most recent is an instant reminder of the connectivity.

From the Spill‘s A-Z, the Modell, Fradon, and Stevenson entries:

Frank Modell ( photograph taken early 1990s) 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).

Dana Fradon (photo: 1978). Born, Chicago, Illinois, 1922. Died, October 3, 2019, Woodstock, NY.  Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to service in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Following his service, he attended the Art Students League of New York, New Yorker work: May 1, 1948 – April 21, 2003. Collection: Insincerely Yours (Scribners, 1978) To read Ink Spill’s 2013 interview with Mr. Fradon, “Harold Ross’s Last Cartoonist” link here.

 

James Stevenson Born, NYC, 1929. Died, February 17, 2017, Cos Cob, Connecticut. New Yorker work: March 10, 1956 -. Stevenson interned as an office boy at The New Yorker in the mid 1940s when he began supplying ideas for other NYer artists. Nine years later he was hired a full-time ideaman, given an office at the magazine and instructed not to tell anyone what he did. He eventually began publishing his own cartoons and covers as well as a ground-breaking Talk of the Town pieces (ground breaking in that the pieces were illustrated). His contributions to the magazine number over 2000. Key collections: Sorry Lady — This Beach is Private! (MacMillan, 1963), Let’s Boogie ( Dodd, Mead, 1978). Stevenson has long been a children’s book author, with roughly one hundred titles to his credit. He is a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, under the heading Lost and Found New York. Stevenson’s recent book, published in 2013, The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell, is essential. “Stevenson Lost and Found,” a documentary film by Sally Williams, was released in 2019.

— The cover artists for The New Yorkers  shown at the top of this post: l-r: Robert Kraus, Garrett Price, and Arthur Getz

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New Cast Album For Cole Porter’s (and Peter Arno’s) 1930 Musical, The New Yorkers

From Broadway World, December 6th, 2019, “The New Cast Album of ‘The New Yorkers,’ the 1930 Cole Porter Musical, is Available today”

If you want to read a lot more about “The New Yorkers” I modestly suggest my Arno biography, specifically Chapter Seven:  Up Broadway and Down.

Above left: The cover of the new cast recording. To the right “The New Yorkers” original 1930 program, with art by Peter Arno.

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The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of December 2-6, 2019

An end of the week listing of New Yorker artists who’ve contributed to newyorker.com

The Daily Cartoon: David Ostow, Tom Toro, Paul Karasik, Ali Solomon, Jon Adams.

Daily Shouts: Julia Wertz, Olivia de Recat.

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.

To see all of the above, and much more, link here.

 

 

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.