The Tilleys They Are A-Changin’… The New Yorker’s 95th Anniversary Issue, February 17, 2020

The cover above, by Rea Irvin, appeared on the very first issue of The New Yorker — thereafter it showed up for every anniversary issue from 1926 through 1993. If you happen to have a bunch of those anniversary issues and fan them out on your floor — such as I did back in 2008 — they look pretty neat:

In 1994, Tina Brown broke the string of Rea Irvin Tilleys by running Robert Crumb’s “Elvis Tilley.”  Since 1994 Mr. Irvin’s original cover (with slight alterations from time-to-time) has been seen in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009. It was last seen 2011.

In 1995, Irvin’s Tilley appeared swimming in gold to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary. When the original Tilley hasn’t appeared he’s been replaced by look-a-likes, or take-offs, or homages, or what-have-yous. Sometimes Tilley has been left off/left out altogether. On this week’s 95th anniversary issue, there is, what’s described on the Table of Contents, an “origin” cover by Barry Blitt (who also supplied the Tilley-ish spot drawings this week).

My instinct to gather has led to the below gallery of substitute anniversary covers, from Crumb to Blitt. Included are the covers that have no Tilley reference whatsoever but appeared in the anniversary slot.

Above: the non-Tilley anniversary cover artists: R. Crumb (1994), R.O. Blechman (1996), Art Spiegelman (1997), Michael Roberts (1998), Edward Sorel 1999), William Wegman 2000), Chris Ware (2005), Seth (2008), Chris Ware (2010), Bruce McCall (2012), Simon Greiner (2013) Jorge Colombo (2014), Barry Blitt (2015), Liniers (2016), John W. Tomac (2017), Malika Favre (2018), Kadir Nelson (2019), Barry Blitt (2020)

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

 Zoe Si is the first newbie of 2020. She is the fifty-fourth new cartoonist brought into the magazine’s stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Fourteen cartoons in this issue (fifteen cartoonists as Emily Flake provided a “Sketchpad”), with two cartoon gods on board: Edward Koren and George Booth.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, cartoon love is in the issue, including a great cupid cartoon by Paul Noth and a fab love & justice drawing by Peter Vey.  A Spill round of applause for those as well as Bruce Eric Kaplan’s splendid dinner party drawing.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: this being a big birthday issue, I had low high hopes for a return of Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead (shown below).  Alas, the spring of 2017 re-draw is still in place. Read about the original and its replacement here.

 

 

Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials

Here are three essential books for any and every New Yorker cartoon library. All were compiled and edited by the former New Yorker  art/cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz.  My understanding is that there were to be more in the series, but we all know how fickle the publishing biz is (wouldn’t it have been just incredibly wonderful to have had an Essential Robert Weber!). What you’ll find in each book is a compact history of the subject, with early work, and interviews, bibliographies, favorite cartoon topics, and plenty of cartoons. The first two in the series came out in 1998 (Booth & Barsotti), followed by the Essential Ziegler in 2000.  Mr. Lorenz also gave us a great book on William Steig, as well as an overall look at The New Yorker‘s art and art department from its beginning.  Those titles are essential too — they just don’t include the word “essential”  in their titles.

From the Spill‘s A-Z, the entries for those mentioned above:

Lee Lorenz ( Photograph taken 1995 by Liza Donnelly) *Born 1932, Hackensack, NJ. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). New Yorker work: 1958 –.

Charles Barsotti Born, San Marcos, Texas, September 28, 1933.  Died, Kansas City, Mo., June 16, 2014. Mr. Barsotti was briefly the cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post ( from 1968 until its demise in 1969). The New York Times review of his 1981 collection “Kings Don’t Carry Money” led with the following:”Thurber lives, in Kansas City under the name of Charles Barsotti.” His deceptively simple line drawings of pups and kings, and businessmen have been a presence in The New Yorker for over fifty years. It is likely that Mr. Barsotti is the only New Yorker cartoonist to have ever run for Congress (an unsuccessful bid, in 1972, in Kansas). New Yorker work: 1962 – . Key collections: Kings Don’t Carry Money (Dodd, Mead, 1981), and The Essential Charles Barsotti, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz (Workman, 1998). Website: http://www.barsotti.com/ ……Link to Ink Spill’s Charles Barsotti appreciation.

 

George Booth (photo above taken in NYC 2016, courtesy of Liza Donnelly) Born June 28, 1926, Cainesville, MO. New Yorker work: June 14, 1969 – . Key collections: Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead, 1975), Rehearsal’s Off! (Dodd, Mead, 1976), Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth ( Congdon & Weed, 1984), The Essential George Booth, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 1998).

Jack Ziegler (photo by Michael Maslin, taken at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC, 2008) Born, Brooklyn, NY July 13, 1942.  Died, March  29, 2017.  New Yorker work: 1974 – 2017. Key collections: all of Ziegler’s collections are must-haves. Here’re some favorites: Hamburger Madness (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), Filthy Little Things ( Doubleday/Dolphin, 1981) and The Essential Jack Ziegler, Complied and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 2000)….. Link here for Ink Spill’s Jack Ziegler interview from late 2016.

Robert Weber (Pictured mid 1980s. Photograph by Liza Donnelly) Born April 22, 1924, Los Angeles, California. Died, October 20, 2016, Branford Connecticut. NYer work: nearly 1500 cartoons, and close to a dozen covers since 1962…. Read Ink Spill’s November 2016 Appreciation of Mr. Weber here.

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The terrif cartoonist Kim Warp has today’s Daily Cartoon.  See it here.

Ms. Warp has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1999.

Visit her website here.

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 Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 23, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Emma Allen’s Year In Review Not-To-Be-Missed Daily Shouts; Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

The Cover:  Ed Steed’s third New Yorker cover in five months. This makes my day: it’s always great to see a New Yorker cartoonist cross-over from the cartoon department to the art department (shades of the pre-Tina Brown days when the cartoonists provided the majority of covers). Here’s a Q&A with Mr. Steed about his latest cover.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Zipping through this new issue I see it’s loaded with cartoons (yay!).  I also see that the freshman class of the 1970s is well represented: Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, the late Jack Ziegler, and myself; there are also four freshman from the class of the 1990s: P.C. Vey, Nick Downes, Kim Warp, and Barbara Smaller. And at opposite ends of the time line are George Booth, a freshman in the class of the 1960s (1969 to be a little more precise), and Keith Knight, who makes his New Yorker debut in this issue (so a freshman in the class of the 2010s). Mr. Knight is the 27th newbie of the year, and the 53rd to join The New Yorker‘s stable since Emma Allen took the cartoon department reins in the Spring of 2017.

Seeing the Booth cartoon (it’s on p.32) takes me right back to my fledgling days at The New Yorker and my belief that Mr. Booth’s work is what the magazine’s cartoons are all about: superb drawing, and a precisely defined world of personalized humor. Some forty plus years after I discovered Mr. Booth’s world I still get revved up and inspired from seeing one of his drawings.

A couple of thoughts on a couple of drawings: both Sofia Warren’s fine drawing (p.51) and Nick Downes’ wonderful Rockefeller Center skating rink drawing would’ve benefited us (the readers) had they been allowed more space. These are drawings full of great detail.

On the other hand, Roz Chast’s funny Abominable Snow-Woman (p.73) seems just the right size. Such a good drawing. It would be great if she marketed her snow-woman as a stuffed toy (I’d want one).

Really enjoyed Paul Noth’s Bat-signal/Robin-signal drawing (p.42).  I especially like the work he put into Batman and Robin’s outfits.

Speaking of cartoon worlds, as I was earlier in regards to Mr. Booth’s work, I cannot leave this ramble on the cartoons without mentioning how missed Jack Ziegler’s cartoon world is. Seeing his drawing in this issue is a tip of the iceberg reminder of what a spectacularly funny cartoonist he was. If you don’t already have his masterpiece collection, Hamburger Madness, get it.

 

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Bah, humbug…nothing has changed.  The redrawn masthead, installed in the Spring of 2017 still sits where Mr. Irvin’s beauty once sat. Below is Mr. Irvin’s classic design; here’s where you can read more about it.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Ellie Black on a critic’s crisis.

Ms. Black has been contributing to The New Yorker since February of this year.

 

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Shouts In Review

Emma Allen, The New Yorker’s cartoon editor, and editor of  Daily Shouts, lists Shouts highlights.

A whole bunch of New Yorker cartoonists are therein.

 

 

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Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

From “Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook,” a flashback to February of 1972, when Nixon met Mao. Above: the real deal.

 

 

 

Late Notice: A Launch Party Tonight With Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell Live-Drawing; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of November 18, 2019; Some Thoughts After Seeing The Documentary Film, “Stevenson Lost And Found”

Late Notice: A Launch Party Tonight With Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell Live-Drawing

From the Facebook Invite:

Come celebrate the release of Sarah Dooley’s new book ‘Are You My Uber?’ which is a parody of the P.D. Eastman classic ‘Are You My Mother?’ Listen to comedians Sydnee Washington, Eva Victor, Larry Owens, Pat Regan, Marcia Belsky, Gabe Gonzalez, and Taylor Ortega tell hilarious stories of wild cab experiences while Hilary Campbell, the book’s illustrator, does live drawings.

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

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

A leafy Daily from Chris Weyant, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1998. Visit his website here.

 

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The Cover: I see leaves. The fifth cover (below right) by Brigit Schossow.  Read a Q&A with her here.

There’ve been a lot, a whole lot, of leafy New Yorker covers, but this current one by Ms. Schossow  brought to mind (courtesy of a helpful New Yorker colleague) the beauty below left by the magazine’s former art & cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz.

 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A scattering of thoughts about just a few of the cartoons in this issue:

P.C. Vey’s bear and couple in the woods (on page 33) made my day.

Something totally unexpected cartoon-wise is usually always good, and so it was coming upon a Jack Ziegler cartoon. Especially nice that the drawing is set in one of his favorite cartoon scenarios: a bar.

A fun Pete Mueller drawing (p.27).  Two Mueller drawings in two issues. Yay!

Ellis Rosen’s friend’s shower (p.56) is different. Like the choices of warm/cold and cold/warm.

Needed a ten second Googled refresher course with Liana Finck’s drawing (p. 60).  Not so much what her drawing means, but the meme’s origin (just curious, y’know).

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Am hoping to open the issue one day and see Mr. Irvin’s iconic design has returned. No dice this week. For now, there’s that re-draw. Read about the classic Irvin Talk masthead here.

Here’s the real deal:

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Some Thoughts After Seeing The James Stevenson Documentary Film, Stevenson Lost And Found

A few random thoughts after attending last night’s premiere of Sally Williams’ fab documentary film, Stevenson Lost And Found.  There are are so many moments in the film — too many to go into here — that cartoonists and people who love New Yorker cartoons will treasure.

One instance I found particularly fascinating: the animated sequence showing what might go through cartoonists brains as they sit down and begin the day’s work. We’re shown a series of cartoons covering a wide variety of subject matter. It is, for this cartoonist, a relatable experience, as the mind careens through unlimited places every morning.

Another instance: in some eye-popping sequences we’re shown images of Mr. Stevenson’s children’s books lined-up, as well as Mr. Stevenson’s New Yorker  black scrap books (shown above) kept in the magazine’s library. These books contain every single signed New Yorker contribution by Stevenson, whether it’s his writing or drawing (including covers of course).*  Most of The New Yorker’s nearly 650 cartoonists (from 1925- present) have not had their work collected in one scrap book, let alone five. **

At the screening, I was lucky enough to be seated next to the legendary artist, Edward Sorel. During one of the sequences in the film where we are grasping the enormous amount of work Stevenson did (both published and unpublished) Mr. Sorel leaned over and said to me, “Do you feel as much like an underachiever as I do?”

In a perfect cartoon world, there’d be films such as Lost And Found for a number of the magazine’s artists. It’s heartening that there is already a Thurber film out there, and an Addams documentary in the works, as well as a film about George Booth.  But how about a Steinberg documentary, and one about Steig***?  I can dream, can’t I.  For now, we are quite fortunate to have this gem on Stevenson showing on the big screen. Go see.

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* I say “signed” because The New Yorker  did not and does not scrap book cartoon ideas handled by other artists. Mr. Stevenson, early in his New Yorker career, wrote a large number of captions for some of the magazine’s artists (read about his “secret job” here).

**Artists (and writers) without an enormous amount of work are scrap booked in alphabetically  cataloged books, along with other contributors.

***A short video accompanied the Steig exhibit that ran at The Norman Rockwell exhibit.

There is a 20 minute film about Edward Sorel available here.

A 40 minute Eldon Dedini film here, 

And a short film about C.E.M. (Charles E. Martin) here.