Two Peacocks Walk Into A Room; Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Cartoon Anthology: Sara Lautman’s Daily Shouts; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Avi Steinberg

In one of those million-to-one cartoon moments, both my colleague Harry Bliss (with his collaborator Steve Martin) and I have similar drawings out this week (his in his syndicated daily spot, and mine in The New Yorker). What’s unusual, besides the timing of publication, and the peacock standing in a doorway in both drawings, is the use of the peacock itself. A quick visit to the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site turned up peacock drawings by a dozen artists. I have to think there were a number more in the magazine’s ninety-four years (the Cartoon Bank site does not provide every cartoon in the magazine’s archive). The listed peacock drawings are by: Mick Stevens, Sam Gross, Will McPhail, John O’Brien, George Booth, Bernard Schoenbaum, George Price, Edward Koren, Saul Steinberg (he has three), Robert Day, Mort Gerberg, and Victoria Roberts. There were also three peacock covers shown. The artists:  Joseph Low (the peacock is a minor character in his cover), Steinberg, and the one-and-only Rea Irvin. 

I asked Mr. Bliss if he’d like to comment on our dual peacock drawings, and here’s what he had to say:

That’s crazy! I didn’t get my new issue of The New Yorker yet, so I didn’t even know that was in there.  When I initially did my drawing, from an idea given to me by Steve Martin, I think I mentioned to Emma [Emma Allen, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] that I wanted it to be in color. Seeing yours now, makes me wonder if they bought yours before they had seen mine and the reason they didn’t buy mine and Steve’s is because they had already bought yours… Similars? Anyway, I think the reason there aren’t that many peacock cartoons out there is because the damn thing is so hard to draw!

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Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Anthology

Warren Bernard (of SPX fame) has alerted the Spill to another rarity: a cartoon collection of work by John M. Price who contributed four drawings to the magazine (Mr. Bernard tells me that three of Mr. Price’s four New Yorker drawings appear in the collection). Here’s Price’s rather skimpy bio on the A-Z (if anyone out there has more info please send this way):

John M. Price Born  (Pennsylvania?) February 5, 1918, died January 19, 2009, Radnor, Pennsylvania. New Yorker work: February 17, 1940, March 9, 1940, June 8, 1941, and August 30, 1941. His work appeared in many publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, The Country Gentleman, and Colliers. Key collection (self published) Don’t Get Polite with Me.

*Chris Wheeler’s fabulous site also has a scan of Price’s book (including the back cover), but I have to admit the cover never registered in my brain’s cartoon catalog. Now, having registered it, the book becomes a must-have for the Spill‘s library.  

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A Daily Shouts By…

Sara Lautman, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016, contributed yesterday’s Daily Shouts.

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

 

An Avi Steinberg summer vacation/global warming cartoon. Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.  More about him here on Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils.

 

 

Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig; Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Maddie Dai; A Weekend Shouts By Liana Finck; The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig

A current exhibit at The Carle Museum focused on William Steig’s classic Sylvester and the Magic Pebble includes “Steig’s preliminary sketches, story boards, and dummy books related to the seminal publication.” Info here.

William Steig’s entry on the A-Z:

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 14, 1907, died in Boston, Mass., Oct. 3, 2003. In a New Yorker career that lasted well over half a century and a publishing history that contains more than a cart load of books, both children’s and otherwise, it’s impossible to sum up Steig’s influence here on Ink Spill. He was among the giants of the New Yorker cartoon world, along with James Thurber, Saul Steinberg, Charles Addams, Helen Hokinson and Peter Arno. Lee Lorenz’s World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998) is an excellent way to begin exploring Steig’s life and work. New Yorker work: 1930 -2003.

Of Note: From The New Yorker, June 3, 2019, Rumaan Alam’s  “William Steig’s Books Explored The Reality Adults Don’t Want Children To Know About”

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Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham

From Memphis Magazine, The Well-Drawn World of Frank Cotham— this piece on the long-time contributor to The New Yorker.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Maddie Dai Kingly drawing. Ms. Dai began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

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A Weekend Daily Shouts…

…by Liana Finck. Another installment in Ms. Finck’s “Dear Pepper” series.

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The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

The Cover: A fitting  Bruce Eric Kaplan cover for the “fiction Issue”  — it’s always a pleasure to see one of the magazine’s cartoonists work appear there.  Read more about Mr. Kaplan’s cover here.

More “Tweaking” Of Note: This is the second issue of the magazine in a row not listing the Cover Artist on The Contributors page (Barry Blitt was not credited there last week). The last issue to credit the cover artist (Malika Favre) was the issue of May 27th.  The cover artists are still credited on the table of contents. Example:

As tweaking continues to occur it’s perhaps a good time to recall what the magazine’s Creative Director, Nicholas Blechman told MAGCulture in June of 2017:

The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time. Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. Since I arrived in 2015, we’ve been fine tuning an incredibly resilient and elegant design. Our road map for design changes in the print magazine is mostly complete. I think the table of contents could be tweaked, and the design of the Fiction page could also be tinkered with. Most of the big innovations you will be seeing at The New Yorker will be online, as we contemplate a web redesign and introduce improvements to The New Yorker Today app.

While I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Blechman’s first sentence (The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time) I must disagree with the first half of the sentence that follows:

Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. 

There was in fact an enormous design change (and changes in the magazine’s DNA) beginning with Tina Brown’s first issue, October 5 1992. Here’s a link to Walter Goodman’s September 29, 1992 New York Times piece assessing that issue.

The Cartoonists:

Of Note: The lead cartoon by George Booth, one of the New Yorker‘s all-time great artists, appears on the 50th anniversary of Mr. Booth’s first cartoon in magazine, June 14, 1969 (the Spill will celebrate accordingly on June 14th).

Of the 14 cartoonists in this issue, two are making their New Yorker print debut: Eugenia Viti and Lydia Conklin, making them the 15th and 16th new cartoonists brought into the magazine’s stable in 2019, and the 41st & 42nd to be brought in since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in May of 2017. With 16 new cartoonists, the magazine has now tied the 2016 record for new artists. And, of course, we’re only half-way through the year.

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead is still a-missin. Read about it here. Here’s the real deal:

 

 

 

 

Personal History: Work Wall

I’ve always worked at home, sometimes in a dedicated corner of the living room, sometimes using the arm of any old comfortable chair as a desk. But for many years I worked in a converted 6′ x 8′ laundry room. My desk faced a wall, part of which is shown above.  One day, after about twenty years of working in front of that wall, I felt I needed open space, and so I picked up my Rapidograph and a small stack of bond paper, then walked fifteen feet or so into our living room and set up shop at a table with no wall in front of me.

I left my old work area completely intact — a stack of bond paper still rests in its usual place —  and every so often I return to work there (I’m working there now).  What you see above is fragment of the wall above my desk. The collection of cartoons has always been a kind of rotating mini-gallery. There are a lot of New Yorker materials on the shelves (mixed in with childhood train set buildings, metal toys, art made by my kids, etc., etc.).  Just for fun, I’ve provided a key to anything New Yorker-related (and a few not)

1.  Joe Dator New Yorker original drawing. Published February 28, 2011.

2.  Stan Hunt original drawing.  Publishing history unknown. The fellow on the porch swing is saying to the woman: “Darling, your eyes are like dark limpid pools! …What’s the matter, aren’t you getting enough sleep?”  Mr. Hunt contributed to The New Yorker from 1956 though 1990.

3. Charlie Hankin original drawing. Unpublished. The sign on the lawn reads “Beware of Clam”

4. George Booth original. Titled Dog, Chair, and Chicken. Unpublished. Mr. Booth drew this in The New Yorker‘s cartoon department a few years ago while being filmed. Luckily, Liza Donnelly was also there being filmed.  Mr. Booth generously handed the drawing to her when filming wrapped. 

5. E.B. White’s The Lady Is Cold.  His first book. This became the subject of an Ink Spill piece.

6. Batman Giant No. 182.  In the late 1960s,  when my family moved from one end of town to the other end, only two comic books of my vast comic book collection made the transition (sad, I know). This is one of them.

7. The New Yorker Album.  Published in 1928 by Doubleday, Doran & Co. The very first New Yorker cartoon album.

8. A Rox Chast letter from the pre-personal computer days, probably late 1980s. In this New Yorker cartoon crowd, exchanged letters were usually illustrated.  I’m especially fond of this one because of the White Castle drawing at the very top (it’s possible my White Castle coffee mug made an impression on her).

9. We’ll Show You The Town. A 1934 promotional book from The New Yorker‘s business  department. You can see a little more about this if you go to the From the Attic section of the Spill and scroll down.

10. What! No Pie Charts?  An undated promotional book from The New Yorker‘s business department. Profusely illustrated by Julien de Miskey. As the copy refers to the magazine’s original address as 25 West 45th Street, we can safely assume this was published pre mid-1930s.

11. The American Mercury. August 1948.  Up on the shelf because of the great cover of the magazine’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross along with a re-drawn (i.e., non Rea Irvin) Eustace Tilley. The cover story “Ross Of The New Yorker” by Allen Churchill is a good read.

12. Curtain Calls of 1926. From the title page:

In which a few choice rare bits that have occasionally appeared in the pages of The New Yorker repeat themselves.

This is a lovely little book spotlighted on the Spill in July of 2013. Rea Irvin did the Tilley drawing on the cover.

13. Batman In Detective Comics Vol. 1 (Abbeville Press 1993).  Covering the first 25 years.  Vol. 2 is sitting right behind it. 

14. A Thurber Garland. Published by Hamish Hamilton in 1955.

15. The Making Of A Magazine. Undated. A promotional booklet collecting some, but not all of Corey Ford’s pieces. Drawings by Johan Bull.   Link here for more info.

16. James Thurber’s New York Times obit, dated November 3, 1961. The headline reads: James Thurber Is Dead At 66; Writer Was Also A Comic Artist . I’ll say!    Read more here on the Spill’s morgue.

***unnumbered, appearing just below #6’s Batman Giant, and the toy helicopter, is Otto Soglow’s Little King pull toy.  You can see it close up in the From the Attic section.

 

Article Of Interest: George Booth; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: David Sipress; Interview Of Interest: Jason Chatfield

Article Of Interest: George Booth

From Bklyner, April 30, 2019: “Cartoonist George Booth: A Real New Yorker”

— a nice piece about Mr. Booth, one of the giants in the universe of New Yorker  artists. He’s soon to celebrate his 93rd birthday as well as his 50th year with the magazine. See more of his work here.

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Today’ Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

Today’s Daily cartoon, handled by David Sipress, concerns the rippling pond of Democratic candidates for President. Mr. Sipress has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1998.  See more of his work here.

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Interview Of Interest: Jason Chatfield

 

From Ladders, April 30, 2019, “This hilarious New Yorker cartoonist has the best advice for how to use self-doubt to your advantage” — this brief interview with Jason Chatfield who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2017. Visit his website here.

The Tilley Watch Online, April 8 -12, 2019; Blog Posts Of Interest: Attempted Bloggery & A New Yorker State Of Mind

An end of the week reminder of which New Yorker cartoonist was where on newyorker.com

The Daily Cartoon: New Yorker cartoonists contributing this week were Lila Ash (two appearances), Colin Tom, Ivan Ehlers, and Brendan Loper.

Daily Shouts: New Yorker cartoonists contributing this week were J.A.K. (with Julia Rothman), Sarah Ransohoff (with Johnny DiNapoli).  Also contributing was the New Yorker‘s assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes. 

See all of the above, and more here.

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Blogs Of Interest

….Attempted Bloggery looks at a George Booth original drawing recently auctioned for a song.

…and don’t forget the George Booth (documentary film project) Kickstarter campaign underway. Six days to go!

 

A New Yorker State of Mind continues its bang-up job of chronologically deep-diving into every single issue of the magazine. Two issues this week!

(both covers shown by Rea Irvin)