The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue Of July 27, 2020

The Cover:

The cover, by Christoph Niemann, has a kind of mid-summer feel to it (however, its title, “Voices of Change” tells us (and in this case, I guess we need to be informed) it doesn’t have a thing to do with something that simple.

In fact, this is a themed issue of The New Yorker, headed “Voices Of American Dissent: An Archival Issue.”

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Fourteen cartoons, two with kids at home. The first of those, and the first in the issue (it’s on page 21), is by the fab P.C. Vey. A really fine funny drawing. The second kids at home drawing is by Harry Bliss (sans sometime collaborator, Steve Martin*). It’s a use your inside voice drawing (I wonder if there have been enough use your inside voice cartoons to fill a collection)…Lars Kenseth’s magician on stage (page 64) is terrif as well. Funny, and yes, deep…Really like Roz Chast’s glue drawing (p.48).  Excellent usage of “…all falls to pieces”…Always so great to see an Edward Koren drawing (p.43)– especially, as is the case with this one, there are Koren animals (five of them I think) making an appearance. Really good sizing of that drawing, and the others mentioned. They look just right on the page.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

You’re seeing Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead design here because you’re not seeing it in the magazine. It was replaced in the Spring of 2017 by a — gasp! — redraw. Read more about all of this here.

For those who might think: give it up, Maslin. I hold out hope that Mr. Irvin’s iconic masthead will return. What gives me hope is that a number of “tweaks” in recent years have been undone. An example: for a short while the Table of Contents typeface was moved into a hybrid: the so-called Irvin typeface alongside another typeface (sorry, I don’t know its “name”). The result looked like this (from the issue of November 17, 2014):

Thankfully(!), this neo-New York Magazine typeface was abandoned and the Irvin typeface returned, as we see here:

If  bringing back the typeface that contains the magazine’s dna is possible (and it was)– than bringing back the Talk Of The Town masthead, drawn by, and designed by the artist whose graphic dna is all through The New Yorker, well — that’s possible too.


*Mr. Bliss and Mr. Martin’s collaborative cartoon efforts are in book form, A Wealth Of Pigeons ( Celadon Books) out this November 17th.




The Weekend Spill: A 1934 July 4th Moment By Steig; Bliss’s American Bystander Cover; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of June 29th-July 3rd, 2020; More Spills: Eckstein’s Beast Piece, A Hoff Mural, and More Henry Martin

William Steig’s 1934 New Yorker cover celebrating the 4th of July  seems to capture the mood of this particular 4th when we have been urged to stay at home, away from gatherings. It was, of course, published during another deeply troubled time in our history.

Here’s William Steig’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

William Steig 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.


American Bystander‘s Michael Gerber has released the cover of his next issue (#15 for those keeping track). Cover by Harry Bliss. You can order your copy here. If this issue is anything like the previous 14 it’ll be worth the five bucks (Cheap!).

 Harry Bliss began contributing cartoons and covers to The New Yorker  in January of 1998.  A Wealth Of Pigeon: A Cartoon Collection (a collaboration with Steve Martin) will be out this November.


The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of June 29th – July 3rd, 2020

An end of the week listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to features

The Daily Cartoon: Madeline Horwath, Peter Kuper, Julia Suits, Sara Lautman, Akeem Roberts.

Daily Shouts: Amy Kurzweil.

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.

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


Bob Eckstein, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007, has begun writing for The Daily Beast. See his first post here.

…Prompted by a post in the Facebook Vintage Panel And Gag Cartoon Group about a Syd Hoff mural, I checked out this piece from The Orange County Register from July 6, 2007.

…More Henry Martin: it’s so great that Henry Martin is listed on this plaque at the old (but not the oldest!) New Yorker offices at 25 West 43rd Street.


Tuesday Tilley: Books On The Horizon From Eckstein, Bliss & Martin, McPhail, Crumb

Here are a few books from New Yorker artists heading our way, some sooner than later:


All’s Fair In Love And War: The Ultimate Cartoon Book, edited by Bob Eckstein, and featuring a cast of thousands (well actually 39 cartoonists). Princeton Architectural Press. Out October 20, 2020. The third title in the Ultimate Cartoon Book series edited by Mr. Eckstein, a New Yorker contributor since 2007. (*full disclosure: my work appears in the book).

A Wealth Of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection, by Harry Bliss & Steve Martin. Celadon Books. Out November 17, 2020. Mr. Bliss (drawing) and Mr. Martin (writing) have been teaming up as of late. This’ll showcase the fruits of their labor. Mr. Bliss began contributing to The New Yorker in 1994.

In: A Graphic Novel, by Will McPhail, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Out in May of 2021. Mr. McPhail began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014. From the publisher:

“Nick, a young illustrator, can’t shake the feeling that there is some hidden realm of human interaction beyond his reach.”

Crumb’s World, by Robert Crumb. David Zwirner Books. Out January 19, 2021.  Mr. Crumb began contributing to The New Yorker in 1994. From the publisher:

“… a slice of Crumb’s unique universe, this book features a wide array of printed matter culled from the artist’s five-decade career—tear sheets of drawings and comics taken directly from the publications where the works first appeared, magazine and album covers, broadsides from the 1960s and 1970s, tabloids from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, Oakland, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and other counterculture enclaves, as well as exhibition ephemera.”




The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 11, 2020: Let Us Now Praise George Booth’s Auto Repair Shop Cartoons

The Cover: The ninth coronavirus-themed cover out of the last ten issues. Here’s a Q&A with cover artist, Christoph Mueller.

From the Dept. of Broken Records: sorry, but do New Yorker covers really need titles? This one would be fine standing all by itself.

The Cartoonists:

Let Us Now Praise George Booth’s Auto Repair Shop Cartoons

In a departure for the Monday Tilley Watch, I’m going to talk about just one of this week’s cartoonists, and his garage-centric drawings. When one thinks of New Yorker car drawings, there are at least two possible candidates that come readily to mind: the late great Joe Mirachi* and the singularly sensational soon-to-be-94 year old George Booth.  As you see in the above list of this week’s contributing cartoonists, Mr. Booth leads off the issue. What a kick to see this cartoon! What fun! The drawing is of a garage mechanic telling a customer, “We found a dangling participle in your carburetor, Professor.”  In Mr. Booth’s fifty-one year history of contributing to The New Yorker, his garage mechanic drawings rank up there with, among others, his guy in the claw-foot bathtub, his cave people and, of course, his dog and cat drawings.

When I think about New Yorker artists who have been with the magazine for some time — Mr. Booth’s first appeared in 1969 — I’m always curious to see when it was that one of their special interests began. With Booth, it didn’t take long at all for his first car mechanic cartoon to appear.  Below is his third New Yorker drawing (it appeared in the issue of March 7, 1970).

I don’t have access to an up-to-the minute accounting of Booth’s New Yorker work, so I’m unable to give an accounting of how many garage mechanic drawings the magazine’s published (if you type in “car” on the magazine’s database in association with George Booth’s name, 65 results are returned. But the database is good only up to February 14, 2005). Here are just a few of Booth’s classic additions to The New Yorker‘s cartoon car canon, beginning with a favorite from January 13, 1973.


And from March 25, 1974:

Finally, this beauty from May 27, 1991:

It’s tempting to remark on the detail you see in all of Booth’s repair shop drawings, but heck, detail has been Booth’s middle name throughout his more than eight hundred-and-fifty cartoons published thus far. His love of the scene found inside (and outside) the garage is obvious — all those golden graphic opportunities. We are fortunate Booth finds the elements in and around the shop worthy of pen and ink examination: the mechanics themselves in their well-worn grease-splotched coveralls, and then of course, the puzzled customers and their cars (what great cars!) and the ever-present Booth cats (and/or dogs).

I’ve spent a lot of time waiting in auto repair shops; it’s always a bit of a Boothian experience, looking around, noting the “stuff” — seeing it as Booth sees it. I owe George Booth plenty for his love of capturing the car shop — it clearly inspired my repair shop drawings, and “inspired” is putting it mildly as is clear in the below drawing of mine from The New Yorker issue of December 24, 1984.

Hats and caps off to Booth!


* Below: a Joe Mirachi New Yorker car cartoon, published November 24, 1986






The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 27, 2020

The Cover

The new issue’s cover, by Homer Hanuka, is the seventh of the last eight covers that are coronavirus-related.  You can read a Q&A with the artist here.

The Cartoonists

Joe Dator, Sam Gross, Harry Bliss, Farley Katz, Roz Chast, Ellis Rosen, Glen Baxter, P.C. Vey, Emily Flake, Frank Cotham, David Sipress, Liana Finck, Lars Kenseth, Johnny DiNapoli, Carol Lay, Kate Curtis

The Cartoons

Not to be missed: Peter Kuper’s “Little Donald’s Sneeze (After Winsor McCay’s ‘Little Sammy Sneeze’)”

Random thoughts after going through the cartoon slide show: seeing a Sam Gross drawing in any issue is always a blast. Mr. Gross, having begun contributing to the magazine in 1969, is the veteran of the week (with Roz Chast next — she began contributing in 1978)…… always interesting to see a Glen Baxter drawing in the magazine, especially if it involves cowboys (this one does)…… Joe Dator’s olden days binge drawing caught my eye as did Ellis Rosen’s social distancing magic trick……Especially fond of Farley Katz’s solo parader (reminded me, strangely enough,  of Ringo Starr’s wonderful segment in “A Hard Day’s Night” when he goes “paradin”). Enjoyed two cartoons employing turns on old chestnuts: David Sipress’s version of “What do I look like, a mind reader?” and Kate Curtis’s on “Try to get some sleep. Everything will be better in the morning.” ….. P.C. Vey’s cave people are a hoot.

…And: there’s a newbie: the aforementioned Kate Curtis is the 5th new cartoonist added to The New Yorker‘s stable this year, and the 58th added under cartoon editor, Emma Allen.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

Without the digital issue posted as yet (2:00pm), I’ve no idea if Mr. Irvin’s iconic masthead (above) has returned. If I had to guess, I’d say nope, it hasn’t. Read all about it here.