From 1943’s Meet The Artist: Steinberg; Article Of Interest: Sempe’s Love For Paris; Release Party For Peter Kuper & Company’s World War 3 Issue #50; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

From 1943’s Meet The Artist: Steinberg

Some years back, hunting through the humor section of a (now closed) used book store in Ellsworth, Maine, I came upon a wonderful catalog, Meet The Artist: An exhibit of self-portraits by living American artists,  published in 1943 for an exhibit at San Francisco’s M.H. de Young Memorial Museum. Among the exhibit’s 150 portraits are 18 by New Yorker contributors. For the next few weeks the Spill will post these 18 self-portraits.

We begin with Saul Steinberg:

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Article Of Interest: Sempe

Here’s an article from a few years back that escaped my attention:  From Bonjour Paris, June 13, 2016, “Sempe, the Celebrated Cartoonist and His Love for Paris”

Mr. Sempe began contributing to The New Yorker in 1978.

— pictured: paperback edition of Sempe’s first collection, Rien N’est Simple (Nothing Is Simple), published 1962.

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Event Of Interest:

This notice of a release party for World War 3  Issue #50:

A release party featuring LIVE presentations by the artists is happening Sunday December 8th at Printed Matter’s New York Chelsea neighborhood shop at 231 11th Ave, (at 26th Street) New York, New York 10001. The event starts at 4pm and runs through 6pm. Many artists will be on hand to sign work and answer questions!

From the publishers:

World War 3 Illustrated is an American comics anthology magazine. Established in 1979 by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, and Christof Kohlhofer. Now in its 40th year, it continues its proud tradition of publishing more new comic book artists each issue than any publication of its type.

Visit the WW3 website here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Ellis Rosen on… the winter coat. Mr. Ellis began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit his website here.

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 23, 2019

The Cover: How great it is to see a J.J. Sempe cover.  A very short Q&A with Mr. Sempe here.

The Cartoonists & Cartoons:

Some random thoughts:  Enjoyed Amy Hwang’s guillotine/watermelon drawing (p. 30) — guillotine drawings are rare but usually memorable (Tom Cheney’s from February 24, 1997 for instance, or this one from George Booth, also published in 1997, in the June 9th issue).  Ms. Hwang’s hooded henchman is not alone in the issue.  Another appears in Emily Flake’s court jester drawing (p.39).  It’s sort of a first cousin to another Cheney guillotine drawing published November 1, 2010.

Much enjoyed Robert Leighton’s frogs drawing (p.63). I just had to look up previous lily pad frog drawings and came across this beauty from the great Warren Miller published March 5, 1990 (one of several frog on lily pad drawings referencing Monet).

There’s a lot going on graphically in Bruce Eric Kaplan’s very funny drawing (p.45) but a wee meatball is the star.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Mr. Irvin’s classic heading shown below is still a-missin. Read about it here.

 

Celebrating Sam Gross’s 50th New Yorker Anniversary

The most recent Sam Gross cartoon in The New Yorker appeared August 5th, 2019.  Mr. Gross’s very first New Yorker cartoon appeared August 23, 1969. Do the math and you’ll find we are in the year, month, and exact day of Mr. Gross’s New Yorker golden anniversary. With today being the date of publication of his debut New Yorker cartoon, I thought I’d check in with Mr. Gross and ask him about that very first sale to the magazine. My call caught him during his morning exercise routine, but he was gracious enough to pause and chat with me for a few minutes.

When I asked him if he recalled the moment when he learned he’d sold to the magazine, he replied, as I knew he would, “Of course I do.” I haven’t met a cartoonist yet who doesn’t remember their first OK (“OK” is New Yorker cartoon lingo for a sold cartoon); in this cartoon world, that moment is a life-changer.  Before telling me of his first OK, he said that he’d actually been selling ideas to The New Yorker for Charles Addams since about 1963. He also sold an idea for Otto Soglow, of Little King fame, but mostly the ideas were for Addams.

And now the story:

It begins with a lunch that included the renowned French artist J.J. Sempe. Mr. Sempe, not yet a New Yorker contributor, had come to town to do a piece on behalf of L’Express.  While in the city, Mr. Sempe was asked to lunch with James Geraghty, then The New Yorker‘s art editor. Mr. Geraghty was interested in having Mr. Sempe submit work to The New Yorker. Originally, Mr. Geraghty’s art assistant, Barbara Nicholls, was to accompany them to lunch as the interpreter, but she had to cancel. In her stead Mr. Geraghty asked the multi-lingual cartoonist Peter Porges to come along. Mr. Porges told Mr. Geraghty he would only go if his friend, Mr. Gross could accompany him.

And so, at lunch, Mr. Gross found himself seated to the left of Mr. Geraghty. Mr. Geraghty asked Mr. Porges to ask Sempe if he would submit work to The New Yorker.  Sempe, through Mr. Porges, replied “he says he’s too busy — has too much work to do.”  Mr. Geraghty then asked Mr. Porges to ask Sempe “if he would consider submitting rejects.”  To which Sempe replied, through Mr. Porges, “What are rejects.”

Shortly, after sipping some wine, Mr. Geraghty leaned over to Mr. Gross (also drinking wine) and said, “Instead of buying the idea [of a recent submission by Mr. Gross] we’re going to buy the whole drawing.” And Mr. Gross replied, “That’s great, thanks.”  Mr. Gross went on to say, “And then, after Geraghty had had another glass of wine, and I had had another glass of wine, he leaned over and said, ‘Oh, and we’re going to buy another one too.'” 

Above: The first Sam Gross New Yorker cartoon

Mr. Gross had heard from Mr. Porges that Mr. Geraghty would “drive cartoonists crazy” with editorial changes to cartoons. Back at the New Yorker’s art department following lunch, Mr. Geraghty handed Mr. Gross the rough drawings of the two bought cartoons [most cartoonists submit “rough” drawings.  If bought, the cartoonist will then do a “finish” — the drawing that will be published].  Mr. Gross tells us what happened next:

“So with that particular drawing [the first published cartoon], he gave me the drawing, and I stood there with it, and said,I’m not going, Mr. Geraghty until you specifically tell me what you want in the drawing.’ So he said, ‘put the kid here, dispense with the awning’ and he was very specific on what I had to do.  Afterwards, with all the other drawings I sold, I never had any problem with him. Every time I sold something he told me exactly what he wanted.” 

I said to Mr. Gross, “That’s a big deal, selling two your first time.” to which Mr. Gross replied, “I can credit the wine for it.”

So here’s to one of The New Yorker‘s cartoon giants. It is quite a feat to sell just one drawing to The New Yorker.  To continue on for fifty years (and counting) is another kind of feat. Mr. Gross is one of a select group of cartoonists with a thumbprint style — i.e., no one else has drawn like him, and he draws like no one else (true, as well, of George Booth, also celebrating his New Yorker golden anniversary this year). Feeling in a oh-what-the-hell Grossian spirit, I’ll say too that no other cartoonist even comes close to thinking like him.

 

Further reading:

For an extended interview with Mr. Gross I highly recommend Richard Gehr’s I Only Read It For The Cartoons, published in 2014, by New Harvest. Mr. Gross is one of a dozen New Yorker cartoonists interviewed.

If you want to listen to Sam Gross being interviewed, there’s this wonderful podcast from Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Show.

All of Mr. Gross’s cartoon anthologies are must-haves in any cartoon library.  A quartet of them are shown:

An Elephant Is Soft And Mushy (Dodd, Mead & Co. , 1980)

More Gross (Congdon & Weed, 1982)

I Am Blind And My Dog Is Dead (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1977.  Reissued by Harry N. Abrams, 2007)

No More Mr. Nice Guy (Perigee, 1987)

 

 

 

The New York Times Nurit Karlin Obit; Cover Revealed For Liana Finck’s “Excuse Me”; Article Of Interest: Rowland B. Wilson; A Sempe Illustrated Story To Be Animated; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Avi Steinberg

The New York Times Nurit Karlin Obit

From The New York Times, May 7, 2019, “Nurit Karlin, Who Found Her Voice In Wordless Cartoons, Dies At 80”

Above: Liza Donnelly, on the left, with Ms. Karlin in Tel Aviv in 2017.  Far right: A Nurit Karlin self-portrait

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Cover Revealed For Liana Finck’s “Excuse Me”

Due September 24th from Random House Trade Paperbacks, Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self promises to be a fun 416 page collection by Ms. Finck, who began contributing cartoons to The New Yorker in 2013. 

 

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Article of Interest: Rowland B. Wilson

From the Art Contrarian, May 6, 2019, “The Carefully Observant Rowland B. Wilson” — this piece on Mr. Wilson who contributed 47 cartoons to The New Yorker from 1961 – 1981.

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Sempe Illustrated Story To Be Animated

From Cartoon Brew, May 6, 2019, “Goscinny and Sempe’s ‘Le Petit Nicholas’ to be Adapted as 2D Animated Film by On Entertainment” 

Mr. Sempe began contributing to The New Yorker in 1978. 

(a tip of the hat to Mike Lynch, whose social media post brought this piece to my attention).

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Game Of Thrones coffee cup inspires today’s Daily cartoon (…by Avi Steinberg, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012. 

 

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The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 18, 1984

As mentioned here last week, it’s double issue time again. We’re halfway though it now ; only a week til the new issue (dated June 18, 2018) appears online early Monday morning. Just for fun I thought I’d go back to another June 18th issue — the one from 1984. 

Here’s the cover, by Susan Davis, who contributed fifteen covers to the magazine from 1983 – 1992.

 

And here are the cartoonists in that issue:

A number of New Yorker cartoon gods in that lineup. And, as you might expect, some cartoonists  contributing to the magazine then who still contribute now. On the downside, a number of colleagues who’ve passed on: George Price, James Stevenson, William Steig, Stan Hunt, J. B. Handelsman, Steinberg, Bernie Schoenbaum, Frank Modell, Barney Tobey, Ed Arno, Mischa Richter, Ed Fisher, Eldon Dedini, and Robert Weber.

A quick tour through the issue: Ed Frascino has a very funny cartoon name-checking Indiana Jones; Lee Lorenz ( the art editor at the time) puts the word “glitz” to excellent use; a half page George Price cartoon centered on the Year of the Rat; a beautiful full page Saxon drawing about the Museum of Modern Art; a four part Stevenson spread across two pages. He animates television antenna; a titled Steig: “Eastbound Traffic.” Great drawing!;  Stan Hunt’s drawing is one of those cartoons that could’ve run anytime in the previous thirty years (previous to 1984, that is) — a boiler plate kind of cartoon; “Bud” Handelsman gives us a heaven-based piece; a Roz Chast drawing split into four boxes. It could’ve run this year; an Ed Koren drawing that just is so like butter — drawing and caption;  Steinberg provides an illustration for a Profile piece by E.J. Kahn, Jr.; opposite Steinberg is a Bernie Schoenbaum cocktail party drawing — a scenario employed by nearly every cartoonist back then; a Frank Modell drawing with his signature people — love his grumpy husband; an Arnie Levin caterpillar/butterfly drawing — that that loose Levin line is so great; a Barney Tobey drawing set in another favorite situation: the boardroom; a great Warren Miller drawing:

 Following Mr. Miller’s cartoon is an Ed Arno drawing — that fine controlled line of his! Immediately identifiable; a Mischa Richter dog at a desk drawing; Ed Fisher gives us a weather bureau drawing with lots of fun detail; Eldon Dedini’s cartoon of two guys at a bar with a caption that could run today:Everything’s a trap if you’re not careful.”;  next up, a cartoon that made me laugh out loud, by the great cartoonist, Robert Weber:

Next, a beautiful Sempe drawing (is there any other kind?); and last, a Sidney Harris restaurant drawing. Mr. Harris’s style is his and his alone: an angular line that appears to almost spin out of control, but never does.

So, there it is. A cartoon feast in mid-June, thirty-four years ago.