Book Of Interest: I Think, Therefore I Draw

Published a couple of weeks ago, I Think, Therefore I Draw: Understanding Philosophy Through Cartoons (Penguin) includes enough New Yorker cartoons (among a number of non-New Yorker cartoons) to mention here. The New Yorker cartoonists represented (in order of their appearance): Paul Noth, John McNamee, Tom Cheney, Danny Shanahan, P.C. Vey, David Sipress, George Booth, Avi Steinberg, Amy Hwang, Leo Cullum, Mort Gerberg, P.S. Mueller, John Klossner, Aaron Bacall, Sam Gross, “Bud” Handelsman, Lee Lorenz, Michael Maslin, Jack Ziegler, Edward Koren, Matt Diffee, Eric Lewis, Edward Frascino, and Charles Barsotti.

The authors have this (in part) to say in their introduction: “Here, then, is a collection of our favorite philosophical cartoons and our annotations about what they teach us about the Big Questions in philosophy.”

You can sample the text by going to the Amazon listing and clicking on the “Look inside” feature.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of September 3, 2018

Again with an early release cover! Link here to see what the cover artist, Barry Blitt, had to say about his latest effort (shown above, right). 

The cartoons:

Fourteen cartoons in this first issue of September: seven by women, seven by men. No more mentions here of gender balance/imbalance unless/until there’s an all female cartoonists issue (or an all male issue returns).

It’s becoming a Spill habit to single out one or two or three cartoons per issue that especially grab my attention.  This issue it’s two cartoons.  Paul Noth’s tranquil fishing scenario (p.24) is lovely.  A perfectly written caption. One teeny tiny graphic quibble: the fishing lines are identically parallel, creating what looks to be two sides of a box (the kind of box that some cartoons sit within).  Anywho, a wonderful drawing, deserving of a round of applause.

The other cartoon of note (found on page 19): Carolita Johnson gives us a motorcyclist speaking to his passenger. Ms. Johnson’s caption reads:

As a long-time happily married motorcycling cartoonist, I suppose this is a golden opportunity to chime in about marriage and motorcycles; I’ll just stick with motorcycles.

Here’s a motorcycle drawing of mine that appeared in the New Yorker, May 27, 1985:

Motorcycles have been around in New Yorker cartoons for a long long time; the motorcyclists were often motorcycle cops. I’m not going deep into the history here, but just mention a few cartoonists who’ve given us some great drawings. Motorcycles and/or motorcyclists as the subject are numerous; even more plentiful are motorcycles/motorcyclists as part of the scenery. A Peter Arno cartoon in the issue of December 7th 1929  (“We want to report a stolen car”) that made waves for its sexual innuendo featured a beautifully drawn Indian motorcycle. Among colleagues past and present who’ve depicted motorcycles and/or motorcyclists : Roberta MacDonald, Garrett Price, Anthony Taber, Kim Warp, Carl Rose, Edward Koren, Farley Katz, Joe Dator, Leo Cullum, Trevor Hoey, Maddie Dai, Michael Crawford, Lee Lorenz, Jack Ziegler, Arnie Levin, and yours truly.  Of these cartoonists, two that I know of (other than myself) have ridden motorcycles: Mr. Crawford and Mr. Levin.  Mr. Ziegler had plenty of fun depicting motorcycle gang members “colors” ( patches on jackets that identify a motorcyclist’s club association). Here’s an evergreen of his from February 27, 1989:

— See you next week

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of August 27th, 2018

  Kadir Nelson‘s cover (a tribute to Aretha Franklin) was posted last week.  Not mentioned here at the time (but noted on the New Yorker‘s Table of Contents): the image was inspired by Charles W. White’s Folksinger. 

The new issue’s “Fall Preview” accounts for the abundance of arts ads and illustrations. 

The cartoons:

Now we’re talkin’: sixteen cartoons in this issue vs last week’s nine.  A number of the sixteen cartoons stand out for various reasons. Two of them (I won’t single them out) are beyond me. Not long ago I would’ve emailed Jack Ziegler to explain them to me. It was always comforting when Jack didn’t understand a drawing either. Often he’d respond with a variation of, “I don’t know what the hell it means.”

 Now for some others that stood out (these I understand): Seth Fleishman‘s mirror ball drawing cements his reputation as the New Yorker‘s mirror ball guy. Funny drawing. Also very funny: Joe Dator‘s “hunny” sniffing Pooh airport scenario. And then there’s David Borchart‘s sea-faring koala drawing. Oh my my my. I mentioned Jack Ziegler before. I think Jack would’ve loved these drawings — they’re wonderfully in his ballpark of way-out-there. A Spill round of applause.

A thought here about the placement of every cartoon in the issue: none seemed pressed for space, in need of breathing room. Victoria Roberts doctor’s office drawing (p.69) and Ellis Rosen‘s (p.42) are good examples. The reader can really enjoy the fine drawing going on in these pieces (and in others).

This issue includes the debut New Yorker cartoon by Caitlin Cass. Ms. Cass is the seventeenth new cartoonist brought in since cartoon editor, Emma Allen was appointed in the Spring of 2017. Ms. Cass’s style — mostly the way she handles faces — reminds me of a New Yorker cover artist from the Golden Age: Christina Malman.  Oddly enough, while looking through Ms. Malman’s twenty-four covers for the magazine I came across one (shown below) thematically linked to Ms. Cass’s drawing of children looking at art in a museum.

A final thought before Rea Irvin’s classic missing masthead shows up at the end of this post: I’m wondering if Emma Hunsinger‘s funny caption for her drawing on page 77 would’ve also worked if the word “aren’t” was “are”…and if that’s so — if it’s so how often it happens in cartoon captions that a word completely flipped can still work with the drawing. In this case, substituting “are” for “aren’t” would radically change the intent. Ms. Hunsinger’s use of the word “aren’t” suggests the parents are concerned their child’s behavior is unusual. By using “are” the parents would instead be hopeful that their child’s behavior might make for a viral video.

For the record, here is the list of cartoonists in this issue:

And now, as promised, the missing Irvin masthead.

 — See you next week

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of July 30, 2018

The early release Barry Blitt Trump flat-on-his-face cover (above, right) was mentioned here last week, so onward we go to the brand new issue.  Fifteen cartoons in the issue, eighteen illustrations.  With five of those illustrations full page, I’d say the magazine is most definitely in a new age of illustration (the old age was during Tina Brown’s reign as editor. She brought illustration, including photographs, big-time into the magazine). The magazine had a golden age of cartoons that began in the late 1930s and roughly extended into the early 1950s. A new age of sorts (golden, platinum, silver — does it really matter?) began in the late 1960s, early 1970s and lasted several decades. I wouldn’t put a label on the age we’re in now because we’re in it (kind’ve a can’t see the forest for the trees thing).  

Three cartoons really stand out for me in this issue:

Kim Warp’s Dog Watching A Guy Grill Burgers Cartoon

I immediately saw a good bit of Jack Ziegler’s work in Ms. Warp’s wonderful cartoon.  The burgers, of course (see Mr. Ziegler’s classic collection: Hamburger Madness) as well as the situation of the guy grilling on the deck.  And then there’s the deck itself, with the deck boards so well delineated. Mr. Ziegler loved that kind of detail. The dog’s thought balloon also recalls Ziegler’s work as does the wording.  What’s so great is that while the drawing has its Ziegleresque elements and a Ziegleresque feel to it, it’s 1000% Warp. I asked Ms. Warp if her drawing was in any way Ziegler inspired and she replied in an email:

In some way it was inspired by Jack Ziegler’s food/BBQ cartoons as I loved his work and they are in my brain forever. I was thinking of our dog, Maggie, who always has an eye out for spills, and somehow the Ziegler vibe came through. I think it sold partly because of the word ‘bungle’ which they said they hadn’t seen in a while. It comes up in my life all the time.

Joe Dator’s “…rock-based content” Cartoon

Mr. Dator’s work continues to fascinate. You can just see how much he enjoys drawing his world. I especially like his attention to detail in this drawing: the lighting, the instruments…geez, it’s all clicking.

 Danny Shanahan’s Excellent Jack-and-the-Beanstalk Cartoon

Mr. Shanahan’s giants drawing is solid work, an evergreen. Seeing a drawing that works as well as this reminds me of what someone said about the difference between Fred Astaire’s and Gene Kelly’s dancing: with Kelly, you see the sweat.  In cartoonville, I’d rather not be distracted by seeing the sweat. With Shanahan, you don’t see the sweat. I asked Mr. Shanahan if there’s anything we should know about this drawing, and he replied via email:

No real interesting back story, other than that I was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t run fairly quickly after being purchased (the week of 6/28/2016!), because I thought that it might lose its topicality. No such luck- some gifts just keep on giving.
 

Of Further Interest

In this issue is a Talk piece by the magazine’s cartoon editor, Emma Allen, who went to a cartoonists lunch and spoke with the lunching cartoonists as well as “crasher” Gus Van Sant (his new movie is based on a memoir by the cartoonist, John Callahan). I’m searching my memory bank now to recall the last time a New Yorker cartoon editor showed up at a cartoonists lunch. It was a very very long time ago, perhaps as long ago as the James Geraghty years (he was the art editor from 1939- 1973).

Some paperwork: Elisabeth McNair‘s work debuts in this week’s New Yorker.  Ms. McNair is the 14th cartoonist to be brought in by Emma Allen since she took up the position of cartoon editor in May of 2017.

For the record, the 14 are (with their debut issue alongside their name):

1. Sharon Levy (July 10, 2017)

2. Joseph Dottini (October 16, 2017)

3. Jon Adams (October 16, 2017)

4. Sophia Wiedeman (October 16, 2017)

5. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (November 20, 2017)

6. Emma Hunsinger (November 27, 2017)

7. Sophia Warren (November 27, 2017)

8. Maggie Mull  (December 11, 2017)

9. Mary Lawton (December 11, 2017)

10. Pia Guerra (December 18, 2017)

11. Julia Bernhard  (January 1, 2018)

12. Navied Mahdavian (February 26, 2018)

13. Bishakh Som (March 19, 2018)

14. Elisabeth McNair (July 30, 2018)

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead

Before this post wraps up, I’d like to bring in a guest, David Ochsner. Mr. Ochsner, the fellow behind A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker Magazine, has graciously allowed the Spill to run his findings about the changes to Rea Irvin’s Talk Of The Town masthead over the years. As regular visitors to the Monday Tilley Watch know, there’s a weekly nod to Mr. Irvin’s Talk masthead due to its having been dismayingly eighty-sixed in May of 2017 for a redrawn version by Christoph Niemann (his redraw appears all the way at the bottom right below — you can read about it here).

Here’s Mr. Ochsner:

The first change I noticed was six months after the magazine launched (Aug. 22, 1925), when the masthead lost some of its shading and some shadow structures were introduced in the foreground. A week later Woollcott was dropped from the masthead and replaced by Hugh Wiley. The following January the editors’ names were dropped altogether. On Jan. 30, 1926, the letters were enlarged and superimposed over the buildings, which rose up on the notched, curving line that Irvin introduced. Then 54+ years later, in 1980, the letters shifted to the right, the “K” rather than the “E” now superimposed over the tower (to accommodate the re-drawing or standardization of the Irvin font–most noticeable is the serif clipped from the “N”). 

— Til next week

 

A Price Playbill; Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance; A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

A Price Playbill

Without generous donors, the Spill‘s archives would be so much poorer.  Here’s the latest addition: a Playbill with cover art by the great George Price. Stalag 17 premiered at the 48th St. Theatre in May of 1951.  Mr. Price’s work, as a spot artist, premiered in The New Yorker in 1929. In his book, The Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995, Lee Lorenz, the magazine’s former Art/Cartoon editor (who called Price one of the magazine’s great stylists, along with Helen Hokinson, Peter Arno, William Steig, and James Thurber) described Price’s transition from spot artist to cartoonist:

 After purchasing a few spot drawings from Price, Katharine White invited him in for an interview. She encouraged him to try his hand at cartooning. George was reluctant at first.  He was not an idea person. Mrs. White promised to supply him with gag writers, and on this condition George was persuaded  to begin submitting to the magazine.

____________________________________________________

Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance

I’ve linked to this video before, but just happened to see it again last night.  Broadcast June 20, 1983, here’s the late very great Jack Ziegler’s Late Night with David Letterman appearance.  See it here.

___________________________________________________

A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

I didn’t know that dachshunds were at one time called “liberty hounds” — did you?  Read more  here on Attempted Bloggery about a 1947 Helen Hokinson drawing featuring two of them.