Happy 91st Birthday, Edward Sorel!; From Pat Achilles: A Cartoon In The Time Of The Coronavirus; Thurber Thursday: Hirschfeld On Thurber’s Drawings

Happy 91st Birthday, Edward Sorel!

Bronx-born Edward Sorel turns ninety-one today! The Spill wishes him a very very Happy Birthday. To see this modern master’s work  visit his website.

Above left: Mr. Sorel’s New Yorker cover of October 5, 1992 — the first cover under Tina Brown’s editorship of the magazine.

Above right: Mr. Sorel’s must-have Unauthorized Portraits, published by Knopf in 1997.

I’ve always enjoyed this passage from the May 14, 1978 New York Times review of Superpen: The Cartoons and Caricatures of Edward Sorel

“The satire is caustic, anti-authority and thought-provoking; it is also, miraculously, verbally and graphically funny.”

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From Pat Achilles: A Cartoon In The Time Of The Coronavirus

Pat Achilles began contributing to The New Yorker in October of 2018.  You can see more of her work here.  My thanks to her for sending in this drawing.

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Thurber Thursday: Hirschfeld on Thurber’s Drawings

I can’t quite remember how I ran across this short passage the other day. My treks through Thurber country often take unexpected paths. Anyway…while flipping through Neil Grauer’s 1994 Thurber biography, Remember Laughter, I spotted this passage quoting the late great Al Hirschfeld talking about Thurber’s drawings (Mr. Grauer interviewed Mr. Hirschfeld for the biography). It seemed well worth sharing:

“In the view of Al Hirschfeld, Thurber drew ‘like most writers’ draw. He cited other as examples the simple but captivating sketches of Edward Lear nonsense poet nonpareil, and Clarence Day whose memoirs of ‘life with father’ appeared in The New Yorker before they became a book and a play. ‘Lear and other writers who drew, they all seemed to draw the same way,’ Hirschfeld said. ‘They managed to keep that childlike creativity in their line.’

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Thurber Thursday (Personal History); Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; More Spills: Solomon, JAK

Thurber Thursday

When I moved to Greenwich Village in late 1977, renting an apartment on West 11th Street, I’d no idea how near I was living to the once home of James Thurber — the fellow whose work brought me to the big city. In the photo above (thanks Google!) the grey and yellow-paneled modern building all the way to the right at 65 West 11th Street, was the location of Thurber’s home in the late 1920s (1928, according to  Harrison Kinney’s excellent Thurber biography, James Thurber: His Life and Times, Henry Holt, 1995). Thurber and his wife moved to West 11th from their Horatio Street apartment [anyone have an address for Thurber’s Horatio apartment? Neither Kinney nor Bernstein’s biographies have it]. The building that housed Thurber’s apartment was replaced by the New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in the late 1950s.

Just past the yellow school crossing sign, at the corner of 6th and West 11th, there was a magazine store. It was at that corner, back in April of 1977, that I opened the latest issue of The New Yorker to see my name listed for the first time. Quite a moment. My apartment was on the other side of 6th, a few doors past what once was (the fabulous) Ray’s Pizza (Ray’s was on the NW corner of 6th and West 11th, street level in the red brick building you see beyond the yellow school crossing sign).

Years later I came to learn how many New Yorker folks lived on West 11th.  Here’s a close-up of the street from the Ink Spill map of The New Yorker’s New York, posted in 2013. I had some sliver of interaction with all of these folks, except, of course, Thurber, and Ross, who died before I was born. Peter DeVries “fixed” one of my earliest captions (he was, at the time I began at the magazine, a caption doctor); I lived in the same building as Donald Barthelme, in the apartment just above his; courtesy of Mr. Barthelme, I met, sat next to, and listened to Steinberg in the garden of the apartment building (as you see on the map snippet, he once actually lived in an apartment on the corner of 6th and West 11th); also courtesy of Mr. Barthelme, I spent some time chatting with Grace Paley at a Barthelme party; walked past S.J. Perelman on Carmine Street, but was too afraid (or intimidated, or whatever) to introduce myself. Just walking past him was experience enough.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Adam Douglas Thompson on Waldo & distancing. Mr. Thompson began contributing to The New Yorker in April of 2019

 

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…From Submittable, March 18, 2020, “5 Literary Cartoons By Ali Solomon” Ms. Solomon began contributing to The New Yorker in November of 2018.

…From Believer Magazine, March 18, 2020, “The Coffee Isn’t Even Bitter: A Comic” by Jason Adam Katzenstein. Mr. K. has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2014.

Thurber Thursday: The Alistair Cooke Interview; Tom Toro To Talk In Ohio; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

It seemed to take forever for video of James Thurber to show up.  My fascination (understatement) with the person and his work began when I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until Adam Van Doren’s James Thurber: The Life and Times documentary film was released (on DVD, in 2000) that I got to see video of Thurber talk and (briefly) walk as he sat for a 1956 interview with Alistair Cooke in Thurber’s “great good place” — his home in Cornwall, Connecticut.  Unfortunately, that film only included a portion of Cooke’s interview with Thurber. Fast forward to 2011 and the release of Omnibus American Profiles which includes the entire interview. Just a few years ago the Omnibus interview was posted onYoutube. See it here. The aforementioned Van Doren film and Omnibus collection are still around, each available for the price of a coffee and doughnut.

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Tom Toro to Talk In Ohio

From The Vindicator, March 12, 2020, “Cartoonist Talks at Trumbull Town Hall”  — the cartoonist is Tom Toro, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2010. Visit his website here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Andy Dubbin on going outside.

 

Thurber Thursday: A Thurber Dog Cap; Sutton’s Daily; Chast In Florida; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

There aren’t a lot of wearables in the Spill’s archives — a Sam Cobean scarf, and just a few hats: one worn by Mischa Richter for the Arnold Newman New Yorker cartoonists group photo shoot in 1997, and this Thurber cap, bought ages ago in Columbus, Ohio at The Thurber House. I’ve always loved the simplicity of it — no need to fill the hat with running dogs. As befits Thurber’s art, less is so much more.

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Yesterday’s Daily Shouts, courtesy of the fab Ward Sutton: “Where All That Bloomberg Campaign Money Went”

Mr. Sutton began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. Visit his website here.

 

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Chast In Florida

From Boca, March 4, 2020, “Roz Chast Delights, Moves Audience at Festival of the Arts”***

***A correction regarding this passage in the above piece:

She [Roz Chast] explored a bit of her glass-ceiling backstory as the only female cartoonist at the New Yorker circa 1978, when, at 23, she made a sale from her very first batch of submissions.

Nurit Karlin’s cartoons were being published at the time Ms. Chast began contributing to The New Yorker. Ms. Karlin’s cartoons appeared in The New Yorker from 1974 through 1988.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Being right all the time, courtesy of David Sipress, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1998. See more of his work here.

Thurber Thursday; James Stevenson’s Hat Trick Issue Of The New Yorker: March 22, 1969; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; From The Department Of “What The…?”

Thurber Thursday

Here’s an oddity from the Spill’s archive. An eight page pamphlet containing James Thurber’s speech delivered upon receiving the Ohioana Sesquicentennial Medal. The Citation reads (in part): In appreciation of your generosity of spirit…originality of concept…your matchless satire…at times pure wit…oft times gentle humor…your priceless gift of laughter…boon to disturbed mankind…In recognition of the world wide fame you have bestowed on the state of Ohio and your home town of Columbus the pleasure you have given readers round the globe.

Thurber couldn’t be there in person to accept, so his speech was read by the then editor of The Columbus Dispatch. The award was presented in October of 1954.  It included this oft-cited passage:

I have lived in the East for nearly thirty years now, but many of my books prove that I am never very far away from Ohio in my thoughts, and that the clocks that strike in my dreams are often the clocks of Columbus.

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James Stevenson’s Hat Trick Issue Of The New Yorker: March 22, 1969

Look closely at the above table of contents and you’ll see James Stevenson’s name appears three times. He’s credited with the piece, “Notes From an Exhibition”; he’s credited with the cover, and he is credited with contributing a cartoon, under “Drawings.” Perhaps — perhaps! — we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Stevenson’s work was all over the place in the issue. He is believed to be the most prolific New Yorker contributor of all time (if you add up his cartoons, his covers and his written contributions). This weighty presence in the magazine is best exhibited in the Sally William’s documentary,  Stevenson: Lost And Found,* when the filmmaker animates Mr. Stevenson’s black binders piling up in the magazine’s library. Every New Yorker contributor’s work is added into a binder.  If you’ve contributed  a lot of work, you end up with your own binder. If your work exceeds the binder’s page limit, you get a second binder, and so on.  Mr. Stevenson has five binders in the magazine’s library. They look like this:

A fun fact about the above Table of Contents: The New Yorker that appeared the week before had a Table of Contents that looked (exactly) like the one shown below. For a magazine that rarely (in those days) messed with its design, this change to a more informative Table of Contents was a very big thing. The next time The Table Of Contents design changed was the issue of October 5, 1992 — the debut issue of Tina Brown’s editorship.

*It was announced just yesterday that Stevenson: Lost and Found has been selected to screen at The Newport Beach Film Festival, Salem Film Fest, and Block Island Film Festival.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Teresa Burns Parkhurst on VP Pence’s new job assignment. Ms. Parkhurst has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2017.

 

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From the Department of “What The…?”

During one of my many daily Google searches for New Yorker cartoonist news, this special little box shown below titled “New Yorker Illustrators” turned up (I’ve provided a screenshot).  I wasn’t searching for New Yorker illustrators — this came to me unbidden. Of the several things wrong with this offered selection, besides the glaring one sitting dead center, is that only one of the people shown — Mr. Niemann — is a New Yorker illustrator (unless Trump does illustration work on the side I’m not aware of). And okay, okay, I’ll  add the obvious “quip”: I never thought Donald Trump would get between me and my wife.