Lars Kenseth To Zoom And Talk Toon…Cartoon,That Is; Thurber Thursday: The Male Animal

Funny guy, Lars Kenseth is set to Zoom today, talking cartoons with a panel of contributors to Alta Journal of California.  To watch (it’s free)...link here!

Here’s Lars’ entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

Lars Kenseth: New Yorker work: November 14, 2016 –. Lars is a cartoonist whose lumpy people have appeared in The New Yorker, Barron’s and Food And Wine’s FWx. With a heavy background in animation, Lars has spent the last decade drawing and writing for Fox, Disney, Mondo, Maker, MTV and, most recently, Adult Swim. He’s a 2016 Sundance Institute Fellow, a Dartmouth graduate and a long suffering acolyte of the New York Jets. A New England native, Lars wisely lives in Los Angeles with his wife Liz and their two feline dependents, Omelet and Honeybear. New Yorker work: November 14, 2016 –. Website: larskenseth.com/

For More Lars: Here’s a Spill piece from August of 2017:  “Lars Kenseth Talks About Deodorant People and His First New Yorker Cartoon”

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Thurber Thursday: The Male Animal

In my earlier years of collecting Thurber, and reading about Thurber, I was quite aware of Thurber & his pal, Elliot Nugent‘s play (and later a film), The Male Animal thanks to Burton Bernstein‘s Thurber biography.  But it wasn’t until  my wife and I drove, for the first time, to find Thurber’s home in Cornwall, Connecticut (the home he called “the great good place”) that I became aware of and saw the book shown here (not this exact book — another copy). It was on display in a small building in Cornwall (a welcome center or something?).

Years (and years) later, I finally found a copy — the one shown here (the arrival of the internet helped).

The book has, as you see below, a full page photo of Nugent, but not one of Thurber.  Perhaps the publisher thought the inclusion of Thurber drawings sort of balanced the graphics. Who knows!

There are, if my count is correct, eleven Thurber drawings scattered through the book, plus two full page b&w photos from the stage play. Here’s one of the eleven drawings:

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 6, 2020; A Spill Cartoonist List: Fun At First Sight

The Cover Artist: Kadir Nelson returns just two weeks after his stunning cover of June 22nd.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A double issue with eighteen cartoons by eighteen cartoonists (with two duo efforts: Bliss & Martin, Guerra & Boothby). There’s also a Sketchpad drawing from J.A.K., and a newbie in the midst: Patrick McKelvie. Mr. McKelvie is the tenth new cartoonist to join The New Yorker’s stable this year and the sixty-third brought in by cartoon editor Emma Allen since she was appointed in the Spring of 2017.

Here are some of the cartoons in this week’s issue that caught my eye: a classic  lighthouse light bulb drawing by great Sam Gross, and then perhaps my favorite Ellis Rosen drawing ever (so far!) — his cave people drawing (much like Mr. Gross’s lighthouse drawing) proves that there is plenty of humor to unearth in these favorite cartoon scenarios. Liana Finck’s tent basement is terrif, as is Amy Hwang’s great ice cream on the beach scene. Enjoyed Roz Chast’s six-squares (the way she uses language here reminds me of Bizarro Superman).  Lars Kenseth’s superhero is so much fun. Repeating myself here, but Mr. Kenseth’s drawings never fail to amuse me upon first sighting — I’m sold before I get to the caption.

Fun At First Sight:

Thinking of that kind of reaction has caused me to think about (and mention) some other New Yorker cartoonists whose styles alone have won me over at first glance. I’m going to list only those who’ve passed into the great beyond so as not to offend anyone still around who I might inadvertently forget to mention.

Each of the following had a “theirs alone” style unlike any other being published in the magazine. That’s a wonderful thing, and difficult to do in a crowded cartoonist universe; each brought something else to the drawing paper as well — sometimes easily defined (see Dean Vietor’s work, for example: I’ve mentioned his thrilling wild energetic drawings before on the Spill), and sometimes not.

So here, in alphabetical order are some (not all!) of those fun at first sight New Yorker artists …Addams, Arno (Peter & Ed), Charles Barsotti, Whitney Darrow, Chon Day, Alan Dunn, Dana Fradon, Helen Hokinson, Nurit Karlin, Anatol Kovarsky, Robert Kraus, Frank Modell, Mary Petty, Price (George & Garrett), Gardner Rea, Donald Reilly, Carl Rose, Al Ross, Charles Saxon, Bernie Schoenbaum, Barbara Shermund, Otto Soglow, Steig, Steinberg, James Stevenson, Richard Taylor, Thurber, Dean Vietor, Robert Weber, Gluyas Williams, Gahan Wilson, and Jack Ziegler.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Would love to report that Rea Irvin’s iconic design had returned (it’s been collecting dust since it was replaced by a redraw(!) in the Spring of 2017). But such is not the case. Bah, humbug.

Read about it here.

Here’s what we’re missing:

 

 

 

Thurber Thursday: The Tome; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

There are two fave Thurber biographies in this house: Burton Bernstein’s Thurber: A Biography, and Harrison Kinney’s James Thurber: His Life And Times. I like to think of them as perfect bookends to any Thurber collection.

Bernstein’s (left), at 532 pages is the quick read; Kinney’s is 1,238. I think of the two books as I think of my two favorite Beatle biographies: Shout, by Philip Norman (c.400 pages), and Tune In by Mark Lewisohn (c.900 pages).  If you want a great read, well written, but don’t want to submerge, then it’s Norman’s Beatle book. If you want to go deep and stay there, it’s Lewisohn’s. Same applies to Bernstein and Kinney.

Both these books have appeared in paperback and are easily found.  I just may go back to Kinney’s right after I finish re-reading Tune In.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Video conference hell from Lisa Rothstein, who began contributing to The New Yorker in August of 2019.

Thurber Thursday: Thurber Country UK Penguin Edition; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Reminder: Chatfield Live At 3!; Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

Thurber Thursday: Thurber Country, UK Penguin Edition

Thirty-two years ago, when my New Yorker cartoonist colleague, Liza Donnelly and I were wed,  she brought into the marriage, among so many other things, the Thurber UK paperbacks she’d grown up with. My fave of these, cover-wise, has always been Thurber Country, published by Penguin in 1962, the year after Thurber passed away. Is there any dog more perfectly drawn than a Thurber dog (rhetorical, no need to answer).*

The bio on the inside front cover is of interest, as is the slightly wild hair photo.

*George Booth’s cartoon dogs are certainly equal.

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

James Thurber  Born, Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 1894. Died 1961, New York City. New Yorker work: 1927 -1961, with several pieces run posthumously.  According to the New Yorker’s legendary editor, William Shawn, “In the early days, a small company of writers, artists, and editors — E.B. White, James Thurber, Peter Arno, and Katharine White among them — did more to make the magazine what it is than can be measured.”  

Key cartoon collection: The Seal in the Bedroom and Other Predicaments (Harper & Bros., 1932). Key anthology (writings & drawings): The Thurber Carnival (Harper & Row, 1945). There have been a number of Thurber biographies. Burton Bernstein’s Thurber (Dodd, Mead, 1975) and Harrison Kinney’s James Thurber: His Life and Times (Henry Holt & Co., 1995)  are essential. A short bio appears on the Thurber House website: http://www.thurberhouse.org/about-james-thurber/

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

From Adam Douglas Thompson, more White House memoirs.

Mr. Thompson began contributing to The New yorker in April of 2019.

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Reminder: Chatfield Live At 3!

New Yorker cartoonist, Jason Chatfield, & his MAD mag colleague Ed Steckley will draw live this afternoon at 3.

Register/info here

Mr. Chatfield’s website.

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Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

From Eugenia Viti, who began contributing to The New Yorker in June of last year: “Five Filters That Will Ruin Your Relationship”

 

Thurber Thursday: Fave Cover; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Article Of Interest: “School Days Influences…”

Of all the Thurber books published in his lifetime it’s the cover of Let your Mind Alone! that I’ve always liked best. Notice I said the cover, and not the book (I like the book too, but it’s not my favorite).

The cover relies on a single Thurber drawing, “Motorman Concealing His Sex Life from a Woman Psychologist” (it appears, run vertically, in Chapter 9).

I’ve never thought too much about why the cover is so appealing (and I won’t now) — it’s just one of those things. A quick thought is that the cover drawing seems an odd choice considering the other choices within. Perhaps it’s the oddity that’s appealing.

According to Bowden’s James Thurber: A Bibliography , the first edition (published September of ’37) was  5000 copies. By year’s end there were six editions.

A few things about my copy: someone glued the dust jacket flap — just the flap — on the inside front cover of my copy. And: next to the fellow on the right, there’s a barely visible white line impression of the fellow walking off under the glued down flap. 

Funnily enough, even though the dust jacket cover is my fave, I do not have it (other than that glued inside flap mentioned above). My copy, a first edition, bought for $2.50 (‘as is”) decades ago, was coverless.

There are a number of later editions, with other covers, but for me, the first is the best (the Armed Services Edition is pretty great too).

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Maddie Dai on a deep-sixed Christopher Columbus.

Ms. Dai began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.  Visit her website here.

 

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From The Elective, June 11, 2020, “School Days Influences: Inside The World Of New Yorker Cartoonists”

Eight* New Yorker cartoonists and one** cover artist on their schooling.

*Lila Ash, Liza Donnelly, Amy Hwang, Navied Mahdavian, Sam Marlow, Liz Montague, Jeremy Nguyen, Ellis Rosen, **Robert Sikoryak.

Illustration: Michael Witte‘s cover for The New Yorker Book Of Teacher Cartoons