Fave Photo Of The Day: Liza Donnelly; Graphic Piece Of Interest: Liana Finck; Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoonist Is Jason Adam Katzenstein

Last night, Liza Donnelly spoke at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum as part of the big Barbara Shermund celebration there. Above: Donnelly’s selfie with a Shermund self portrait.

The exhibit, Tell Me A Story Where The Bad Girl Wins: The Life And Art Of Barbara Shermund runs through March 31st. If you’re out that way, this is a fabulous must see exhibit of work by one of the very best of the New Yorker‘s early contributors.

Back in 2009 when I was hunting around for information on Ms. Shermund (in connection with writing my biography of Peter Arno), I visited a library in upstate New York (Kingston, to be exact) that had a decent collection of The New York Times on microfilm. Looking through a file cabinet of materials I spotted a notation that indicated there was no microfilm for the Times at a certain point because the paper had been on strike. Barbara Shermund’s death was within that period (The New Yorker hadn’t mentioned her passing either, but In that case it was understandable — her work hadn’t appeared in the magazine for thirty-four years). In an attempt to fill in a missing piece, I took a stab at writing an obit for Ms. Shermund and posted it on the Spill:


Revisiting  Barbara Shermund

Barbara Shermund, who died in early September, 1978, had the misfortune of passing away during a newspaper strike that affected the paper of record, The New York Times. An extensive search has turned up just one obituary for her, a four sentence notice that ran in a newspaper covering the New Jersey coastal town (Sea Bright) where she lived for a number of years toward the end of her life.

The four sentence obit: a bit slight.

For someone who contributed hundreds of cartoons and eight covers to The New Yorker Magazine, then went on to become a mainstay at Esquire, four sentences seems a bit slight. Here then is another notice, a little late, and a little longer.

Born in San Francisco in 1899 to artistic parents (her father was an architect), Ms. Shermund studied at The California School of Fine Arts before heading east, at the age of twenty-six, to New York. She told Colliers that her initial visit east became permanent “after she had eaten up her return fare.” In June of that very year, she made her debut at the four month old New Yorker with a cover of a young woman sporting a hip hairdo, eyes closed, resting her arm over a railing, against a black sky peppered with stars. In a year’s time her cartoons, many if not most of which were written by her, were appearing in nearly every issue of the magazine.

Her style had a sway to it that fit the times. Her subjects, executed in pen and ink and wash, were often hip young women, just a bit jaded – the sort that famously inhabited F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. She once offered up this brief glimpse into her private life, saying she liked “fancy dancing and dogs.”

Liza Donnelly, author of Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and their Cartoons, had this to say about Ms. Shermund:

“Barbara Shermund was one of the more prolific cartoonists of the early New Yorker. Her breezy drawing style and humor reflected the new attitudes of urban women in the twenties and thirties, and she can be considered one of the early feminist cartoonists. The New Yorker sought to appeal to both men and women with its humor, and Shermund, along with other women cartoonists of the magazine, were ground breakers in that regard, creating cartoons from a woman’s perspective that could be enjoyed by all. Her cartoons were irreverent, sassy, and a true reflection of her times.”

Shermund traveled widely – Donnelly wrote of her that “she was something of a wanderer, living with friends in the city and the upstate town of Woodstock [NY], never really having a set address.” Eventually she settled down in Sea Bright, New Jersey, a barrier beach town, just about an hour’s drive from New York.

The last of her five hundred and ninety-seven drawings in The New Yorker appeared September 16, 1944; her last cover appeared August 5, 1944. Although her relationship with The New Yorker fizzled in the mid 1940s, she participated in an Irving Penn group photo of eighteen New Yorker cartoonists ( it ran in the August 1947 issue of Vogue). Ms. Shermund, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a great wide brimmed hat, stares directly at the camera. Sitting directly in front of her is George Price, and Steinberg; overhead, reclining on a platform is Charles Addams. Off to Ms. Shermund’s right is Helen Hokinson, looking just a little apprehensive.

The discs accompanying The Complete New Yorker allow one to see all of Barbara Shermund’s work in their natural habitat. Nine of her drawings appear in the The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, and of course all of her work can be seen on the discs accompanying the book.

Here’s Ms. Shermund’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Barbara Shermund  Born, San Francisco. 1899. Studied at The California School of Fine Arts. Died, 1978, New Jersey. New Yorker work: June 13, 1925 thru September 16, 1944. 8 covers and 599 cartoons. Shermund’s later. post-New Yorker work was featured in Esquire. (See Liza Donnelly’s book, Funny Ladies — a history of The New Yorker’s women cartoonists — for more on Shermund’s life and work)

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Graphic Piece Of Interest: Liana Finck

From The New York Times, February 8, 2019, “Liana Finck’s Illustrated Tribute to Isak Dinesen”

— an early look at Ms. Finck’s piece that will appear in print on Sunday

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Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoon

Today’s Daily cartoon (political, but of course) is by Jason Adam Katzenstein, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2014. See more of his work here.

The Tilley Watch Online: The Newyorker.com’s Daily Cartoons, January 28 – February 1, 2019; Article Of Interest: Ken Krimstein; Thurber’s Last Drawings on Attempted Bloggery; Today’s Daily Cartoon

The New Yorker Daily cartoons this week were by Bob Eckstein, David Sipress, Lila Ash, Maddie Dai, Lars Kenseth, and David Ostow.

New Yorker cartoonists contributing to Daily Shouts: Roz Chast (the first of a monthly feature), Jason Adam Katzenstein, a Brendan Loper illustrated piece by Evan Allgood, Will McPhail, and Jeremy Nguyen.

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Article of Interest: Ken Krimstein

From chicagojewishnews.com, February 1, 2019, “Artist With A Pen: Chicagoan Ken Krimstein on his life as a cartoonist, and on his new book about Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, the subject of an exhibit at Spertus”

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Thurber’s Last Drawings On Attempted Bloggery

Attempted Bloggery looks at an early version of Thurber’s last published drawings (they appeared on the Time magazine Thurber cover story, July 9, 1951). See it here.

From the Time piece:

“After a lapse of several years, during which he did not draw at all, Thurber is drawing again (see cover). He works with chalk on black paper, preferably just at sundown on clear days. About the porch of his Connecticut home, where he has his drawing board set up, drawings are stacked along with stove wood.”

— Thurber also made it to the cover of Newsweek, and The Atlantic.

Newsweek, February 4, 1957, and below, The Atlantic, August 1956

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Today’s Daily Cartoon

Today’s Daily cartoon (groundhogian of course) is by David Ostow, whose first New Yorker cartoon appeared in November of 2018. Link here to his website.

New Yorker Cartoonists Holiday Party

Decades ago, in the William Shawn era, New Yorker cartoonists celebrated the holidays in-house (specifically, in-department).  They’d show up at the office and drink punch provided by the art editor Lee Lorenz and his assistant, Anne Hall. Cartoonists would sample rum balls brought in by their colleague, Henry Martin.  During the Tina Brown years the holiday party went big time, when all departments went out-of-office and co-mingled in (mostly) downtown establishments.  Coming full circle this year’s party for cartoonists came back home to the offices (yay!).  Last night’s shindig was hosted by the cartoon editor, Emma Allen, and the assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes (and, shades of Henry Martin, cartoonist David Borchart even brought in some homemade cookies).

Ink Spill‘s official photographer for the evening, cartoonist Liza Donnelly attended the festivities, and captured the scene. 

Below, left to right: Kendra Allenby, Ali Soloman, Farley Katz and Emma Allen.

Below: in the foreground, Robert Leighton (on the left) speaks with Ed Steed. In the back, left-to-right, with his back to the camera is Colin Stokes, Avi Steinberg (in the hat), and a partially obscured Ellis Rosen. Between Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Ellis is the fabulous Peter Arno New Yorker cover of June 5, 1954.

Below: a frieze of cartoonists. Will mention just a few: to the far left is Emma Hunsinger. To the far right, second in, is PC. Vey.

 

Below: Mort Gerberg (on the left) and George Booth.

Below, left-to-right: Avi Steinberg, Karen Sneider, Jason Adam Katzenstein, and, with her back to the camera, Gabrielle Bell.

Below: foreground, looking at the camera is Sophia Warren, then Robert Leighton, and (with eyepatch) Mort Gerberg. In the background: far left, is Ed Steed, then (with back to camera) David Sipress, Joe Dator (with scarf), and Kendra Allenby.

Below: on the far left is Joe Dator, and then Emily Flake and Marisa Acocella.

 

Below: a waving Jeremy Nguyen and Maggie Larson. Far left, in the back is Brendan Loper.

Below, left to right:  George Booth, Liza Donnelly, and David Borchart (this photo courtesy of  Mr. Borchart).

Below: Felipe Galindo and Drew Dernavich.

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Below: The New Yorker‘s Jack-of-All Trades,Stanley Ledbetter, Johnny DiNapoli, Farley Katz, and Ellis Rosen.

Below, left to right: David Sipress and Ben Schwartz.

Below: Emma Allen and Farley Katz.

Below: the ever festive Rea Irvin type-faced logo!

 

— My thanks to Liza Donnelly, Colin Stokes, Emma Allen, and David Borchart for their assistance  with this post.

 

 

The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of November 12-16, 2018; Of Interest: Mort Gerberg Anthology and Exhibit In 2019; More Spills: Vinciguerra On “The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons”… Edward Koren’s “In The Wild”

The Daily Cartoon contributing New Yorker cartoonists for the past week: David Sipress, Peter Kuper, Jason Chatfield (with Scott Dooley), and Jason Adam Katzenstein. Not so much a Trumpian week this week.

The New Yorker cartoonist contributing to Daily Shouts: Emily Flake (with Abby Sher). 

To see all the work, link here.

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Out mid-January 2019 from Fantagraphics, Mort Gerberg On The Scene.  The publisher tells us that the book is a “career retrospective of Gerberg’s magazine cartoons, sketchbook drawings, and on-the-scene reportage sketches.”

According to the current issue of the National Cartoonists Society publication The National Cartoon!st [sic] Mr. Gerberg’s art will be on exhibit at The New York Historical Society in 2019. 

I’m trying to find a way to link to the excellent Gerberg interview in the issue. 

Trivia: within the interview a full page Gerberg cartoon from the October 20, 1965 New Yorker is identified as Mr. Gerberg’s first New Yorker cartoon (Mr. Gerberg  talks about the history of the cartoon in question).  In fact, Mr. Gerberg’s first New Yorker cartoon ran in April of that year (the issue of April 10th, ’65). This is it:

Link here to Mr. Gerberg’s website.

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…Thomas Vinciguerra, author of the wonderful Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, And The Golden Age Of The New Yorker (Norton, 2016) has reviewed the big red trope box, The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons  for The Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, the WSJ‘s paywall gets in the way of fully reading it.  Here’s a link anyway (in case you subscribe, or wish to).

…And from Seven Days, November 14, 2018, an article on Edward Koren’s just published In The Wild