The Weekend Spill: Fave Photo Of The Day: Gerberg & Booth; Thurber’s Art Celebrated!; The Tilley Watch Online; Event Of Interest: Roz Chast

Fave Photo Of The Day

Courtesy of Sarah Booth, this fab photo of New Yorker artists Mort Gerberg and George Booth, taken this past Friday following Mr. Gerberg’s gig playing Cole Porter’s piano at The New York Historical Society.

Mr. Gerberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 1965.

Mr. Booth began contributing to The New Yorker in 1969.

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Thurber’s Art Celebrated!

Thurbermaniacs rejoice! Besides two new Thurber books (shown below), there is The Columbus Museum of Art exhibit,  “A Mile and a Half of Lines: The Art of James Thurber” — according to The Columbus Dispatch, it’s “the first major and largest exhibit of its kind” of Thurber’s drawings. The exhibit will not tour, so catch it while you can. There is also a terrific new Thurber website from Michael J. Rosen, who’s central to this 125th anniversary celebration.  Visit the Thurber site here.

James 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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Here’s a roundup of the week’s New Yorker cartoonist contributors to the Daily Cartoon and Daily Shouts.*

Daily Cartoon: Peter Kuper (twice in the week), Joe Dator, Tim Hamilton, Barry Blitt (a Daily Bonus cartoon), and J.A.K.

Daily Shouts: Emily Flake (with David Bradley Isenberg), Liana Finck (another installment of her “Dear Pepper” series), and Sara Lautman.

* a new (?) entry by Barry Blitt — outside of the Daily headings — appeared this week: Blitt’s Kvetchbook (not to be confused with “Barry Blitt’s Sketchbook” published in Graydon Carter’s  Air Mail).

 

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Event of Interest: Roz Chast

Ms. Chast, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1978,  will speak at The Museum of The City of New York in October. Details here.

A Case For Pencils Spotlights David Ostow; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

A Case For Pencils Spotlights David Ostow

Jane Mattimoe’s latest A Case For Pencils blog features David Ostow’s tools of the trade. Mr. Ostow began contributing to The New Yorker in 2018.  Links galore for his work can be found at the tail end of the Case blog post.

(Screen grab above of an Ostow drawing from A Case For Pencils)

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The fab Joe Dator is today’s Daily cartoonist. Mr. Dator has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2006.  Visit his website here.

 

The Wednesday Watch: Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; New Market Watch…Air Mail; Donnelly Live-Draws Dem’s Debate; A Susanne Suba Re-Issue

Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Desert drinks by Lila Ash, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2018.

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New Market Watch

Considering the narrowing avenues for cartoonists , it’s always a brighter day when a cartoon-carrying publication is launched.  We now have two (online-only) issues of former Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter’s Air Mail to peruse. You’ll find cartoons under the heading “Small Talk” (not an exclusive-to-cartoons-heading). Many, if not all of the cartoonists in these first two issues seem to have caravanned over from the recently de-cartooned Esquire, where Air Mail‘s cartoon editor was formerly (and briefly) the cartoon editor.  New Yorker readers will recognize most of Air Mail‘s cartoonists appearing in these first two issues; they include Alex Gregory, Maddie Dai, Joe Dator, Drew Dernavich, Chris Weyant, Seth Fleishman, David Borchart, and Charlie Hankin.

Two other New Yorker artists (primarily contributors of New Yorker covers ) are given their own “Sketchbook” slots: Barry Blitt, and the legendary Edward Sorel (casually referred to under the heading, “Ed Sorel’s Sketchbook”).

The one nit-picky thing I’ll say about Air Mail‘s cartoon slot is that I wish the space allotted each cartoon wasn’t so compressed (the bright red Small Talk banner actually looks to be weighing down on a number of the cartoons,  invading the cartoon’s space).  I’ve always believed cartoons are better off with breathing room surrounding them (i.e., shown graphic respect).  You’ll notice that a number of text features ( Science, Tech Lab, But First…, Highlight, Crime) all have a horizontal line placed below their heading, cleanly separating the feature’s title from the article.

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Liza Donnelly Live-Draws Dem’s Debate

Check out Liza Donnelly’s graphic take on last night’s debate. 

Ms. Donnelly has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1982.

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A Susanne Suba Re-Issue

Originally published in 1951 by Rand McNally (cover on the left), The Theatre Cat by Noel Streatfeild, with illustrations by New Yorker artist Susanne Suba will be re-issued this September by Scholastic. 

Susanne Suba’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Born Budapest, Hungary 1913. Died February, 2012, NYC. Ms. Suba contributed numerous “spot” drawings to The New Yorker, as well as five covers and one cartoon, published September 18, 1948. Her first cover appeared October 21, 1939, and her last, March 2, 1963. Besides her work for the magazine she was a prolific illustrator of children’s books. A collection of her spot drawings was published in 1944, Spots By Suba: From The New Yorker (E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, NY).

Link to the Spill‘s appreciation of Ms. Suba here.

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker (Double) Issue, July 8 & 15, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

The Cover: A hot dog cart guy gets some beach time on Peter De Seve’s cover.  Read the Cover Story here.

The Cartoonists:

The Newbies: Making their New Yorker print debut this week: Victor Varnado and Akeem Roberts. They become the record-setting nineteenth and twentieth new cartoonists entering the magazine’s stable of artists this year and the forty-fifth and forty-sixth new artists brought in under cartoon editor Emma Allen’s stewardship, begun in May of 2017.

The Cartoons: Brief thoughts on some of the thirteen cartoons in the issue:

Roz Chast’s Ordinary Kreskin drawing (p. 37).  Love Ms. Chast’s right-to-the-point drawings, like this one. Perhaps not so unusual, but noticeable: she’s drawn Mr. Kreskin with five fingers (a lot of cartoonists find four will do for their cartoon characters). 

Liana Finck’s talking baby (p. 44).  A terrific twist on an end-of-life sentiment. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been equally successful had the baby been talking to another baby.

Ed Steed’s hammered drawing (p.54).  At first glance on my laptop, before zooming in on the drawing I thought that Mr. Steed had done a mash-up drawing with George Booth. If you squint your eyes, it’s a very Boothian room (the perspective, the hanging ceiling lamp, the floorboards, wall objects). 100% Steedian is the idea itself and the Steedian happily hammering woman.

My confused initial take on seeing the drawing leads me to toss out a suggestion. There’s been plenty written on this site about cartoon collaboration, but those duets have involved a writer teamed with an artist (or two artists collaborating) with just one person doing the drawing.  Howz about for fun we see some artists team-up and create a drawing or two with multiple styles in one frame. Some suggestions: Chast/Finck, Dator/Donnelly,  Hwang/Shanahan, Sipress/Allenby,  Kenseth/Koren…just a thought. (Liza Donnelly and I had a ton ‘o’ fun doing a series of mash-up full-page graphic pieces for our 2009 collection, Cartoon Marriage)  

Paul Noth’s line of succession drawing (p. 58). Mr. Noth delivers a great drawing.  I only wish it had been given more breathing room (such as Mr. Steed’s). 

Robert Leighton’s drawing (p.32) features a caption that would probably be right at home in a positive thinking seminar.  Yet another Leighton drawing destined for many a refrigerator.   

Karen Sneider’s funny fish in bed recalls the classic George Price drawing published in the magazine’s issue of December 21, 1963

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin (with Harold Ross and his then-wife, Jane Grant) was a founder of The New Yorker‘s graphic architecture. Consider his adapted typeface (the so-called Irvin typeface) that is part of the magazine’s DNA, the breadth of cartoon worlds he encouraged as art supervisor, his department heading designs, and his numerous covers (including, of course, the magazine’s brilliant first that gave us Eustace Tilley). Tis a puzzlement that his iconic heading for the Talk Of The Town remains under a tarp. Here it is below, and here’s where you can read about its removal in 2017.

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

Singin’ under the drip from Amy Kurzweil, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.

Personal History: Work Wall

I’ve always worked at home, sometimes in a dedicated corner of the living room, sometimes using the arm of any old comfortable chair as a desk. But for many years I worked in a converted 6′ x 8′ laundry room. My desk faced a wall, part of which is shown above.  One day, after about twenty years of working in front of that wall, I felt I needed open space, and so I picked up my Rapidograph and a small stack of bond paper, then walked fifteen feet or so into our living room and set up shop at a table with no wall in front of me.

I left my old work area completely intact — a stack of bond paper still rests in its usual place —  and every so often I return to work there (I’m working there now).  What you see above is fragment of the wall above my desk. The collection of cartoons has always been a kind of rotating mini-gallery. There are a lot of New Yorker materials on the shelves (mixed in with childhood train set buildings, metal toys, art made by my kids, etc., etc.).  Just for fun, I’ve provided a key to anything New Yorker-related (and a few not)

1.  Joe Dator New Yorker original drawing. Published February 28, 2011.

2.  Stan Hunt original drawing.  Publishing history unknown. The fellow on the porch swing is saying to the woman: “Darling, your eyes are like dark limpid pools! …What’s the matter, aren’t you getting enough sleep?”  Mr. Hunt contributed to The New Yorker from 1956 though 1990.

3. Charlie Hankin original drawing. Unpublished. The sign on the lawn reads “Beware of Clam”

4. George Booth original. Titled Dog, Chair, and Chicken. Unpublished. Mr. Booth drew this in The New Yorker‘s cartoon department a few years ago while being filmed. Luckily, Liza Donnelly was also there being filmed.  Mr. Booth generously handed the drawing to her when filming wrapped. 

5. E.B. White’s The Lady Is Cold.  His first book. This became the subject of an Ink Spill piece.

6. Batman Giant No. 182.  In the late 1960s,  when my family moved from one end of town to the other end, only two comic books of my vast comic book collection made the transition (sad, I know). This is one of them.

7. The New Yorker Album.  Published in 1928 by Doubleday, Doran & Co. The very first New Yorker cartoon album.

8. A Rox Chast letter from the pre-personal computer days, probably late 1980s. In this New Yorker cartoon crowd, exchanged letters were usually illustrated.  I’m especially fond of this one because of the White Castle drawing at the very top (it’s possible my White Castle coffee mug made an impression on her).

9. We’ll Show You The Town. A 1934 promotional book from The New Yorker‘s business  department. You can see a little more about this if you go to the From the Attic section of the Spill and scroll down.

10. What! No Pie Charts?  An undated promotional book from The New Yorker‘s business department. Profusely illustrated by Julien de Miskey. As the copy refers to the magazine’s original address as 25 West 45th Street, we can safely assume this was published pre mid-1930s.

11. The American Mercury. August 1948.  Up on the shelf because of the great cover of the magazine’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross along with a re-drawn (i.e., non Rea Irvin) Eustace Tilley. The cover story “Ross Of The New Yorker” by Allen Churchill is a good read.

12. Curtain Calls of 1926. From the title page:

In which a few choice rare bits that have occasionally appeared in the pages of The New Yorker repeat themselves.

This is a lovely little book spotlighted on the Spill in July of 2013. Rea Irvin did the Tilley drawing on the cover.

13. Batman In Detective Comics Vol. 1 (Abbeville Press 1993).  Covering the first 25 years.  Vol. 2 is sitting right behind it. 

14. A Thurber Garland. Published by Hamish Hamilton in 1955.

15. The Making Of A Magazine. Undated. A promotional booklet collecting some, but not all of Corey Ford’s pieces. Drawings by Johan Bull.   Link here for more info.

16. James Thurber’s New York Times obit, dated November 3, 1961. The headline reads: James Thurber Is Dead At 66; Writer Was Also A Comic Artist . I’ll say!    Read more here on the Spill’s morgue.

***unnumbered, appearing just below #6’s Batman Giant, and the toy helicopter, is Otto Soglow’s Little King pull toy.  You can see it close up in the From the Attic section.