The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 17, 2018

The cover

If you haven’t already seen the school busses on the road, or the signs posted everywhere advising that school is back in session, Chris Ware’s cover is yet another reminder that it’s back to school time.

The cartoons

Here, for the record, are the contributing cartoonists in the issue:

A quick survey of each drawing: Ms. Suits gives us a cactus drawing (are cactus the new crash test dummies — this being the second cactus drawing out of the past three issues); Mr. Dernavich provides us with an end of summer roller coaster drawing with some unintentional(?) graphic trickery concerning the track itself; Ms. McNair’s couple have neighborly dinner date issues; Farley Katz takes us to a sturdy cartoon scenario of parent reading to a child at bedtime; William Haefeli up next with his trademark drawing style and an excellent caption; an Edward Koren drawing — allowed a wonderful space on the page. Very nice all around!; Ben Schwartz plays with Rodin’s The Thinker; Ed Steed plays around with a clown and a banana peel (and it’s in color); Zach Kanin visits a game of spin the bottle (a scenario we rarely see); Frank Cotham allows us a peek into a room full of sweaty frock-coated gentlemen; Sara Lautman takes us up up and away to the sky god’s territory; Joe Dator’s drawing of a symphony hall is splendid; Kim Warp’s trash-in-the-sea drawing arrives with trash-in-the sea much in the news.  And finally, a nod to the advent of Fall baseball with a meeting at the pitcher’s mound courtesy of Tom Toro.

The issue arrives sans Rea Irvin’s classic masthead. Here it is:

I can’t let mid-September slip by without mentioning the issue of September 11, 1925 (cover by the aforementioned Mr. Irvin).  

New Yorker history buffs will recall that the magazine was nearly put to rest in the Spring of its first year of publication. If not for an overheard remark, the New Yorker would’ve been a magazine that lasted less than half a year. Instead of killing the magazine, it was decided to coast through the summer,  putting renewed energy into the issue of September 12th. You can read about the specifics on content here courtesy of A New Yorker State of Mind.

 

 

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 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

 

The Tilley Watch Online; Promo of Interest: Lars Kenseth’s Chuck Deuce

Another cycle of news cycles, another week’s worth of Daily cartoons. This week’s work brought to you by Danny Shanahan, Jeremy Nguyen, Pia Guerra, Avi Steinberg, and Kim Warp.

And over on the Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists were Jason Adam Katzenstein, Olivia de Recat, and Tom Chitty.

— All of the above work, and more, can be found here!

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Follow-up: Lars Kenseth’s Pilot

Here’s a promo from Adult Swim wherein you’ll find a snippet from Lars Kenseth’s Chuck Deuce.

Link to Mr. Kenseth’s website here.

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

Baseball in the air, on the field and on the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker (actually, stickball’s on the cover, which appears, to me anyway, as if it’s a page out of an illustrated book).

Fewer illustrations/photos this week than last, but still, there are three full pages (including a full page photo of Hitler), and close to full page photo on the Goings On About Town lead page. How I wish we could see cartoons occupy a larger space every so often. Below are two pages from the issue of November 15, 1930. You can see how the drawings dominate the page and how the type follows the drawing. For instance: in the drawing on the left, by the great Barbara Shermund, the hanging plant is allowed to push up and compress the column of text. Notice too how the space afforded her beautiful drawing allows us to get far more visually involved in her work than if it had been squished in a rectangle.   

And now on to the issue’s cartoons.  A fun issue, mostly.

  It starts off well with a Danny Shanahan politically tinged(?) monkey drawing. Going out on a limb here, but Mr. Shanahan’s fabulous monkeys are the obvious heirs to Charles Addams’ takes on our ancestors.

Next up, three pages later, Jason Adam Katzenstein (aka JAK) goes to where many-a-cartoonist before him has gone: to the myth of Sisyphus. After I sped through an online refresher course about the King’s uphill struggle, I realized how this scenario beloved by cartoonists has oftimes become untethered from its backstory. No matter — that’s how we cartoonists roll. As Robbie Robertson wrote: “Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest…”

Speaking of backstories, three pages later Ben Schwartz gives us Beethoven on stage. What’s really interesting about the drawing is Mr. Schwartz’s sly nod to the great Al Hirschfeld.  Do I, or do I not see Nina-esque shout-outs in the drapes. I do.

Five pages later, a Mick Stevens cave man drawing (he also had one two issues back). I like that he’s used the words stalagmites and stalactites. A little memory trick I learned back in fourth or fifth grade — how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites: stalactites are the ones pointing down; they need to hold on “tite” to the ceiling. 

Three pages later, a shrink meets legume drawing by the wonderful Victoria Roberts. A fun and funny drawing. What more can one ask for.

Next up,  a domestic situation courtesy of Will McPhail. Funny. Another three pages brings us to a sidewalk scene from Pia Guerra. Dogs lined up to use a fire hydrant. I found myself wishing for a line-jumping dog instead of a fireman…

Two pages later another intensely graphic drawing from William Haefeli. Detail-city! And very slice-o-life.

Three pages later, a typically formatted (three panel) Roz Chast drawing. The word “Comix” pops out here. On the very next page, A Haefeli-like (in its use of detail) drawing by Jeremy Nguyen. Yet another slice-o-life drawing. I like how he’s given us two folks in silhouette in the foreground — that’s different. 

Four pages later a subway drawing from P.C. Vey (although here the subway is not central to the drawing — the situation could’ve taken place in any number of situations). A few pages later A Zach Kanin drawing focused on recreational drugs. On the very next page, A Lars Kenseth drawing.  You know it’s his work within a nano-second of turning the page. No one draws like this. I don’t rate cartoons like the Cartoon Companion boys do, but occasionally I applaud a drawing. 

On the next page Kim Warp  has drawn a Spill favorite scenario: a bakery (in this case, a cupcake bakery). I didn’t realize at first that there as an enormous Charles Addams-like cupcake involved in the drawing (initially saw the drawing on a tablet screen before switching to a laptop).  An unusual cartoon in that I think it works both ways (with the big cupcake, and without).  Sweet. 

On the following page, a Paul Noth drawing with a splash of color.  You have to be familiar with the commercial character who’s central to this cartoon. Three pages later a Carolita Johnson umbrella triptych just in time for May showers. Six pages later, immediately following that aforementioned full page photo of Hitler, is an Amy Hwang domestic situation — another go-to for many cartoonists: the couple discovered in bed by a significant other. Three pages later, the last cartoon of the issue (not counting the caption contest drawings): an online whack-a-mole scenario from Sam Marlow.

Finally: we are oh-so-close to the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Rea Irvin’s classic Talk Of The Town masthead. Here’s a Spill piece about it from last Fall when I was convinced the masthead would soon return. Not giving up hope on this, folks! 

Here’s the missing masthead:

 

*Dept of Corrections: an earlier version of the Monday Tilley Watch for the April 30th issue incorrectly listed Sam Marlow as Sam Means.