Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonist; Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

A Hamburglar cartoon by Farley Katz, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. Mr. Katz has also contributed today’s Daily Shouts.

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Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

Over this past weekend a number of visiting colleagues paused to look at a Charles Saxon original drawing that hangs on a wall here at Spill headquarters. The Saxon drawing is displayed because it amuses and inspires (the same goes for the several dozen others also on our walls by various New Yorker artists past and present; the earliest drawing, by Alice Harvey, was published October of 1925, the most recent, by Ed Steed, was published in April of 2019). Saxon’s drawings have long been considered a high bar by his peers — a reminder of how elegant (a word used by one of the visitors) cartoon art can be (I’ve always felt Thurber’s drawings to be another kind of high bar).

Looking closely at the originals in the Spill‘s archives, I see no under -drawing, no pencil marks. The work, in grease pencil(?), appears to be in the school of — as Edward Sorel would describe it — direct drawing.  The lines seem effortless, energetic, lovely, and of course, humorous; it’s an immediately identifiable style. As with so many of his contemporaries, including Robert Weber, Lee Lorenz, James Stevenson and Frank Modell, there’s a joy to the work.

Saxon’s world, both New Yorker covers and cartoons, published from the mid 1940s through the late 1980s, will forever be linked to Connecticut country club country, where he lived (Mr. Saxon, along with his colleague William Hamilton, had that upper-crusty world down). The New Yorker readership from that social strata apparently loved seeing themselves poked and prodded, just as they loved what Peter Arno had done with them and to them in the magazine’s earlier decades. 

Right: a Saxon New Yorker cover: effortless, energetic, humorous

I was fortunate enough to meet Saxon in February of 1986, when New Yorker cover artist Roxie Munro threw a small post-New Yorker anniversary party. Trudging downtown from the Pierre Hotel to Ms. Munro’s mid-town apartment on lower Park Avenue, I was one of the first to arrive. Walking into the living room I found a short man, in dark suit and tie, standing with his back against a living room wall. I introduced myself, not knowing who I was about to shake hands with. I had always imagined Saxon as quite tall — a powerhouse figure. In truth, he was perhaps a half-foot shorter than me. He was also remarkably soft spoken, and extremely polite. I’d always expected that he’d have one of those personalities that would roll right over me. It was quite a nice gift, to able to have perhaps fifteen minutes with this cartoon god, all to myself. 

 

Photo: Charles Saxon, center, with The New Yorker‘s Art Editor, James Geraghty at the magazine’s offices, 25 West 43rd Street, New York City, c.1960s.  Photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon.

Book: Oh, happy, happy, happy!  The earliest Saxon collection, published in 1960 by Golden Press.

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 29, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist And Cartoon; A Julia Wertz Daily Shouts; Fave Photo Of The Day

The Cover:  I see destructive tourists at the core of this cover, yet destruction doesn’t come up in Joost Swarte’s interview with The New Yorker‘s art director, Francoise Mouly.  Odd?

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Almost a theme issue, of sorts:  Amy Hwang (cats), Roz Chast (dogs), Farley Katz (flamingos), Joe Duffy (pigs), Kendra Allenby (deer), Frank Cotham (a snake), Shannon Wheeler (snails), Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (a rat).

Steering briefly away from the Spill‘s focus, I have to note that Salman Rushdie’s piece in the issue  is titled “The Little King” and the accompanying illustration (by Nico Schweitzer) is a play on Otto Soglow‘s famous character. The illustration seems even closer to the toy Little King than the drawing of the King :

 

 

Applause for Bob Eckstein‘s shuttlecock drawing on page 48, and Ellis Rosen‘s heralded fellow drawing on page 42.

 

From the Department of fun coincidences. Liana Finck’s lifeguard drawing (p. 33) immediately reminded me of an obscure original Lee Lorenz drawing hanging here at Spill headquarters. The Lorenz drawing (its barely legible caption: “Help!”) was not in The New Yorker.  I’ve yet to figure out where it was published, or how old it is.  Mr. Lorenz, visiting here and seeing the drawing, could not recall where it had appeared or its vintage. It appears to be in an earlier Lorenz style (but not the earliest), so we can at least place in an early-to-mid 1960s time frame.

Ms. Finck’s drawing and Mr. Lorenz’s are in some ways opposites of each other. Mr. Lorenz’s beach is overcrowded, while Ms. Finck’s beach is empty.  Ms. Finck’s life guard offers help (if helped); Mr. Lorenz’s life guard is crying out for help. What ties them together, at least for me, is the graphic core of each drawing: the exceptionally tall life guard stand. Fine fun work by both. 

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead (below) left us in the Spring of 2017 after 92 years of service — it was replaced by a redraw.  Let’s hope the real thing returns before long.  Read about it here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist And Cartoon

Brendan Loper makes good use of oven mitts. Mr. Loper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

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A Julia Wertz Daily Shouts

“Conversations With Ma: Paint The Toenails And Board-Game Gripes” 

— A series? by Julia Wertz who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2015.

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Fave Photo Of The Day

A crowd of folks who draw got together yesterday in Rhinebeck, New York.  Left to right: myself, Peter Steiner, John Cuneo, R.O. Blechman, Liza Donnelly, Bill Plympton, Danny Shanahan and Elwood Smith.

 

 

 

From The Archive: A Ross Perot New Yorker Cartoon; Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoon & Cartoonist; The Village Voice & MAD

I haven’t done a whole lot of (obviously) political cartoons over the years. A Supreme Court drawing in the very early 1980s and a Bill Clinton drawing in the early 1990s come readily to mind.  Ross Perot, the two-time Presidential candidate who died today at age 89, was a humor magnet. Like so many other of the magazine’s cartoonists ( including Lee Lorenz, Liza Donnelly, James Stevenson, Peter Steiner, Arnie Levin, Mick Stevens, Dana Fradon, J.B. Handelsman, and Jack Ziegler) I couldn’t resist having a graphic go at him. The below appeared in The New Yorker issue of May 27, 1996.

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Today’s New Yorker Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Beach reading by Ellis Rosen, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2016.  Visit his

website here.

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The Village Voice & Mad

 

From The Village Voice, July 9, 2019, “MAD Magazine: Eclipsed By Madness? Looking Back On The Publication That Endowed America With a B. S. Detector”  — this piece by Jeoffrey O’Brien on MAD in The Voice over the years.

Personal History: Holding

I happened upon a paper-clipped bunch of pages today in the Spill‘s archives that I’d completely forgotten about. The very first page, from late 1980, appears above.  It comes as news to me thirty-nine years later that I made a list of drawings that were being held by The New Yorker

This is what holding means:

When a cartoonist submitted a batch of drawings, and returned the following week to submit another batch, last week’s rejects would be waiting. Along with the returned drawings was the classic New Yorker rejection slip — and occasionally there would be, on the slip, a handwritten Holding 1 (sometimes more than one drawing was held). For whatever reason, or reasons, Lee Lorenz, the art editor at the time, had decided to hang onto a drawing for further consideration.  Held drawings were in limbo — not bought,  just held. And then they were either returned, or bought.  

Having a drawing held was always preferable to complete rejection: it was a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, that held drawing would be “OKed” (i.e., bought).  What’s interesting (to me) about the list was how many held drawings there were in that short period of time. Without this list as a reminder I would’ve guessed that one of my drawings was held every two or three months, at most.  Six held within a couple of months, and two bought seems like much better odds than memory allowed. The Calm Before The Coffee was Oked but I didn’t bother underlining it in red and placing an asterisk next to it — I must’ve forgotten I had started a holding list by the time it was OKed. 

 

The Online Tilley Watch, The Week Of March 4-8, 2019; Fave Photo Of The Day: Sorel & Gerberg; Elisabeth McNair Pencilled; Interview Of Interest: New Yorker Cover Artist Marcellus Hall; Bud Grace On His Second(?) New Yorker Cartoon

The Daily cartoons this week were brought to us by Brendon Loper, Farley Katz, Peter Kuper, Tim Hamilton, and JAK (Jason Adam Katzenstein).  A mixed-bag, thematically, with three outta five of the cartoons Trumpish.

New Yorker cartoonists contributing to Daily Shouts: Amy Hwang, Ed Steed, and Ali Soloman.

See all of the above, and more, here.

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Fave Photo Of The Day: Sorel & Gerberg

Meant to post this a few weeks back. It was taken at The New York Historical Society opening for Mort Gerberg’s exhibit.  That’s Mr. Gerberg on the left and the great Edward Sorel on the right.

The exhibit, “Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorker’s Perspective” runs through May 5th.

(photo used with permission of Mr. Gerberg).

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Elisabeth McNair Pencilled

Jane Mattimoe’s wonderful Case For Pencils continues with the spotlight on Elisabeth McNair (above) and her tools of the trade.  Ms. McNair’s first New Yorker drawing appeared in the July 30, 2018 issue.  See the post here.

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Interview Of Interest: Cover Artist Marcellus Hall

From DART (Design Arts Daily), March 7, 2019, “The DART Interview: Marcellus Hall”

Mr. Marcellus’s first New Yorker cover appeared in 2005. Link here to his website.

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Bud Grace On His 2nd New Yorker Cartoon

Bud Grace, writes on his blog about his second New Yorker drawing, and a particularly good edit by the then cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz.

Not to be too nit-picky about this, but Mr. Grace identifies the above as his second New Yorker cartoon, yet I’m unable to find his first on the New Yorker‘s database. Perhaps he sold two, and only one (the one above)  appeared? Mr. Grace, if you see this,  please advise.