The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of February 3, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Cover: a snowy bridge. Read the Q&A with the cover artist here, and see the pretty digital snowflakes fall.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

In a throw back to earlier Monday Tilley Watches, I’ll take a quick tour through all the cartoons in the issue; a mostly text-driven drive-by of the work.

The first drawing, by David Sipress, references the recent demise of Mr. Peanut (is he really gone, or was it just a dream?). The topic of the late legume was recently covered here.

…Julia Suits’s pirate in cargo shorts on a gangplank is next (cannot see cargo shorts/pants on a New Yorker cartoon character without thinking of the below cargo pants drawing by the late great Leo Cullum — it appeared in The New Yorker,  August 17, 1998:

…The third cartoon (oh, alright: drawing) in the issue belongs to Barbara Smaller, who’s been contributing to the magazine since 1996.  A bedroom, a married couple, and a reasonable question.

…next is a Zach Kanin poker game (assuming it’s poker — I see chips on the table). I really like the three card players Mr. Kanin has drawn. The fellow to the left looks a little like Ernest Borgnine (with a pinch of Broderick Crawford tossed in?):

To me, the guy on the far right resembles Mandy Patinkin.

…next up: Liana Finck on an age-old flooring concern. Nice floating ghost.

…Harry Bliss and one of his collaborators (Steve Martin) address a potential problem for passengers on one of those floating mini-cities sailing the seven seas.

…five pages later: an Emily Flake drawing far far removed from her usual style and cartoon concerns. Think Hindenburg disaster mashed with social media done in a sort of Stuart Leeds style.

…on page 45, a Tersa Burns Parkhurst retirement party. Dunno why but the cartoon reminds me of MAD magazine’s Dave Berg’s “Lighter Side Of…” drawings (that’s a good thing!).

…on page 43 is a drawing by Mick Stevens, one of the most veteran artists in this issue.  He began contributing in December of 1979 (Roz Chast in this issue with a full page color Sketchbook, beats him out by more than a year– her first drawing appeared in June of 1978).  I wonder if the male dancing bird in Mr. Stevens’s drawing was originally in color. Either way (color, or b&w), a fab cartoon.

…David Borchart’s auto rental drawing (page 43) gets a Spill gold star for the use of the word “rassle.” Zeke, the fellow that’s prepared to rassle, is also mighty terrific.

…On page 54 is an Ed Steed drawing that at first glance reminds me of Zach Kanin’s in this same issue, but only because, in both drawings, the viewer is seeing a table front and center and from near precisely the same angle. Instead of card players (as seen in Mr. Kanin’s drawing) we have animated garden utensils and tools. They’re plotting something.

…next up is a Robert Leighton drawing of mountain climbers.  I love how Mr. Leighton has immediately tossed us into a situation that would normally demand the best possible equipment available. You gotta feel for the climber who came unprepared.

…Thoroughly enjoyed  — as usual with Lars Kenseth’s work — his drawing of campers situated down on the ground, and in much nicer weather than Mr. Leighton’s. Look at the care he took in adding the reflection of the moon on the lake.

…next up is a three panel hat x-ray drawing by Liza Donnelly ( who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1982). This drawing answers the oft-asked question of what could possibly occupy all that beanie air space. Love the kitty!

Lastly, Adam Douglas Thompson (the most junior artist in this issue — his first drawing appeared in The New Yorker in the issue of April 8, 2019) gives us a sort of contemporary Chon Day drawing (it’s on page 68). “Sort of” because Mr. Thompson’s line and Mr. Day’s line have different flows.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

This man (Rea Irvin) is wondering what happened to his beautiful Talk masthead design (shown below). You know — the one that appeared in The New Yorker for 92 years, not the re-draw that’s been around since May of 2017.  Who took the iconic masthead away, and why, and where oh where can it be? Actually, the answer to the first question is easy. Perhaps the last question is easy as well.  It likely resides in a file on a desktop, easily accessed. The question of why is the puzzler. Read more about its disappearance here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Daily Cartoon: by Brendan Loper, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

…and a Daily Shouts by J. A. K., who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker (Double) Issue Of August 5 & 12, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The Cover: Lotsa ice cream on Olimpia Zagnoli’s second New Yorker cover. I’m immediately reminded of any number of early Vogue covers.  Read the Cover Story here.

The Cartoonists:

…a newbie: Lisa Rothstein is the 22nd new cartoonist added to the magazine’s stable this year, and the 48th new cartoonist added since cartoon editor Emma Allen’s tenure began in May 2017.

The Cartoons: quite the surprise seeing a cartoon (on p.61) by the late great Jack Ziegler.  It got me to wondering if perhaps The New Yorker might set up a special online section for the contributors who left us with a lot of work still in the bank (or, as originally designated, “on the bank” — that is,  work bought, but not yet published). When William Steig passed away there was a rumor that hundreds of his drawings (and some covers) were still on the bank. One wonders about the on the bank work of Charles Barsotti, as well as Mr. Ziegler, Leo Cullum, and Michael Crawford, to name but a few dear departed colleagues. Wouldn’t it be great to see this work gathered online.  

Also of interest in this double issue: a cartoon by the one-and-only Sam Gross, who celebrates his 50th year at The New Yorker in August. His first New Yorker drawing appeared in the issue of August 23, 1969 (the Spill will further note the occasion on August 23, 2019).

Speaking of Jack Ziegler, Ed Steed’s squid drawing (p. 37) calls to mind Mr. Ziegler’s classic squid drawing from the issue of September 16, 1996 (it was also used as the cover drawing, and title of Ziegler’s 2004 food cartoon anthology). A quick search for squid cartoons in the Cartoon Bank’s database brought up just two other squid drawings: this one by Danny Shanahan, and this one by Farley Katz).

Also of note:

… J.A.K.’s drawing (p.21) — my fave Jason Adam Katzenstein drawing of all time (so far)

…Chris Ware’s 8 page “Mr. Ware” (he talks about it here).

… Sizing of drawings this issue: most seem right on the money (examples: Sam Gross’s, Zach Kanin’s, Roz Chast’s, Lars Kenseth’s).

…:A goodly number of non-human centric drawings this issue: cockroaches (McNair), the aforementioned squid by Mr. Steed, a bull (McNamee), a parrot (Gross), a blender (Chast), hugging dogs (Rothstein), rocks (Hwang), shishto peppers (Kenseth).

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead (it appeared for 92 years) disappeared in the Spring of 2017 (read about it here) — replaced by — gasp! — a redraw (not redrawn by Mr. Irvin, who passed away in 1972). Will the original ever return? Here it is until then:

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Brendan Loper, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016, on opinions/films.

 

 

 

 

A Tour Of Harry Bliss’s “Ink Slingers” Exhibit In New Hampshire

 
While browsing New Yorker cartoonist/cartoon info online yesterday I came across this enticing entry:
 
“Ink Slingers,” an exhibition of cartoon drawings from the collection of New Yorker cartoonist, and Cornish resident, Harry Bliss, is on view at Philip Read Memorial Library in Plainfield. The show, which includes original drawings by cartoonists and illustrators, is on view through June.
 
I contacted Mr. Bliss for more information on the exhibit and was delighted and grateful that he agreed to send, via photographs and text, the entire exhibit to the Spill.  Below are Mr. Bliss’s photos of the pieces as they are hung (it’s a wonderful extra touch that you can make out his image reflected in a few of the pieces) as well as his accompanying text for each piece. I’m showing the entire exhibit here, with New Yorker  cartoonists work first, and then work by George McManus (“Bringing Up Father”), Bill Peet, Milton Caniff, Russell Myers, and Walt Kelly.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 

This is a New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams. Addams was a student at the University of Pennsylvania for a brief time, though my friend Ed Koren would argue this point (Ed Koren is wrong). Addams studied architecture at Penn and that’s why he was so good at delineating all of the details in the Addams family home. When I was a child growing up in upstate New York I would pour over Charles Addams cartoons and I especially loved all those details – so lush and the drawing was skillful and had such personality. This particular cartoon is an early Addams, probably 1937 or earlier and he hadn’t invented his Addams family characters yet, but the attention to detail is still there. The caption is: “I think we need to make a few changes at the training table.” Addams didn’t write most of his gags, he employed gag writers, very common back then. Charles Addams is the reason I began working for The New Yorker.

This is a color sketch for a proposed cover for The New Yorker by Garrett Price, a fantastic cover artist and cartoonist who did nearly 100 covers for The New Yorker over the years. Here we see people on a bus, probably tourists, looking out at the United Nations. In the far right corner you can see all the flags… Stylistically, this is uncharacteristic of Price’s work, but I love the unorthodox application of paint, Van Gogh-like swirls and all. This is a fine example of what we cover artists have to send in when we pitch covers for the New Yorker. Sometimes they’re not as finished as this, in a rush, black and white, but mostly they are finished like this, in full color so our non visual editors really get the idea.

 

I love this illustration. It’s by Robert Grossman. It’s all airbrush and it’s a portrait of Howard Hughes. Robert Grossman was one of the greatest cartoonist of the 20th century. He was a master of caricature and airbrush and his work spilled out onto the pages of Ramparts, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and every other left-leaning magazine you can think of. He did album covers for The Grateful Dead, The Who and countless more…and of course, the movie poster for the hilarious film Airplane. Google him!

 

This is by my dear friend and Vermont cartoonists Ed Koren. Ed has been a cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine since the late 1960s and I am proud to call him my friend. I grew up enjoying his furry characters in the pages of The New Yorker magazine when they arrived at our home. A few years after we had met, in the early 2000’s, I was struggling a bit, finding it hard coming up with ideas. Ed gave me a wonderful piece of advice that I will never forget, He said ‘just draw’. Seems so simple, but it really works. The organic process of sitting down, putting pen to paper and watching the line move about on the surface will inevitably morph into something…and before you know it, your creativity is off and running!

 

This is an original by a wonderful New Yorker cartoonist who passed away a few years ago, Leo Cullum. Leo got his start at The New Yorker in the early 70s, I think. I have always loved the expression of deadpan on his characters. There is a sardonic visual mirth hidden in those eyes – typical of many of the 1980s New Yorker cartoons.

 

This is one of my cartoons that ran in The New Yorker a few years back. It’s done in black ink and graphite on acid free sketchbook paper. I have many therapy-based cartoons. Why? For so many reasons, too many to list here. If I were to list the reasons, you would feel like my therapist and then I would have to pay you.

 

This is the title page for a story that I did for my cover editor at The New Yorker, Francoise Mouly and her husband, the cartoonist, Art  Spiegelman. They had published a series of oversized picture books entitled Little Lit: Comics for Kids, and asked me to contribute a story. All of the stories in the first volume are based on folktales and I chose ‘The Baker’s Daughter and Irish folk tale about a selfish girl who pays for her lack of empathy. The experience of working with Art Spiegelman was one I will never forget. I spent two days in his studio breaking down this story into panels and pages…Comics. Everything Art had communicated to me back then I still employ in the work I do today.

 

Bringing Up Father:
This strip is by George McManus and he is one of the greatest comic strip artists of the 20th century. I have three of his strips in my collection, one of them is a Sunday and is absolutely gorgeous. There’s no mistaking McManus‘s style, his use of texture and steady black line work along with perfectly placed blacks makes him unique amongst all cartoonists working at this time.

 

Bill Peet was a remarkable children’s book artist, writer and also a Disney animator who wrote 101 Dalmatians for the film. I had always loved Bill Pete’s books, marveled at his expressive/gestural drawings and his use of colored pencil, really a gifted colorist and a wonderful draftsperson. I had communicated with Bill In 1999 and we sent a few letters back-and-forth. Then, one day I opened my mail to find this wonderful little sketch that he gave to me. He tried to write a little note on it, but his wife let me know that he just didn’t have it in him to finish, he was very old and did not have a steady hand.

 

This comic strip is by the great Milton Caniff. It’s a Terry and the Pirates daily strip, done in black ink with a brush. This is typical of Caniff’s work throughout the run of this particular comic strip, which was immensely popular. Caniff, along with Will Eisner often employed cinematic techniques in their work, using different perspectives, POVs, and dramatic lighting to get a specific effect.

 

One of the nice things about being a syndicated cartoonist is that often times I get the opportunity to trade original art with another cartoonist I admire. In this case, I traded an original drawing of mine for this wonderful large panel of Broom Hilda by Russell Myers. I grew up loving Broom Hilda as a kid, all those terrific Sunday strips in the Comics section of The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. I always knew I needed to have an original in my collection and Russell was kind enough to trade with me.

 

This is a graphite drawing done by my uncle Harry back in the 1970s. My uncle was a fantastic artist and quite successful in and around Rochester New York. He and my father and my other uncles (too many artists!) opened a graphic design studio in Rochester (Studio 5 Graphics) – working for Kodak, French‘s, Xerox and other businesses back in the day when ad agencies outsourced design work. As much as I loved my uncles work, I felt he was too heavily influenced by the work of one of his heroes, Andrew Wyeth. Once, on a book tour, I had the chance to meet Andrew and Betsy Wyeth in 2008, spent 2 1/2 hours at their home in Chadds Ford Pennsylvania in front of a massive stone fireplace, laughing and talking about art and life. Andy was genuinely charmed by the crude sincerity of some of my cartoon drawings…I’ll never forget this.

 

This gorgeous Sunday original Pogo page is by Walt Kelly, arguably one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. He’s a cartoonists cartoonist. I don’t know any cartoonist who doesn’t marvel at Kelly’s brush work. Even more remarkable is all of the hand-lettering, all done by Kelly. Who can forget Pogo’s great line spoken as he looks out at his polluted swamp, “I have met the enemy, and he is us.” Sobering words that still resonate.

 

For further information on the exhibit, visit the library website here.

Again, my thanks to Harry Bliss for allowing us to take the tour.

 

 

Beginning To Take It Personally: The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985

The other day I wrote about the New Yorker Anniversary album: 1925-1975.  Following up on that, here’s a little something about the Album that immediately followed it, The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985.  In the entire run of Albums, this one would have to rank #1 in understated covers. A bit of trivia (or maybe it’s not so trivial): this is just the second time an Album title referred to the magazine’s drawings as “cartoons” —  (the first was 1958’s New Yorker Album of Sports & Games: Cartoons of Three Decades. Non-purists might argue that the special issue Armed Services New Yorker War Cartoons with The Talk of the Town, published in 1945 was the first instance, but it was not an Album, nor was it, as you see in the title, purely cartoons).

Of note: 1975-1985 is the first Album since the early 1930s not designed by Carmine Peppe.  The design and layout is credited to a trio of New Yorker staffers: John Murphy, Bernard McAteer, and Joseph Carroll (who succeeded Mr. Peppe as head of the make-up department. Mr. Carroll was also a published New Yorker cartoonist, with one drawing, in the issue of January 16, 1984. That one and only appearance qualified him as a member of the Spill‘s One Club).

Of further note: this was the last Album published during William Shawn’s long tenure as editor of the New Yorker. It was published the year The New Yorker‘s ownership changed hands from the original owners, the Fleischmann family, to the Newhouse family. Mr. Shawn, who was appointed editor in 1952, was replaced in 1987 by Robert Gottlieb.

 

Admittedly, I have affection for this Album out of some self-interest: it was the first that included my work.  But it also included, for the first time in an Album, work by the wave I came in with — that included, among others, cartoonists such as Mick Stevens, Thomas Cheney, Peter Steiner, Richard Cline, Leo Cullum, Roz Chast, and Liza Donnelly. 

Truly exciting were the number of established cartoonists we kids found ourselves in the company of. To be included in this volume (and later Albums) with them was, and still is somewhat unbelievable. 

As with previous Albums, the cartoon choices are excellent.  The Album begins with an exquisite Robert Weber full page drawing (full page in the Album, and run as a full page in the magazine in the issue of July 2, 1984)…

…and ends with a classic Charles Addams drawing (a fellow is installing yet another of many locks — and bolts — on his door. At his feet is a semi-circle made by an active saw blade coming up through the floor). In between these two cartoon gems is an accurate reflection of the state of the magazine’s cartoon world in that decade.  As with previous Albums, the balance of work placement and selection is superior. There’s enough work by Booth, Steinberg, Koren, Saxon, Steig, George Price, Addams, Stevenson, Levin, Modell, Lorenz, both Martins (Henry, and Charles) to please anybody, but also well-represented are the large number of artists who flourished just out of range of the spotlight. 

Along with the publication of the Album was a touring exhibit of work.  I wrote about this Album and that exhibit a year ago, but in a slightly different context. You can see that earlier post here

 There was no official album a decade later (instead we were gifted Lee Lorenz’s Art of The New Yorker), and ten years after that was the The New Yorker 75th Cartoon Collection, which bears a cover opposite the understated cover of the 1975-1985 album.   

Book Of Interest: I Think, Therefore I Draw

Published a couple of weeks ago, I Think, Therefore I Draw: Understanding Philosophy Through Cartoons (Penguin) includes enough New Yorker cartoons (among a number of non-New Yorker cartoons) to mention here. The New Yorker cartoonists represented (in order of their appearance): Paul Noth, John McNamee, Tom Cheney, Danny Shanahan, P.C. Vey, David Sipress, George Booth, Avi Steinberg, Amy Hwang, Leo Cullum, Mort Gerberg, P.S. Mueller, John Klossner, Aaron Bacall, Sam Gross, “Bud” Handelsman, Lee Lorenz, Michael Maslin, Jack Ziegler, Edward Koren, Matt Diffee, Eric Lewis, Edward Frascino, and Charles Barsotti.

The authors have this (in part) to say in their introduction: “Here, then, is a collection of our favorite philosophical cartoons and our annotations about what they teach us about the Big Questions in philosophy.”

You can sample the text by going to the Amazon listing and clicking on the “Look inside” feature.