The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 28, 2019

The Cover this week — rushed released days earlier — is from the masterful pen of John Cuneo. Below is an early version of the published cover, provided courtesy of Mr. Cuneo.

The Cartoonists (note the Spots contribution from Ed Steed) :

The Cartoons:

A little bit of something for everyone in this issue: an ice fisherman, a whale, a cat person in a dog park, a windy city street, imbibing cave people, a library, clowns, the subway, domestic situations, the mob, a police lineup, a restaurant scenario, Snow White.

Cartoon placement-wise, it was good to see some stretching out from the usual rectangular box seated in a corner of a page. Frank Cotham’s basement drawing run three columns wide (on page 30) is a good example, as is Zach Kanin’s ice fisherman on page 63 and Liana Finck’s drawing on page 72. Brendan Loper’s party-folk drawing on page 44, and Kim Warp’s police lineup drawing on page 48 were also given more breathing room. Then there’s Will McPhail’s full page (with the “Sketchbook” heading of “L’) on page 43. I’ve given this drawing some extra thought this morning, wondering if it needed the “Sketchbook” heading. What exactly does the “Sketchbook” designation bring to the page. I also wonder if those outside the New York/ Metropolitan area understand that the “L” refers to the “L” line of the New York City subway system (and local stories concerning the line). And then there’s the question of whether the “L” train reference actually means something here that’s essential to understanding the little story played out in sequence. Perhaps, perhaps. Perhaps not. So many questions! Anyway, it’s a fun drawing that works well no matter the subway line. As noted with a hint of impatience on Cartoon Companion, New Yorker subway cartoons have become nearly a standard scenario in recent months. I continue to believe that no scenario is played-out if the idea works well.

A subway sidenote: when I think of previous multi-panel subway cartoons my first thought is of this one by Liza Donnelly from the New Yorker issue of April 14, 1986. And speaking of Ms. Donnelly, in her cave man drawing on page 21 of this latest issue of the magazine there’s not a cave man in sight.

I’ve been re-watching the entire run of “The Sopranos” lately, so Joe Dator’s cement shoe drawing on page 52 grabbed my attention. I especially enjoyed seeing the George Boothian bare light bulb hanging down from the ceiling.

This issue marks the New Yorker print debut for Emily Bernstein. Ms. Bernstein is the third new New Yorker cartoonist of the year and the 28th since Emma Allen became the magazine’s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

The Tilley Watch again signs-off with a nod to the missing Rea Irvin masthead (seen below). Read about it here.


The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 14, 2019; A Charles Addams Birthday Tribute

Two weeks in to the new year without a Trump cover! Anna Parini makes her cover debut (it’s titled “A New Leaf”; not for the last time, I wonder why we need titles for the covers.

Viewed online, various elements of the cover are animated. Snow blows, wind blows the woman’s hair and ruffles a few pages of her book. Silhouetted figures walk by in the background. It’s a lovely image but I found myself wondering if people really stand on city streets reading books on cold snowy windy wintry days.

The only image I can readily conjure up that incorporates a similar situation is of holiday carolers holding up their song books as they stand singing on street corners.

The Cartoons

I’m at a disadvantage this morning as the digital issue has yet to appear. That means we’ll dispense with counting illustrations as well as even beginning to think about how the cartoons are placed on the pages. A pity. Instead I’m relying on the slideshow of cartoons provided on newyorker.com.

The cartoonists in this issue: David Sipress, Will McPhail, Jason Adam Katzenstein, Pia Guerra, Zach Kanin, Roz Chast, Mike Twohy, P.C. Vey, Tom Cheney, Carolita Johnson, Sophia Warren, Frank Cotham, Trevor Spaulding, Danny Shanahan, Ben Schwartz, Liana Finck, Tom Toro.

Some thoughts on the cartoons:

Graphically, Frank Cotham’s drawing of the soldiers atop a castle tower is quite striking. As one who has studied the castle work of the master, Charles Addams, and as one who has drawn many a castle myself, I was taken by the dramatic angle Mr. Cotham has given us. Bravo!.

Of note is Danny Shanahan’s desert island drawing. It made me think about the resurgence of what once seemed a played-out scenario. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the recent past we’ve seen a number of desert island drawings, all clever as can be, and all proving that anything works in the cartoon universe if it works well. Mr. Shanahan’s works well (and lest we forget, a few years ago he had a cover of…a desert island). Here’s a quick look at some desert island cartoons courtesy of the BBC.

I really enjoyed Liana Finck’s damsel in distress tied to railroad tracks. Ms. Finck’s heavy use of black recalls Charles Barsotti’s expert use of contrast, and more recently, Seth Fleishman’s. I particularly like that she didn’t get involved in a detailed drawing of the tracks. She’s given us what looks like a ladder on the ground, and it works! Best of all: the eye contact she’s captured between the villain and the woman. Excellent.

Finally, here’s to Rea Irvin’s beautiful missing masthead, replaced in May of 2017. Read about it here, and see it below:

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A Charles Addams Birthday Tribute

To celebrate Charles Addams birthday, here’s a lovely piece by Steve Stoliar. My thanks to him for allowing it to appear here.

On this day in 1912, Charles Samuel Addams was born in Westfield, New Jersey – and I think we’re all more than a little better off because of it. Chas Addams’ delightfully dark cartoons brightened up innumerable issues of ‘The New Yorker” from 1932 (!) until his death in 1988 – a more than fifty-five-year run. And, of course, his family of macabre relatives was the basis for “The Addams Family” TV series and later films (though the characters had no names before the TV series, which was produced by Groucho’s longtime friend, writer Nat Perrin).

I first met Addams in 1978 – on the same day I first met Dick Cavett – backstage at the PBS Cavett show, when the subject of the show was “New Yorker” cartoonists. Addams signed a copy of “Addams and Evil” that I “happened to have” brought along in the event our paths crossed.

About five years later, when I was living in New York and writing for Cavett at HBO, I spotted Chas striding in my direction up Sixth Avenue. Another path-crossing! I stopped him and asked, “Excuse me – aren’t you Charles Addams?” He smiled and replied, “Yes, but how did you recognize me? Most people think I’m Walter Matthau!” [see photo below] I tossed off some sort of compliment and off we went in our separate directions.

Not long thereafter, I picked up this delightful original ink-and-wash Chas Addams drawing – for a whopping $300 – because some guy with a bunch of vintage original “New Yorker” cartoons was remarrying and his wife didn’t like “all those old cartoons” on their walls. His loss; my gain. I wrote to Addams about the drawing c/o “The New Yorker” and received this lovely note in return. He is missed – but at least we have his prolific outpouring of drawings to remember him by.


The Tilley Watch Online, December 16-21, 2018

An atypical Daily week in that it was un-Trumpian.  But…Emma Allen, the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor posted a slide show review of Trump cartoons from 2018. See it here

The Daily Cartoon New Yorker contributors this week : Maggie Dai, Jason Chatfield, Elisabeth McNair, Peter Kuper, and Brendan Loper.

And over on Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Maggie Larson, Liana Finck, Gabrielle Bell, Olivia de Recat (with Sarah Vollman), and Sara Lautman.

See all the work above, and more, here.

Also online this week: the New Yorker‘s most popular Instagram cartoons, posted by the magazine’s assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes.

Below: a bonus photograph from the New Yorker‘s holiday party for cartoonists last Thursday.  My colleague Felipe Galindo took this that evening and posted it online.

Ink Spill’s 2018 Book Round-Up

Gathered below, in no particular order, are some of the books published this year by New Yorker artists, or including New Yorker artists.

In The Wild  by Edward Koren. Ampress.  Mr. Koren began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962.

 

I Love You: Stories and Cartoons by Sara Lautman. Retrofit Comics. Ms. Lautman began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

 

The Illustrated History of the Snowman  by Bob Eckstein. Globe Pequot Press. Mr. Eckstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007.

 

Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are. By C.J. Frick. Illustrations by Liza Donnelly. Flatiron Books. Ms. Donnelly began contributing to The New Yorker in 1982.

 

The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth  by Ken Krimstein. Bloomsbury Publishing. Mr. Krimstein began contributing to The New Yorker in 2000.

 

Passing For Human: A Graphic Memoir  by Liana Finck. Random House.  Ms. Finck began contributing to The New Yorker  in  2013.

 

I Think, Therefore I Draw: Understanding Philosophy Through Cartoons by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. Penguin Books. Assorted New Yorker cartoons throughout by a number of the magazine’s contributors.

 

How To Sell Your Parents To The Aliens by Paul Noth. Bloomsbury USA. Mr. Noth began contributing to The New Yorker in 2004.

 

 

A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them by New Yorker illustrator Greg Clarke, and art director/graphic designer, Monte Beauchamp.  Dey St.  Lovely illustrations, with a small wealth of famed New Yorker “names” tossed around  (E.B. White, Dorothy Parker, John Held, Jr., Peter De Vries, etc.).

 

Assume The Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear.  By Carl Hiaasen.  Illustrated by Roz Chast. Knopf.  Ms. Chast began contributing to The New Yorker in 1978.

 

Memoirs Of A Very Stable Genius by Shannon Wheeler. Image Comics.  Mr. Wheeler began contributing to The New Yorker in 2009.

 

Someone Farted by Bruce Eric Kaplan. Simon & Schuster.  Mr. Kaplan began contributing to The New Yorker in 1991.

 

Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories by Peter Kuper.  W.W. Norton & Co. Mr. Kuper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2011.

 

Eraser by Anna Kang. Illustrated by Christopher Weyant. Two Lions. Mr. Weyant began contributing to The New Yorker in  1998.

 

The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons. Blackdog & Leventhal.  An anthology, non-traditionally arranged.