Slipped onto newyorker.com late in the day yesterday was the above Bonus Daily cartoon. Sharp-eyed readers will note that the drawing is co-authored: Bliss/Martin. I asked Harry Bliss if his collaborator was indeed the Steve Martin, and if so, how it came to be that they worked together. Mr. Bliss responded in an email:
Yes, it is that Steve. Steve was having dinner with Francoise [Francoise Mouly, the New Yorker’s Art Editor] and others and mentioned he had a couple dog cartoon ideas, also mentioned he was a fan of my work, so Francoise put us together. This was about three weeks ago and since then we have been collaborating daily, sort of creative email back-and-forth ‘dance’ on various cartoon ideas, most of which will either appear in the magazine and in syndication. It’s a total blast.
Note: this isn’t the first time Mr. Martin has collaborated with a New Yorker artist. He and Roz Chast co-authored the 2007 book,The Alphabet From A to Y With The Bonus Letter Z!
The Tilley Watch Online, March 18-22, 2019
Contributing to the Daily cartoon this week: the above-mentioned Harry Bliss with Steve Martin, Jason Adam Katzenstein, Peter Kuper (twice), Elisabeth McNair, Barry Blitt (a Bonus Daily), and Lila Ash.
Over on Daily Shouts, these were the contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Ellis Rosen (with Karen Chee), Liana Finck, Julia Wertz, Olivia de Recat (with Julia Edelman), and Christine Mi.
Lee Lorenz Born 1932, Hackensack, New Jersey. Mr. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. The group included, among others, Jack Ziegler, Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, Peter Steiner, Liza Donnelly, Leo Cullum, Tom Cheney, Gahan Wilson, Richard Cline, Michael Crawford, Danny Shanahan, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Victoria Roberts, and Arnie Levin.
Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). New Yorker work: 1958 –.
A Daily week nearly devoid of politics. The Daily cartoonists: Ellie Black, Karl Stevens, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, and Julia Suits.
The Daily Shouts contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Ali Fitzgerald, Liana Finck, Sophia Warren, Tom Chitty, and Maggie Larson.
Four years ago Liza Donnelly made history as the first cartoonist to live-draw from the Oscars Red Carpet. She’s been in LaLa Land this past week drawing events leading up to tomorrow’s big day when she’ll once again live-draw from the Red Carpet. Follow her work on @Lizadonnelly .
Ms. Donnelly’s first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1982. She is the author ofeighteen books, including Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons (Prometheus, 2005).
This looks to be a fun year for New Yorker cartoon aficionados, with a number of books already listed. Some have cover art, some don’t; some have more descriptive material from the publisher than others, at least one has no descriptive text at all…yet. All books are listed in chronological order:
The Ultimate Cartoon Book Of Book Cartoons, edited by Bob Eckstein (Princeton Architectural Press). April 2, 2019. A classic cartoon anthology. From the publisher:
“This exuberant collection of cartoons is an enthusiastic love letter to books and bookstores. The cartoons celebrate and critique the literary world through the work of thirty-three of the masters of cartoon art …”
Why Don’t you Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?: A Mother’s Suggestions by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast (Celedon Books) April 2, 2019. Ms. Marx and Ms. Chast join forces once again. “…One-line witticisms from [Ms. Marx] accompanied by [Ms. Chast’s] full color illustrations…”
Why Did We Trust Him? by Shannon Wheeler (Top Shelf Productions) August 20, 2019. According to his publisher, this collection is “a more personal set of single panel comics.”
Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, And Notes To Self by Liana Finck (Random House Trade Paperbacks) September 24, 2019. The cover art isn’t available yet. But here’s some of the publisher’s text:
Excuse Me assembles more than 500 of her most loved cartoons from Instagram and The New Yorker over the past few years, in such distinctive chapters as Love & Dating; Gender & Other Politics; Animals; Art & Myth-Making; Humanity; Time, Space, and How to Navigate Them; Strangeness, Shyness, Sadness; and Notes to Self.
Big She Bang by Marisa Acocella (Harper Wave) October 15, 2019.
Cover art not yet available. Here’s what her publisher has to say about the book:
New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella tells an alternate her-story of the world in a new brilliant graphic book. Narrated by God the Mother and featuring all of the bad-ass women who have been relegated to footnotes, or worse, vilified for daring to speak their minds, The Big She-Bang goes head to head with the big “book written by men about a bunch of men” to tell it like it is.
Everyone’s A Critic, edited by Bob Eckstein (Princeton Architectural Press). October 22, 2019
Cover art not yet available, nor is there any text from the publisher. However, I think it’s safe to say that this collection will be filled with the work of New Yorker cartoonists, just like Mr. Eckstein’s Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons mentioned at the top of this post.
Back in 2009 when I was hunting around for information on Ms. Shermund (in connection with writing my biography of Peter Arno), I visited a library in upstate New York (Kingston, to be exact) that had a decent collection of The New York Times on microfilm. Looking through a file cabinet of materials I spotted a notation that indicated there was no microfilm for the Times at a certain point because the paper had been on strike. Barbara Shermund’s death was within that period (The New Yorker hadn’t mentioned her passing either, but In that case it was understandable — her work hadn’t appeared in the magazine for thirty-four years). In an attempt to fill in a missing piece, I took a stab at writing an obit for Ms. Shermund and posted it on the Spill:
Revisiting Barbara Shermund
Barbara Shermund, who died in early September, 1978, had the
misfortune of passing away during a newspaper strike that affected the
paper of record, The New York Times. An extensive search has
turned up just one obituary for her, a four sentence notice that ran in a
newspaper covering the New Jersey coastal town (Sea Bright) where she
lived for a number of years toward the end of her life.
For someone who contributed hundreds of cartoons and eight covers to The New YorkerMagazine, then went on to become a mainstay at Esquire, four sentences seems a bit slight. Here then is another notice, a little late, and a little longer.
Born in San Francisco in 1899 to artistic parents (her father was an
architect), Ms. Shermund studied at The California School of Fine Arts
before heading east, at the age of twenty-six, to New York. She told Colliers
that her initial visit east became permanent “after she had eaten up
her return fare.” In June of that very year, she made her debut at the
four month old New Yorker with a cover of a young woman
sporting a hip hairdo, eyes closed, resting her arm over a railing,
against a black sky peppered with stars. In a year’s time her cartoons,
many if not most of which were written by her, were appearing in nearly
every issue of the magazine.
Her style had a sway to it that fit the times. Her subjects, executed
in pen and ink and wash, were often hip young women, just a bit jaded –
the sort that famously inhabited F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. She once offered up this brief glimpse into her private life, saying she liked “fancy dancing and dogs.”
Liza Donnelly, author of Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and their Cartoons, had this to say about Ms. Shermund:
“Barbara Shermund was one of the more prolific cartoonists of the early New Yorker.
Her breezy drawing style and humor reflected the new attitudes of urban
women in the twenties and thirties, and she can be considered one of
the early feminist cartoonists. The New Yorker sought to appeal
to both men and women with its humor, and Shermund, along with other
women cartoonists of the magazine, were ground breakers in that regard,
creating cartoons from a woman’s perspective that could be enjoyed by
all. Her cartoons were irreverent, sassy, and a true reflection of her
Shermund traveled widely – Donnelly wrote of her that “she was
something of a wanderer, living with friends in the city and the upstate
town of Woodstock [NY], never really having a set address.” Eventually
she settled down in Sea Bright, New Jersey, a barrier beach town, just
about an hour’s drive from New York.
The last of her five hundred and ninety-seven drawings in The New Yorker appeared September 16, 1944; her last cover appeared August 5, 1944. Although her relationship with The New Yorker fizzled in the mid 1940s, she participated in an Irving Penn group photo of eighteen New Yorker
cartoonists ( it ran in the August 1947 issue of Vogue). Ms. Shermund,
dressed in dark clothing and wearing a great wide brimmed hat, stares
directly at the camera. Sitting directly in front of her is George
Price, and Steinberg; overhead, reclining on a platform is Charles
Addams. Off to Ms. Shermund’s right is Helen Hokinson, looking just a
The discs accompanying The Complete New Yorker allow one to see all of Barbara Shermund’s work in their natural habitat. Nine of her drawings appear in the The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, and of course all of her work can be seen on the discs accompanying the book.
Here’s Ms. Shermund’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Barbara Shermund Born, San Francisco. 1899. Studied at The California School of Fine Arts. Died, 1978, New Jersey. New Yorker work: June 13, 1925 thru September 16, 1944. 8 covers and 599 cartoons. Shermund’s later. post-New Yorker work was featured in Esquire. (See Liza Donnelly’s book, Funny Ladies — a history of The New Yorker’s women cartoonists — for more on Shermund’s life and work)