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. 

 

 

The Guardian On Comics & Graphic Novels; Cartoon Companion Rates Latest New Yorker Cartoons; Shermund’s Santas on Attempted Bloggery

The Guardian‘s Comics and Graphic Novels page is a fun go-to site.  Currently there is a podcast featuring Ken Krimstein, and several Liana Finck posts. 

Both of these New Yorker contributors have new books well worth looking into:

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The CC boys, “Max” and “Simon” are back with their rated takes on the cartoons appearing in the latest New Yorker (the December 17th issue — the one with John Cuneo‘s Sipping Santa on the cover). 

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Shermund’s Santas on Attempted Bloggery

Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery has been posting a number of  Santa-flavored Barbara Shermund cartoons this week.  Check ’em out here.