The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 4, 2020

The Cover: In Francoise Mouly’s Q&A with this week’s cover artist, Chris Ware, she informs us that the issue is anchored by “a kaleidoscopic account of a single day in New York.”  And so we see a cover, in Mr. Ware’s patented style, loaded with snapshots of the city —  a cover nearly devoid of people.

The Cartoonists:

Liza Donnelly, Robert Leighton, Amy Hwang, Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, Liana Finck, Julia Suits, Frank Cotham, Lars Kenseth, Peter Steiner, Karl Stevens, Edward Steed, Elisabeth McNair, Ali Solomon

The Cartoons:

First thing I noticed zipping through this week’s cartoons (via the slideshow on newyorker.com) is that 9 of the 14 drawings contain non-humans. Is this unusual? I don’t know; haven’t kept track of the human/non-human ratio of the cartoons over the years [if anyone has, please let me know — I’d love to see the numbers]. What may be unusual are the three drawings in a row containing two animals apiece: Ed Steed’s two cows, Elisabeth McNair’s pig and squirrel, and Ali Solomon’s two seals.

The remaining half-dozen cartoons featuring non-humans: Peter Steiner’s shark (fins), Lars Kenseth’s multitude of rabbits, Roz Chast’s cow, Liana Finck’s dog(?), and Amy Hwang’s snails. This week’s lead cartoon, by Liza Donnelly, is a direct nod to NYC’s shut-down (it features a none-too-pleased caged subway rat).

The high percentage of animals in the issue reminded me of this passage from Brendan Gill’s Here At The New Yorker:

“Once, Geraghty [the magazine’s Art editor from 1939-1973] mentioned to me that the art department ‘bank’ contained a deplorably high number of jokes featuring conversations between animals. I proposed that the artwork of an entire issue of the magazine be devoted to talking-animal jokes, thus reducing the bank and just possibly causing our readers to lose their minds.  My proposal was accepted, the issue came out, and as far as the magazine could judge, the prank went largely unobserved.” 

Other Cartoons That Caught My Eye:

It seemed pre-ordained that Roz Chast would do a panic buying drawing. Love her (signed) photo drawing of “Der Bingle.” Mick Stevens’s me time drawing is a fine/fun piece of work; applause applause for the way Frank Cotham handled the damned in his splendid media attention drawing. I’ve no idea how Mr. Cotham’s cartoon is sized (I don’t have access to the digital edition yet) but this cartoon would certainly work beautifully on a half-page.  (Update, now that the digital issue is available:  Mr. Cotham’s drawing has been run a bit larger than most of the issue’s cartoons…not a half-page tho.)

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Without having the digital issue in front of me I’ve no idea if Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk masthead (below), shown the door, and replaced by a redraw in the Spring of 2017, has finally returned.  Here’s more information on it.(Update: the redraw still appears. The classic remains in storage)

Behold the real deal!

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 27, 2020

The Cover

The new issue’s cover, by Homer Hanuka, is the seventh of the last eight covers that are coronavirus-related.  You can read a Q&A with the artist here.

The Cartoonists

Joe Dator, Sam Gross, Harry Bliss, Farley Katz, Roz Chast, Ellis Rosen, Glen Baxter, P.C. Vey, Emily Flake, Frank Cotham, David Sipress, Liana Finck, Lars Kenseth, Johnny DiNapoli, Carol Lay, Kate Curtis

The Cartoons

Not to be missed: Peter Kuper’s “Little Donald’s Sneeze (After Winsor McCay’s ‘Little Sammy Sneeze’)”

Random thoughts after going through the cartoon slide show: seeing a Sam Gross drawing in any issue is always a blast. Mr. Gross, having begun contributing to the magazine in 1969, is the veteran of the week (with Roz Chast next — she began contributing in 1978)…… always interesting to see a Glen Baxter drawing in the magazine, especially if it involves cowboys (this one does)…… Joe Dator’s olden days binge drawing caught my eye as did Ellis Rosen’s social distancing magic trick……Especially fond of Farley Katz’s solo parader (reminded me, strangely enough,  of Ringo Starr’s wonderful segment in “A Hard Day’s Night” when he goes “paradin”). Enjoyed two cartoons employing turns on old chestnuts: David Sipress’s version of “What do I look like, a mind reader?” and Kate Curtis’s on “Try to get some sleep. Everything will be better in the morning.” ….. P.C. Vey’s cave people are a hoot.

…And: there’s a newbie: the aforementioned Kate Curtis is the 5th new cartoonist added to The New Yorker‘s stable this year, and the 58th added under cartoon editor, Emma Allen.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

Without the digital issue posted as yet (2:00pm), I’ve no idea if Mr. Irvin’s iconic masthead (above) has returned. If I had to guess, I’d say nope, it hasn’t. Read all about it here.

 

 

 

 

The Weekend Spill: The American Bystander’s Quarantine Calvacade; Film Of Interest: Barsotti: A Cartoonist’s Life; The Tilley Watch Online, April 13-17, 2020

American Bystander’s Cartoon Quarantine Calvacade

Michael Gerber, publisher and driving force behind The American Bystander has begun a Cartoon Quarantine Calvacade. He tells the Spill, he began it as an “outlet” for “both the audience and the contributors.” See it here (and subscribe to the Bystander while you’re there!).

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From a 14 year old Kansas filmmaker, Carter Rostrom, this short (5 minute) film, Barsotti: A Cartoonist’s Life. My thanks to Michael Gerber (of American Bystander fame) for bringing it to my attention.

Here’s Mr. Barsotti’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Charles Barsotti (photo above) Born, San Marcos, Texas, September 28, 1933.  Died, Kansas City, Mo., June 16, 2014. Mr. Barsotti was briefly the cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post (from 1968 until its demise in 1969). The New York Times review of his 1981 collection “Kings Don’t Carry Money” led with the following:”Thurber lives, in Kansas City under the name of Charles Barsotti.” His deceptively simple line drawings of pups and kings, and businessmen have been a presence in The New Yorker for over fifty years. It is likely that Mr. Barsotti is the only New Yorker cartoonist to have ever run for Congress (an unsuccessful bid, in 1972, in Kansas). New Yorker work: 1962 – . Key collections: Kings Don’t Carry Money (Dodd, Mead, 1981), and The Essential Charles Barsotti, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz (Workman, 1998).

Link to Ink Spill’s Charles Barsotti appreciation

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The Tilley Watch Online, April 13 -17, 2020

An end of week listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to newyorker.com features.

The Daily Cartoon: Lila Ash, Paul Noth, Jon Adams, Peter Kuper, Brooke Bourgeois.

Daily Shouts: Liana Finck, Olivia de Recat, Sara Lautman, Ward Sutton, Ali Fitzgerald.

…and Blitt’s Kvetchbook: “Duck Doctor Dynasty”

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 20, 2020

A Note To Readers: Due to the times we’re in the digital edition of the magazine appears later in the day than usual. Thus, instead of the usual look through the magazine, I’m working off of the slide show of cartoons on newyorker.com, as well as the cover Q&A found there. If any mistakes are made on my part I’ll correct them once the digital issue is posted.

Update: 1:00pm.  Digital issue posted about an hour ago.

The Cover: Owen Smith gives us a tired worker (the piece is titled — and again, why do we need cover titles? —  “After The Shift”)…four out of the last five covers have been corona virus themed. Read about the cover here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

I don’t know how others respond to an issue’s cartoons. For me, it’s always at least a two-level response:

1. How each drawing hits me — did a drawing stand out (for better or worse).

2. The feeling from all the drawings combined: was it a strong issue of work, or not.

This new issue feels strong, covering a wide range of territory in cartoonland, from aliens (courtesy of Charlie Hankin) to a PC Satyr (from Edward Koren), from dolphins in a swimming pool (McPhail), to what might be found on the other side of the mountaintop (Colin Tom)… and so much more.

 

The Rea Irvin Masthead Watch:

Rea Irvin, the fellow shown here, did so much to shape the look of The New Yorker (okay, I’ll say it — he was instrumental). One of his greatest lasting contributions was adapting Allen Lewis’s typeface; it eventually became known as the Irvin typeface, although these days I hear it   referred to as the New Yorker typeface.  Among Irvin’s many contributions other than art supervisor to Harold Ross (in itself a huge contribution!) was contributing covers, including, of course, the very first one, featuring Eustace Tilley. He also contributed cartoons, and headings for various departments. His design for Talk Of The Town stood in place (with a few adjustments in the magazine’s earliest days) for 92 years, until May of 2017 when his iconic design was mothballed and replaced by a redraw.

Am I wrong to think of Irvin’s typeface, his Tilley, his Talk masthead, and his “catholic” taste in cartoon selection as representing the graphic soul of the magazine?  So many modern changes (or “tweaks” as they were referred to) were test ballooned in recent years and then withdrawn (layout, typography, headings, etc., etc.) —  why not bring back this not insignificant bit of soul.

 

The Weekend Spill: Cartoonists Offer #Cartoonrelief To Those Hit Hardest By Covid-19; The Tilley Watch Online, March 30 – April 3, 2020; Tom Gauld’s Collection Reviewed

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While checking in on a New Yorker cartoonist Slack group a few days ago I noticed a number of my cartoonist colleagues had begun using their art to help those in need during this pandemic. I asked if one of the organizers would explain in detail what they were up to. So here is my New Yorker cartoonist colleague, Amy Kurzweil to tell you about an incredibly worthy effort, #Cartoonrelief:

#Cartoonrelief was born on the New Yorker Cartoonist Slack channel. Navied Mahdavian posted that he’d just bought some photographs from Italian artists raising money for local hospitals, and wanted to know if we cartoonists were interested in selling prints or drawings for a coronavirus cause. I was just about to do something similar on my instagram; a couple times annually I sell prints and originals and give half the proceeds to charity, and this seemed like a moment to up my charitable game. I chose (and often raise money for) Give Directly because their charitable model makes the most sense to me; they give unconditional, direct cash transfers to people living in extreme poverty; they’re highly rated by charity watch orgs because their model means overhead costs are low and decisions about how to spend money are as local as possible. Usually their efforts are global, but right now they have a fund that sends cash to US families hit hardest by COVID-19. 
Other cartoonists jumped on board, and we each made our own choices about what to offer and for how much, given our various constraints at the moment. Avi Steinberg is offering digital portraits, Navied Mahdavian is offering original cartoon drawings, Brendan Loper is offering original cartoon drawings, digital prints, and pet portraits, Sofia Warren is offering originals portraits and original collaborative cartoons, Kendra Allenby is offering signed prints and one-on-one art consultations, Ivan Ehlers is offering prints and custom digital portraits. Neil Dvorak is offering prints, Tom Chitty is drawing robots on horses. Each of our offerings is set at a different price-point, between $25 and $125; people just have to message us the receipt for their donation. I’m offering drawn portraits for $100 and personalized digital cartoon prints for $50. Most people are going for portraits, usually of a loved one: a child they’re quarantining with, a partner they are or aren’t quarantining with, a coworker they’re missing. Although it’s been a lot of work, it’s felt quite meaningful to enter people’s lives momentarily through the act of drawing the people they love. All the responses have been incredibly validating. Here are a few of the portraits I’ve done so far:
And here are some other offerings:
Original Cartoons from Navied:
A collaborative cartoon from Sofia and a donating contributor:
I’ve noticed people have been making much larger donations than I suggest. For example, someone just sent me a receipt for $1000. I think people who can give, want to give, and they appreciate encouragement and validation for doing so. Together we’ve raised $8,000 +… and counting!
If you’d like to join us: Our efforts are unified under the hashtag #cartoonrelief, and any cartoonists can get involved by offering whatever art they can, for a COVID-19 related charitable cause. We’re encouraging of cartoonists and cartoon supporters to propose their own charity or fund they believe is helping with medical or economic relief right now.
If people have any questions about how to get involved, or want to support our efforts, you can reach out to any of the cartoonists mentioned above on Instagram, or email me directly: amykurz@gmail.com 
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A listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to newyorker.com features during the week of March 30 – April 3, 2020.
The Daily Cartoon: Peter Kuper, Shannon Wheeler, Jon Adams, Johnny Dinapoli, Kendra Allenby.
Daily Shouts: Liana Finck, Jason Chatfield (with Ginny Hogan), Avi Steinberg.
…Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.
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Tom Gauld’s Cartoon Collection Reviewed
Mr. Gauld is a New Yorker cover artist.