The Weekend Spill: A Book Of Interest On The Horizon; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of April 6-10, 2020

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It appears that this long-ago rejected cover painting is going to be a Spill Easter thing. ___________________________________________________________

 

An Editor’s Burial: Journals and Journalism From The New Yorker and other Magazines, coming our way in July from Penguin/Random House.

 

This from the publisher:

A glimpse of post-war France through the eyes and words of 14 (mostly) expatriate journalists including Mavis Gallant, James Baldwin, A.J. Liebling, S.N. Behrman, Luc Sante, Joseph Mitchell, and Lillian Ross; plus, portraits of their editors William Shawn and New Yorker founder Harold Ross.

Together: they invented modern magazine journalism. Includes an introductory interview by Susan Morrison with Anderson about transforming fact into a fiction and the creation of his homage to these exceptional reporters.

 

I’m guessing the piece on Harold Ross by S.N. Behrman is “Harold Ross: A Recollection”  from Mr. Behrman’s The Suspended Drawing Room (Stein & Day, 1965). It’s good reading.

 

The Lillian Ross material possibly (likely!?) from her oddly unconvincing memoir of Shawn, Here But Not Here (Random House, 1998).

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

The Daily Cartoon: P.C. Vey, David Sipress, Mort Gerberg, Brendan Loper, Jeremy Nguyen.

Daily Shouts: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell.

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook, “He Walks Among Us” — this piece on John Prine.

…and from The Culture Desk, this Paul Karasik piece, also on John Prine.

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Who, Darrow?

Lately, while rummaging around through my own New Yorker history, I’ve spent a lot of time re-reading what other contributors had to say about the transitional period of Shawn to Gottlieb to Brown to Remnick. There were a number of books,  all published in the late 1990s, early 2000s: Renata Adler’s Gone, Lillian Ross’s Here But Not Here, Ved Mehta’s Remembering Mr. Shawn, John Seabrook’s Nobrow, E.J. Kahn’s Year Of Change. It was the E.J. Kahn book that got me looking over the rest of the Kahn books here at Spill headquarters. 

I ended up going much further away from the late 1990s, back to The Harold Ross years, to 1949, when Who, Me? was published (it’s a collection of Mr, Kahn’s New Yorker pieces).  Either I knew who the cover artist was whenever I bought the book, and forgot — or I never knew.  Either way, it was a pleasant surprise seeing the signature “Darrow” way down at the bottom. At first, I wasn’t positive it was Whitney Darrow, Jr. , the New Yorker artist — the signature was very close, but not exactly as he signed his work at the time.

The inside flap confirmed it: 

Jacket Design by Whitney Darrow, Jr.

 

Here’s what the inside cover looks like:

All very un-Darrow like. Here’s what Mr. Darrow’s New Yorker work looked like the year Who, Me? was published.  The drawing below appeared in the issue of July 2, 1949.

Note:  Mr. Kahn began contributing to The New Yorker in 1932. Mr. Darrow in 1933.  Below is Mr. Darrow’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Whitney Darrow, Jr. (photo above) Born August 22, 1909, Princeton, NJ. Died August, 1999, Burlington, Vermont. New Yorker work: 1933 -1982. Quote (Darrow writing of himself in the third person): …in 1931 he moved to New York City, undecided between law school and doing cartoons as a profession. The fact that the [New Yorker’s] magazine offices were only a few blocks away decided him…” (Quote from catalogue, Meet the Artist, 1943)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit of Interest: Not OK: Great Cartoons That Weren’t Good Enough; Cartoon Companion Rates Latest New Yorker Cartoons; The Tilley Watch: Lillian Ross

Exhibit of Interest: Not OK

From the New York Times, September 21, 2017,  “The New Yorker Said No, But These Cartoons Just May Make Your Day” — this piece on tomorrow’s sure-to-be-fun show of rejected work. 

So what is an “OK”?  It’s what every cartoonist submitting to The New Yorker hopes to see in their inbox at the end of the week (sent by the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen).  A drawing that has been OKed is a drawing that has been bought by the New Yorker

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Cartoon Companion Rates Latest New Yorker Cartoons

The CC boys (they call themselves “Max” and “Simon”) are back with a look at the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.  Among the cartoons dissected are those featuring  beans, huddled football players, big shoes, E.T., and a hot air balloon.  I don’t always see eye-to-eye (or cartoon-to-cartoon) with many of their evaluations, but that’s part of the fun.  Read it all here.

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Word went out yesterday that Lillian Ross, long time contributor to The New Yorker had passed away at age 99.  Ms. Ross began her New Yorker career in 1945, and continued publishing there until 2012 (on the magazine’s blog). Her last piece in the print magazine, according to her New York Times obit, was 2011. 

Here’s a link to the Times obit.

And here’s a link to Rebecca Mead’s “Postscript” on Ms. Ross on the magazine’s website. 

On a personal note, my interactions with Ms. Ross were always interesting.  I first met her at a New Yorker party back in December of 1999.  I summoned up my courage to walk over and introduce myself when I noticed she was sitting by herself at a small round-top table right behind me. I was on a mission in those years to interview everyone at the magazine who possibly could have known Peter Arno.  She looked puzzled at first as I approached, but she broke into a grin when I mentioned I was working on a biography of Arno.  She invited me to sit with her, and immediately launched into a wonderful very short Arno tale (it went into the Arno biography —  she repeated the story elsewhere in print). In short, she was at the big party held (in February of 1952) to celebrate William Shawn’s official appointment as Harold Ross’s successor. Peter Arno, in attendance, asked Ms. Ross if she wanted a ride home. Mr. Shawn leaned over to her and whispered in her ear, “He’s dangerous.” 

  Some weeks after I’d introduced myself to Ms. Ross we were on the phone discussing all sorts of New Yorker “stuff”– but mostly Mr. Shawn’s feelings (according to her) about the magazine’s cartoons and cartoonists in general.   “Ask me anything about what went on,” she said to me — “I know a lot.”

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Thurber Is #1

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It’s silly to rate cartoonists, but around here, as anyone who follows Ink Spill knows, James Thurber is the #1 New Yorker cartoonist. Thinking about him on the eve of his birthday (he was born in Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 1894) I stood in front of the Thurber paperback section of our cartoon library, looking at title after title.  After taking several of the books down and thumbing through, I realized that there’s no better way to celebrate the man than by simply showing his work (or, in this case, some of it). Not all his titles are in the photograph, but the span of his career is represented (in paperback form) from Is Sex Necessary (co-authored with E.B. White) all the way up to the last book published while he was alive, Lanterns & Lances (it came out in April of 1961, just seven months before he died).

There are no favorites here, but I confess a fondness for the low-key graphics of the Penguin English paperbacks, with their vertical orange borders (there’s a Japanese copy of The Last Flower in the photo as well — I suppose it would be fun to start collecting Thurber editions from around the world).

What doesn’t surprise me after all these years of looking at Thurber’s work is that his drawings never disappoint. The seal in the bedroom never seems less than a miracle; the present Mrs. Harris on the bookcase continues to baffle in the best way; the naive domestic burgundy continues to amuse,  the War Between Men & Women never truly ends, and Dr. Millmoss has yet to be accounted for.

 

 

And…a little more Thurber:

See some of Thurber’s New Yorker work here.

Link here to a fun Thurber piece on the Attempted Bloggery site.

And…

William Shawn, The New Yorker‘s second editor (he presided over the magazine from 1952 through 1987) died on this day in 1992. Here’s a short piece marking the day.

If you have the double issue of the New Yorker dated December 28 1992 & January 4 1993, this would be a good day to take another look through. It contains a wonderful section, “Remembering Mr. Shawn” wherein you’ll find short pieces by, among others, Charles McGrath, Calvin Trillin, John Updike, Lee Lorenz, Kennedy Frazier, Philip Hamburger, Roger Angell, Andy Logan, Mark Singer, John McPhee, William Maxwell, Daniel Menaker, Lillian Ross, and Brendan Gill.  There are also a number of b&w photos of Shawn taken by James Stevenson.