At The Society of Illustrators this coming Friday, October 25th, New Yorker cartoonists Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, and Michael Maslin will join Thurber expert Michael J. Rosen in celebrating The Art of James Thurber. All the info here.
Thurber’s entry on The Spill‘s A-Z:
James Thurber Born, Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 1894. Died 1961, New York City. New Yorker work: 1927 -1961, with several pieces run posthumously. According to the New Yorker’s legendary editor, William Shawn, “In the early days, a small company of writers, artists, and editors — E.B. White, James Thurber, Peter Arno, and Katharine White among them — did more to make the magazine what it is than can be measured.”
Key cartoon collection: The Seal in the Bedroom and Other Predicaments (Harper & Bros., 1932). Key anthology (writings & drawings): The Thurber Carnival (Harper & Row, 1945). There have been a number of Thurber biographies. Burton Bernstein’s Thurber (Dodd, Mead, 1975) and Harrison Kinney’s James Thurber: His Life and Times (Henry Holt & Co., 1995) are essential. A short bio appears on the Thurber House website: http://www.thurberhouse.org/about-james-thurber/
Here’s The New Yorker cartoonist Amy Hwang writing about the current Pearl River Mart Gallery exhibit: “Asian Babies: Work From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists”
When I started drawing cartoons for The New Yorker in 2010, I did not think much of the fact that I was possibly the only cartoonist of Asian* descent contributing at the time. It was hard enough to get into the magazine, so I was mainly focused on staying in it by consistently sending in cartoon batches hoping that more would sell. Eventually, I realized I was an anomaly. Being the only Asian New Yorker cartoonist contributing at that time, I felt pressure to keep producing cartoons as if I was an endangered species.
My cartoons are not explicitly “Asian” in topic or style, and without seeing my surname at the bottom corner of my drawings, most people probably wouldn’t think that I am Asian-American at all. I decided from the beginning to sign my cartoons legibly with my full name so that anyone seeing them would surmise that I was both female and Asian, both of which are underrepresented groups among cartoonists. I did this in hopes that there might be some recognition of that fact even if it was subconscious. I also did this so my friends wouldn’t ask me which cartoons were mine. But they still did.
Nearly ten years later, there are now several New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent currently contributing to the magazine. Many, like myself, are based in the United States: Colin Tom, Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, and Evan Lian. Alice Cheng and Hartley Lin are in Canada, and Maddie Dai is a Kiwi living in England. All of them seem young to me. Or rather, I feel old next to them. But I am still caught off guard when any of them will mention my work as if it has been around forever. The passage of time is funny that way. I was well into adulthood when my first cartoon was printed in the magazine, but many of them were practically kids.
Jeremy Nguyen approached me a little over a year ago to curate Asian Babies with him. He had the idea to have a group show featuring New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent, and the Pearl River Mart Gallery was the perfect venue for our small group. The exhibition developed organically. When we started planning, we had about five cartoonists. In late 2018 and into 2019, four more had their first cartoons printed in The New Yorker, so we added them. There is no way of knowing if we included every cartoonist of Asian descent in the show, but we tried our best by looking at everyone’s surnames which certainly isn’t 100 percent foolproof.
One month before the show was slated to open, Jeremy came across the name Monroe Leung. He was listed with other cartoonists who had had only one cartoon published in The New Yorker. His cartoon was published in 1949. Jeremy was able to contact Monroe’s daughter Corinne Leung Katow with the help of cartoonist Michael Maslin, and we secured permission to include Monroe’s New Yorker cartoon and other works of his in our show. I think people will be as surprised as we were when they discover his works among the others. In my view, he was years ahead of his time.
Monroe passed away in 2004, several years before my first cartoon was printed in The New Yorker. And while he may have been the only New Yorker cartoonist of Asian descent in his lifetime, I take comfort in knowing he is no longer alone today.
*Asian in this article refers to East Asian and Southeast Asian
— By Amy Hwang
Asian Babies: Works from Asian New Yorker Artists Pearl River Mart Gallery
395 Broadway, NYC
Open every day, 10 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Note: this piece originally appeared on a commercial site. It appears here through the kind permission of Ms. Hwang.
New Yorker cartoonists Amy Hwang andJeremy Nguyen, co-curators of the recently opened Asian Babies exhibit. The show features work by Ms. Hwang and Mr. Nguyen along with New Yorker cartoonist colleagues Maddie Dai, Alice Cheng, Hartley Lin, Colin Tom, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, Evan Lian, and Monroe Leung.
“Live” New Yorker Cartoons On Late Night With Seth Meyers & David Remnick
The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick joins Seth Meyers for the 8th installment of “Live New Yorker Cartoons.” Cartoons by: Ben Schwartz, John McNamee, Maddie Dai, Ed Steed, and Drew Panckeri. Watch here.
If you happen into The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts as I did this afternoon, you’ll find an original Charles Saxon drawing hanging on a hallway wall just off the Inn’s pub. According to The New Yorker database it doesn’t appear to have been in the magazine. No matter — it’s a lovely drawing (what Saxon drawing isn’t?). –photo by Bruce Crocker
Mr. Saxon’s entry on The Spill‘s A-Z:
Charles Saxon (self portrait above left from Best Cartoons of the Year 1947) Born in Brooklyn, Nov 13, 1920, died in Stamford, Conn., Dec 6, 1988. New Yorker work: 1943 – 1991 (2 drawings published posthumously). Key collection: One Man’s Fancy ( Dodd, Mead, 1977).