The Cover: This week’s New Yorker cover is by Pascal Campion, his second cover for the magazine — his second moody metropolis scene. Read about it here. I wonder if we’ll see a moody mid-western, western, northeastern or southern scenario anytime soon.
The Cartoons: Several nice surprises this week. The first was running into Sam Gross’s lead-in cartoon (his work has been appearing in the magazine for forty-nine years). There are certain cartoonists whose style alone gets the laugh meter buzzing. Mr. Gross is one of those cartoonists. The other surprise: R.O. Blechman’s “spot” drawings. Mr. Blechman’s wonderful drawings and covers have appeared in the magazine for forty-five years.
A third nice thing to see in this issue: the number of cartoons. Bumped up from the usual dozen or so to a healthy eighteen. They just keep on a-comin as you flip through the magazine (as do the illustrations).
If I have one little dark cloud to drag over this sunny moment it’s another plea for some of the work to be run larger (true, some cartoons run large, should be smaller). A number in this issue are, to my eyes, sized just right (a few for instances: Tom Cheney’s on page 54, and Jon Adams on page 52). Perfectly sized is Seth Fleishman’s terrific drawing on page 39. But others seem wedged into their corners; Roz Chast’s intricate Candy Land For Adults (page 32) and David Sipress’s off the beaten track restaurant (page 25) would benefit from more space. Really all I’m campaigning for is a graphic invitation for readers to fully appreciate the work. The work of the late George Price is a good example of how a cartoonist’s world can take us in for some detached momentary fun-time. Mr. Price’s drawings were usually allowed a lot of breathing room on the page. One paused to inspect the work, to enjoy all the “stuff” Price gave us. Imagine one of his drawings run in a little box on the corner of a page.
A few favorite drawings, or elements of drawings in this issue: Joe Dator’s monkey (page 40); Paul Noth’s drawing (page 60) — a great addition to the New Yorker‘s doctor canon; P.C. Vey’s theater drawing; Maddie Dai’s drawing of a sculptor and friend, as well as the caption; Frank Cotham’s perfect caption for his drawing (page 36). All fine, inspiring moments.
Next-to-Lastly, a mention of the newest cartoonist on the block: Ellie Black, the third newbie this year and the twenty-seventh new cartoonist brought in since Emma Allen became the magazine’s cartoon editor in May of 2017. A good debut, with a welcome unexpected play on the well-worn hands touching moment we’ve seen in movies and books.
And lastly, let us not forget the great work of Rea Irvin, especially his mothballed masthead design. Here it is:
Speaking of Mr. Irvin, I spoke too soon last week about the New Yorker‘s anniversary issue appearing this week. Had I bothered to consult the fine print publishing info found near the end of each issue I would’ve seen that next week’s magazine (a double issue: February 18 & 25) is the 94th anniversary issue.
Today’s Daily Cartoon