From the Rye City Review, January 25, 2018, “Rejected Cartoons Get a Second Chance” — this article about cartoons submitted, rejected, then revived for an exhibit. (an Ellis Rosen drawing shown above)
Among the magazine’s Daily cartoons this week: Kim Warp’s weary winter weather drawing; Brendan Loper’s tweeter-in-chief cartoon; Lars Kenseth’s take on this week’s unusual White House media moment, and Peter Kuper’s Trumpian map of the world.
Photos From the Kovarsky Opening at The Society of Illustrators
A packed house last night at the Society of Illustrators Opening Reception for Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons From the New Yorker. Here’s an array of photos (all by Liza Donnelly, with one exception: the photo of Liza Donnelly and her husband– that’s courtesy of Gina Kovarsky)
Above: a wall of Kovarskys.
Below: New Yorker cartoonists Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin
Below: Sam Gross and New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein
A closing thought on the exhibit, which runs til March 3 of this year:
This is a terrific show. The energy bouncing off Mr. Kovarsky’s work on the walls is inspiring. After looking at all of the covers and drawings I went back and spent more time looking at Mr. Kovarsky’s very first cartoon for the New Yorker. It was published in the issue of March 1, 1947; here’s how it appeared:
I’ve always had a special affection for first New Yorker drawings. It is, as they say, a moment. Every cartoonist remembers the details surrounding their first published drawing. The unspoken mini-drama surrounding the first is that no one knows, of course, whether there’ll be a second (see the Spill‘s One Clubbers on the A-Z). In Mr. Kovarsky’s case there was a second, and then there were hundreds more — close to 300 in fact. If that wasn’t something impressive in itself, he also contributed 40 covers. And all this work was done in the relatively short time span of twenty-two years (according to Gina Kovarsky: “In the 1970s, Kovarsky shifted his main focus from cartooning to fine art…”). It will not come as a surprise to anyone seeing this exhibit how Kovarsky accomplished so much in a mere two decades. It is as if he never set his pen or his brush down for a moment. Kovarsky’s world seemed to be abuzz 24/7. How lucky for us all.
“Not OK” Cartoonists in Westchester
From Westchester Magazine, January 12, 2018, “You Can Meet New Yorker Cartoonists…”
Here’s a capsule description from the article:
“Not OK” — Great Cartoons That Weren’t Good Enough is a collection of works by previous New Yorker-published cartoonists that fit exactly that bill. Curated by artist and Brooklynite David Ostow, this series has come to Westchester for a month-long showing following the completion of its original gallery run in Bushwick.
This new issue of the New Yorker, dated January 1, 2018, brings the magazine ever closer to its 93rd birthday in February. The year kicks off (for the magazine) reassuringly with a George Booth cover. Here’s the magazine’s Cover Story with Mr. Booth. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think the art contains just a bit of political satire. Could be wrong, could be wrong.
How I wish I could report that the magazine’s first issue of the new year brought the return of Rea Irvin’s classic masthead for the Talk of The Town, but alas…it’s still a-missin’. As a reminder, it looks exactly like this:
And now in to the magazine’s cartoons (some of them anyway). As with several weeks ago, I’m not going to go through every drawing in the issue, but just mention a few.
I note that there are 15 cartoonists represented, with one I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong) making their debut in the magazine: Julia Bernhard. For those counting, that makes 12 new cartoonists thus far in the 8 months of Emma Allen’s watch as cartoon editor.
*A funny cowboy drawing on page 22 caught my eye — Lars Kenseth gives us brothers on the range with one just back from a Christmas visit to their mother.
Things I find amusing about this drawing:
1.The horses obviously know their way around the range — neither harness is equipped with reins.
2.The Paul Newmanesque Butch Cassidy/Don Corleone/Michael Corleone hats the brothers are wearing.
3. The Christmas sweater worn by the brother who has just returned to work. I wonder if their mom sent a sweater back for the other brother.
*For a cartoon situation regularly visited by a lot of cartoonists, Frank Cotham‘s St. Peter’s Gate drawing on page 36 has a few unusual elements. I’ve never seen St. Peter’s gate depicted like this. It looks like the gate you see on the entrance to a construction site after hours (it’s padlocked). Also, St. Peter’s book is resting on what appears to be a tv tray.
*David Sipress‘s gladiator drawing on page 40 is a good piece of work.
*Maggie Larson‘s second aerial view drawing. The last one reminded me a little of an Otto Soglow drawing. This one immediately made me think of the photographer, Andre Kertesz (here is one of his many photos taken looking down on snowy ground)
— See you next year
Thanks to New Yorker cartoonist colleague and official Spill photographer, Liza Donnelly, we can peek into last night’s holiday party at The New Yorker‘s editorial offices at 1 World Trade Center.
Below: action shot of long time staffer, Bruce Diones alongside a festive beverage cart:
Below: Peter Kuper
Below, dead-center, The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick, with Mort Gerberg all the way to the left in the blue sweater.
Below: Jeremy Nguyen, Amy Hwang, and Ellis Rosen
Below: legendary cartoonist, Sam Gross
Below: The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen
No party would be complete without at least one Polaroid. This one sent in by Jeremy Nguyen.
From left to right: Mr. Nguyen, Amy Hwang, Ellis Rosen, and Liza Donnelly
Note: over on Facebook Joe Dator has posted another bunch of photos taken last night with cartoonists not shown above, including Ben Schwartz, Drew Dernavich, Emily Flake and the magazine’s assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes.
The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
By now, observant social media types (and/or Spill visitors) have had four days to digest the latest issue’s cover. Our current President as Scrooge, and in the background, one of his former associates singing, like a canary(?). As this is a double issue we’ll have to wait til Christmas morning for a new issue. Bah! Humbug!
True story: Yesterday late afternoon I was in our local grocery store — the sole customer in the yogurt, cheese, butter section of a very long aisle. I was looking to buy cheese sticks (some people call it string cheese). As I haven’t shopped for cheese sticks in a very long time, I needed to pause in front of what seemed like too many choices. Looking back on it now, I suppose I was momentarily in my own cheese stick bubble, unaware of anything or anyone else.
I’d finally given up trying to make the “right” choice and was leaning in to grab a package of sticks off the wall display when suddenly a black shape appeared directly in front of my face, blocking my vision. I grasped, rather quickly, that the black shape was the sleeve of a winter coat. The rest of the coat belonged to a fellow customer who, unbeknownst to me, had been in the aisle waiting patiently for me to choose a cheese. Her patience having run out, she made a move deep into my “personal space” throwing her arm across my face to grab her cheese sticks of choice. Startled by the sudden turn out the lights moment, I drew back, and turned to see a smiling face. I smiled too, then I laughed. Then she laughed too.
In many ways this is the experience I hope for when I take a first look at the cartoons in every new issue of the New Yorker. The very best moments are those that take me completely by surprise, then make me laugh. Peter Arno likened the surprise moment to a “one-two” punch: looking at the drawing, then reading the caption. When the two work perfectly together: Pow! Sometimes it’s much much less than a pow — it’s an “ow” (sorry!). Usually though, cartoons (the drawing itself, or the caption) work somewhere between the extremes of “pow” and “ow.”
This week’s issue contains several fun moments (and a few ‘Pows”). I’m going to cite those particular drawings in an informal list, rather than mentioning each and every drawing in the issue.
The first drawing in the issue, placed at the close of the Table of Contents just below the list of Artists (placing cartoons there is a Tina Brown era confection) is by Edward Koren. Mr. Koren’s expertise is on full display here. Part of enjoying a drawing, at least for me, is the feeling that the cartoonist was enjoying him or herself while drawing. This is a beautiful drawing — an excellent way to lead off the issue.
David Sipress‘s drawing, on page 49, has a terrific caption right out of the Charles Saxon, George Booth mold. Mr. Sipress has delivered a poetic and funny twist for a moment many have experienced.
P.C. Vey‘s drawing on page 62. Not too many dry cleaner drawings in the New Yorker‘s 92 years. This is quite simply a funny drawing. The word “slob” in the caption delivers the “pow!”
Kim Warp‘s prison escape drawing (p. 67) is fun. I love the effort put into this drawing. A funny moment: the caption was at first not in sight (i.e., cut off) when I saw this drawing on my tablet. I thought the drawing worked captionless (the idea that one of the escaping convicts is videoing his co-escapee being caught coming out of the hole in the ground).
Maggie Larson‘s captionless drawing on page 78. A situation plenty of folks can relate to. Visually (graphically) it reminded me of this great Otto Soglow drawing from the issue of May 7, 1932:
Joe Dator‘s drawing on page 80. The caped eye-patched fellow speaking is so interesting, as is the scenario Mr. Dator has drawn. I like being sucked in to a cartoonist’s world.
William Haefeli‘s lovely Christmas morning drawing (p.87). Another drawing, like Mr. Sipress’s that many can relate to.
Liana Finck‘s drawing (p. 88). This one needed to be seen on my laptop as the words were tough to see on the tablet. But worth switching devices for. A fun drawing.
- Sadly, Rea Irvin’s Talk of the Town masthead (below) has yet to return. Fingers crossed that someday it does.
- A follow-up to one of last week’s newbie cartoonists, Mary Lawton. Ms. Lawton has informed the Spill that she submitted to the magazine for 30 years before seeing her first drawing published in its print edition. I believe that that is the longest effort on record (submitting before publication, not just submitting).
- In this week’s issue, another newbie: Pia Guerra. If you’re keeping track, that makes 11 new cartoonists in Emma Allen’s first 8 months as cartoon editor.
— see you here Christmas day (or possibly, Boxing Day), for the issue of January 1, 2018.