Video Of Interest: Two Cartoonists Draw, Among Other Things, Whales & A Vole; Fave Photo Of The Day: Roz Chast On NYC Subway; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Two Cartoonists Draw, Among Other Things, Whales & A Vole

Courtesy of The Society Of Illustrators this nearly hour long video of Liza Donnelly in her studio.  Half way through I stopped by to draw with her on a big sheet of paper.

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Fave Photo Of The Day: Roz Chast On NYC Subway

Ms. Chast, back in NYC, has posted this selfie on Instagram.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Tim Hamilton on the upcoming Trump rally.

Mr. Hamilton began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

Personal History: From Zero To Sixty; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon…And Yesterday’s

Personal History: From Zero To Sixty

In the summer of 1977, with college behind me and the demands of school work finally over, I was able to focus all of my attention on getting into the New Yorker — my New Yorker or Bust phase.  I’d begun sending the magazine work when I was still in high school, and then all through college, with no luck whatsoever, and an ever-increasing pile of rejected work.

For some reason, during that summer, I thought it would be smart to make a few stabs at being organized, and so I began a ledger, recording what I sent in to the magazine every week. In those days there were a bunch of other magazines buying cartoons — a ledger would help me keep track of what went where; it became routine to send my New Yorker rejects out to them (I’d somehow learned that’s what the professionals did). By mid-August I’d yet to to sell a single cartoon anywhere; I hadn’t made a penny from my work (think Beatles: Out of college, money spent, see no future, pay no rent, all the money’s gone, nowhere to go”) — even something called UFOlogy was rejecting my drawings.

Everything changed when the August 22nd batch — seventeen cartoons — was submitted to The New Yorker. That week I went from having sold zero number of drawings anywhere to any publication to having my work accepted at The New Yorker (it was a drawing of a fortune teller speaking to a customer, saying,“Nothing will ever happen to you”). As momentous a moment as that was for me — my foot finally in the door at The New Yorker! — the magazine was buying the idea (the caption) and handing it to veteran contributor Whitney Darrow, Jr. to execute. As noted in the ledger, it appeared in a December issue of the magazine — December 26th, to be exact.

By 1977, Mr. Darrow had been with the magazine 44 years. It had long been a practice at The New Yorker to supply artists in need of fresh ideas with work sent in from the outside (like me), or from other cartoonists at the magazine, or from the art department staff. There were even a few idea men contracted to do nothing but think up ideas for the artists.

I knew nothing about that system when the fortune teller cartoon made it through The New Yorker‘s editorial hurdles and was bought. I received a check for $150.00 — the first time I was paid for what I wanted to do for a living. When I look at the list shown above it’s a little frightening how empty the page is — all those empty squares, all those rejected drawings. Only two other sales on the page: both New Yorker rejects from that same August 22nd batch: one to Dawn Dusk magazine, and the other to the about-to-be-refurbished Esquire magazine (Esquire never ran that drawing or others of mine it later purchased — they changed course on running cartoons before the maiden issue under Clay Felker appeared on newsstands).

As summer turned to winter, my initial luck with The New Yorker seemed to have run out. Weeks and then months of empty ledger boxes. In early 1978, justlikethat, The New Yorker bought another from me (this time the drawing they published was mine). Oddly, I abandoned the weekly ledger just before that second drawing was taken. I think all those empty boxes were beginning to get to me.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

David Sipress on dinosaurs and stress. Mr. Sipress began contributing to The New Yorker in 1998.

And Yesterday’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Elisabreth McNair on when it’s safe to go out again.

Ms. McNair began contributing to The New yorker in July of 2018.

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 18, 2020

The Cover: a sign o’ the times graduation piece by Anita Kunz. This is the tenth out the last eleven covers that is coronavirus-related.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

An even dozen cartoons & cartoonists, with a thirteenth, Ed Steed, as this week’s Spot drawing artist. The newbie in the crowd, Oren Bernstein, is the sixth new New Yorker cartoonist of 2020, and the fifty-ninth new addition to the stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Some fleeting thoughts on a few of this week’s drawings:

…The aforementioned newbie’s drawing style looks to be in the school of John O’Brien (although this drawing carries a caption; Mr. O’Brien is one of the masters of the captionless cartoon).

…I was hoping to see a horse in Roz Chast’s ranch drawing, but alas! (I’m a fan of Ms. Chast’s horse drawings).

…two drawings, two very different styles, caught my eye: Mitra Farmand’s cats in bags (p.62)… and Liana Finck’s moonbeam in a jar (p. 40).

…Emily Bernstein’s racoon drawing caption is swell & funny.

…the rhythm of the wording in the boxed title of Maddie Dai’s gameboard drawing (p.37) vaguely echoed (for me) the wording in John Held, Jr.’s New Yorker work (with maybe a dash of Glen Baxter tossed in).

…I like seeing the George Boothian rug in Frank Cotham’s cartoon (p. 44). When I began studying Mr. Booth’s work, I noticed how many of his carpets never quite sat completely flat on the floor. I found this touch of reality (just one of many in Mr. Booth’s work) inspirational. Example (in this May 25, 1998 New Yorker drawing):

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

The above iconic design by the great Rea Irvin was ditched in the Spring of 2017 in favor a redrawn(!) version. Hopefully, one day, someday, the above will return. Read all about it here.

 

 

 

 

Thurber Thursday: When Thurber’s Dr. Millmoss Returned To The New Yorker Via Danny Shanahan

I’m on record as believing Thurber’s “What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?” is a perfect drawing.  It appeared in The New Yorker,  July 14, 1934, but we didn’t get any kind of closure on Millmoss until February of 1991 when he turned up at a Returns counter in a Danny Shanahan cartoon. Two more Shanahan Thurberesque drawings over the next two years provided further glimpses of Millmoss’s world.

The Spill recently asked Mr. Shanahan about to talk about his Thurber Millmoss trio, and if the originals were, as I remembered, out in Columbus.

“I always loved the Thurber Millmoss cartoon, one of my all-time favorites. It was approaching the Christmas holiday, and gift cartoons were in my head (as were “return” cartoons). I came up with the Thurber tribute, the “return” of Millmoss, but didn’t know if it would fly with Lee [The New Yorker’s art editor, Lee Lorenz]. He loved it, The New Yorker ran it, so not long after I decided to keep it going. I came up with the second idea; once again, Lee loved it but thought it was too soon, and that maybe it would work better in The New Yorker’s anniversary issue. That’s where it ran, and the following year, as the next anniversary issue approached, I thought I should take a stab at wrapping up the whole saga. It worked out well, except for a handful of readers who thought I was trying to steal Thurber’s characters. The magazine got a few angry letters. And, yes, the originals were donated to The Thurber House, where they are on permanent display.”

Danny Shanahan began contributing to The New Yorker in 1988. His Thurber trio appeared in the following issues of the magazine:

“Dr. Millmoss!” February 25, 1991

“Do you have an appointment?”  February 24, 1992

“Good show, Mitty!” April 12, 1993

 

 

Thurber Thursday: Personal History — The Thurber Article That Caused Me To Fly

Thurber Thursday: Personal History — The Thurber Article That Caused Me To Fly

When I ran across the above small article in early 1987, I was in my mid 30s, and had yet to step foot in an airplane. I drove anywhere I needed to go outside of the New York/Metropolitan area.  At the time the furthest south I’d traveled was Washington, D.C., the furthest north, Montreal; the furthest east: Eastport, Maine; the furthest west, Altoona, Pennsylvania (and that was by accident — I got lost taking a friend to State College, Pa).

But the idea of traveling to Ohio by car seemed, well, exhausting, so I agreed to fly to Columbus with fellow New Yorker cartoonist & Thurber fanatic (and soon to be wife), Liza Donnelly.  We booked a room at the Great Southern Hotel, where Thurber’s 92 celebratory drawings were hung, and flew out to Columbus in late February. Did I enjoy the flight? No. I can’t even go on a see-saw without experiencing “issues,” so being in a plane wasn’t fun. But what we found in Columbus was worth the anxiety of being up in the air.

The morning we arrived in Columbus we immediately headed over to The Thurber House. It wasn’t open yet, so Liza and I took pictures of each other on the front steps. We were standing on the porch of the house where the bed fell and the ghost got in… unbelievable.

We later toured the house, using this swell guide:

What can I say?  Being in the house was, for Thurber obsessives, probably comparable (if, say, you’re a Beatlemaniac) to traveling to Abbey Road and walking on the famous crosswalk.

Of our short stay at the Great Southern Hotel (shown left), I don’t remember our room, or even the hotel itself (other than it was enormous).

What I do remember was walking the hallways lined with original Thurber drawings. I can’t remember focusing on any one drawing while there  — the submersion was overwhelming. Luckily, the organizers provided a catalog of all the work shown.

So, yes, the flight was worth it (I would’ve preferred driving back home though). Other than flying home to New York from Columbus, the next time I flew was five years later… back to Columbus for this event at the Thurber House: