The Wednesday Spill: Daily Cartoonists & Cartoons; Video Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Takes You On A Tour Of Her Exhibit At The Norman Rockwell Museum

Catching up on the week’s Daily Cartoons…

Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon:

Keith Knight on not watching the Mets. Mr. Knight began contributing to The New Yorker in December of last year. Visit his website here.

…Yesterday’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon:

Teresa Burns Parkhurst, on Disney’s re-opening. Ms. Parkhurst began contributing to The New Yorker in October 2017. See her New Yorker work here.

…Monday’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon:

Liz Montague on humans and an alien.  Ms. Montague began contributing in March of 2019. Visit her website here.


Video Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Takes You On A Tour of Her Norman Rockwell Museum Exhibit

Here’s a 48 minute video of Liza Donnelly taking you through the just opened exhibit of her work at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Above: a screen grab of Ms. Donnelly standing before her first New Yorker drawing.

Ms. Donnelly’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Liza Donnelly Born, Washington, D.C. New Yorker work: June 21, 1982 – Key book: Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons (Prometheus, 2005). Edited: Sex & Sensibility: Ten Women Examine the Lunacy of Modern Love…in 200 Cartoons ( Twelve, 2008). Co-authored with Michael Maslin: Husbands & Wives ( Ballantine 1995), Call Me When You Reach Nirvana ( Andrew & McMeel, 1995), Cartoon Marriage ( with Michael Maslin) (Random House, 2009), When Do They Serve the Wine?( Chronicle, 2010). Women On Men (Narrative Library, 2013). Donnelly also wrote and illustrated a popular series of dinosaur books for children ( Dinosaur Day, Dinosaur Beach, Dinosaur Halloween, etc.) all published by Scholastic. She is the CBS News Resident Cartoonist. Website:



The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 20, 2020


Looking at the new issue I felt a bit like “Vacuum Man” from the Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine — you know, the creature who sucks up everything around it, including itself.  After what seemed like eternity during the double issue two week span, I was eager to in-take and take-in the cartoons.

Left: Vacuum Man is the guy pictured resting on the bookshelf (yes, I have a toy Vacuum Man — why not?).

The Cover: A serene cover from Richard McGuire.  I was thinking it works well now during this weird time we’re in, but it could also work anytime…so an evergreen. The horizontal pink ever so slightly recalls and reminds of the pink in the clouds on Rea Irvin’s classic first New Yorker cover, or maybe I’m just sensing things. Read Francoise Mouly’s Q&A with the artist here.

The Cartoonists:

A Henry Martin cartoon leads off the issue in recognition of Mr. Martin’s death the week before last. Read more about him here, here, and here.

Paperwork first: a newbie. Lucas Adams, is the eleventh new cartoonist added to the magazine’s stable this year and the sixty-fourth added since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in May of 2017.

A number of this week’s cartoons caught my attention. I’ll begin with Bruce Eric Kaplan’s one influencer drawing (found on page 32). I begin with it because it elicited, from me, a rare out loud laugh. This isn’t to say I don’t usually laugh at good cartoons, I do — but generally it’s a perfectly acceptable inside laugh. Anyway, good stuff from Mr. Kaplan, one of our modern greats. …Barbara Smaller’s caption (on her drawing, page 20) is right up there as well. It reminds me, in general, of great captions by the likes of Lee Lorenz, Robert Weber, and Frank Modell.  Love it… Lars Kenseth’s eruption drawing (page 38)  is a hoot or a howl, or a hahaha– (you know what I mean)… Victoria Robert’s wash that man right out of my hair drawing (page 42) is terrific… really enjoyed Liana Finck’s shining armor drawing, as well as Ed Steed’s attacking hot dogs. Such good stuff… Further applause for P.C. Vey’s people on a desert island (the way he’s drawn the people: hysterical)… and Jeremy Nguyen’s panda drawing: my favorite Nguyen drawing ever (so far).

Lastly, really enjoyed Paul Noth’s bedtime story drawing. If anyone ever does a New Yorker Book Of Mob Cartoons, this is a natural for inclusion.

Here’s the magazine’s slideshow of the issue’s cartoons (seeing them in the magazine is really the better way to go, but if you’re in a hurry, this’ll do).

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

The above was replaced by a redraw(!) in 2017… Read about Rea Irvin’s classic Talk heading here.






The Weekend Spill: New Addition To The Spill Library; The Tilley Watch Online; Videos (And An App) Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Exhibit At The Norman Rockwell Museum


New Addition To The Spill Library

Part of the Spill‘s (self charged) charge is to keep in mind all those cartoonists who have been and are part of The New Yorker, not just the names up in lights. Larry Reynolds, having contributed to several of the biggest magazines of his day (including Collier’s, and The Saturday Evening Post) also had three drawings in The New Yorker.  In the July 1st Spill post I showed you a collection of his ongoing character, Butch, who appeared in Collier’s.  Above is the only other example (to my knowledge) of Reynolds’ work in book form. Lines Of Least Resistance, published in 1941 by E.P. Dutton & company, Inc., contains work from all three of the magazines just mentioned as well as drawings from Elks Magazine.  If my count is correct, there are 24 of his drawings in the book, plus the cover and back cover (3 drawings found in the book).

In the drawing shown above you clearly see a Gluyas Williams influence in his work — old man Kelly and two of the other characters — the men — on the right side of the drawing could’ve been in a Gluyas Williams drawing. The fellow in the forefront right, smoking a pipe, and the man running just below the Pelham sign look similar to George Price’s style (especially the way Reynolds drew the running fellow’s legs).  Other drawings seem to carry a heavy influence of a number of other cartoonists. Look at the one below: shades of Syd Hoff and the early work of William Steig (even, a hint of a Helen Hokinson luncheon lady in the frame). I’m led to wonder if Reynolds ever quite settled on a look of his very own.

Larry Reynolds entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Larry Reynolds (Photo from I Feel Like A Cad, 1944; self portrait above right from Colliers Collects Its Wits, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1941) Born, Mt. Vernon, NY, c. 1912.  Died, March 4, 2002, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. New Yorker work: 3 drawings: Jan 7, 1939 / Feb 24, 1940 / April 6, 1940. Collection of Note: I Feel Like A Cad (drawings from Collier’s Weekly).  Link to Allan Holtz’s Reynold’s Stripper’s Guide Profile here.


An end of week listing of New Yorker artists* who have contributed to features

July 6 -July 10, 2020

The Daily Cartoon: Yasin Osman, Will Santino, Amy Kurzweil, John Cuneo, Patrick McKelvie, J.A.K.

Video: How To Draw A Child by Emma Allen** & Emily Flake

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook

*For clarity, the names of artists who have not yet appeared in the print magazine are not bolded.

**Emma Allen is The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Editor


Videos ( And An App) Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Exhibit At The Norman Rockwell Museum

Here are links to two videos that are part of the Liza Donnelly exhibit at The Norman Rockwell Museum (it opens to the public tomorrow).

This link takes you to a video of Donnelly talking about her live drawing.

And this link takes you to an in depth look at her career.

Also: there’s an app that features Donnelly speaking about individual pieces in the exhibit. See the video about it here.

Personal History: Attended Donnelly’s “virtual art opening” last night, except it wasn’t virtual for me — I was there. Watched as Donnelly (who besides being a colleague, is also my wife) gave a tour, being followed by a cameraman wielding a “live” camera and a photographer documenting the moment (the above photo was not taken by the photographer — it was taken by me with my flip-phone camera as the cartoonist spoke about her sketchbooks in the display case).

For me, the most touching piece on display is also, I believe, the most modest in scale — it may be the smallest piece in the exhibit. It’s the drawing that leaped Ms. Donnelly into The New Yorker;   the first drawing of hers bought, but not the first run. Though OKed (bought) in 1979, it did not run until the issue of November 22, 1982. I believe she speaks about it in the longer video I’ve linked to above.

Go see the exhibit, non-virtually, if you’re up that way. It’s a real treat.





The Monday Spill: The New Yorker Cartoonists Glossary (Updated)

No Monday Tilley Watch today as we’re in the second half of a double issue stretch (the latest issue is dated July 6 & 13, 2020). The next new issue, dated July 20, 2020 will be out next Monday).

Just for fun, I thought I’d dust-off and update the Glossary I compiled some years back for a feature. The original version appears there, but here’s a slightly expanded version reflecting changes at the magazine’s Cartoon Department. Even though the magazine’s employees are working from home during this time, it’s temporary, and so I’ve left in the areas referring to the cartoonists going into the magazine. They will return!

The Glossary 

If the average person happened to sit down with a group of New Yorker cartoonists, they would likely hear some common words and expressions used in unfamiliar and possibly confusing ways. Here is a glossary of commonly used words and expressions by the magazine’s cartoonists:

Batch: As in “I faxed my batch early.” Or “My batch is thin this week.” A batch is the collective term for the drawings a cartoonist submits weekly to the magazine [see Magazine, the].

Cartoon: Drawing

Colin: Colin Stokes, the assistant cartoon editor. Usage: “I’m not sure if there’s a meeting this week—I’d better give Colin a call.”

Daily: Refers to a drawing used online as a Daily cartoon, or to the online feature itself, as in “Did you see today’s Daily?” or, “Who did today’s Daily?” A Daily cartoon does not appear in the print magazine; print magazine cartoons do not appear as Daily cartoons. Go here for a fuller explanation.

David: David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. His is the final word on whether art is bought. [see O.K. and/or Meeting, the]

Drawing: Cartoon.

Emma: As in “I spoke to Emma about it.” Or “I’ll run it by Emma” or “Emma held [see Held] twelve this week.” Emma is Emma Allen, The New Yorker’s cartoon editor.

Finish: As in “I’ll get that finish to you by the next week.” Finish is short for “finished drawing.” It refers to an O.K.ed drawing that has been readied by the cartoonist for publication.

Held: The drawings Emma holds on to from your batch. A held drawing has the potential of being O.K.ed, although it could still be rejected.

I’m going in : As in “I’m going in next week.” If you’re going in, you’re going in to the magazine to see Emma and show her your batch.

I’m in: As in “I’m in this week.” Or “I’m not in this week.” Refers specifically to one of your drawings being published in the current issue of the magazine.

I went in: As in “I went in last week.” “Went in” refers to going to The New Yorker’s offices, specifically to the art department.

Magazine, the: The New Yorker. As in “I haven’t seen this week’s issue of the magazine—am I in it?”

Meeting, the: The weekly art meeting, at which David Remnick and Emma look over, discuss, and decide which drawings will be bought. David, as the magazine’s editor-in-chief, has the final say on whether a drawing is O.K.ed or rejected.

O.K.: As in “you got an O.K. this week” or “I got an O.K. this week” or “I haven’t had an O.K. in seven months.” This is the two-letter word that every cartoonist lives for—it means that The New Yorker has bought a drawing [see Drawing] from you ( i.e., O.K.ed a sale).

Pitch/Pitching: see Submit/Submitting: “pitch” or “pitching” has begun to take the place of “submit” or “submitting”; I prefer (and argue for retaining) submit to pitch, as pitch seems like a Hollywoodism. It conjures up the artist sitting before a few people and verbally trying to sell an idea. Cartoonists traditionally let the work speak for itself.

Resub: As in “I sent in mostly resubs this week.” Resub is short for “resubmitted.” Cartoonists sometimes send rejected drawings back to Emma for another shot.

Submit/Submitting: What you do when you send in your batch, or bring it in for Emma to see. As in “Yeah, I submitted this week — did you?”

Henry Martin: An Ink Spill Appreciation

Henry Martin: An Ink Spill Appreciation

Above: In 1985 Henry Martin, pictured front & center with his hand on the railing, brought together a bunch of his cartoonist colleagues for an exhibit of cartoons at Princeton’s McCarter Theater. Among those in the photo: Al Ross, Arnie Roth, Arnie Levin, Ed Arno, Bernie Schoenbaum, Stuart Leeds, Peter Porges, Sam Gross, Bill Woodman, John Jonik, Mort Gerberg, and Boris Drucker. George Booth is in the back row, nearly dead center — I’m to the right of him, partially obscured.

In the late 1970s, I was a freshly minted New Yorker cartoonist walking for the first time into the magazine’s cartoonists waiting room just outside the art editor’s office. It was not a comfortable entrance: I didn’t know a soul. I was in a very small room with some of the biggest stars in The New Yorker cartoon universe. They were drinking coffee, and chatting with each other. It was, of course, intimidating. One of the stars stepped away from his colleagues and introduced himself. It was Henry Martin. Fate couldn’t have chosen a better good will ambassador to welcome me. Even today, four decades later, thinking of Henry, who passed away on Tuesday, I think — to lightly paraphrase George Booth — good thoughts about one of the kindest friendliest cartoonists I ever met. In the pool of friendly faces at The New Yorker, Henry’s face, in the years to come, was among the friendliest.

I was a bit self-conscious about my signature in those first years — afraid others might think I was some kind of Henry Martin signature stealer — at a quick glance they might appear similar, but  Henry’s graphic stamp had that distinctive lovely right leaning “H” coupled with “Martin.” Yet there were a few times I’d receive his New Yorker mail: Martin mistaken for Maslin  — it would give us a chance to have a long distance laugh.

In the 1960s and 70s, when it seemed every magazine ran cartoons, Henry’s work seemed to be in just about every one of them; he was the everywhere cartoonist.  I’m not sure anyone else came close. My thinking was, then, that’s the way to do this — that the Henry Martin model was the model. Be everywhere. Turned out that Henry’s model was Henry’s model, not for everyone — it was the way for him to go in a career that lasted from the 1950s until the late 1990s.

Above: Henry Martin’s first New Yorker cartoon, in the issue of August 15th, 1964

There’s a good reason someone lasts so long at The New Yorker. When you look at any of Henry’s  691 New Yorker cartoons you’re immediately taken in, and then, of course (of course!) you’re rewarded with laughter. There’s no furrowing of the brow as you take your first look at one of his cartoons, there’s no wondering about peripherals, such as where you are (something important to the magazine’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross, who was known to ask, when looking at art up for consideration, “Where am I in this picture?”). With Henry’s drawings you knew where you were, and you were given a rock solid cartoon with a rock solid caption. Here’s an example from The New Yorker issue of April 23, 1979:

This cartoon is what is called an “evergreen” — we all understand it, we all always will, and it will always be funny. Henry once said to me, “Some cartoonists draw funny” putting into words something I’d felt but never defined. The definition has added to my understanding of one of the essential ingredients that makes for work that excels (I used his definition here on this site just a few days ago when referring to Dean Vietor’s drawings).

As for how Henry worked, his editor Lee Lorenz told me during an interview [Lee’s remark on Henry’s method begins at 59:47 during the interview] that Henry “would put a [blank] piece of paper down and he would stare at that piece until he had an idea. Then he would take another piece of paper.”

Henry’s other significant contribution to the magazine were his hundreds of “spot” drawings (his daughter, Jane Read wrote the other day that his first sale to The New Yorker, in 1950, was a spot drawing). These drawings would be familiar to anyone who read the magazine in the William Shawn era, when spots, drawn by a variety of contributors, were placed throughout the magazine, unrelated to each other, and not telling a story as they do these days. I’ve always thought of spots as little gifts to the reader; something unexpected to consider, if only for a few seconds (or, in the case of the one shown here, more than a few seconds).

The last time I corresponded with Henry I was pulling together quotes from colleagues about Peter Arno. Here’s Henry’s quote in the Arno biography:

Jim Geraghty [the New Yorker’s Art Editor from 1939 -1973] bought three ideas from me for Arno in 1964 and 1965. He was the master, but like so many of the greats the idea wells ran dry, but, lord, how they could create memorable drawings.

And now I say to you, Henry Martin, whose idea well never ran dry: lord, how you could create memorable drawings!


For more on Henry Martin:

Back in March of 2011,  Mike Lynch posted a 1972 CartoonistPROfiles interview with him. See it here.

“Henry Martin’s Spots” — an article from Princeton’s Firestone Library about Mr. Martin’s fabulous  “spot” drawings for The New Yorker: read it here.

A tribute from the Firestone Library can be found here.

The Cartoons: There are two collections of Henry Martin’s work (both published by Scribner, both published in 1977).  His work can be found in every New Yorker cartoon album, beginning with The New Yorker 1955-1965 Album. You can also see his work online by just adding “Henry Martin cartoon” into the search box, or go to The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank