Thurber Thursday: Of Thurber & Columbustown, And Thurber’s “Passport” To A Speakeasy; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon…And Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

Here’s a favorite Thurber booklet, Of Thurber & Columbustown, described within as  “recollections of Columbus people who had known Thurber.” I purchased it at The Thurber House in Columbus in February of 1987 (on my first of two visits there). According to the Colophon, it was published in the summer of 1984 in an edition of 600. Rosemary O. Joyce, an oral historian, curated and wrote the material, and conducted the interviews. The fab Michael Rosen (who recently produced and edited A Mile And A Half Of Lines: The Art Of James Thurber) designed and produced it. The Foreword is by Thurber’s daughter, Rosemary Thurber.

The booklet’s 36 pages contain photos, a Thurber drawing or two, and, of course those “recollections.” One of my favorite pieces is this 1933 Thurber speakeasy “passport” handed to a fellow named Whit Dillon, who was one of Thurber’s Ohio State University fraternity brothers. Mr. Dillon talks about acquiring the passport:

“And those were the days of Prohibition. In the evenings, the four of us, and occasionally Jim, would go to dinner at the Algonquin and then to one of the speakeasies. In fact, one of the things I remember most about Jim, was that he knew every speakeasy in New York…one night he couldn’t go with us, so he left me this note — his autograph, the dog — to take to a speakeasy he’d told us about, whose name was apparently Tony.” 

Tony, was most likely Tony Soma, proprietor of Tony’s.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

From Tom Toro: it’s sort of a beautiful day.

Mr. Toro began contributing to The New Yorker in 2010. Visit his website here

 

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Today’s Daily Shouts Cartoonist

From Gabrielle Bell: “I Got A Cat”

Visit her website here.

 

 

 

The Wednesday Watch: Sam Gross Is On Facebook!; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; A New Yorker State Of Mind Looks At The New Yorker Issue Of April 25, 1931; More Spills: Toro’s New Book; Latest Celeb Caption Contest Video

Sam Gross Is On Facebook!

The one, the only, the fabulous Sam Gross now has a Facebook page.

Mr. Gross’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Sam Gross Born 1933, Bronx, NY. New Yorker work: August 23, 1969 –. Other than his work in The New Yorker, Mr. Gross is probably best known for his work in National Lampoon. He’s edited a large number of collections, including Dogs Dogs Dogs, Cats Cats Cats, Food Food Food: A Feast of Great Cartoons (originally published as All You Can Eat: A Feast of Great Cartoons); Golf Golf Golf, Ho! Ho! Ho!, Movies Movies Movies. Key collections: I Am Blind and My Dog is Dead (Avon, 1978), An Elephant is Soft and Mushy (Avon, 1982)

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Lars Kenseth on being there, sort of.

Mr. Kenseth began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit his website here.

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A New Yorker State Of Mind Looks At The New Yorker Issue Of April 25, 1931

As usual with this Spill fave blog, it’s always a kick looking at what was happening in the New Yorkersphere way way way back when

Gotta love the Helen Hokinson cover.

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

 

Helen Hokinson  Born, Illinois, 1893; died, Washington, D.C., 1949. New Yorker work: 1925 -1949, with some work published posthumously. All of Hokinson’s collections are wonderful, but here are two favorites. Her first collection: So You’re Going To Buy A Book! (Minton, Balch & Co, 1931) and what was billed as “the final Hokinson collection”: The Hokinson Festival (Dutton & Co., 1956). According to a New Yorker document  produced during Harold Ross’s editorship (1925-1951) rating their artists, Ms. Hokinson and Peter Arno occupied a special category unto themselves above all others.

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...Tom Toro‘s first kids book is just out.  Read about it here.  Congrats,  Mr. T!

…the latest celeb New Yorker Caption Contest video has been posted. Several fun/funny captions  by Ellie Kemper & Daniel Radcliffe (the cartoons captioned are by David Borchart, Tom Cheney, Joe Dator, Leo Cullum, Maggie Larson, and Danny Shanahan).

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Article & Audio & Video Of Interest: Barbara Shermund; A New Yorker State Of Mind Looks At The Issue Of April 18, 1931; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Yesterday’s

Article & Audio & Video Of Interest: Barbara Shermund

From WOUB, Public Radio, May 8, 2020, “When Your Lost Relative Turns Out To Be A Monumental Artist” —  this piece, with accompanying audio and video features  about Amanda Gormley delving into the life and work of her aunt, the late very great Barbara Shermund.

Above left: A Shermund self-portrait. Right: Ms. Shermund’s first New Yorker appearance was as a cover artist for the issue of June 13, 1925. Her second appearance, October 3, 1925, was also as a cover artist. She then went on to contribute 599 cartoons, and six more covers.

Barbara Shermund’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Barbara Shermund  Born, San Francisco. 1899. Studied at The California School of Fine Arts. Died, 1978, New Jersey. New Yorker work: June 13, 1925 thru September 16, 1944. 8 covers and 599 cartoons. Shermund’s post-New Yorker work was featured in Esquire. (See Liza Donnelly’s book, Funny Ladies — a history of The New Yorker’s women cartoonists — for more on Shermund’s life and work).

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A New Yorker State Of Mind Looks At The Issue Of April 13, 1931

From a Spill fave blog, A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue Of The New Yorker, a look at the issue of April 18, 1931. This post features a generous segment on the magazine’s famed columnist, Lois Long (and a good deal of Peter Arno art).

Cover: Charles Donelan (if there was a Spill One Club of cover artists, Mr. Donelan would be a member).

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon:

Hilary Allison gives us a desk salad cartoon.

Ms. Allison began contributing to newyorker.com last month.

 

and Yesterday’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon: Avi Steinberg with a desert island haircut.

Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012