Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig; Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Maddie Dai; A Weekend Shouts By Liana Finck; The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

Exhibit Of Interest: William Steig

A current exhibit at The Carle Museum focused on William Steig’s classic Sylvester and the Magic Pebble includes “Steig’s preliminary sketches, story boards, and dummy books related to the seminal publication.” Info here.

William Steig’s entry on the A-Z:

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 14, 1907, died in Boston, Mass., Oct. 3, 2003. In a New Yorker career that lasted well over half a century and a publishing history that contains more than a cart load of books, both children’s and otherwise, it’s impossible to sum up Steig’s influence here on Ink Spill. He was among the giants of the New Yorker cartoon world, along with James Thurber, Saul Steinberg, Charles Addams, Helen Hokinson and Peter Arno. Lee Lorenz’s World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998) is an excellent way to begin exploring Steig’s life and work. New Yorker work: 1930 -2003.

Of Note: From The New Yorker, June 3, 2019, Rumaan Alam’s  “William Steig’s Books Explored The Reality Adults Don’t Want Children To Know About”

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Profile Of Interest: Frank Cotham

From Memphis Magazine, The Well-Drawn World of Frank Cotham— this piece on the long-time contributor to The New Yorker.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Maddie Dai Kingly drawing. Ms. Dai began contributing to The New Yorker in 2017.

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A Weekend Daily Shouts…

…by Liana Finck. Another installment in Ms. Finck’s “Dear Pepper” series.

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The Tilley Watch For The New Yorker (Combined) Issue Of June 10 & 17, 2019

The Cover: A fitting  Bruce Eric Kaplan cover for the “fiction Issue”  — it’s always a pleasure to see one of the magazine’s cartoonists work appear there.  Read more about Mr. Kaplan’s cover here.

More “Tweaking” Of Note: This is the second issue of the magazine in a row not listing the Cover Artist on The Contributors page (Barry Blitt was not credited there last week). The last issue to credit the cover artist (Malika Favre) was the issue of May 27th.  The cover artists are still credited on the table of contents. Example:

As tweaking continues to occur it’s perhaps a good time to recall what the magazine’s Creative Director, Nicholas Blechman told MAGCulture in June of 2017:

The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time. Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. Since I arrived in 2015, we’ve been fine tuning an incredibly resilient and elegant design. Our road map for design changes in the print magazine is mostly complete. I think the table of contents could be tweaked, and the design of the Fiction page could also be tinkered with. Most of the big innovations you will be seeing at The New Yorker will be online, as we contemplate a web redesign and introduce improvements to The New Yorker Today app.

While I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Blechman’s first sentence (The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time) I must disagree with the first half of the sentence that follows:

Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. 

There was in fact an enormous design change (and changes in the magazine’s DNA) beginning with Tina Brown’s first issue, October 5 1992. Here’s a link to Walter Goodman’s September 29, 1992 New York Times piece assessing that issue.

The Cartoonists:

Of Note: The lead cartoon by George Booth, one of the New Yorker‘s all-time great artists, appears on the 50th anniversary of Mr. Booth’s first cartoon in magazine, June 14, 1969 (the Spill will celebrate accordingly on June 14th).

Of the 14 cartoonists in this issue, two are making their New Yorker print debut: Eugenia Viti and Lydia Conklin, making them the 15th and 16th new cartoonists brought into the magazine’s stable in 2019, and the 41st & 42nd to be brought in since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in May of 2017. With 16 new cartoonists, the magazine has now tied the 2016 record for new artists. And, of course, we’re only half-way through the year.

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead is still a-missin. Read about it here. Here’s the real deal:

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker (Anniversary Issue) February 12, 2018

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker. 

 The cover of the New Yorker‘s 93rd Anniversary issue is by Malika Favre. On newyorker.com  Ms. Favre says, “I wanted to capture the poise and pose of the original Eustace Tilley, but do it as something simple and modern.” (You can read more of what she had to say about it here).   

Rea Irvin’s Eustace Tilley hasn’t been on the cover of the magazine since 2011. Perhaps next year.

This anniversary issue includes more tampering with graphics.  Contributors and department headings article headings appear in a new font (i.e., not the so-called Irvin font).

For instance: in the screen grab above, “American Chronicles” and  “Jia Tolentino” appear in the new font. Is this some kind of slow motion move away from the Irvin typeface. Let’s hope not. Nicholas Blechman, the magazine’s creative director told Magculture in June of 2017:

The New Yorker is a magazine shaped by time. Very little has changed since the first issue in 1925, and that respect for legacy is part of our visual identity. Since I arrived in 2015, we’ve been fine tuning an incredibly resilient and elegant design. Our road map for design changes in the print magazine is mostly complete. I think the table of contents could be tweaked, and the design of the Fiction page could also be tinkered with. Most of the big innovations you will be seeing at The New Yorker will be online, as we contemplate a web redesign and introduce improvements to The New Yorker Today app.

One wonders why the “fine tuning” for a design Mr. Blechman called “incredibly resilient.” The design of the egg is incredibly resilient — is there a soul out there who believes the egg should be fine-tuned.

Alright, with all that out of the way, it’s on to the drawings. I’m keeping it short this week, just mentioning a handful of cartoons.  There’s a terrific drawing by Edward Koren, a nod to Valentine’s day with a drawing by Mick Stevens, A really funny Joe Dator drawing, another subway drawing — this one’s by P.C. Vey (hey, are subway drawings the new desert island drawings?). There’s a Farley Katz drawing from the school of film director instructing an actor (a lesser used theme, but still potent as ever.  See what Peter Arno did with it in an un-pc drawing back in 1952). 

In a break from recent tradition and a return to olden times, there are a whole lot of “spot” drawings by various illustrators (at least one is a cartoonist as well).  Each pays homage to Rea Irvin’s Tilley. For the record, here’s a screen grab of all the contributors:

For more on each drawing in the issue check out the Cartoon Companion at the end of the week, when they’ll post their ratings. 

Finally, here’s the classic Rea Irvin Talk masthead you won’t see in this anniversary issue: