The Tilleys They Are A-Changin’… The New Yorker’s 95th Anniversary Issue, February 17, 2020

The cover above, by Rea Irvin, appeared on the very first issue of The New Yorker — thereafter it showed up for every anniversary issue from 1926 through 1993. If you happen to have a bunch of those anniversary issues and fan them out on your floor — such as I did back in 2008 — they look pretty neat:

In 1994, Tina Brown broke the string of Rea Irvin Tilleys by running Robert Crumb’s “Elvis Tilley.”  Since 1994 Mr. Irvin’s original cover (with slight alterations from time-to-time) has been seen in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009. It was last seen 2011.

In 1995, Irvin’s Tilley appeared swimming in gold to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary. When the original Tilley hasn’t appeared he’s been replaced by look-a-likes, or take-offs, or homages, or what-have-yous. Sometimes Tilley has been left off/left out altogether. On this week’s 95th anniversary issue, there is, what’s described on the Table of Contents, an “origin” cover by Barry Blitt (who also supplied the Tilley-ish spot drawings this week).

My instinct to gather has led to the below gallery of substitute anniversary covers, from Crumb to Blitt. Included are the covers that have no Tilley reference whatsoever but appeared in the anniversary slot.

Above: the non-Tilley anniversary cover artists: R. Crumb (1994), R.O. Blechman (1996), Art Spiegelman (1997), Michael Roberts (1998), Edward Sorel 1999), William Wegman 2000), Chris Ware (2005), Seth (2008), Chris Ware (2010), Bruce McCall (2012), Simon Greiner (2013) Jorge Colombo (2014), Barry Blitt (2015), Liniers (2016), John W. Tomac (2017), Malika Favre (2018), Kadir Nelson (2019), Barry Blitt (2020)

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

 Zoe Si is the first newbie of 2020. She is the fifty-fourth new cartoonist brought into the magazine’s stable since Emma Allen became cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Fourteen cartoons in this issue (fifteen cartoonists as Emily Flake provided a “Sketchpad”), with two cartoon gods on board: Edward Koren and George Booth.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, cartoon love is in the issue, including a great cupid cartoon by Paul Noth and a fab love & justice drawing by Peter Vey.  A Spill round of applause for those as well as Bruce Eric Kaplan’s splendid dinner party drawing.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: this being a big birthday issue, I had low high hopes for a return of Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead (shown below).  Alas, the spring of 2017 re-draw is still in place. Read about the original and its replacement here.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 23, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; Emma Allen’s Year In Review Not-To-Be-Missed Daily Shouts; Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

The Cover:  Ed Steed’s third New Yorker cover in five months. This makes my day: it’s always great to see a New Yorker cartoonist cross-over from the cartoon department to the art department (shades of the pre-Tina Brown days when the cartoonists provided the majority of covers). Here’s a Q&A with Mr. Steed about his latest cover.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Zipping through this new issue I see it’s loaded with cartoons (yay!).  I also see that the freshman class of the 1970s is well represented: Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, the late Jack Ziegler, and myself; there are also four freshman from the class of the 1990s: P.C. Vey, Nick Downes, Kim Warp, and Barbara Smaller. And at opposite ends of the time line are George Booth, a freshman in the class of the 1960s (1969 to be a little more precise), and Keith Knight, who makes his New Yorker debut in this issue (so a freshman in the class of the 2010s). Mr. Knight is the 27th newbie of the year, and the 53rd to join The New Yorker‘s stable since Emma Allen took the cartoon department reins in the Spring of 2017.

Seeing the Booth cartoon (it’s on p.32) takes me right back to my fledgling days at The New Yorker and my belief that Mr. Booth’s work is what the magazine’s cartoons are all about: superb drawing, and a precisely defined world of personalized humor. Some forty plus years after I discovered Mr. Booth’s world I still get revved up and inspired from seeing one of his drawings.

A couple of thoughts on a couple of drawings: both Sofia Warren’s fine drawing (p.51) and Nick Downes’ wonderful Rockefeller Center skating rink drawing would’ve benefited us (the readers) had they been allowed more space. These are drawings full of great detail.

On the other hand, Roz Chast’s funny Abominable Snow-Woman (p.73) seems just the right size. Such a good drawing. It would be great if she marketed her snow-woman as a stuffed toy (I’d want one).

Really enjoyed Paul Noth’s Bat-signal/Robin-signal drawing (p.42).  I especially like the work he put into Batman and Robin’s outfits.

Speaking of cartoon worlds, as I was earlier in regards to Mr. Booth’s work, I cannot leave this ramble on the cartoons without mentioning how missed Jack Ziegler’s cartoon world is. Seeing his drawing in this issue is a tip of the iceberg reminder of what a spectacularly funny cartoonist he was. If you don’t already have his masterpiece collection, Hamburger Madness, get it.

 

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Bah, humbug…nothing has changed.  The redrawn masthead, installed in the Spring of 2017 still sits where Mr. Irvin’s beauty once sat. Below is Mr. Irvin’s classic design; here’s where you can read more about it.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Ellie Black on a critic’s crisis.

Ms. Black has been contributing to The New Yorker since February of this year.

 

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Shouts In Review

Emma Allen, The New Yorker’s cartoon editor, and editor of  Daily Shouts, lists Shouts highlights.

A whole bunch of New Yorker cartoonists are therein.

 

 

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Blitt’s Mao & Nixon

From “Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook,” a flashback to February of 1972, when Nixon met Mao. Above: the real deal.

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of November 4, 2019

The Cover: Without heading to the Table Of Contents and reading the title for this cover I’m going to guess it’s a comment on city noise. I’ve always felt New Yorker covers should work stand alone, without explanation, or description. This was the practice until Tina Brown’s revamp of the magazine, beginning with the issue of October 5, 1992.

Okay, now to the Table of Contents and the cover’s title: “Noise New York.”

There’s a hint of Steinberg on the cover; the police car beams of flashing lights for instance. Below left, a detail from Steinberg’s March 13, 1978 New Yorker cover, and to the right, a detail from this week’s cover (by Richard McGuire).

 

 

 

 

If you want to read more about Mr. McGuire’s cover, go here.

The Cartoonists:

Some random thoughts on some of the Cartoons & Cartoonists:

So yay! A lot of cartoonists. If we count the two teams (Sofia Warren & J.A.K., and Pia Guerra & Ian Boothby) as one cartoonist per drawing, there are twenty-one contributors.

There’s a newbie: Luke Kruger-Howard, who is the twenty-fourth new member of the magazine’s stable of cartoonists this year and the fiftieth newbie under Emma Allen’s editorship, begun in the Spring of 2017.

There are four bedroom cartoons in the issue: one by Victoria Roberts (page 46), one by the aforementioned Mr. Kruger-Howard (p. 23), one by Will McPhail (p. 36), and one by the aforementioned team of Guerra & Boothby (p. 70). Victoria Roberts’ three little pigs in bed drawing is both funny and touching.  It’s become an instant favorite Roberts cartoon.

Paul Noth has a fine colorful cartoon on page 50.  As mentioned here a number of times, it’s the cartoons that surprise that catch my attention (and often my affection). This is an out-of-left-field drawing that surprises. What more could one ask for.

P.C. Vey specializes in out-of-left-field drawings. His hikers (p. 54) don’t disappoint. I love everything about this drawing, especially the unseen co-hikers’ name (“the Jensons”). Someone ought to frame the original and hang it on a wall.

One can’t see Karl Stevens “Casablanca” drawing (p.39) without recalling others. A quick search on the magazine’s Cartoon Bank turned up five (it’s possible there are more):

Bob Eckstein’s from November 30, 2015

This classic from  Sam Gross, published February 11, 2008

A duo effort by Emily Flake & Rob Kutner, published October 16, 2017 

One by the late great Al Ross, published February 2, 1987.

And this fun one by Julia Suits, published October 30, 2017

 

High on my favorite things to draw are dogs and clouds. It’s only natural then that I’d be partial to a drawing that combines both, such as Amy Hwang’s cartoon on page 31 (her poodles are ever-so-slightly Gahan Wilsonesque).

I can’t see a cloud-based New Yorker drawing — heck, I can’t see clouds — without thinking of Charles Addams’ classic cover of May 19, 1975.

 

Lastly, I appreciate the challenge presented by aerial view drawings such as Sofia Warren & J.A.K’s joint effort on page 28. The last one I recall seeing was this one by David Borchart, published  February 22, 2016.  Then there is this spectacular dizzying cover from Adolph Kronengold, published September 22, 1928.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch

Sadly, Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead drawing (below) remains mothballed. It was replaced by a redraw in 2017 after appearing 92 years.  Read about it here.

 

 

 

More Stevenson Lost And Found Info; Future Addams Family; New Yorker Cartoonists Children’s Books Of Note: Paul Noth, Mike Twohy; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

More Stevenson Lost And Found Info

Here’s further information on the upcoming documentary, Stevenson Lost And Found. “Stevenson” is James Stevenson, one of The New Yorker‘s most prolific cartoonists.

From the Producers of Stevenson Lost And Found:

We are excited to announce the world premiere of Stevenson Lost And Found as part of the DOC NYC Film Festival 2019.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Screening Times:

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 5:25 PM / Cinepolis Chelsea

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 10:40 AM / IFC Center

Link here to the Stevenson Lost And Found website.

Link here to Stevenson Lost And Found on Instagram.

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Future Addams Family

The brand new Addams Family film is doing very very well at the box office …..which means there will be another.

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New Yorker Cartoonists Children’s Books of Note: Paul Noth, Mike Twohy

Out now is Paul Noth’s latest, How To Win The Science Fair When You’re Dead (Bloomsbury Children’s Books). Mr. Noth has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2004.

From the publisher: New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth continues his laugh-out-loud, illustrated middle grade series about a boy, his wacky family, and an out-of-this-world adventure.

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Coming out in May of 2020 from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books is Mike Twohy’s Spacebot. Mr. Twohy has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1980.

Here’s some text from Simon & Schuster:

Mike Twohy is a Geisel Honor Award–winning author and illustrator of several books for children, including Poindexter Makes a FriendOutfoxed about which The Horn Book said, “story time audiences will howl with laughter,” Wake Up, Rupert!, and Mouse and Hippo, which the School Library Journal called “a story time hit.”  He has been a longtime contributor of cartoons to The New Yorker. He lives with his wife, cats, and yellow Lab in Berkeley, California.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The “perfect” Dear Santa letter…by Joe Dator, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2006.  Visit his website here.

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker (Double) Issue, July 8 & 15, 2019; Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

The Cover: A hot dog cart guy gets some beach time on Peter De Seve’s cover.  Read the Cover Story here.

The Cartoonists:

The Newbies: Making their New Yorker print debut this week: Victor Varnado and Akeem Roberts. They become the record-setting nineteenth and twentieth new cartoonists entering the magazine’s stable of artists this year and the forty-fifth and forty-sixth new artists brought in under cartoon editor Emma Allen’s stewardship, begun in May of 2017.

The Cartoons: Brief thoughts on some of the thirteen cartoons in the issue:

Roz Chast’s Ordinary Kreskin drawing (p. 37).  Love Ms. Chast’s right-to-the-point drawings, like this one. Perhaps not so unusual, but noticeable: she’s drawn Mr. Kreskin with five fingers (a lot of cartoonists find four will do for their cartoon characters). 

Liana Finck’s talking baby (p. 44).  A terrific twist on an end-of-life sentiment. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been equally successful had the baby been talking to another baby.

Ed Steed’s hammered drawing (p.54).  At first glance on my laptop, before zooming in on the drawing I thought that Mr. Steed had done a mash-up drawing with George Booth. If you squint your eyes, it’s a very Boothian room (the perspective, the hanging ceiling lamp, the floorboards, wall objects). 100% Steedian is the idea itself and the Steedian happily hammering woman.

My confused initial take on seeing the drawing leads me to toss out a suggestion. There’s been plenty written on this site about cartoon collaboration, but those duets have involved a writer teamed with an artist (or two artists collaborating) with just one person doing the drawing.  Howz about for fun we see some artists team-up and create a drawing or two with multiple styles in one frame. Some suggestions: Chast/Finck, Dator/Donnelly,  Hwang/Shanahan, Sipress/Allenby,  Kenseth/Koren…just a thought. (Liza Donnelly and I had a ton ‘o’ fun doing a series of mash-up full-page graphic pieces for our 2009 collection, Cartoon Marriage)  

Paul Noth’s line of succession drawing (p. 58). Mr. Noth delivers a great drawing.  I only wish it had been given more breathing room (such as Mr. Steed’s). 

Robert Leighton’s drawing (p.32) features a caption that would probably be right at home in a positive thinking seminar.  Yet another Leighton drawing destined for many a refrigerator.   

Karen Sneider’s funny fish in bed recalls the classic George Price drawing published in the magazine’s issue of December 21, 1963

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin (with Harold Ross and his then-wife, Jane Grant) was a founder of The New Yorker‘s graphic architecture. Consider his adapted typeface (the so-called Irvin typeface) that is part of the magazine’s DNA, the breadth of cartoon worlds he encouraged as art supervisor, his department heading designs, and his numerous covers (including, of course, the magazine’s brilliant first that gave us Eustace Tilley). Tis a puzzlement that his iconic heading for the Talk Of The Town remains under a tarp. Here it is below, and here’s where you can read about its removal in 2017.

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist’s Cartoon

Singin’ under the drip from Amy Kurzweil, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. Visit her website here.