Being Eustace Tilley; Roger Angell Remembers James Stevenson; Oscar Time! Liza Donnelly Back on the Red Carpet Live Drawing the Oscars, Drooker’s Oscar Cover, Eckstein’s Oscar Wielding Eustace

 

 

Eustace Tilley is of course a fictional character — commonly referred to as The New Yorker‘s mascot.  There is a suggested backstory to Tilley himself in Lee Lorenz’s Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995; there are best guesses elsewhere as to why Rea Irvin (see below) decided to submit the cover to Harold Ross to adorn Ross’s inaugural issue and there are probably just as many best guesses as to why Ross chose to use Irvin’s submission.

Following the advent of the New Yorker, it didn’t take long for a Tilley stand-in to show up; a New Yorker in-house publication featured Harold Ross as Tilley and Alexander Woollcott as the butterfly hovering at Tilley’s eye-level.  Over the years there have been innumerable parody New Yorkers (Ink Spill has a selection here).  But how many real people, after Harold Ross, have stood in for Tilley on a New Yorker cover or on another magazine’s cover.

If you search online you’ll see perhaps hundreds of Tilley stand-ins, some on the cover of The New Yorker itself, many submitted to the New Yorker as part of a contest, many just for personal amusement (Tilley as Disney’s Goofy, or Mad’s Alfred E. Neuman, Dr. Seuss’s Cat In The Hat, etc., etc.)    But here I’m concentrating on published covers featuring real people (and one real dog) as Tilley.   I’ve found just a few (please let me know of others that fit this category…update: my thanks to Attempted Bloggery for reminding me about the Eustace Clinton/Obama cover ):

 

First the real deal: Rea Irvin’s classic cover:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Yorker‘s in-house issue featuring Harold Ross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renata Adler as Tilley on Manhattan, Inc. November 1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York magazine, July 20, 1992,  with Tina Brown as Tilley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Yorker’s 75th anniversary issue, February 21, 2000, with a William Wegman dog as Tilley (and one of his dogs standing in for the butterfly)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Eustace Tillarobama” (credited to Rea Irvin and Seth) February 11, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that brings us to the March 6, 2017  The New Yorker, with Barry Blitt’s  “Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley” and Donald J. Trump as the butterfly

Image result for eustace tilley putin

 

Rea Irvin’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Rea Irvin  (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925.  He was the magazine’s  first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

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…From the New Yorker‘s Culture Desk, February 25, 2017, “Looking At The Field” Roger Angell on James Stevenson’s art and writing.

photo: Mr. Stevenson in Westport, Connecticut in 2015

 

 

 

 

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Oscar Time!

…Liza Donnelly has been out in Hollywood all week drawing  the scene as the Academy Awards prepares for its big night. Following her historic appearance last year as the first ever cartoonist live drawing on the Red Carpet, she will be back again tomorrow night drawing the stars and the hooplah.

Check out her drawings @lizadonnelly  and  @CBSThisMorning

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The New Yorker’s  Oscar cover, February 27, 2017 by Eric Drooker (titled “#OscarsNotSoWhite”)

 

 

 

 

 

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…I’ll wrap up this post appropriately enough with Bob Eckstein’s Eustace holding an Oscar. Be sure to follow Mr. Ecksteins coverage of the big event on newyorker.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving Turkey’s New Yorker Cover & Cartoon Debut

rea-irvin-thanksgiving-cover-1927Two Thanksgivings passed by in the New Yorker‘s earliest years before a turkey made the cover.  The artist for the issue of November 19, 1927: the one-and-only Rea Irvin.

Here’s Mr. Irvin’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Rea Irvin  (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925.  He was the magazine’s  first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

 

And what about the first Thanksgiving-themed cartoon in the magazine?  That honor seems to belong to I. Klein, whose drawing appeared in the issue of November 21, 1925 (a cartoon in the issue the week before by Donald McKee does include a turkey, but it’s unclear if it is a Thanksgiving turkey).

The meaning of Mr. Klein’s drawing: from a quick history lesson this morning, I learned that President Coolidge upon taking office in 1923 decided to forgo the custom of receiving Thanksgiving turkeys from around the country, preferring to have only local turkeys.  By Thanksgiving of 1925 he changed his mind. The drawing reflects the reversal; we see lines of gift-givers from around the country bringing the President a turkey to taste.

 

 

i-klein-thanksgiving-1925i-kleins-thanksgiving-1925-close-up

 

 

Mr. Klein’s A-Z Ink Spill entry:

I. (“Izzy”) Klein (pictured above)  Born Isidore Klein, Newark, New Jersey, October 12,1897.  Died, 1986.  His papers can be found at Syracuse University. NYer work, over 200 drawings from 1925 through 1937.

Exhibit of Interest: R. Crumb’s Early Work; More Spills with Liza Donnelly, Victoria Roberts, Michael Crawford, and a Piece on newyorker.com’s Videos

zap_1-210x300The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will exhibit “R. Crumb: Early Works, 1965 – 1967″ Details here.

Mr. Crumb’s New Yorker debut was a cover for the 1994 anniversary issue.  His cover, titled “Elvis Tilley” marked the first break in the magazine’s sixty-eight year old tradition of running Rea Irvin’s classic Eustace Tilley  on the cover of the anniversary issue. (For more on Tilley’s anniversary appearances go here to a piece I wrote for newyorker.com back in 2008)

Elvis Tilley

 

 

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More Spills Icon Editedhere’s a short video for the blog,  Skillshare featuring Liza Donnelly. A link to a longer interview with her can be found on the site. LD Skillshare

 

 

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Link here to this interview of interest:  “New Yorker Cartoonist Victoria Roberts: Write at Home in San Miguel”

victoria4

 

 

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…Here’s an article from Nieman Lab, “Video is giving The New Yorker a way to reach new readers without turning off existing diehards” (the newyorker.com‘s Cartoon Lounge is briefly mentioned).

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Finally, this short piece from a Hudson Valley (NY) publication, Chronogram, “Parting Shot: Michael Crawford”

parting-shot_img_2607_rev-for-bleed_not-web

Evergreens

nowsociety-williamhamiltonphoto-238x300modellKovarsky-photo1-175x300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past three months we’ve lost three giants in the New Yorker Cartoonists constellation: William Hamilton in April, Frank Modell in May and Anatol Kovarsky in June. Together they contributed just over 2,600 pieces (including covers) to the magazine, but of course it is immeasurable what they really gave in hours, days, months, and years of laying down magic on the cliché blank of piece of paper. I’ve often said that being a cartoonist is obviously not the kind of hard work you see being done by men and women building roads and bridges; cartoonists have their own wearying yet propulsive set of challenges; the thrill of finding just that right interaction of drawing and words to say exactly what you want to say. And along with that thrill is the weekly rejection of much of the work you do. We cartoonists get to live this unusual life of drawing what we want to draw and thinking what we want to think, but all along the way, week after week, we are also reminded that much of what we do is turned down, rejected. No matter — it’s part of the deal, my friend and colleague Jack Ziegler once said, we made with the devil.

 

The cartoonists we’ve lost this early part of the year were given the gift of lives mostly devoted to humor. Two of the three men, Modell and Kovarsky, published work during the editorship of Harold Ross, the man responsible for inventing The New Yorker. Hamilton arrived in 1965, just a few years shy of (Ross’s successor) William Shawn’s midway point as editor. All three artists worked under the magazine’s first Art Editor, James Geraghty and later under Geraghty’s successor, Lee Lorenz. (Kovarsky and Modell also worked under Rea Irvin, the magazine’s legendary Art Supervisor). Combined, they spent well over a hundred years contributing their work to The New Yorker.

 

Each of them let us participate in their worlds as played out in ink lines on the pages of the magazine. Hamilton, with his scrappy lines and unabashed use of black space, was a master of dissecting the look, the language, the culture of the wealthy; Kovarsky used his graceful disciplined line to put a sympathetic spotlight on the absurdities of modern living (and oftimes ancient living); Modell placed a giant banana peel underfoot of life’s everyday banalities. His drawings were as friendly as the man himself.

 

The best cartoonists – and these three were among the best — have an unstoppable gift: not-a-one of them boxed up their creativity once their time at The New Yorker, for whatever reason or reasons, had come to a close. As noted on this site yesterday, Kovarsky, at 97 years old, was still drawing just days before he passed away. Hamilton, taken too soon, was still very much at work before he died.  And Modell was painting and drawing well into his upper 90s.

 

Go out of your way to find collections of work by any of these men, or simply look their work up online. I guarantee you’ll discover evergreens: work that is as fresh today as when it was created; work that will live on as long as there are cartoons. And while you’re laughing as you absorb their humorous worlds, give a thought to these three very fine fellows spending all those years with pens and pencils in hand toiling happily away.

 

[photos: from top left reading clockwise: William Hamilton, Frank Modell, and Anatol Kovarsky]

New Yorker Scrapbooks; Last College Humor Arnos From Attempted Bloggery

 

 

NYer Scrapbook 1931

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in 1931 The New Yorker published something called The New Yorker Scrapbook; unfortunately it contained zero cartoons, spots, covers, or illustrations. It’s a collection of writing from the then six year old magazine.

 

Over the years I’ve come across (either bought, or received as a gift) a number of scrapbooks containing clipped New Yorker art. In some cases they weren’t technically scrapbooks as the art wasn’t glued or pasted in a book, but stuffed in a manila folder. Those loose drawings are fun to look at,  but you need to dump them out like Pick up Stix before wading through (I won’t show those here). Below are a few more orderly examples from Ink Spill’s archives.

 

The first scrapbooks I ever encountered were in a small used bookstore (The Book Cave?) in Woodstock, New York. Two volumes of New Yorker covers, each a three ring binder such as a student would have in high school.  Someone had (unfortunately) used reinforcement hole protectors on every cover in the earlier binder.  The earliest cover, seen on the left, is dated November 24, 1928 (artist: Julian de Miskey) —  that’s a Helen Hokinson  cover on the right. The last cover in the binder, barely visible in the photo (it’s the pink cover peeking out from the bottom) was the last cover of the 1930s (artist: Charles Addams).

NYer Covers Scrapbook #1

 

 

 

 

 

The second volume, spared the hole reinforcements,  picked up in the 1940s.  Scrapbook #2Shown here: Rea Irvin‘s terrific cover of July 15, 1944 commemorating D-Day.

 

A more recent arrival to the Ink Spill archives (courtesy of a relative) is  dated 1939-1940. The scrapbook contains carefully arranged New Yorker spot drawings.  Though the pages are brittle the cover has  aged well as have the spots:

NYer Spots Scrapbook #1NYer Spots Scrapbook #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_0430Attempted Bloggery finishes up its week-long look at some of Peter Arno‘s work for College Humor. Kudos to Stephen Nadler for the great detective work resulting in this fine series.