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 When the original Tilley hasn’t appeared he’s been replaced by look-a-likes, or take-offs, or homages, or what-have-yous.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 February 10, 2020

The Cover: a photographer. Go here to read a short Q&A with the cover artist, Malika Favre. 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:  Random thoughts on just a few of the dozen drawings in the issue

Two New Yorker Cartoon Gods in this issue: Sam Gross and Edward Koren. Mr. Gross, who has the lead cartoon in the issue — and what a great drawing it is! — has been contributing since 1969.  Mr. Koren has been contributing his fab work, covers and drawings, since 1962.

…the issue’s second drawing — it’s by Emily Bernstein — features a fiery ball heading for Earth (a meteor? Guess it doesn’t matter exactly what it is. What it is for certain is trouble). It’s the second fiery ball about to crash into Earth drawing in the magazine within the past three issues (Jessica Olien had one in the issue of January 27th). Is the fiery ball about to hit Earth the new crash test dummy scenario?  These aren’t the first published by the magazine — my hope is they won’t be the last. Can’t wait to see what colleagues do with it (haven’t tried one yet myself, but the day is young).

…I really like Mike Twohy’s personal info drawing (p. 36). He employs a little used (anymore)  folksinger scenario. I’m always reminded, seeing a folksinger drawing, of the one below by the late, exceptionally great, Charles Saxon. I first saw it in The New Yorker Album Of Drawings 1925-1975  (I started my collection with that Album). The drawing originally appeared as a full page in The New Yorker issue of January 24, 1970.

…Jeremy Nguyen’s drawing (p. 38) deals with an issue  — table wobble — most of us have dealt with at one time or another. A fun intricate well-executed drawing…

…J.A.K.’s octopus on page 42 brought to mind an on-the-spot cartoon fact-checking moment I experienced in front of an auditorium filled with school children about a decade ago. I’d just drawn an octopus on a large pad of paper. The school principal, standing onstage with me, came over and, counting aloud — a teaching moment — made sure I’d drawn all eight arms (I had). Mr. Katzenstein has drawn all eight arms as well (yes, I counted).

The Rea Irvin Missing Talk Masthead Watch

Rea Irvin, The New Yorker‘s art supervisor who gave us the magazine’s inaugural cover featuring Eustace Tilley, designed the above masthead. It sat in place for 92 years before being replaced in 2017 by a re-draw (heavens!). Read about it here. The magazine’s 95th anniversary issue, out next week, would be the perfect occasion to return Mr. Irvin’s iconic design.

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of February 3, 2020; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Cover: a snowy bridge. Read the Q&A with the cover artist here, and see the pretty digital snowflakes fall.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

In a throw back to earlier Monday Tilley Watches, I’ll take a quick tour through all the cartoons in the issue; a mostly text-driven drive-by of the work.

The first drawing, by David Sipress, references the recent demise of Mr. Peanut (is he really gone, or was it just a dream?). The topic of the late legume was recently covered here.

…Julia Suits’s pirate in cargo shorts on a gangplank is next (cannot see cargo shorts/pants on a New Yorker cartoon character without thinking of the below cargo pants drawing by the late great Leo Cullum — it appeared in The New Yorker,  August 17, 1998:

…The third cartoon (oh, alright: drawing) in the issue belongs to Barbara Smaller, who’s been contributing to the magazine since 1996.  A bedroom, a married couple, and a reasonable question.

…next is a Zach Kanin poker game (assuming it’s poker — I see chips on the table). I really like the three card players Mr. Kanin has drawn. The fellow to the left looks a little like Ernest Borgnine (with a pinch of Broderick Crawford tossed in?):

To me, the guy on the far right resembles Mandy Patinkin.

…next up: Liana Finck on an age-old flooring concern. Nice floating ghost.

…Harry Bliss and one of his collaborators (Steve Martin) address a potential problem for passengers on one of those floating mini-cities sailing the seven seas.

…five pages later: an Emily Flake drawing far far removed from her usual style and cartoon concerns. Think Hindenburg disaster mashed with social media done in a sort of Stuart Leeds style.

…on page 45, a Tersa Burns Parkhurst retirement party. Dunno why but the cartoon reminds me of MAD magazine’s Dave Berg’s “Lighter Side Of…” drawings (that’s a good thing!).

…on page 43 is a drawing by Mick Stevens, one of the most veteran artists in this issue.  He began contributing in December of 1979 (Roz Chast in this issue with a full page color Sketchbook, beats him out by more than a year– her first drawing appeared in June of 1978).  I wonder if the male dancing bird in Mr. Stevens’s drawing was originally in color. Either way (color, or b&w), a fab cartoon.

…David Borchart’s auto rental drawing (page 43) gets a Spill gold star for the use of the word “rassle.” Zeke, the fellow that’s prepared to rassle, is also mighty terrific.

…On page 54 is an Ed Steed drawing that at first glance reminds me of Zach Kanin’s in this same issue, but only because, in both drawings, the viewer is seeing a table front and center and from near precisely the same angle. Instead of card players (as seen in Mr. Kanin’s drawing) we have animated garden utensils and tools. They’re plotting something.

…next up is a Robert Leighton drawing of mountain climbers.  I love how Mr. Leighton has immediately tossed us into a situation that would normally demand the best possible equipment available. You gotta feel for the climber who came unprepared.

…Thoroughly enjoyed  — as usual with Lars Kenseth’s work — his drawing of campers situated down on the ground, and in much nicer weather than Mr. Leighton’s. Look at the care he took in adding the reflection of the moon on the lake.

…next up is a three panel hat x-ray drawing by Liza Donnelly ( who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1982). This drawing answers the oft-asked question of what could possibly occupy all that beanie air space. Love the kitty!

Lastly, Adam Douglas Thompson (the most junior artist in this issue — his first drawing appeared in The New Yorker in the issue of April 8, 2019) gives us a sort of contemporary Chon Day drawing (it’s on page 68). “Sort of” because Mr. Thompson’s line and Mr. Day’s line have different flows.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

This man (Rea Irvin) is wondering what happened to his beautiful Talk masthead design (shown below). You know — the one that appeared in The New Yorker for 92 years, not the re-draw that’s been around since May of 2017.  Who took the iconic masthead away, and why, and where oh where can it be? Actually, the answer to the first question is easy. Perhaps the last question is easy as well.  It likely resides in a file on a desktop, easily accessed. The question of why is the puzzler. Read more about its disappearance here.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Daily Shouts Cartoonist

The Daily Cartoon: by Brendan Loper, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016.

…and a Daily Shouts by J. A. K., who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of January 27, 2020; David Salle Incorporates Peter Arno Drawings

The Cover: A NYC subway situation, by Luci Gutierrez.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Every first run through the cartoons in the latest issue of The New Yorker  I feel as if I’m browsing the goods behind glass in a pastry shop’s display case, appreciating the variety, before beginning to narrow down which one to select, if in the buying mood. In this new issue, a number of pastries caught my eye. In no particular order here are some favorites.

…Sofia Warren’s four part color piece (it’s on page 36) fits nicely in the New Yorker school of cartoons that go beyond eliciting a laugh, capturing a lovely moment.  An earlier example of one of those moments is Arnie Levin’s classic multi-panel New Yorker drawing, “It’s only the wind”  from September 18, 1978 (it originally ran across the top of two facing pages, four panels to a page):

…Christopher Weyant’s  drawing on page 40, of a fellow leaving his blimp at a parking garage, is a text book example of the classic New Yorker one-two punch cartoon (as defined by Peter Arno).

…On page 22 you’ll find Danny Shanahan’s terrific drawing of cats with a tech problem.

…A perfect look on the guy’s face who’s tasting olive oil in Lars Kenseth’s cartoon (p. 42).  As mentioned on the Spill not long ago, veteran New Yorker cartoonist Henry Martin once said to me that certain cartoonists “draw funny” — it was meant as a compliment. Mr. Kenseth draws funny.

…The woman standing beside Liana Finck’s former dog walker (p.55) ever-so-slightly echoes Edward Gorey’s elongated figures. Ms. Finck’s drawings remind me, in a way, of Michael Shaw’s — the lines delivered as if direct from the muse.

…also in the issue: Insecure(?) Gods (by Hartley Lin), an update on Dolly,  the cloned sheep (Navied Mahdavian), criminals in an alleyway (Frank Cotham), a comet denier dinosaur (Jessica Olien), trash in space (Roz Chast), a couple in basement counting babysitter money (Amy Hwang), a doctor’s brainy children (Paul Noth), and a possible game changer (Liam Walsh).

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:  A–gasp!– redraw of Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead design has been in place since the Spring of 2017.

If granted three cartoon wishes, one of them would be the return of Mr. Irvin’s work to its home of 92 years.  Read about the switcheroo here.

The missing masthead appears below.

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David Salle Incorporates Arno Drawings

From Creative Boom, January 20, 2020, “Vibrant paintings inspired by advertising and cartoons from The New Yorker in the 1950s” — this piece on David Salle (fabulously!) incorporating  Peter Arno drawings within his paintings.

Shown above: Mr. Salle’s “A Night In The Sky With Friends”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 13, 2020

A few thoughts on the art in the latest issue of The New Yorker…

The Cover: a moment in a museum, courtesy of Bruce McCall (read a Q&A with him here). The second cover in a row with ( for me) a retro feel to it. I could see Charles Addams doing something like this, or the late great Richard Taylor (Mr. Taylor’s January 9, 1937 cover appears below right).

 

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A lively bunch of cartoons: 18 of them — 19 if you include Olivia de Recat’s “Sketchpad” on page 17.  Possibly my imagination, but it appears most every cartoon has breathing space this week. There’s not one that looks cramped, nor is there one that looks like it would’ve been better off in a smaller space. Victoria Roberts’s peas in a pod (on page 21) is an excellent example of a drawing that required and received ample space.

P.C. Vey’s drawing (it’s on page 23) surprised me (always a very good thing). His unusual graveyard scenario accompanied by a terrif caption is a treat.

I like the sextet of cartoons that begins on page 40: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell’s burning shorts drawing; Charlie Hankin’s magician (p.43); Lars Kenseth’s Charles Addamsy stomped-on cigarette butt drawing (p.44); Liana Finck’s sedentary whale (p.48); Sharon Levy’s abominable snowperson (p. 52) — which reminds me, pockets-wise of Arnie Levin’s great drawing (shown below) from the issue of December 26, 1977.  And, lastly, Ed Steed’s funny off-the-tracks drawing (p. 55).

Two drawings elsewhere in the issue also caught my eye: the fab P.S. Mueller’s drawing (p.65) with its use of the word “subsequent”… and Ellie Black’s dragon drawing (p.29). Hey, what can I say — I really like drawings of dragons, castles, etc..

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead remains under wraps. I don’t know how much effort it would take to return it to its proper place, but surely it can’t be more than a few clicks on a keyboard.

Read about Mr. Irvin’s masthead here, and see it below: