The New Yorker section of the upcoming Swann auction is an awful lot of fun. The Addams cover shown above is just one of the gems listed. To see the “3D catalog” go here. Other New Yorker artists whose work is going under the gavel include Charles Barsotti, Bemelmans, Abe Birnbaum, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Richard Decker, Ed Fisher, Heidi Goennel, Edward Gorey, Theodore Haupt, John Held, Jr., Helen Hokinson, Maira Kalman, Arnie Levin, Rick Meyerowitz, Bill Mauldin, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, Arnold Roth, Charles Saxon, Ronald Searle, Seth, Steinberg, Tom Toro, and Gahan Wilson.
Every so often the Spill likes to take a look at the last cartoon published by one of the magazine’s artists. This week it’s a drawing by Peter Arno — the cartoonist the New Yorker‘s Roger Angell called “the magazine’s first genius.” I won’t go on and on here about why Arno is one of the magazine’s greatest — some say the greatest of the magazine’s artists, but if you want more on the subject there is a biography of him floating around (forgive me for lifting the bolded passage below from the aforementioned biography).
(Above: Arno’s drawing as it appeared in the issue)
Sometime in the fall of 1967, Arno finished working on a full-page drawing of Pan blowing on his pipes as he frolicked through a glade. In the forefront of the picture is a young, well-endowed woman, who says to him, “Oh, grow up!” Brendan Gill [in his wonderful book, Here At The New Yorker] described the drawing this way:
“…in content and composition it was a characteristic piece of work…the drawing is a matter of some forty or fifty bold strokes of black against white, bound together by a gray wash; it has been built up as solidly as a fortress, though built in fun, and its dominant note is one of youthful zest. Nobody could ever tell that it was the work of an aging man, let alone a dying one.”
“Oh, grow up!” wasn’t the last Arno published by the New Yorker. His last cover appeared the following June, and the magazine has, from time-to-time brought out one of his older covers or drawings. But it was certainly the last published in his lifetime. The drawing appeared in the anniversary issue, dated February 24th, 1968. It would’ve been out on the newsstands a week earlier, the week of February 18. Arno died on February 22.
If you have access to the New Yorker‘s digital edition or happen to have a print copy, it’s certainly worth a visit to this issue — it’s a gem. Rea Irvin’s Eustace Tilley is, of course, on the cover (and Mr. Irvin’s classic masthead for the Talk of The Town is in its place). The issue’s cartoons are by some of the greatest names on the magazine’s roster of artists (the magazine had a history of making sure the anniversary issue was loaded up with a good number of its big guns. In my Arno research I came across a note to Arno from the New Yorker‘s founder and first editor, Harold Ross expressing concern he (Ross) did not have a Arno drawing available for the upcoming anniversary issue).
In this issue you’ll find terrific cartoons by Robert Weber, Alan Dunn, George Price, James Stevenson, William Steig, Steinberg, Richard Decker, Warren Miller, Frank Modell, Syd Hoff, Charles Addams, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Lee Lorenz, Mischa Richter, and Barney Tobey. (At this particular time the magazine’s stable of cartoonists was all male. Mary Petty’s piece appeared in 1966, and Nurit Karlin’s work did not begin appearing until 1974).
Next week, the Spill will return with its usual Monday Tilley Watch.
From Mike Lynch’s blog, courtesy of Dick Buchanan’s treasure trove of cartoon art, “William Steig Gag Cartoons 1946 – 1965” — see them all here. (above: from Look magazine, February 17, 1959).
A Richard Decker Self Portrait and One More Kovarsky!
And speaking of Dick Buchanan, an interesting tear sheet containing a Richard Decker self portrait is the subject of today’s Attempted Bloggery post. See it here (a portion shown above). And while there scroll down to see an auctioned Anatol Kovarsky drawing, along with commentary by Mr. Kovarsky’s daughter.
Richard Decker’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Richard Decker (pictured above) Born, Philadelphia, Penn. May 6, 1907. Died, November 1, 1988. New Yorker work, 1931 – 1969, over 900 drawings, and four covers.
Anatol Kovarsky’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Anatol Kovarsky (photo above, NYC, 2013. By Liza Donnelly) Born, Moscow. Died, June 1, 2016, NYC. Collection: Kovarsky’s World (Knopf, 1956) NYer work: 1947 -1969. Link to Ink Spill’s 2013 piece, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”
William Steig’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
William Steig (photo above) 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.
Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 19: Look Magazine Miscellany
Courtesy of ComicsDC’s Mike Rhode, here’s a quartet of ads from Look magazine. The Otto Soglow Pepsi ad, the Richard Taylor Pepsodent ad and the The Richard Decker cops & robber ad are all from the issue of February 23, 1943. The Richard Decker stocking full of smokes ad is from the issue of December 15, 1942.
Wheeler, Sikoryak, and Trump
From Forbes.com, September 16, 2017, ” In The Age of Trump, Cartoonists Get Graphic With The Critiques” — this piece on Trumpian books by two New Yorker contributors, Shannon Wheeler and Robert Sikoryak.
Pond and Carre in Columbus
In Part 11 of ad work by New Yorker cartoonists, we see a sample by Richard Decker, probably one of the lesser known well-published New Yorker contributors. He contributed over 900 cartoons in 38 years. His Philadelphia Bulletin ads ran full-page in magazine (carrying as you see in one example , the notice “(Advertisement)” lest it be confused with one of the magazine’s drawings).
Dates of ads: Noilly Prat, 1948: Sir Walter Raleigh, 1945; Philadelphia Bulletin, 1949, 1952.
Mr. Decker’s too brief entry on the Spill’s A-Z:
Richard Decker (pictured above) Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1907. Died, November 1, 1988. New Yorker work, 1931 – 1969, over 900 drawings, and four covers.