Two Peacocks Walk Into A Room; Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Cartoon Anthology: Sara Lautman’s Daily Shouts; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: Avi Steinberg

In one of those million-to-one cartoon moments, both my colleague Harry Bliss (with his collaborator Steve Martin) and I have similar drawings out this week (his in his syndicated daily spot, and mine in The New Yorker). What’s unusual, besides the timing of publication, and the peacock standing in a doorway in both drawings, is the use of the peacock itself. A quick visit to the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site turned up peacock drawings by a dozen artists. I have to think there were a number more in the magazine’s ninety-four years (the Cartoon Bank site does not provide every cartoon in the magazine’s archive). The listed peacock drawings are by: Mick Stevens, Sam Gross, Will McPhail, John O’Brien, George Booth, Bernard Schoenbaum, George Price, Edward Koren, Saul Steinberg (he has three), Robert Day, Mort Gerberg, and Victoria Roberts. There were also three peacock covers shown. The artists:  Joseph Low (the peacock is a minor character in his cover), Steinberg, and the one-and-only Rea Irvin. 

I asked Mr. Bliss if he’d like to comment on our dual peacock drawings, and here’s what he had to say:

That’s crazy! I didn’t get my new issue of The New Yorker yet, so I didn’t even know that was in there.  When I initially did my drawing, from an idea given to me by Steve Martin, I think I mentioned to Emma [Emma Allen, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] that I wanted it to be in color. Seeing yours now, makes me wonder if they bought yours before they had seen mine and the reason they didn’t buy mine and Steve’s is because they had already bought yours… Similars? Anyway, I think the reason there aren’t that many peacock cartoons out there is because the damn thing is so hard to draw!

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Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Anthology

Warren Bernard (of SPX fame) has alerted the Spill to another rarity: a cartoon collection of work by John M. Price who contributed four drawings to the magazine (Mr. Bernard tells me that three of Mr. Price’s four New Yorker drawings appear in the collection). Here’s Price’s rather skimpy bio on the A-Z (if anyone out there has more info please send this way):

John M. Price Born  (Pennsylvania?) February 5, 1918, died January 19, 2009, Radnor, Pennsylvania. New Yorker work: February 17, 1940, March 9, 1940, June 8, 1941, and August 30, 1941. His work appeared in many publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, The Country Gentleman, and Colliers. Key collection (self published) Don’t Get Polite with Me.

*Chris Wheeler’s fabulous site also has a scan of Price’s book (including the back cover), but I have to admit the cover never registered in my brain’s cartoon catalog. Now, having registered it, the book becomes a must-have for the Spill‘s library.  

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A Daily Shouts By…

Sara Lautman, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016, contributed yesterday’s Daily Shouts.

 

 

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

 

An Avi Steinberg summer vacation/global warming cartoon. Mr. Steinberg began contributing to The New Yorker in 2012.  More about him here on Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils.

 

 

No Joke: Rea Irvin’s April 1947 Cover

The cover above has always been a favorite. The first time I came across it I thought I’d stumbled upon a printing error. But no, it’s yet another gift from Rea Irvin, cover artist, designer (as in his designs for the magazine’s masthead, as well as his adapted development of the typeface), cartoonist, “art supervisor” (his unofficial or official designation at the New Yorker). 

The rest of the issue is a lot of fun too. An Addams so-called “Addams Family” drawing (“We’ve had part of this floor finished off for Uncle Eimer”); a Richard Taylor strip that runs across the bottom of two pages; a half-page Hokinson “lunch club ladies” cartoon; a Sam Cobean shadow play drawing; a page and-a-half Steinberg spread under the heading “Berlin” and so much more (other cartoonists in the issue: Otto Soglow, Alan Dunn, Barney Tobey, Robert Day, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Alain, and Leonard Dove). Typical of the era, the cartoons dominated the pages, as if the text was secondary to the art.

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of March 12, 2018

Despite the snow scene outside my window and the forecast for another wallopin’ of snow here in a few days, I know Spring is just around the corner. The latest New Yorker cover — the second by Jenny Kroik — is in the same realm of wishful thinking. Her cover is a welcome respite from politics, which are always just around the corner too. 

Paging through the issue, I noticed a photo under the “Videos” heading at the bottom of the “Contributors” page.  A new online feature: “The New Yorker Interview” — a swell idea.  I’m hoping future interviews will include the magazine’s artists.

Moving quickly now through pet peeves: the use of a near full page photo leading off Goings On About Town; the absence of Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk of The Town masthead. 

And now the cartoons: the first of the issue, a Frank Cotham drawing that on my tablet appeared to show a fellow running along a beach (I thought he was running near dune grass).  On the laptop it’s quite clear he’s running in a field.  The runner’s toned legs — a funny touch –are unexpected (in a Cotham drawing) but certainly do indicate this fellow’s been in training. 

Seven pages later, a Carolita Johnson bar drawing. I think this just might be my favorite drawing of hers. The caption is textbook (New Yorker textbook, that is), from the use of the name “Jer” to the mid-caption set-up use of the word “empty” to last word, “peanut.”

Six pages later, another new favorite by a veteran cartoonist.  Drew Dernavich‘s Batman drawing delivers: caption, the drawing itself. Wonderful (I would’ve loved to see the drawing occupy a larger space). Three pages later, Avi Steinberg gives us a turn-about on a favorite pastime for many: people watching. Mr. Steinberg has removed the generally accepted casualness of people-watching and turned it into people-staring.  Awkward.

Three pages later, a moment with an aging couple via Emily Flake. A few pages following Ms. Flake’s drawing, a Roz Chast drawing which made me happily recall cartoonists’ lunches of yore (and even more recently than yore). 

Four pages later, an Olivia de Recat drawing.  As with her two previous drawings, this is text-driven (a Tina Brownism, I think) but not as text-driven as her previous efforts. If Ms. de Recat’s “Big City Sound Machine” was actually being produced I might spring for one if only for the “Dump Truck in Rain” sound — what poetry.

Three pages later a drawing by veteran cartoonist, Mike Twohy.  I associate sack races with town picnics in summertime, but I suppose they’re not exclusive to a season (I played around with a sack race and a seasonal reference many years ago, It appeared in the New Yorker  June 21, 1982, to be exact. See below). I’m also reminded of Robert Day’s 1945 collection, All Out For The Sack Race! I know there’ve been a few other sack race drawings in the magazine but not yet enough to fill up a New Yorker Book of Sack Race Cartoons.

Three pages later a Bob Eckstein game show drawing. Without diving into the piece (that’s what they do over on Cartoon Companion) I really enjoyed the well-situated and funny Tom & Mom contestants.  We used to see game show drawings every so often; it would be great if we got to see more. They are silliness vehicles.

Directly opposite Mr. Eckstein’s drawing (and why it’s directly across is a puzzle — why not in the upper right hand corner?) is a beauty by Edward Koren. A lot to look at in this drawing, as is usually the case with Mr. Koren’s work.

The final drawing in the issue (not counting the Caption Contest drawings) is by Darrin Bell. Criminals on their way to a caper (there’s a word that’s been retired for at least 50 years). Two of the would-be robbers are masked. The driver — who’s quite a large fellow – is unmasked.  This reminded me for some reason of that great scene in The Town, when the guys don rubber nun masks — even the driver. I guess in these situations it’s up to the individual would-be perpetrator to make the masked or unmasked call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Work From Some Cartoon Greats; Audio: George Booth Talks Tools of the Trade

From Mike Lynch’s site, courtesy of Dick Buchanan, here’s a fun post of some color cartoon work from a variety of magazines. Included, among others, are New Yorker artists, William Steig, Garrett Price, Stan Hunt, William Von Riegen, Gahan Wilson, and Robert Day.

See them all here! 

 

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Jane Mattimoe has posted two short audio clips of the great George Booth talking about his tools of the trade.  Listen to them here