The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 6, 2020; A Spill Cartoonist List: Fun At First Sight

The Cover Artist: Kadir Nelson returns just two weeks after his stunning cover of June 22nd.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

A double issue with eighteen cartoons by eighteen cartoonists (with two duo efforts: Bliss & Martin, Guerra & Boothby). There’s also a Sketchpad drawing from J.A.K., and a newbie in the midst: Patrick McKelvie. Mr. McKelvie is the tenth new cartoonist to join The New Yorker’s stable this year and the sixty-third brought in by cartoon editor Emma Allen since she was appointed in the Spring of 2017.

Here are some of the cartoons in this week’s issue that caught my eye: a classic  lighthouse light bulb drawing by great Sam Gross, and then perhaps my favorite Ellis Rosen drawing ever (so far!) — his cave people drawing (much like Mr. Gross’s lighthouse drawing) proves that there is plenty of humor to unearth in these favorite cartoon scenarios. Liana Finck’s tent basement is terrif, as is Amy Hwang’s great ice cream on the beach scene. Enjoyed Roz Chast’s six-squares (the way she uses language here reminds me of Bizarro Superman).  Lars Kenseth’s superhero is so much fun. Repeating myself here, but Mr. Kenseth’s drawings never fail to amuse me upon first sighting — I’m sold before I get to the caption.

Fun At First Sight:

Thinking of that kind of reaction has caused me to think about (and mention) some other New Yorker cartoonists whose styles alone have won me over at first glance. I’m going to list only those who’ve passed into the great beyond so as not to offend anyone still around who I might inadvertently forget to mention.

Each of the following had a “theirs alone” style unlike any other being published in the magazine. That’s a wonderful thing, and difficult to do in a crowded cartoonist universe; each brought something else to the drawing paper as well — sometimes easily defined (see Dean Vietor’s work, for example: I’ve mentioned his thrilling wild energetic drawings before on the Spill), and sometimes not.

So here, in alphabetical order are some (not all!) of those fun at first sight New Yorker artists …Addams, Arno (Peter & Ed), Charles Barsotti, Whitney Darrow, Chon Day, Alan Dunn, Dana Fradon, Helen Hokinson, Nurit Karlin, Anatol Kovarsky, Robert Kraus, Frank Modell, Mary Petty, Price (George & Garrett), Gardner Rea, Donald Reilly, Carl Rose, Al Ross, Charles Saxon, Bernie Schoenbaum, Barbara Shermund, Otto Soglow, Steig, Steinberg, James Stevenson, Richard Taylor, Thurber, Dean Vietor, Robert Weber, Gluyas Williams, Gahan Wilson, and Jack Ziegler.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Would love to report that Rea Irvin’s iconic design had returned (it’s been collecting dust since it was replaced by a redraw(!) in the Spring of 2017). But such is not the case. Bah, humbug.

Read about it here.

Here’s what we’re missing:

 

 

 

Some Robert Weber; From Dick Buchanan’s Vault: New Yorker Cartoonists Work Not in The New Yorker; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Some Robert Weber

From The Art Contrarian, April 6, 2020,  “Robert Weber, New Yorker Cartoonist”

— a brief reminder of the late great Mr. Weber and his work.

Above: one of Mr. Weber’s ten New Yorker covers.

Robert Weber’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Robert Weber (Pictured mid 1980s. Photograph by Liza Donnelly) Born April 22, 1924, Los Angeles, California. Died, October 20, 2016, Branford Connecticut. NYer work: nearly 1500 cartoons, and close to a dozen covers since 1962. Read Ink Spill’s November 2016 Apreciation of Mr. Weber here.

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From Dick Buchanan’s Vault: New Yorker Cartoonists Work Not In The New Yorker

From Mike Lynch’s blog, Dick Buchanan gives us a fun post of work by New Yorker cartoonists that appeared in other publications. Cartoonists include Charles Addams, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Chon Day, Richard Decker, Steinberg, Gahan Wilson, Al Ross, William Steig, Gardner Rea, George Price, Eldon Dedini, Helen Hokinson, Richard Taylor, and Barbara Shermund. Mr. Addams’ drawing in True Magazine, March 1946 shown above.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Brendan Loper on being first.

Mr. Loper began contributing to The New Yorker in 2016. See some more of his work here.

 

 

 

Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials

Here are three essential books for any and every New Yorker cartoon library. All were compiled and edited by the former New Yorker  art/cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz.  My understanding is that there were to be more in the series, but we all know how fickle the publishing biz is (wouldn’t it have been just incredibly wonderful to have had an Essential Robert Weber!). What you’ll find in each book is a compact history of the subject, with early work, and interviews, bibliographies, favorite cartoon topics, and plenty of cartoons. The first two in the series came out in 1998 (Booth & Barsotti), followed by the Essential Ziegler in 2000.  Mr. Lorenz also gave us a great book on William Steig, as well as an overall look at The New Yorker‘s art and art department from its beginning.  Those titles are essential too — they just don’t include the word “essential”  in their titles.

From the Spill‘s A-Z, the entries for those mentioned above:

Lee Lorenz ( Photograph taken 1995 by Liza Donnelly) *Born 1932, Hackensack, NJ. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). New Yorker work: 1958 –.

Charles Barsotti Born, San Marcos, Texas, September 28, 1933.  Died, Kansas City, Mo., June 16, 2014. Mr. Barsotti was briefly the cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post ( from 1968 until its demise in 1969). The New York Times review of his 1981 collection “Kings Don’t Carry Money” led with the following:”Thurber lives, in Kansas City under the name of Charles Barsotti.” His deceptively simple line drawings of pups and kings, and businessmen have been a presence in The New Yorker for over fifty years. It is likely that Mr. Barsotti is the only New Yorker cartoonist to have ever run for Congress (an unsuccessful bid, in 1972, in Kansas). New Yorker work: 1962 – . Key collections: Kings Don’t Carry Money (Dodd, Mead, 1981), and The Essential Charles Barsotti, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz (Workman, 1998). Website: http://www.barsotti.com/ ……Link to Ink Spill’s Charles Barsotti appreciation.

 

George Booth (photo above taken in NYC 2016, courtesy of Liza Donnelly) Born June 28, 1926, Cainesville, MO. New Yorker work: June 14, 1969 – . Key collections: Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead, 1975), Rehearsal’s Off! (Dodd, Mead, 1976), Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth ( Congdon & Weed, 1984), The Essential George Booth, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 1998).

Jack Ziegler (photo by Michael Maslin, taken at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC, 2008) Born, Brooklyn, NY July 13, 1942.  Died, March  29, 2017.  New Yorker work: 1974 – 2017. Key collections: all of Ziegler’s collections are must-haves. Here’re some favorites: Hamburger Madness (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), Filthy Little Things ( Doubleday/Dolphin, 1981) and The Essential Jack Ziegler, Complied and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 2000)….. Link here for Ink Spill’s Jack Ziegler interview from late 2016.

Robert Weber (Pictured mid 1980s. Photograph by Liza Donnelly) Born April 22, 1924, Los Angeles, California. Died, October 20, 2016, Branford Connecticut. NYer work: nearly 1500 cartoons, and close to a dozen covers since 1962…. Read Ink Spill’s November 2016 Appreciation of Mr. Weber here.

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The terrif cartoonist Kim Warp has today’s Daily Cartoon.  See it here.

Ms. Warp has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1999.

Visit her website here.

Today’s Daily Cartoon & Daily Shouts Cartoonist; Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

A Hamburglar cartoon by Farley Katz, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007. Mr. Katz has also contributed today’s Daily Shouts.

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Recalling A New Yorker Giant: Charles Saxon

Over this past weekend a number of visiting colleagues paused to look at a Charles Saxon original drawing that hangs on a wall here at Spill headquarters. The Saxon drawing is displayed because it amuses and inspires (the same goes for the several dozen others also on our walls by various New Yorker artists past and present; the earliest drawing, by Alice Harvey, was published October of 1925, the most recent, by Ed Steed, was published in April of 2019). Saxon’s drawings have long been considered a high bar by his peers — a reminder of how elegant (a word used by one of the visitors) cartoon art can be (I’ve always felt Thurber’s drawings to be another kind of high bar).

Looking closely at the originals in the Spill‘s archives, I see no under -drawing, no pencil marks. The work, in grease pencil(?), appears to be in the school of — as Edward Sorel would describe it — direct drawing.  The lines seem effortless, energetic, lovely, and of course, humorous; it’s an immediately identifiable style. As with so many of his contemporaries, including Robert Weber, Lee Lorenz, James Stevenson and Frank Modell, there’s a joy to the work.

Saxon’s world, both New Yorker covers and cartoons, published from the mid 1940s through the late 1980s, will forever be linked to Connecticut country club country, where he lived (Mr. Saxon, along with his colleague William Hamilton, had that upper-crusty world down). The New Yorker readership from that social strata apparently loved seeing themselves poked and prodded, just as they loved what Peter Arno had done with them and to them in the magazine’s earlier decades. 

Right: a Saxon New Yorker cover: effortless, energetic, humorous

I was fortunate enough to meet Saxon in February of 1986, when New Yorker cover artist Roxie Munro threw a small post-New Yorker anniversary party. Trudging downtown from the Pierre Hotel to Ms. Munro’s mid-town apartment on lower Park Avenue, I was one of the first to arrive. Walking into the living room I found a short man, in dark suit and tie, standing with his back against a living room wall. I introduced myself, not knowing who I was about to shake hands with. I had always imagined Saxon as quite tall — a powerhouse figure. In truth, he was perhaps a half-foot shorter than me. He was also remarkably soft spoken, and extremely polite. I’d always expected that he’d have one of those personalities that would roll right over me. It was quite a nice gift, to able to have perhaps fifteen minutes with this cartoon god, all to myself. 

 

Photo: Charles Saxon, center, with The New Yorker‘s Art Editor, James Geraghty at the magazine’s offices, 25 West 43rd Street, New York City, c.1960s.  Photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon.

Book: Oh, happy, happy, happy!  The earliest Saxon collection, published in 1960 by Golden Press.

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning To Take It Personally: The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985

The other day I wrote about the New Yorker Anniversary album: 1925-1975.  Following up on that, here’s a little something about the Album that immediately followed it, The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975- 1985.  In the entire run of Albums, this one would have to rank #1 in understated covers. A bit of trivia (or maybe it’s not so trivial): this is just the second time an Album title referred to the magazine’s drawings as “cartoons” —  (the first was 1958’s New Yorker Album of Sports & Games: Cartoons of Three Decades. Non-purists might argue that the special issue Armed Services New Yorker War Cartoons with The Talk of the Town, published in 1945 was the first instance, but it was not an Album, nor was it, as you see in the title, purely cartoons).

Of note: 1975-1985 is the first Album since the early 1930s not designed by Carmine Peppe.  The design and layout is credited to a trio of New Yorker staffers: John Murphy, Bernard McAteer, and Joseph Carroll (who succeeded Mr. Peppe as head of the make-up department. Mr. Carroll was also a published New Yorker cartoonist, with one drawing, in the issue of January 16, 1984. That one and only appearance qualified him as a member of the Spill‘s One Club).

Of further note: this was the last Album published during William Shawn’s long tenure as editor of the New Yorker. It was published the year The New Yorker‘s ownership changed hands from the original owners, the Fleischmann family, to the Newhouse family. Mr. Shawn, who was appointed editor in 1952, was replaced in 1987 by Robert Gottlieb.

 

Admittedly, I have affection for this Album out of some self-interest: it was the first that included my work.  But it also included, for the first time in an Album, work by the wave I came in with — that included, among others, cartoonists such as Mick Stevens, Thomas Cheney, Peter Steiner, Richard Cline, Leo Cullum, Roz Chast, and Liza Donnelly. 

Truly exciting were the number of established cartoonists we kids found ourselves in the company of. To be included in this volume (and later Albums) with them was, and still is somewhat unbelievable. 

As with previous Albums, the cartoon choices are excellent.  The Album begins with an exquisite Robert Weber full page drawing (full page in the Album, and run as a full page in the magazine in the issue of July 2, 1984)…

…and ends with a classic Charles Addams drawing (a fellow is installing yet another of many locks — and bolts — on his door. At his feet is a semi-circle made by an active saw blade coming up through the floor). In between these two cartoon gems is an accurate reflection of the state of the magazine’s cartoon world in that decade.  As with previous Albums, the balance of work placement and selection is superior. There’s enough work by Booth, Steinberg, Koren, Saxon, Steig, George Price, Addams, Stevenson, Levin, Modell, Lorenz, both Martins (Henry, and Charles) to please anybody, but also well-represented are the large number of artists who flourished just out of range of the spotlight. 

Along with the publication of the Album was a touring exhibit of work.  I wrote about this Album and that exhibit a year ago, but in a slightly different context. You can see that earlier post here

 There was no official album a decade later (instead we were gifted Lee Lorenz’s Art of The New Yorker), and ten years after that was the The New Yorker 75th Cartoon Collection, which bears a cover opposite the understated cover of the 1975-1985 album.