The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 20, 2020

Random thoughts on the cartoons (and other stuff) in the latest issue of The New Yorker

The Cover: a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Diana Ejaita.  Read a Q&A with her here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

Another issue with a healthy dose of cartoons, taking place in far and afield scenarios including a yoga class (courtesy of Lila Ash), an amphitheatre (by Brooke Bourgeois), an infested restaurant, (courtesy of Joe Dator), and a health and fitness club (courtesy of P.C. Vey).

The first cartoon in the issue is by Bruce Eric Kaplan — it’s a gem. Mr. Kaplan manages to convey a lot of information within his trademark rectangle with a broad vertical right bar. We’re shown just enough of the fallen giant; we can fill in the rest. The caption, as usual with Mr. Kaplan, is succinct —  “…dead giant” seals the deal.

Of the sixteen cartoons in the issue, one is a dual effort by Kaamran Hafeez & Al Batt. Their drawing closely recalls the structure of Peter Steiner’s famous New Yorker drawing of July 5, 1993, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” 

…Enjoyed Harry Bliss’s kid with a winged visitor cartoon (on page 35). I wonder though, if it’s already too late to close the sunroof (?).

… Suerynn Lee’s drawing (page 57) caught my attention. All the elements are there, including   excellent breathing room on the page.

…Johnny DiNapoli’s fun walrus drawing (on page 66) recalls Charles Barsotti’s simple and highly effective work.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: it was recently suggested to me that this ongoing Rea Irvin Masthead Watch is akin to tilting at windmills. To clarify the reference, here’s the relevant passage from Cervantes’ Don Quixote:

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

…Hmmm, wow. Well, I don’t know. I never did well in lit classes. All I’m striving for is a return of Rea Irvin’s beautiful masthead. You can read more about that here.  Below is Mr. Irvin’s mothballed iconic design.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 6, 2020

The Cover: A retro cover! When I saw this attractive cover I immediately placed its style and structure in the early 1960s, and thought of a particular artist: the most prolific of all New Yorker cover artists, Arthur Getz. To illustrate, here’s Mr. Getz’s cover from December 18, 1965 side-by-side with this new one by Pascal Campion.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons: Some random thoughts on a few of the cartoons in The New Yorker‘s first issue of the 2020s…

There’s a duo effort by Jose Arroyo and Rob Kutner. Mr. Arroyo first began contributing to the magazine in 2008. Mr. Kutner is a comedy writer.

Really like Suerynn Lee’s breadcrumbs-on-a-trail drawing (it’s on page 28) — graphically appealing with a strong caption. Of the breadcrumbs-on-a-trail themed New Yorker cartoons over the years, here’s a favorite from the great Arnie Levin, published May 22, 2000.

Zach Kanin’s mounted python (on p. 36) is a hoot (or a “ssssssss”).  Mr. Kanin’s drawings always seem (to me) to contain some kind of Charles Addamsy-ish dna, which is a very good thing.

Can’t see a dog at a computer cartoon, such as Elisabeth’s McNair’s (p. 34) without thinking of  Peter Steiner‘s celebrated New Yorker drawing published July 5, 1993:  “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” It remains the most republished New Yorker drawing in modern history.

Joe Dator’s procrastinating writer cartoon (p. 39) is fun. The length of the caption — and the time it takes to read it —  becomes another element of delay.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Last Monday, in this space, I held out the faint hope we might see Rea Irvin’s classic Talk masthead return to kick off the new year and decade. No dice. The redraw — plopped-in in the Spring of 2017 — is back after Ed Steed’s fun one-off in last week’s “Cartoon Takeover” issue.  Read more about the masthead here, and, as always (until something changes for the better… or worse!), here’s Mr. Irvin’s classic (sadly moth-balled) masthead…

 

Amy Hwang On “Asian Babies: Work From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists”

Here’s The New Yorker cartoonist Amy Hwang writing about the current Pearl River Mart Gallery exhibit: “Asian Babies: Work From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists”

When I started drawing cartoons for The New Yorker in 2010, I did not think much of the fact that I was possibly the only cartoonist of Asian* descent contributing at the time. It was hard enough to get into the magazine, so I was mainly focused on staying in it by consistently sending in cartoon batches hoping that more would sell. Eventually, I realized I was an anomaly. Being the only Asian New Yorker cartoonist contributing at that time, I felt pressure to keep producing cartoons as if I was an endangered species.

My cartoons are not explicitly “Asian” in topic or style, and without seeing my surname at the bottom corner of my drawings, most people probably wouldn’t think that I am Asian-American at all. I decided from the beginning to sign my cartoons legibly with my full name so that anyone seeing them would surmise that I was both female and Asian, both of which are underrepresented groups among cartoonists. I did this in hopes that there might be some recognition of that fact even if it was subconscious. I also did this so my friends wouldn’t ask me which cartoons were mine. But they still did.

Asian Babies
Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Amy Hwang, Suerynn Lee, and Joanne Kwong (President of Pearl River Mart) are shown L to R.

Nearly ten years later, there are now several New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent currently contributing to the magazine. Many, like myself, are based in the United States: Colin Tom, Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, and Evan Lian. Alice Cheng and Hartley Lin are in Canada, and Maddie Dai is a Kiwi living in England. All of them seem young to me. Or rather, I feel old next to them. But I am still caught off guard when any of them will mention my work as if it has been around forever. The passage of time is funny that way. I was well into adulthood when my first cartoon was printed in the magazine, but many of them were practically kids.

Jeremy Nguyen approached me a little over a year ago to curate Asian Babies with him. He had the idea to have a group show featuring New Yorker cartoonists of Asian descent, and the Pearl River Mart Gallery was the perfect venue for our small group. The exhibition developed organically. When we started planning, we had about five cartoonists. In late 2018 and into 2019, four more had their first cartoons printed in The New Yorker, so we added them. There is no way of knowing if we included every cartoonist of Asian descent in the show, but we tried our best by looking at everyone’s surnames which certainly isn’t 100 percent foolproof.

Jeremy Nguyen, Nicolette Leung Renz (granddaughter of Monroe Leung – with her baby), Amy Hwang are shown L to R.

One month before the show was slated to open, Jeremy came across the name Monroe Leung. He was listed with other cartoonists who had had only one cartoon published in The New Yorker. His cartoon was published in 1949. Jeremy was able to contact Monroe’s daughter Corinne Leung Katow with the help of cartoonist Michael Maslin, and we secured permission to include Monroe’s New Yorker cartoon and other works of his in our show. I think people will be as surprised as we were when they discover his works among the others. In my view, he was years ahead of his time.

©Monroe Leung, The Sun

Monroe passed away in 2004, several years before my first cartoon was printed in The New Yorker. And while he may have been the only New Yorker cartoonist of Asian descent in his lifetime, I take comfort in knowing he is no longer alone today.

*Asian in this article refers to East Asian and Southeast Asian

— By Amy Hwang

Asian Babies: Works from Asian New Yorker Artists
Pearl River Mart Gallery
395 Broadway, NYC
Open every day, 10 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Note: this piece originally appeared on a commercial site. It appears here through the kind permission of Ms. Hwang.

 

Photos & Video Of Interest: The Asian Babies Exhibit; Attempted Bloggery: A Saxon Drawing Done In By A Fact-Check?

Below, photos from Friday’s celebratory party for the up and running exhibit, Asian Babies: Works From Asian New Yorker Cartoonists at Pearl River Mart.  The exhibit runs til January 12, 2020.

     

Above, left to right: New Yorker cartoonists Jeremy Nguyen, Christine Mi, Amy Hwang, Suerynn Lee, and President of Pearl River Mart, Joanne Kwong.  Ms. Hwang and Mr. Nguyen co-curated  the exhibit.

 

Emma Allen, the magazine’s cartoon editor was in attendance as well as these New Yorker cartoonists: Johnny Dinapoli, Tim Hamilton, Maggie Jane Larson, Sofia Warren, Ellis Rosen, Joe Dator, and David Ostow.  Also there: Nicolette Leung Renz, granddaughter of New Yorker cartoonist Monroe Leung*

And There’s Video!… NY1 covered the opening. Here’s a link to the video piece.

*The Spill‘s A-Z entry for Mr. Leung:

Monroe Leung New Yorker work: one drawing, January 22, 1949.  Born, 1915, Los Angeles, California.  Died 2004, Los Angeles. According to his daughter, Mr. Leung was one of the first published Chinese American cartoonists. Mr. Leung served in WWII in the 360th Army Air Force Band (as a drummer) and assigned to the 18th Army Air Force Base Unit, the First Motion Picture Unit in Hollywood to draw cartoons for the Air Force. He went on to a profession of architectural rendering (in watercolor) for several advertising companies in Los Angeles. Mr. Leung’s method for submitting cartoons: “As soon as I draw up a few cartoons, I show my dear wife, Rosie. If she laughs, I send them to the magazines. If she thinks they’re lousy, I send them anyway.” (all information as well as the photo courtesy of Mr. Leung’s daughter).

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Attempted Bloggery: A Saxon Drawing Killed By A Fact-Check?

Did a Syd Hoff drawing do in this Saxon drawing? Read Attempted Bloggery for more

Video Of Interest: New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor Emma Allen On NYC’s NY1; More Addams Family; A Friday Fave Photo; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor Emma Allen appeared on the New York’s NY1 this morning, along with cartoonist J.A.K.  See it here!

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Addams Family Reviews

The L.A. Times Review

The New York Times Review

For way way more more on Addams and The Addams Family, check out Linda Davis’s 2006 Charles Addams: A Cartoonist’s Life (Random House).

And here’s a link to the official Addams website.

 

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A Friday Fave Photo

New Yorker cartoonists Amy Hwang and Jeremy Nguyen, co-curators of the recently opened Asian Babies exhibit.  The show features work by Ms. Hwang and Mr. Nguyen along with New Yorker cartoonist colleagues Maddie Dai, Alice Cheng, Hartley Lin, Colin Tom, Christine Mi, Suerynn Lee, Evan Lian, and Monroe Leung.

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

The terrif artist Peter Kuper on Trump, impeachment and the Nobel Peace Prize