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

Helen Hokinson’s Silent Partner: James Reid Parker; Attempted Bloggery: Peter Arno Uncovered

While reading James Reid Parker’s brief New York Times obit, (published January 31, 1984) I was anticipating at least a mention of his work with one of The New Yorker‘s earliest superstars, Helen Hokinson. In the magazine’s first decades, according to an in-house memo, Ms. Hokinson, along with Peter Arno, was in a special category above all other contributing artists. As you can see for yourself below, the Times obit does mention Mr. Parker’s “humorous pieces and light sketches” he contributed to the magazine, but not a word about his eighteen year sideline as a writer for Ms. Hokinson.  And that’s a shame. 

There’s not a mountain of material to sift through regarding the Hokinson-Reid working relationship, but what we do have allows us a feel for how their collaboration worked.  The best reading is found in Reid’s “memoir” included in the Hokinson collection, The Ladies God Bless ’em! published a year after Hokinson was killed in a spectacular plane crash over the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Parker fills us in on how he met Hokinson, and how it came to be that he became her main supplier of ideas (The New Yorker sometimes passed along an idea they felt was right for her — a practice begun in 1925, the year she joined the magazine’s brand new stable).  A mutual friend made the introduction; it was during that first meeting that ordinary conversation occasioned a spark.  Here’s Parker talking about the moment:

I happened to mention that in a story on which I was working there were two suburban matrons who talked, it seemed to me, the way some of her women might. Miss Hokinson asked what sort of things I was having them say, and I quoted a few lines of dialogue. She stopped twisting her handkerchief.  With a sigh she remarked that one of the lines in particular would have made a good caption for a drawing and that the situation was exactly the kind of thing she liked to do. I told her to go right ahead because my women could just as easily be saying something else.

About a week later, The New Yorker bought the Hokinson drawing using Parker’s idea. In a year’s time they had officially set aside all of every Friday to look at each other’s work with an eye to finding “acceptable” material.  An interesting revelation by Parker is that in 1933 he “devised” Hokinson’s women’s lunch club scenario. 

Below: a Hokinson women’s lunch club New Yorker drawing, published April 24, 1948

When the relationship between cartoonist and idea person works well, the seams don’t show — the reader believes they’re visiting a singular world (ala Jack Ziegler or Steinberg — neither of whom used outside ideas). The seams never showed in Hokinson’s drawings; looking through her work you won’t see an awkward fit. Some of the best New Yorker artists have done wonders with some outside help (Addams, Hoff, George Price, to name a few) but the Hokinson/Parker relationship was different in that she was fully dependent on provided ideas (George Price is the only other New Yorker artist known to completely rely on provided ideas).*  More than that, Parker was much involved in Hokinson’s world. In their first year of collaborating they went to dinner and then the theater once or twice a week (in his memoir he describes how much fun it was being with her on outings in Manhattan, watching her draw, sharing  her joy in discovering wondrous New York City things). When Hokinson moved up to Connecticut, Parker eventually rented a place close by her home. 

Parker on the scene there:

Thereafter Helen’s guests and mine mingled amicably, often joining forces for picnic lunches, and whenever it was necessary Helen and I could confer about a drawing on very short notice.

It’s not clear how many of Ms. Hokinson’s roughly 1,800 New Yorker drawings were the product of working with Parker, but no matter. We have a great body of work they had a grand time finding acceptable — maybe that’s plenty enough.

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*Ms. Hokinson’s  New Yorker cover ideas were her own. George Price had one New Yorker cover — it was his own idea.  

For further reading on Ms. Hokinson the place to go is Liza Donnelly’s Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoons and Their Cartoons (Prometheus, 2005)

You’ll have to find a copy of Hokinson’s Ladies God Bless ’em! for James Reid Parker’s nine page Hokinson “memoir” (It can be had for a buck on AbeBooks.com). You can also find it at the end of  The Hokinson Festival  (Dutton, 1956). The bonus in that anthology: some of Hokinson’s New Yorker covers are reproduced in color. 

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Attempted Bloggery: Peter Arno Uncovered

Attempted Bloggery discusses the 1931 Arno collection, covered and not.  Read here!

Above left: an early version (or “rough”) of a New Yorker drawing in the book. “I want you to meet my bosom friend”  appeared in The New Yorker issue of October 10, 1931.

 

 

 

 

 

The Wednesday Watch: Happy 96th, Dana Fradon!; Profile of Interest: George Booth; A Syd Hoff Selection; Hugette Martell in NY Review of Books; Chatfield Chats About Trump

Happy 96th Dana Fradon!

 Very best birthday wishes to Mr. Fradon, our senior New Yorker cartoonist. 

Above, a powerhouse quartet: three New Yorker cartoonists and their editor. Left to right: Charles Saxon, James Geraghty (the New Yorker‘s Art Editor from 1939 – 1973), Dana Fradon, and Whitney Darrow, Jr.  Westport, September, 1982. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Geraghty Herndon).

Mr. Fradon’s entry on the A-Z:

Dana Fradon  Born, Chicago, Illinois, 1922. Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to service in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Following his service, he attended the Art Students League of New York, NYer work: May 1, 1948 – . Collection: Insincerely Yours (Scribners, 1978) To read Ink Spill’s 2013 interview with Mr. Fradon, “Harold Ross’s Last Cartoonist” link here.

— many thanks to David Pomerantz for bringing Mr. Fradon’s birthday to our  attention

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Profile: George Booth

From The Wall Street Journal, “Cartoonist George Booth and His Pet Projects” — this piece on one of the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Gods.

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Dick Buchanan (via Mike Lynch) on Syd Hoff

Dick Buchanan continues to provide us with cartoon clippings (via Mike Lynch’s blog).  This week he’s selected a bundle of work by Syd Hoff.  See it all here. (above: Hoff in True, July 1947)

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Of Interest: Growing Up In Wartime France by Huguette Martel

From the New York Review of Books, “Growing Up in Wartime France”  by Huguette Martel, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1990. 

For more on Ms. Martell see Liza Donnelly’s Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons; to see some of Ms. Martel’s New Yorker work go here.

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Audio: Jason Chatfield on Caricaturing Trump

From abc.net, May 8, 2018,  “Aussie New Yorker cartoonist Jason Chatfield on caricaturing Trump”  — this short audio clip. Mr. Chatfield began contributing to The New Yorker in July of last year. Visit his website here: https://www.jasonchatfield.com/

 

 

 

50 Years Ago This Week: Peter Arno’s Last New Yorker Cartoon

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.   

 

Tilley Watch Online; Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind; Even More Hoff on Attempted Bloggery; Cartoon Cliches (3 parts)

Not so unusual: mostly a Trump week on the Daily, which leads me to note this online query that popped up recently.

Four out of five of the week’s Daily cartoons feature Mr. Trump, while the fifth is inseparable from him. The Daily cartoonists this week: David Sipress, Brendan Loper, Lars Kenseth, Ellis Rosen, and Peter Kuper. All of these drawings can be found here

And over on the Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Barbara SmallerSara Lautman, and Jason Adam Katzenstein (illustrated by Hope Larson).

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Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind

This blog, with the subtitle of “Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker Magazine” is now up to January 19, 1929;  the focus of the post is prohibition. What fun! Read it here.

(above: a drawing from the issue by Constantin Alajalov, still spelling his name with “d” in 1929)

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Even More Hoff on Attempted Bloggery

Stephen Nadler’s site continues its (Syd) Hoff Fest.  See it here!

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Cartoon Cliches (3 parts)

Mike Lynch has been posting cartoons from Dick Buchanan’s incredible cartoon clip file. The subject  in recent days is cartoon cliches.  Examples include work by a number of cartoonists published in The New Yorker, including Joe Farris (above), Bud Handelsman, Al Kaufman, Vahan Shirvanian, John Norment, Lee Lorenz, and many more.  See all the parts here.