The Weekend Spill: New Addition To The Spill Library; The Tilley Watch Online; Videos (And An App) Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Exhibit At The Norman Rockwell Museum

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New Addition To The Spill Library

Part of the Spill‘s (self charged) charge is to keep in mind all those cartoonists who have been and are part of The New Yorker, not just the names up in lights. Larry Reynolds, having contributed to several of the biggest magazines of his day (including Collier’s, and The Saturday Evening Post) also had three drawings in The New Yorker.  In the July 1st Spill post I showed you a collection of his ongoing character, Butch, who appeared in Collier’s.  Above is the only other example (to my knowledge) of Reynolds’ work in book form. Lines Of Least Resistance, published in 1941 by E.P. Dutton & company, Inc., contains work from all three of the magazines just mentioned as well as drawings from Elks Magazine.  If my count is correct, there are 24 of his drawings in the book, plus the cover and back cover (3 drawings found in the book).

In the drawing shown above you clearly see a Gluyas Williams influence in his work — old man Kelly and two of the other characters — the men — on the right side of the drawing could’ve been in a Gluyas Williams drawing. The fellow in the forefront right, smoking a pipe, and the man running just below the Pelham sign look similar to George Price’s style (especially the way Reynolds drew the running fellow’s legs).  Other drawings seem to carry a heavy influence of a number of other cartoonists. Look at the one below: shades of Syd Hoff and the early work of William Steig (even, a hint of a Helen Hokinson luncheon lady in the frame). I’m led to wonder if Reynolds ever quite settled on a look of his very own.

Larry Reynolds entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Larry Reynolds (Photo from I Feel Like A Cad, 1944; self portrait above right from Colliers Collects Its Wits, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1941) Born, Mt. Vernon, NY, c. 1912.  Died, March 4, 2002, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. New Yorker work: 3 drawings: Jan 7, 1939 / Feb 24, 1940 / April 6, 1940. Collection of Note: I Feel Like A Cad (drawings from Collier’s Weekly).  Link to Allan Holtz’s Reynold’s Stripper’s Guide Profile here.

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An end of week listing of New Yorker artists* who have contributed to newyorker.com features

July 6 -July 10, 2020

The Daily Cartoon: Yasin Osman, Will Santino, Amy Kurzweil, John Cuneo, Patrick McKelvie, J.A.K.

Video: How To Draw A Child by Emma Allen** & Emily Flake

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook

*For clarity, the names of artists who have not yet appeared in the print magazine are not bolded.

**Emma Allen is The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Editor

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Videos ( And An App) Of Interest: Liza Donnelly Exhibit At The Norman Rockwell Museum

Here are links to two videos that are part of the Liza Donnelly exhibit at The Norman Rockwell Museum (it opens to the public tomorrow).

This link takes you to a video of Donnelly talking about her live drawing.

And this link takes you to an in depth look at her career.

Also: there’s an app that features Donnelly speaking about individual pieces in the exhibit. See the video about it here.

Personal History: Attended Donnelly’s “virtual art opening” last night, except it wasn’t virtual for me — I was there. Watched as Donnelly (who besides being a colleague, is also my wife) gave a tour, being followed by a cameraman wielding a “live” camera and a photographer documenting the moment (the above photo was not taken by the photographer — it was taken by me with my flip-phone camera as the cartoonist spoke about her sketchbooks in the display case).

For me, the most touching piece on display is also, I believe, the most modest in scale — it may be the smallest piece in the exhibit. It’s the drawing that leaped Ms. Donnelly into The New Yorker;   the first drawing of hers bought, but not the first run. Though OKed (bought) in 1979, it did not run until the issue of November 22, 1982. I believe she speaks about it in the longer video I’ve linked to above.

Go see the exhibit, non-virtually, if you’re up that way. It’s a real treat.

 

 

 

 

The Weekend Spill: A 1934 July 4th Moment By Steig; Bliss’s American Bystander Cover; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of June 29th-July 3rd, 2020; More Spills: Eckstein’s Beast Piece, A Hoff Mural, and More Henry Martin

William Steig’s 1934 New Yorker cover celebrating the 4th of July  seems to capture the mood of this particular 4th when we have been urged to stay at home, away from gatherings. It was, of course, published during another deeply troubled time in our history.

Here’s William Steig’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

William Steig 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.

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American Bystander‘s Michael Gerber has released the cover of his next issue (#15 for those keeping track). Cover by Harry Bliss. You can order your copy here. If this issue is anything like the previous 14 it’ll be worth the five bucks (Cheap!).

 Harry Bliss began contributing cartoons and covers to The New Yorker  in January of 1998.  A Wealth Of Pigeon: A Cartoon Collection (a collaboration with Steve Martin) will be out this November.

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The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of June 29th – July 3rd, 2020

An end of the week listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to newyorker.com features

The Daily Cartoon: Madeline Horwath, Peter Kuper, Julia Suits, Sara Lautman, Akeem Roberts.

Daily Shouts: Amy Kurzweil.

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.

To see all of the above, and so much more, go here.

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Bob Eckstein, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007, has begun writing for The Daily Beast. See his first post here.

…Prompted by a post in the Facebook Vintage Panel And Gag Cartoon Group about a Syd Hoff mural, I checked out this piece from The Orange County Register from July 6, 2007.

…More Henry Martin: it’s so great that Henry Martin is listed on this plaque at the old (but not the oldest!) New Yorker offices at 25 West 43rd Street.

 

The Weekend Spill: Unboxing A Box Of Steinbergs & Steigs; The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of March 2-6, 2020; James Stevenson Documentary At Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest; More Spills…

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So often when I go on a hunt for something in the Spill‘s archives I come upon some other thing that takes me off onto another track. Today for instance, while poking around piles of boxes, I came across the box you see above.  Many years ago I filled the box with issues of The New Yorker bearing  Steinberg covers and Steig covers — then I stuck a label on the box and put the box on a shelf where it remained unopened for at least a decade, if not more. Today I opened the box and placed most of the issues out on a table.

Gems all! Maybe a dozen more issues didn’t make it into the photograph, but you get the idea. What I find interesting about this group is that I cannot remember why I bothered to gather these particular issues.

After photographing them, I put them all back in their beat-up box. I have plans to incorporate them into the loose issue New Yorker collection — but not today; maybe in 2030, when I come across the box again.

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A listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to newyorker.com features this past week

The Daily Cartoon: Christopher Weyant, David Sipress, Ellis Rosen, Elisabeth McNair, Ali Solomon.

Daily Shouts: Ward Sutton.

…and Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.

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Sally Williams fab 2019 documentary Stevenson Lost & Found will be shown March 29th at The Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest. Info here.  Lucky you if you’re on the island and able to attend.

Mr. Stevenson’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

James Stevenson Born, NYC, 1929. Died, February 17, 2017, Cos Cob, Connecticut. New Yorker work: March 10, 1956 -. Stevenson interned as an office boy at The New Yorker in the mid 1940s when he began supplying ideas for other New Yorker artists. Nine years later he was hired a full-time ideaman, given an office at the magazine and instructed not to tell anyone what he did. He eventually began publishing his own cartoons and covers as well as a ground-breaking Talk of the Town pieces (ground breaking in that the pieces were illustrated). His contributions to the magazine number over 2000. Key collections: Sorry Lady — This Beach is Private! ( MacMillan, 1963), Let’s Boogie ( Dodd, Mead, 1978). Stevenson was a children’s book author, with roughly one hundred titles to his credit. He was a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, under the heading Lost and Found New York. Stevenson’s The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell, published in 2013, is essential reading.  Sally Williams’ 2019 documentary film, Stevenson Lost & Found is essential viewing.

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…Just a few days ago while browsing through a bound volume of New Yorkers I came across a drawing by Ihrie Means (in the issue of May 14, 2007). Ms. Means name has now been added to the Spill‘s A-Z. My apologies for not adding her sooner.

…Work by Liz Montague, a newer addition to the New Yorker’s stable (March, 2019), is in (A Mini) Zine Fest, later this month.  Details here.

…The late great Syd Hoff‘s name came up in yesterday’s New York Times crossword puzzle: the clue (if that’s what it’s called — I’m not a crossword puzzler) was Cartoonist Hoff. 

Here’s Syd Hoff’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Syd Hoff ( Photo source: Esquire Cartoon album, 1957) Born 1912, New York City, died May 12, 2004, Miami Beach, Florida. New Yorker work: 1931 – 1975. Visit the Syd Hoff website here.

 

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.