Book Of Interest: Margaret Case Harriman’s The Vicious Circle: The Story Of The Algonquin Round Table; It’s Oscar Day!

There are a good number of places to read about the beginnings of The New Yorker by people who were there at the beginning. Jane Grant’s Ross, The New Yorker And Me is one (Ms. Grant was married to Harold Ross during the birth of the magazine), and then there’s Corey Ford’s The Time Of Laughter (mentioned here not long ago).

The Vicious Circle by Margaret Case Harriman (published in 1951 by Rinehart)) is another gem. Ms. Harriman’s middle name might look familiar to anyone who’s read Frank Case’s Tales Of A Wayward Inn, published in 1938. Mr. Case (Ms. Harriman’s father) owned the Algonquin Hotel during the time the Roundtable played its part helping spawn The New Yorker.

The fabulous cover is by the late great (non-New Yorker artist) Al Hirschfeld. Back in 2015 Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery posted illustrations from the book (see them here). I used the cover for my own purposes here on the Spill some time back to head the Posted Notes section:

If you have The Vicious Circle in hand and want to head right into the New Yorker material, go to The Birth Of The New Yorker on page 171. One of my favorite paragraphs concerns this description of the magazine’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross, at the art meeting:

Ross’s searchlight gaze is equally busy on the drawings that go into the magazine. At art meetings he will stare gloomily at a drawing and mutter, “Who’s talking?” This means the picture will go back to the artist to have the speaker’s mouth opened wider. Or he will twist his long body around to peer at the perspective of another cartoon from every angle, and then inquire plaintively, “Where am I supposed to be?” No detail of The New Yorker is too minute to escape his deep attention, and any flaw personally afflicts him, because his standard is perfection. As Russell Maloney once wrote of him, “perfection, in the mind of Harold Ross, is not a goal or an ideal, but something that belongs to him, like his watch or his hat.

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It’s Oscar Day!

Follow Liza Donnelly on Twitter @Lizadonnelly as she draws live on the Red Carpet.

Here’s a photo of her taken yesterday as she checked-out red carpet preparations (and of course drew the preparations) for tonight’s big show.


Fave Photo Of The Day: Lee Lorenz At The Bruce Museum; The Tilley Watch Online: Newyorker.com Daily Cartoons & Shouts, February 17-23, 2019; Liza Donnelly Live-Draws From The Oscars Red Carpet Tomorrow

Courtesy of the Bruce Museum, this photo of the New Yorker‘s former art/cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz taken on a recent visit to the Bruce’s current exhibit, Masterpieces From The Museum Of Cartoon Art.

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

Lee Lorenz Born 1932, Hackensack, New Jersey. Mr. 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. The group included, among others, Jack Ziegler, Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, Peter Steiner, Liza Donnelly, Leo Cullum, Tom Cheney, Gahan Wilson, Richard Cline, Michael Crawford, Danny Shanahan, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Victoria Roberts, and Arnie Levin.

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 –.

Mr. Lorenz’s 1977 cartoon collection

 

 

 

 

A Daily week nearly devoid of politics. The Daily cartoonists: Ellie Black, Karl Stevens, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, and Julia Suits.

The Daily Shouts contributing New Yorker cartoonists: Ali Fitzgerald, Liana Finck, Sophia Warren, Tom Chitty, and Maggie Larson.

You can see all of the above, and more here.

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Donnelly At The Oscars

Four years ago Liza Donnelly made history as the first cartoonist to live-draw from the Oscars Red Carpet. She’s been in LaLa Land this past week drawing events leading up to tomorrow’s big day when she’ll once again live-draw from the Red Carpet. Follow her work on @Lizadonnelly .

Ms. Donnelly’s first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1982. She is the author of eighteen books, including Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons (Prometheus, 2005).

At the Oscars! Liza Donnelly Live-Draws From the Red Carpet; “That Special Kind of Madness”: The Seventh New Yorker Album

At The Oscars! Liza Donnelly Live-Draws From the Red Carpet

 Back for her third trip to the Academy Awards, Liza Donnelly, is live-drawing for CBS News (she’s their Resident Cartoonist). You can follow her work tonight from the Red Carpet on Instagram (lizadonnelly), Twitter (@lizadonnelly), etc., etc.

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“That Special Kind of Madness”: The Seventh New Yorker Album

The Seventh New Yorker Album, published in 1935 by Random House, features Peter Arno’s March 23, 1935 New Yorker cover as its cover (the third solo album cover for Arno, with two more to follow).  As I wrote in my Arno biography, this cover was “a quiet link between the old Arno style and what would become the new.”

The front jacket flap copy informs us that this album is a two-fer since there was not a 1934 album, and goes on to say, “Consequently, this edition not only contains more pictures by more artists, but the publishers believe that it marks a new high standard in quality for the series.”

A remarkable album in the series for one reason: it has dueling forewords: The Undertakers Garland (described as “A Dissenting Foreword By Lewis Mumford ” and Fresh Flowers (described as “A Partial Defence By One Of The Editors” ) .

Lewis Mumford, at the time the magazine’s Art Critic, didn’t sugar-coat his take on The New Yorker‘s current cartoons, writing, in part:

“…the jokes seem more interesting than the drawings; or rather, even when the drawings are most adequate, they remain a mere instrument of the idea….The comedy has that special kind of madness that springs out of  a rough day at the office and three rapid Martinis. It is titillating, but a little frothy; it tickles me but remains peripheral; it has flavor but lacks salt.”

Wolcott Gibbs, who wrote the “partial defence” was in his fifth year of acting, in his words, “as a sort of liaison officer between the editorial staff of The New Yorker and the artists who draw its pictures,”  addressed Mr. Mumford’s issues one-by-one and concluded with this “defence” of Mr. Mumford’s “three rapid Martinis” charge:

“This apparently refers to the work of a few artists whose characters belong to no particular land or time and are held to the world only lightly, by the pull of tempered gravity. They are the wilder shadows in the same wonderland that Lewis Carroll first explored, and they are valuable to this collection as lesser examples of the same universal and timeless comedy. It is, of course, important that this sort of humor, operating in its own particular vacuum, be used judiciously…”

And so, here we have, just ten years into the New Yorker‘s existence, a very public debate over what a New Yorker cartoon should be, and should not be.  If there’s a constant in this funny world of the magazine’s cartoons — now closing in on their 100th birthday —  it is that the debate has never ceased.

Here’s the list of the contributing artists in the album. 

Most of the names will be familiar to long-time New Yorker readers, with the possible exception of Eric Monroe Ward,  who is a certified member of Ink Spill’s One Club. The One Club is limited to cartoonists who have been published once and only once in the New Yorker.  This icon   identifies them on the A-Z. 

  Mr. Ward’s only appearance was in the issue of July 14, 1934. As his work likely has little opportunity to shine, I’m showing his one drawing below:

*Note: this very same issue with Mr. Ward’s drawing also contains James Thurber’s classic, “What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?”  — for me personally, a most important cartoon — actually, the most important cartoon.  Nice to run across it again in its natural habitat. 

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For more on Lewis Mumford, check out Findings and Keepings: analects for an autobiography (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975).

And for more on Wolcott Gibbs, there is Thomas Vinciguerra’s wonderful Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber and the Golden Age of The New Yorker (Norton, 2016).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donnelly’s Oscar Drawings; Found: A 34 Year Old Jack Ziegler Greeting Card

A slide-show of Oscar drawings  by New Yorker cartoonist and CBS News resident cartoonist, Liza Donnelly. Ms. Donnelly was on the scene (see left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a greeting card from 1983 I ran across today while sorting materials in the Ink Spill archives. Good stuff from the great Jack Ziegler! I’ll post some other materials re-discovered throughout the week.

Being Eustace Tilley; Roger Angell Remembers James Stevenson; Oscar Time! Liza Donnelly Back on the Red Carpet Live Drawing the Oscars, Drooker’s Oscar Cover, Eckstein’s Oscar Wielding Eustace

 

 

Eustace Tilley is of course a fictional character — commonly referred to as The New Yorker‘s mascot.  There is a suggested backstory to Tilley himself in Lee Lorenz’s Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995; there are best guesses elsewhere as to why Rea Irvin (see below) decided to submit the cover to Harold Ross to adorn Ross’s inaugural issue and there are probably just as many best guesses as to why Ross chose to use Irvin’s submission.

Following the advent of the New Yorker, it didn’t take long for a Tilley stand-in to show up; a New Yorker in-house publication featured Harold Ross as Tilley and Alexander Woollcott as the butterfly hovering at Tilley’s eye-level.  Over the years there have been innumerable parody New Yorkers (Ink Spill has a selection here).  But how many real people, after Harold Ross, have stood in for Tilley on a New Yorker cover or on another magazine’s cover.

If you search online you’ll see perhaps hundreds of Tilley stand-ins, some on the cover of The New Yorker itself, many submitted to the New Yorker as part of a contest, many just for personal amusement (Tilley as Disney’s Goofy, or Mad’s Alfred E. Neuman, Dr. Seuss’s Cat In The Hat, etc., etc.)    But here I’m concentrating on published covers featuring real people (and one real dog) as Tilley.   I’ve found just a few (please let me know of others that fit this category…update: my thanks to Attempted Bloggery for reminding me about the Eustace Clinton/Obama cover ):

 

First the real deal: Rea Irvin’s classic cover:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Yorker‘s in-house issue featuring Harold Ross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renata Adler as Tilley on Manhattan, Inc. November 1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York magazine, July 20, 1992,  with Tina Brown as Tilley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Yorker’s 75th anniversary issue, February 21, 2000, with a William Wegman dog as Tilley (and one of his dogs standing in for the butterfly)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Eustace Tillarobama” (credited to Rea Irvin and Seth) February 11, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that brings us to the March 6, 2017  The New Yorker, with Barry Blitt’s  “Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley” and Donald J. Trump as the butterfly

Image result for eustace tilley putin

 

Rea Irvin’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Rea Irvin  (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925.  He was the magazine’s  first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

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…From the New Yorker‘s Culture Desk, February 25, 2017, “Looking At The Field” Roger Angell on James Stevenson’s art and writing.

photo: Mr. Stevenson in Westport, Connecticut in 2015

 

 

 

 

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Oscar Time!

…Liza Donnelly has been out in Hollywood all week drawing  the scene as the Academy Awards prepares for its big night. Following her historic appearance last year as the first ever cartoonist live drawing on the Red Carpet, she will be back again tomorrow night drawing the stars and the hooplah.

Check out her drawings @lizadonnelly  and  @CBSThisMorning

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The New Yorker’s  Oscar cover, February 27, 2017 by Eric Drooker (titled “#OscarsNotSoWhite”)

 

 

 

 

 

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…I’ll wrap up this post appropriately enough with Bob Eckstein’s Eustace holding an Oscar. Be sure to follow Mr. Ecksteins coverage of the big event on newyorker.com