New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years; Article of Interest: Maggie Larson; Personal History: “How many do you send in?”

New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years

Mr. Bachtell, whose first Talk of The Town illustrations appeared in the New Yorker‘s issue of March 20, 1995, posted the following on Facebook this afternoon:

Tom Bachtell’s website

Mr. Bachtell on A Case For Pencils

_________________________________________________

Article of Interest: Maggie Larson

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2018, “This Bryn Mawr grad is part of an exclusive — but growing — group: women cartoonists of the New Yorker”

— this piece on Ms. Larson, who first began contributing to The New Yorker in July of 2017.

Above: Ms. Larson and one of her New Yorker cartoons (from the issue of December 4 2017). 

Link here to Ms. Larson’s website

___________________________________________________

Personal History:

“How many do you send in?”

I’ve found that this question is eventually asked in any cartoon-centered conversation with someone curious as to how it works, working for The New Yorker. It’s a question with as many different answers as there are cartoonists.  A rumor was spread some years ago that the magic number was 10: you had to submit 10 a week. No such rule exists, or ever existed. I believe that that number still haunts the cartoon community — why, I don’t know.

This afternoon, while going through cartoon stuff, I ran across a box of index cards from my earliest years as a cartoonist for the magazine. To illustrate my point about sending in 10 cartoons a week, I noticed I had a run of sending in 20+, but there were also weeks of 30+, and then I found a few much higher.  Here’s a cropped photo of the last page of one week’s submissions — the week of March 8, 1978:

 57 submitted. Not one sold to The New Yorker or to any other publications that saw the work after the New Yorker (I think those red dots indicate drawings I felt might work for some other magazines). I don’t remember any of these cartoons, but judging by the captions, I’m not surprised they failed to be placed. For me, rejected work is best quickly forgotten; by the time drawings are rejected (or bought, if I’m lucky enough) I’ve already moved on to the next week’s batch, however many drawings that turns out to be. 

   

 

The Talk of The Town’s Tom Bachtell is Pencilled; Liza Donnelly: “Cartooning the New President”; From the Spill’s Library: Another Spot Artist

Tom Bachtell, whose wonderful spot drawings are featured weekly in the New Yorker‘s Talk of The Town section is the subject of Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils this week.  Check it out here.

____________________________________________________________________

Liza Donnelly on drawing the new President (with a selection of her latest cartoons). See it here

 

 

________________________________________________________

As long as the subject of New Yorker Spot artists has come up  (with Mr. Bachtell’s work) here’s a little something from the Spill‘s archives:  Suzanne Suba was one of the very few  New Yorker spot artists to have her work collected in book form.  Below is an example of her art from the lovely little (4″x5″) book titled, Spots by Suba: From The New Yorker (E.P. Dutton & Co. 1944).  Ms. Suba passed away in  2012

 

 

A Curio Added to the Spill’s Attic

I love the New Yorker oddities out there in the world. This most recent addition to the Spill‘s  collection is one of the most curious I’ve seen.  Someone had various Talk of The Town sections professionally bound.

The only identification on the volume — getting right to the point! — is The Talk of The Town printed on the spine. There are no other markings. Other than the binding, the only other personal touch (not counting the material selected for inclusion in the volume) is the page below, included three pages in. Its thin, shiny quality suggests it came off a mimeograph machine.

The earliest Talk section included is April 28, 1928, the most recent, May 7, 1932.  While the sections are chronological, they are not sequential, skipping, for instance, from June 13, 1931 to July 11, 1931.

Luckily, the person who put this together included the covers for each Talk section. At the top of this post you see a full page Peter Arno from the issue of August 3, 1929 leading into the issue of October 19, 1929 (cover by Rea Irvin).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ink Spill library has a number of bound New Yorkers;  I take one off the shelves every so often, in the fashion of  E.B. White, who wrote in the Preface to The Subtreasury of American Humor (edited with Katharine White),”my wife and I happen to own a complete file of bound volumes of The New Yorker…it would often be our custom to pull out a volume at random and dip up a nice funny piece…”; having pieces bound in such a way as this odd Talk volume is a little pre-fab gift of randomness.