New Yorker Caption Contest Friday

 

         This being the end of the traditionally news-less week (for New Yorker cartoons and cartoonists) leading up to the new year, I thought why not dedicate today’s post to the New Yorker‘s Caption Contest. Last time I checked, the contest had reached its 644th offering (with a windmill drawing by Bob Eckstein).  

Background: every time I’ve been involved in a New Yorker event (usually a panel discussion) the contest comes up in the Q&A. The most frequently asked multi-part question is: How does it work? Did the cartoon originally have a caption?  Do you (the cartoonists) get to judge?

Here’s how it works (from the cartoonists perspective).  The cartoons used in the contest are taken out of the weekly batches submitted by the magazine’s cartoonists.  Sometimes the selected cartoon has a caption that is (obviously) stripped from the cartoon.  Sometimes the submitted cartoon has no caption (I sometimes submit captionless cartoons just for the hell of it to see what  caption entrants might come up with. Here’s one example.). The cartoonists have no say in the process of selecting the winning captions. 

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News:

There’s a new celebrity video posted by The New Yorker featuring the actors John C. Reilly  and Will Ferrell trying their hands/minds at captioning a bunch of cartoons:

For the record, the cartoons are (in order of appearance) by P.C. Vey, Kaamran Hafeez, Tom Toro, Tom Cheney, a second by P.C. Vey, and the final two are by Liam Walsh.  I again encourage the folks in charge of these videos to have the celebs identify the cartoonists, or at least identify the cartoonists names in full somewhere on the screen. 

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Here’s a story about a fellow who won a recent contest (the drawing at issue is by yours truly…and ouch, the drawing takes a few hits). From the Wickedlocal.com, “‘It is I, Manbunzal’: Melrose Resident Alan Leo Wins The New Yorker Caption Contest”

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Here’s a Facebook group dedicated to the contest: New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Rejects (and Enthusiasts). Enter all those bolded words in the search box and presto: you have an instant caption contest community.

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Very Old News: everyone interested in the contest probably already has or decided not to have this book that came out in 2008.

 

Who Wrote What In The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons

Scattered through the forthcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Cartoons (out October 2nd) are a number of what are called commentaries (an example: “Banana Peels”). These are unsigned, but a blanket credit for assisting in the writing is given in the introduction to cartoonists Emily Flake, Pat Byrnes, Tom Toro, Paul Karasik, and the New Yorker’s Assistant Cartoon Editor, Colin Stokes [full disclosure: I was asked to audition for the opportunity to write a number of these commentaries. I declined to audition after learning my efforts, if used, would appear uncredited].

The Spill loves giving credit where credit is due, and in that spirit I”m listing the work contributed by three of the above unsigned contributors.  Paul Karasik posted some of his contributions on Facebook (I’m attempting to track down the rest). Tom Toro and Pat Byrnes responded to my request for theirs. Should Emily Flake and Colin Stokes respond, I’ll list their contributions as well.

One quibble with these commentaries: they are not indexed; the reader must hunt for them. 

Tom Toro contributed the following:

Automation, Hollywood. Internet, Inventions, Judges, Knitting, Modern Art, Noah’s Ark, Nudism, Real Estate, Valentines

 
Pat Byrnes contributed these:
 
Heaven & Hell, Boxing, Job Interviews, Lawyers, Lighthouses, Meet the Author, Operations, Report Cards, Royalty, Sex, The Thinker
 
Paul Karasik’s contributions:
 
Advertising, Censorship, Evolution, Snowmen, Superheroes, Trojan Horse, Wall Street, Zombies.
 
Emily Flake [list in progress]:
 
Cavemen & -Women…
 
Uncredited as of yet: Banana Peels, Desert Island, Dentistry, Easter Island, Fortune Teller, Famous Painters & Painting, Grim Reaper, Google, King Kong, Life Rafts, Maternity Ward, Owls, Psychiatrists, Pirates, Quicksand,, UFOs, Wise Man On Mountain, X-Rays, Yoga.
 
[Updated: 8:00 pm, Sunday]

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 17, 2018

The cover

If you haven’t already seen the school busses on the road, or the signs posted everywhere advising that school is back in session, Chris Ware’s cover is yet another reminder that it’s back to school time.

The cartoons

Here, for the record, are the contributing cartoonists in the issue:

A quick survey of each drawing: Ms. Suits gives us a cactus drawing (are cactus the new crash test dummies — this being the second cactus drawing out of the past three issues); Mr. Dernavich provides us with an end of summer roller coaster drawing with some unintentional(?) graphic trickery concerning the track itself; Ms. McNair’s couple have neighborly dinner date issues; Farley Katz takes us to a sturdy cartoon scenario of parent reading to a child at bedtime; William Haefeli up next with his trademark drawing style and an excellent caption; an Edward Koren drawing — allowed a wonderful space on the page. Very nice all around!; Ben Schwartz plays with Rodin’s The Thinker; Ed Steed plays around with a clown and a banana peel (and it’s in color); Zach Kanin visits a game of spin the bottle (a scenario we rarely see); Frank Cotham allows us a peek into a room full of sweaty frock-coated gentlemen; Sara Lautman takes us up up and away to the sky god’s territory; Joe Dator’s drawing of a symphony hall is splendid; Kim Warp’s trash-in-the-sea drawing arrives with trash-in-the sea much in the news.  And finally, a nod to the advent of Fall baseball with a meeting at the pitcher’s mound courtesy of Tom Toro.

The issue arrives sans Rea Irvin’s classic masthead. Here it is:

I can’t let mid-September slip by without mentioning the issue of September 11, 1925 (cover by the aforementioned Mr. Irvin).  

New Yorker history buffs will recall that the magazine was nearly put to rest in the Spring of its first year of publication. If not for an overheard remark, the New Yorker would’ve been a magazine that lasted less than half a year. Instead of killing the magazine, it was decided to coast through the summer,  putting renewed energy into the issue of September 12th. You can read about the specifics on content here courtesy of A New Yorker State of Mind.

 

 

It’s Too Darn Hot; Fave Photos of the Day: Chast & Wertz…Shanahan, Toro & Ziegler

Here’s a Liza Donnelly classic cartoon from The New Yorker issue of August 7, 1995:

And a favorite Charles Addams cover:

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Fave Photos of the Day: Roz Chast & Julia Wertz…Shanahan, Toro & Ziegler

Julia Wertz (on the left) and Roz Chast appeared at The New York Public Library last Thursday to discuss their work. I love that Ms. Chast is looking at a projected childhood photo of herself.  (photo courtesy of Marcie Jacobs-Cole). 

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And just last night up in Bennington, Vermont, Jessica Ziegler, the daughter of the late Jack Ziegler moderated a talk with Danny Shanahan and Tom Toro.  The photo below from an interesting article posted today by Mike Peterson on his Comic Strip of the Day. Mr. Shanahan is on the far left, Mr. Toro, center, and Ms. Ziegler far right.

 

 

 

 

The Wednesday Tilley Watch: Roz Chast, Julia Wertz in New York; Edward Koren, Danny Shanahan, Tom Toro, & Co. in Bennington, Vermont

A day of reminders on the Spill:

If you’re in or around Manhattan today, Roz Chast (above, far right) and Julia Wertz (far left) are in conversation at the New York Public Library this evening at 6:30. All the info here.

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Edward Koren, Danny Shanahan, Tom Toro in Vermont

And if you’re somewhere in the vicinity of Bennington this Saturday it’s New Yorker cartoons and cartoonists practically all day long at Southern Vermont College. A highlight of the day: Jessica Ziegler, daughter of the late very great New Yorker cartoonist, Jack Ziegler, will moderate a panel consisting of New Yorker cartoon god, Edward Koren (above left),veteran New Yorker cartoonist Danny Shanahan (above, middle), and the fab Tom Toro (above, right).  You’ll find other New Yorker cartoonists attending events as well.  Info here.