The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of July 1, 2019; Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon; Today’s Daily Cartoonist: David Sipress

The Cover: Summertime is very much here. I confess to being puzzled by the columns on this new cover but figured all would be revealed if I went to the now-standard Q&A with the cover artist (and all was). I guess I need to spend more time in Brooklyn. 

The Cartoonists

Last week I mentioned a collaborative cartoon effort; this week there are two sets: Pia Guerra & Ian Boothby, and, Seth Roberts & Brian Hawes. 3/4ths of the collaborators are making their cartoon-connected print debut (everyone but Pia Guerra, who has been contributing since 2017).  If we accept that each team contains at least one artist (i.e. someone had to draw the cartoon), then there is at least one new name to add to the newbie list. The addition of one new cartoonist from the group brings us to the 17th new cartoonist of the year (I’ll sort out who is who eventually).

But wait! Emily Bernstein is also making her debut in the print magazine, so just-like-that we’re now up to 18 new cartoonists added this year.  18 newbies this year, and 44 newbies in all under Emma Allen’s watch as cartoon editor (she began in May of 2017).

The Cartoons

 There are two kinds of cartoons that have always fascinated me. One is the drawing I linger over because I’m not at all enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world. The other kind is the drawing I linger over because I’m thoroughly enjoying that moment from the cartoonist’s world,  wanting to hang out with it, explore it, and learn from it. The best cartoons are shorthand graphic short stories. P.C. Vey‘s death on the beach drawing (p.18) is solidly the latter kind — a wonderful addition to the magazine’s archive of beach cartoons. It’s a drawing where everything works.

Also working is Liana Finck‘s one-two punch take on the devil and angel on one’s shoulders scenario (p. 24). I found myself studying the framework around the character — an unusual blending of box and body.

The Felipe Galindo drawing on page 70 is a fun twist on the lion tamer scenario crossed with the small but growing canon of cat scratch cartoons (a personal cat scratch favorite is this Mike Twohy classic from June 5, 1995). 

The Caption Contest Cartoonist: Liza Donnelly

Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead

Still in storage: Mr. Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead design, replaced in Spring of 2017 by a redraw(!). Below is Mr. Irvin’s drawing for those who don’t know what they’re missing, and for those who do know what they’re missing.


Talk Of Interest: Dana Fradon

A New Yorker Cartoonist Mt. Rushmore:  From left to right: Charles Saxon, Former New Yorker Art Editor, James Geraghty, Dana Fradon, and Whitney Darrow, Jr.. Westport, Connecticut, 1982. Courtesy of Mr. Geraghty’s daughter, Sarah Geraghty Herndon).

Mr. Fradon, the subject of a lengthy Spill piece in 2013, will speak this Fall at Western Connecticut State University.  Here’s a chance to see one of the cartoon gods of The New Yorker‘s golden era.  Everything you need to know about the event here.

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, New Yorker work: May 1, 1948 – . Collection: Insincerely Yours (Scribners, 1978).

 — My thanks to Warren Bernard for bringing Mr. Fradon’s event to the Spill’s attention.


Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon

A Trump cartoon by David Sipress, who has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1998.

My Telly Savalas















By July of 1977, when I cracked open a brand new sketchbook,  I’d already filled 38 others with drawings that had yet to connect with The New Yorker‘s Art Editor, Lee Lorenz; in other words: I was still an unpublished cartoonist. Of course I didn’t have a clue that the brand new sketchbook, #39 (pictured above), would contain the drawing that changed my unpublished status, sort of.  Twelve drawings into the book  I drew a fortune teller telling a man, “Nothing will ever happen to you.”

Nothing will

I copied it, and sent in the copy with my weekly batch to The New Yorker.  They bought it for its idea, and gave it to the incomparable Whitney Darrow, Jr. to work up in his great style.  I was left with the mixed blessing of having sold something to The New Yorker, but having to explain to family and friends why the work published wasn’t mine.











Left: Whitney Darrow’s published version






This post, however, is about the drawing in sketchbook #39 that came a page before the fortune teller drawing.  In those early days I’d draw words and picture directly onto the sketchbook, without working them out somewhere.  They all looked somewhat finished.  Thus the sketchbook was a day-by-day unedited chronicle of work.   Recently, I opened the sketchbook and looked at the drawing before the fortune teller drawing. It’s undoubtedly a personal tipping point, in just a turn of the page — it separates my years as an unpublished cartoonist from the years to come as a published cartoonist.  It gave me a bit of a shudder looking at the drawing,  a two-parter, captioned, “Isn’t that Telly Savalas?” What if (I let myself think)  the next drawing after Telly Savalas hadn’t been the one;  there’s not  a hint of a possibility it would lead to a publishable idea.  In a funny way, this little dance continues on to this day.  There’s always going to be a Telly Savalas just before the drawing that works.

Telly Savalas





“The New Yorker Family Reunion Panel” at Westport Historical Society; Liana Finck signing A Bintel Brief at MoCCA Arts Fest; Bob Mankoff Book Tour Rolls On


“The New Yorker Family Reunion Panel” featuring children of Golden Age New Yorker artists, Alice Harvey, Perry Barlow, Edna Eicke, Arthur Getz and Whitney Darrow, Jr., Saturday, April 12th at The Westport Historical Society. Also on the panel: the children of James Geraghty, the magazine’s Art Editor from 1939 through 1973.  You can find examples of work by the artists on The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site.






(photo of The New Yorker Albums by Michael Maslin)




A Bintel Brief















If you’d like to secure a copy of Liana Finck‘s soon-to-be-released book, A Bintel Brief, she’ll be at the MoCCA Arts Fest this weekend signing copies.

















Bob Mankoff, The New Yorker‘s current Cartoon Editor is on the road promoting his new book, How About Never — Is Never Good for You?  This latest report comes from The Princeton Packet.

Westport New Yorker Cover Artists Bios Continued

As promised, here are three more of the eighteen short biographies from the Westport Historical Society exhibit,  Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport. My thanks again to the WHS for allowing these to be posted here on Ink Spill.

(Photo of Donald Reilly courtesy of Liza Donnelly).

For another look at the exhibit, link here to Attempted Bloggery, where you’ll find photos galore (scroll down for the Westport coverage).