The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of April 20, 2020

A Note To Readers: Due to the times we’re in the digital edition of the magazine appears later in the day than usual. Thus, instead of the usual look through the magazine, I’m working off of the slide show of cartoons on newyorker.com, as well as the cover Q&A found there. If any mistakes are made on my part I’ll correct them once the digital issue is posted.

Update: 1:00pm.  Digital issue posted about an hour ago.

The Cover: Owen Smith gives us a tired worker (the piece is titled — and again, why do we need cover titles? —  “After The Shift”)…four out of the last five covers have been corona virus themed. Read about the cover here.

The Cartoonists:

The Cartoons:

I don’t know how others respond to an issue’s cartoons. For me, it’s always at least a two-level response:

1. How each drawing hits me — did a drawing stand out (for better or worse).

2. The feeling from all the drawings combined: was it a strong issue of work, or not.

This new issue feels strong, covering a wide range of territory in cartoonland, from aliens (courtesy of Charlie Hankin) to a PC Satyr (from Edward Koren), from dolphins in a swimming pool (McPhail), to what might be found on the other side of the mountaintop (Colin Tom)… and so much more.

 

The Rea Irvin Masthead Watch:

Rea Irvin, the fellow shown here, did so much to shape the look of The New Yorker (okay, I’ll say it — he was instrumental). One of his greatest lasting contributions was adapting Allen Lewis’s typeface; it eventually became known as the Irvin typeface, although these days I hear it   referred to as the New Yorker typeface.  Among Irvin’s many contributions other than art supervisor to Harold Ross (in itself a huge contribution!) was contributing covers, including, of course, the very first one, featuring Eustace Tilley. He also contributed cartoons, and headings for various departments. His design for Talk Of The Town stood in place (with a few adjustments in the magazine’s earliest days) for 92 years, until May of 2017 when his iconic design was mothballed and replaced by a redraw.

Am I wrong to think of Irvin’s typeface, his Tilley, his Talk masthead, and his “catholic” taste in cartoon selection as representing the graphic soul of the magazine?  So many modern changes (or “tweaks” as they were referred to) were test ballooned in recent years and then withdrawn (layout, typography, headings, etc., etc.) —  why not bring back this not insignificant bit of soul.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of March 2, 2020

The Cover: As mentioned last Friday, Barry Blitt‘s Bloomberg exploding cigar cover (above) was rush-released. Here’s a short piece about the cover’s subject by magazine’s art editor, Francoise Mouly.

The Cartoonists

The Cartoons

A likely too-deep-in-the-weeds observation: I believe (someone please correct me if I’m wrong!) this is the first issue of the magazine in contemporary times composed fully of stable mates whose entry into the stable dates back no further than the early 1990s (Frank Cotham, who began contributing in 1993 is this week’s elder, with 27 years at The New Yorker). On the flip side, you might recall that the last issue of the magazine (the 95th anniversary issue) contained a drawing by Edward Koren, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1962. A deep (cartoonist) bench remains at The New Yorker.

Here’s the rundown of this week’s cartoonists, in order of their freshman year:

Frank Cotham (1993); William Haefeli (1998); David Sipress (1998); Joe Dator (2006); Julia Suits (2006); Emily Flake (2008); Amy Hwang (2010); Liana Finck (2013); Lars Kenseth (2016); Maggie Larson (2017); Liz Montague (2019).

Two cartoons in the issue that caught my attention both feature non-humans. David Sipress‘s stand-up kitty, and Joe Dator‘s opposum/possum. Also noted: Ed Steed‘s (sort’ve Ben Shahn-esque) full page illustration for Adam Levin’s fiction piece.

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch: Read about Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead,shown directly below.  Below it is the redrawn version plugged-in Spring of 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obscure Gluyas Williams From Bloom’s Vault; Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon; A Cartoon Excerpt From “Everyone’s A Critic” On Lit Hub

Obscure Gluyas Williams From Bloom’s Vault

Tom Bloom, who has graciously provided these images from his collection, tells the Spill that the below were “produced as samples for a paper mill c. 1950 or so…the artwork still looks quite crisp (as usual). Each one opens up like a booklet and then again as a broadside presenting examples of printing, paper, technological selections promoting their “Workbook.”

Here’s Gluyas (pronounced Glue-yaz) Williams entry on the Spill‘s  A-Z:

Gluyas Williams  Born, San Francisco, 1888. Died, Boston, Mass., 1982. One of the pillars of Harold Ross’s stable of artists, and one of Ross’s favorite cartoonists. His beautiful full page drawings were a regular feature in the magazine. Mr. Williams illustrated a number of Robert Benchley’s collections, providing the cover art as well as illustrations. New Yorker work: March 13, 1926 – Aug 25, 1951. Key collections: The Gluyas Williams Book ( Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1929), The Gluyas Williams Gallery (Harper, 1956). Website: http://www.gluyaswilliams.com/

Further reading on Mr. Williams, link here to Edward Sorel’s 1984 American Heritage piece, “The World Of Gluyas Williams”

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Today’s Daily Cartoonist & Cartoon

Spooky NYC Real Estate by Lila Ash, who began contributing to The New Yorker in 2018.  Visit her website here.

 

 

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A Cartoon Excerpt From “Everyone’s A Critic” On Lit Hub

From Literary Hub, October 24, 2019, “Six Cartoonists On Critical Failure, One Panel At A Time”

— the selection includes work from Barbara Smaller, Mick Stevens, Edward Koren, William Haefeli, and this one from P.C. Vey.

“My wife! My best friend! Advance uncorrected galleys of my new book!”

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of September 16, 2019

The Cover: Ivan Brunetti returns with a cat person/dog person cover. Read here what he had to say about the cover.

The Cartoonists & Cartoons:

I spend the wee hours of every Monday morning looking through the latest issue of The New Yorker (it’s posted online at around 4am). I look at every cartoon at least twice, then I close my laptop and think about the cartoons I just saw. The ones that stick with me — the ones I think about the most, are the ones noted here on The Monday Tilley Watch.  And so it is this week with these four (in no particular order):

Liana Finck’s (p. 40) umbrella drawing grabbed me immediately. It reminded me of an early New Yorker drawing by her published in 2014 (she began contributing to The New Yorker in 2013) titled Snow Falling On Accountants (I liked that one so much it’s now part of the Spill‘s collection of originals). The drawing has a 1970/1980s-era William Stieg-ian quality to it.

Roz Chast’s Wizard of Oz drawing (p. 54). I’m a fan of Ms. Chast’s outdoorsy drawings (like this one for instance).  I associate Oz with spectacular color (the film is black & white til Dorothy lands in Oz and opens up the door of her farmhouse). We’ve all seen enough of Ms. Chast’s terrif color work so that I can (possibly) be forgiven for imagining this drawing colorized.

The lead off drawing in the issue is by Adam Douglas Thompson. I like the simplicity of this cartoon — the way Mr. Thompson’s shown us exactly what we need to see, and no more.  Rats (and mice) have a long New Yorker cartoon history (here’s a favorite Sam Gross drawing from 1999).

David Borchart’s end of summer drawing (p. 39) is quite fab. Mr. Borchart, as he usually does in his work, gives us a world to think about. And, of course, the drawing itself is spectacular (note how the ferry leaves a wake).

Cartoon placement/sizing: All of the cartoons in this issue have been given good breathing room. A few examples: William Haefeli’s (p.31), Sharon Levy’s (p.59), and Lars Kenseth’s (p.22).

Rea Irvin’s Lost Masthead: Gone since the Spring of 2017, but not forgotten here.

 

 

 

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.