The Monday Tilley Watch Takes A Glancing Look At The Art & Artists Of The Latest Issue Of The New Yorker
The Cover: As mentioned here last week, the cover (shown above), by Edel Rodriguez was early-released. Here (once again) is the Cover Story post with him.
Seventeen cartoonists and seventeen cartoons. One newbie: Jacob Breckenridge, who is the 2nd new addition to the magazine’s stable of cartoonists this year, and the 80th brought in since Emma Allen was appointed The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.
The topical one first: Joe Dator’s drawing (found on page 13) is the first cartoon of the issue. He has taken the age-old problem of forgetting to date checks in the new year with the new year’s date, and allowed it to say something about the historically horrific year gone by. And then there’s Tom Toro’s fish swimming upstream drawing (it’s on page 42). This drawing could’ve been published 50 years ago, and it could be published 50 years from now.
The Irvin Talk Masthead Watch
Well, we’re inching into the new year, and the redrawn Talk masthead is still in place (it turned up in the Spring of 2017, elbowing aside Mr. Irvin’s iconic design, shown above). Hope does spring eternal here at the Spill that one day Rea Irvin’s design will return. Read more here.
A Passing Note: Even though his long association with The New Yorker was not connected with the Art Department, I’d like to mention the passing of a long-time contributor to the magazine, Ved Mehta.
For those who love books by New Yorker contributors about The New Yorker, you’ll enjoy Mr. Mehta’s Remembering Mr. Shawn: The Invisible Art Of Editing (Overlook, 1998). Over time, two short cartoon-related moments from the book have stayed with me (as has the fab cover photo of William Shawn by the late great cartoonist & writer, James Stevenson): one is Mr. Mehta describing a party scene (pages 160-162) wherein the guests, including Shawn, discuss James Thurber’s just released The Years With Ross, and the other is just a brief tidbit concerning a time Mr. Mehta went abroad (to England) and found a couple to sublet his apartment: the great New Yorker cover artist, Abe Birnbaum and his wife.
I had one (missed) opportunity to meet Mr. Mehta. It was back in the old New Yorker offices at 25 West 43rd Street. I was standing next to him in an elevator and could’ve (should’ve?) introduced myself and told him how much I was enjoying his pieces in the magazine (and I really was). But, as happened so often in those days at the magazine, my shyness won out, and the opportunity vanished.
From Jamespreller.com, Janauary 11, 2021, “A Conversation With Liza Donnelly, Children’s Author/Illustrator, and New Yorker Cartoonist”— Ms.Donnelly’s work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1982. Visit her website here.
Here’s Mr. Stevenson’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:
James Stevenson Born, NYC, 1929. Died, February 17, 2017, Cos Cob, Connecticut. New Yorker work: March 10, 1956 -. Stevenson interned as an office boy at The New Yorker in the mid 1940s when he began supplying ideas for other New Yorker artists. Nine years later he was hired a full-time ideaman, given an office at the magazine and instructed not to tell anyone what he did. He eventually began publishing his own cartoons and covers as well as a ground-breaking Talk of the Town pieces (ground breaking in that the pieces were illustrated). His contributions to the magazine number over 2000. Key collections: Sorry Lady — This Beach is Private! ( MacMillan, 1963), Let’s Boogie ( Dodd, Mead, 1978). Stevenson was a children’s book author, with roughly one hundred titles to his credit. He was a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, under the heading Lost and Found New York. Stevenson’s The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell, published in 2013, is essential reading. Sally Williams’ 2019 documentary film, Stevenson Lost & Found is essential viewing.