The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of May 4, 2020

The Cover: In Francoise Mouly’s Q&A with this week’s cover artist, Chris Ware, she informs us that the issue is anchored by “a kaleidoscopic account of a single day in New York.”  And so we see a cover, in Mr. Ware’s patented style, loaded with snapshots of the city —  a cover nearly devoid of people.

The Cartoonists:

Liza Donnelly, Robert Leighton, Amy Hwang, Roz Chast, Mick Stevens, Liana Finck, Julia Suits, Frank Cotham, Lars Kenseth, Peter Steiner, Karl Stevens, Edward Steed, Elisabeth McNair, Ali Solomon

The Cartoons:

First thing I noticed zipping through this week’s cartoons (via the slideshow on newyorker.com) is that 9 of the 14 drawings contain non-humans. Is this unusual? I don’t know; haven’t kept track of the human/non-human ratio of the cartoons over the years [if anyone has, please let me know — I’d love to see the numbers]. What may be unusual are the three drawings in a row containing two animals apiece: Ed Steed’s two cows, Elisabeth McNair’s pig and squirrel, and Ali Solomon’s two seals.

The remaining half-dozen cartoons featuring non-humans: Peter Steiner’s shark (fins), Lars Kenseth’s multitude of rabbits, Roz Chast’s cow, Liana Finck’s dog(?), and Amy Hwang’s snails. This week’s lead cartoon, by Liza Donnelly, is a direct nod to NYC’s shut-down (it features a none-too-pleased caged subway rat).

The high percentage of animals in the issue reminded me of this passage from Brendan Gill’s Here At The New Yorker:

“Once, Geraghty [the magazine’s Art editor from 1939-1973] mentioned to me that the art department ‘bank’ contained a deplorably high number of jokes featuring conversations between animals. I proposed that the artwork of an entire issue of the magazine be devoted to talking-animal jokes, thus reducing the bank and just possibly causing our readers to lose their minds.  My proposal was accepted, the issue came out, and as far as the magazine could judge, the prank went largely unobserved.” 

Other Cartoons That Caught My Eye:

It seemed pre-ordained that Roz Chast would do a panic buying drawing. Love her (signed) photo drawing of “Der Bingle.” Mick Stevens’s me time drawing is a fine/fun piece of work; applause applause for the way Frank Cotham handled the damned in his splendid media attention drawing. I’ve no idea how Mr. Cotham’s cartoon is sized (I don’t have access to the digital edition yet) but this cartoon would certainly work beautifully on a half-page.  (Update, now that the digital issue is available:  Mr. Cotham’s drawing has been run a bit larger than most of the issue’s cartoons…not a half-page tho.)

The Rea Irvin Talk Masthead Watch:

Without having the digital issue in front of me I’ve no idea if Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk masthead (below), shown the door, and replaced by a redraw in the Spring of 2017, has finally returned.  Here’s more information on it.(Update: the redraw still appears. The classic remains in storage)

Behold the real deal!

 

 

 

 

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