The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of January 28, 2019

The Cover this week — rushed released days earlier — is from the masterful pen of John Cuneo. Below is an early version of the published cover, provided courtesy of Mr. Cuneo.

The Cartoonists (note the Spots contribution from Ed Steed) :

The Cartoons:

A little bit of something for everyone in this issue: an ice fisherman, a whale, a cat person in a dog park, a windy city street, imbibing cave people, a library, clowns, the subway, domestic situations, the mob, a police lineup, a restaurant scenario, Snow White.

Cartoon placement-wise, it was good to see some stretching out from the usual rectangular box seated in a corner of a page. Frank Cotham’s basement drawing run three columns wide (on page 30) is a good example, as is Zach Kanin’s ice fisherman on page 63 and Liana Finck’s drawing on page 72. Brendan Loper’s party-folk drawing on page 44, and Kim Warp’s police lineup drawing on page 48 were also given more breathing room. Then there’s Will McPhail’s full page (with the “Sketchbook” heading of “L’) on page 43. I’ve given this drawing some extra thought this morning, wondering if it needed the “Sketchbook” heading. What exactly does the “Sketchbook” designation bring to the page. I also wonder if those outside the New York/ Metropolitan area understand that the “L” refers to the “L” line of the New York City subway system (and local stories concerning the line). And then there’s the question of whether the “L” train reference actually means something here that’s essential to understanding the little story played out in sequence. Perhaps, perhaps. Perhaps not. So many questions! Anyway, it’s a fun drawing that works well no matter the subway line. As noted with a hint of impatience on Cartoon Companion, New Yorker subway cartoons have become nearly a standard scenario in recent months. I continue to believe that no scenario is played-out if the idea works well.

A subway sidenote: when I think of previous multi-panel subway cartoons my first thought is of this one by Liza Donnelly from the New Yorker issue of April 14, 1986. And speaking of Ms. Donnelly, in her cave man drawing on page 21 of this latest issue of the magazine there’s not a cave man in sight.

I’ve been re-watching the entire run of “The Sopranos” lately, so Joe Dator’s cement shoe drawing on page 52 grabbed my attention. I especially enjoyed seeing the George Boothian bare light bulb hanging down from the ceiling.

This issue marks the New Yorker print debut for Emily Bernstein. Ms. Bernstein is the third new New Yorker cartoonist of the year and the 28th since Emma Allen became the magazine’s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

The Tilley Watch again signs-off with a nod to the missing Rea Irvin masthead (seen below). Read about it here.


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