The New Yorker Years, part 1

all images, Kevin Sprouls
In the years from 1989 to 1991, I enjoyed a regular (if rigorous) retainership from the New Yorker magazine. It didn’t pay a princely sum, but I was glad to have the coveted, prestigious exposure in this high profile weekly. Rigorous, in that I would receive a request for an illustration on a Tuesday afternoon, and be expected to ship art overnight on Thursday. Meaning, I had to drop everything else I was working on and devote myself entirely to the magazine for a day or two. I still enjoy magazine work today, and sometimes accept less than optimum terms for the pleasure of being published. Here, then, are a collection of my images that were printed in the New Yorker, for the “Goings On About Town”, or GOAT pages. Mainly, these were to publicize dramatic or cinematic events, concerts, etc.

For an Australian film, as I recall…

Publicizing the film, “Gremlins”

from a 1940’s flick… note the garter. Most de rigeur!

Fabulous African musician, Youssou N’Dour.

Bing Crosby and Mary Martin.

This was the “nail in the coffin” for me with the new Yorker. I thought, given the circumstances, this wasn’t such a bad image, but one of the A/D’s didn’t like MM’s visage in the 1st draft. What you see here is the original art, with a paper patch carrying a substitution of the starlet’s face. Sometimes relationships break off without apparent reason or warning!

8 thoughts on “The New Yorker Years, part 1

  1. I think that the paste over was a good idea for the Mary Martin pic…I don’t know what the original looked like, but this version is perfect! Have you ever used a gray ink for your stipple portraits? I’m thinking that it would work well in a background, like this one…so the people would look more like they ‘pop’ without the background competing so much for viewer attention.

  2. Thanks, Martin. I am flattered to have a reader such as yourself. Awesome information. I used to save the NY’er tearsheets, but most have scattered to the winds. I’ll be posting more of the New Yorker art very soon, so stay tuned.

  3. Hi Darla. Your suggestion makes sense, especially as much of this work is now processed in greyscale format. In “the Old Days”, all of this art was printed as line art (bitmap, in today’s parlance), so the grey ink idea would not have come into the equation. I have done a bit of experimenting with colored inks, but it introduces the requirement of expending a lot more time
    in an already labor-intensive practice. Good idea, though. I may try it sometime.

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