In honor of Veteran's Day this week, Modern Graphic History Library looks at some of The New Yorker's military-themed covers during the 1940s.
The New Yorker is known for its eye-catching covers which capture the quirks and humor of everyday life. The magazine was started in 1925, and its art editors gave their artists freedom to choose their own topics and their own style when submitting potential cover designs. During World War II, the magazine ran numerous war-related covers. These covers succeeding in finding humorous and/or sentimental moments in the seriousness and horrors of war.
New York-born Peter Arno (1904-1968) helped set the standard for the magazine's reputation for sophisticated humor. Arno was a musician and an artist. He was considering giving up his struggling art career and joining a band instead, when The New Yorker accepted one of his cartoons in 1925. He continued to draw cartoons and covers for the magazine until 1968.
Arno liked to poke fun of the aristocracy and found humor in awkward situations involving social class or military rank. He also liked to draw "everyman" characters and place them in humorous situations, such as the civilian who wonders if he is on the correct airplane.
Julian de Miskey (1898-1976) was one of the original New Yorker artists, contributing from 1925 - 1962. Born in Hungary, he came to America in 1914. He always signed his work with a single "M” and was one of the magazine’s most prolific artists, drawing 62 covers.
English-born Leonard Dove (1906-1972) began contributing to The New Yorker in 1925 and continued through 1964. He always signed his work with his last name in capital letters.
Dove found humor and inspiration in the lives everyday soldiers and the situations in which they found themselves.
Modern Graphic History Library's New Yorker covers are part of the Walter Reed Illustration Archive.
Information for this blog post came from:
- De Bure, Gilles. The Golden Age of Magazine Illustration : The Sixties and Seventies. Editions du Collectionneur, 1997.
- Julian de Miskey. Papillon Gallery, no date
- Maslin, Michael. The New Yorker Cartoonist A-Z, no date
- Peter Arno. Encyclopedia Britannica, no date