Monday, January 28, 2008

The Many Faces of Eustace Tilley

The Many Faces of Eustace Tilley
Had I been on the ball, I would have told you about this earlier, as well as probably entering myself for the fun of it.

Every year The New Yorker holds a Eustace Tilley Contest, in which participants get to draw (or paint) their interpretation of the venerable magazine’s upper-crusty top-hatted and monocled iconic character.

The original Eustace Tilley was drawn by cartoonist Rea Irvin for the cover of the magazine’s first issue (above, top left) in 1925, and has reprised his appearance every year since on the anniversary issue. There is a history of Eustace Tilly here.

The New Yorker has a slide show of 17 past Eustace Tilleys (including Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Charles Burns and Art Spiegelman).

The contest is open to anyone. This year’s contest just ended on January 24th. (I’ll try to tell you ahead of time next year.) The winners will be announced on February 4th.

Of more interest, however, is the Flickr gallery (thumbnails here) of 160 of this years entries, with all of their varied and imaginative takes on the character, his top hat, monocle, profile, stiff-necked pose and presumed disdainful butterfly fascination.

[Link via Kottke via Waxy]

4 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Eustace Tilley

  1. Dan van Benthuysen

    Great post. Fun entries.

    Rea Irvin did some wonderful cartoons for the New Yorker and hand-lettered the distinctive and often-imitated typography that was subsequently digitized into the name-plate and typeface we know today.

    The New Yorker tradition of having one of its cartoonists serve as ‘art editor’ continues today with the talented and engaging Bob Mankoff who launched the Cartoon Bank at the New Yorker and the caption contest that appears weekly on the last page.

  2. learn. teach. swap.

    Very interesting post and blog. I just took a drawing class. I wish I made more time to draw, and improve my drawing. I loved looking at the images you have posted, and you have some great links. You have some excellent examples of how to distort the face and body. very cool.

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