Eustace Tilley is the name given to the foppish character drawn by art director Rea Irvin for the first cover of The New Yorker in 1925 (image above, top left). The character has returned for a reprise on the anniversary issue each year and has essentially become the magazine’s mascot.
Last year The New Yorker began a contest in which entrants create their own version of an alternate or updated Eustace, and the winners are featured in a slide show on the magazine’s web site (some of last year’s entries shown above as well as in my previous post). Last year they were also featured in the print version of the magazine, but they don’t mention that on this year’s page about the contest, so I think it’s just online this time.
The contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada (with the exception of Quebec). To enter, you sign up, confirm your registration and then upload your image(s) as a jpg, png or non-animated gif file, ideally 465×633 (must be in vertical orientation).
You can submit multiple entries (up to three, I think). The entries must be received by midnight Eastern Time on January 15, 2009, and the winners will be announced on February 2, 2009.
There’s no particular prize other than inclusion in the slide show of the 12 winners, which will be chosen by the New Yorker’s art editor, François Mouly; and, of course, the fun of creating your own variation of the character.
You can also see a gallery of some of the variations on Tilley that the magazine has commissioned as covers from various artists, including Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Roz Chast, Robert Crumb, Anita Kunz, Carter Goodrich and others; and an article about the history of the character by Louis Menand, Mystery Man: The many faces of Eustace Tilley.
I’ll write another article when the contest results are posted in February and we can all see the new round of thoroughly modern Tilleys.