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New Yorker Anniversary edition showcases cartoon jam!

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This week’s New Yorker is the 85th anniversary edition, and as is custom, the iconic Eustace Tilley character appears on the cover. However, this time out the issue sports four separate covers, as a jam between Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, and Ivan Brunetti. Each issue includes two of the covers s a foldout, so you only need to buy two copies to complete the collection.

We had the great fortune of seeing New Yorker cover art director Françoise Mouly revealing the covers to Tomine, Seth, Art Spiegelman and Charles Burns on Friday at the Seth art show opening, and Mouly divulged that there is a secret message encoded within all the covers. Can you figure it out?


  1. The four covers, when combined, get you a plastic rin– oh all right, they all combine to make a big Eustace Tilly cover. Squint at the four together and you can see it.

  2. Well, those clouds up there look to me like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… that cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… and that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the Stoning of Stephen… I can see the Apostle Paul standing there to one side…

  3. I looked for a copy today in a couple bookstores and didn’t see any for sale.

    I guess they’ll show up a day or so later, due to the snow.

  4. I can see Eustace, most obviously in the lower right cover–the sidewalk and flower garden are his collar and the tree is his neck. The rest is much more abstract. But those freaky, distorted butterflies obviously signify something as well.

  5. Oops, never mind. Eustace Tilley is looking at the butterfly on the upper left cover through his monocle (which is formed very abstractly by the artist’s bench with the palette and old telephone on it).

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