The New Yorker turns 90 this year. To celebrate, the magazine has printed this week’s issue with nine different covers, all featuring 21st-century renditions of its top-hatted, monocled, dandyish mascot, Eustace Tilley.
Tilley appeared on the first-ever cover in 1925. “The magazine’s presiding dandy has since been parodied, subverted, or deconstructed on most of our anniversary covers,” art director Françoise Mouly explains in the New Yorker. “Contributions by our artists–and by readers participating in Eustace Tilley contests–have included comic-strip Tilleys, dog Tilleys, tattooed Tilleys, emoji Tilleys, and twerking Tilleys.”
This week’s nine covers–by artists Kadir Nelson, Carter Goodrich, Anita Kunz, Roz Chast, Barry Blitt, Istvan Banyai, Lorenzo Mattotti, Peter Mendelsund, and Christoph Niemann–feature creative new variations on those themes, in pen and ink, oil pastel, collage, and digital mediums. They include a pot-smoking hippie Tilley; an abstract silhouetted Tilley printed with bugs and butterflies; texting hipster Tilley in a bowler hat; and Tilley doing duck lips in a photo booth. “Each brings Eustace Tilley squarely into the 21st century, and proves that art is as alive on the cover of the magazine today as it was in 1925,” Mouly writes.