Manhattan transferManhattan transfer

Israeli cartoonist on New Yorker cover

Tomer Hanuka, who came to the Big Apple after his army service, captures the warmth and romance of a snowy Manhattan morning

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Tomer Hanuka's 'Perfect Storm' graces the cover of the February 10, 2014 edition of The New Yorker. (Tomer Hanuka/The New Yorker)
Tomer Hanuka's 'Perfect Storm' graces the cover of the February 10, 2014 edition of The New Yorker. (Tomer Hanuka/The New Yorker)

An Israeli cartoonist has scored his first cover for The New Yorker, wowing the editors with his submission, “Perfect Storm,” which captures the romance of a snowy Manhattan morning.

Cartoonist Tomer Hanuka’s drawing, which will appear on the cover of the February 10, 2014 edition of the magazine, shows a couple looking out the window of their New York apartment with rapt attention as snow falls outside.

The apartment’s interior is depicted in warm colors, such as yellow and beige, while the view of the snowy street is dominated by colder hues of blue and gray.

While both the man and the woman in the drawing are dressed in summer undergarments, their duvet pushed aside as they stare at the snowy urban landscape, the heater to their right, coupled with Hanuka’s choice of colors, conveys a sense of warmth.

“Snow is inherently nostalgic. It encourages you to travel back and think about your life. I think it’s something about the way it blankets reality, sort of erasing the present one dead pixel at a time. And that makes room for the past,” Hanuka said of his drawing in an interview with the magazine.

He said he conceived of “Perfect Storm” several years ago, after reading a short story published in The New Yorker, ‘Indianapolis (Highway 74)’ by Sam Shepard.

“It’s about a middle-aged man stumbling into a former lover in a hotel lobby during a snow storm. He can’t quite place her at first, but after some minutes it hits him,” Hanuka, who moved to New York after completing his IDF service, said.

He quoted the passage that inspired the drawing: “…And then I do suddenly get a picture of that time, a fleeting memory of a morning facing a New York window with a bowl clenched between my naked knees, and I say, just to be saying something, ‘Your hair is even redder than I remember,’ which makes her burst out laughing, happy that I haven’t abandoned the game.”

Hanuka said yet another source of inspiration was an experience he had when he first came to New York in his early twenties.

“I have this image of myself in my first rental apartment, sitting on the edge of the bed and staring at the window,” he said.

“You encounter the world as an adult for the first time — I think that’s what the story was about. That’s a powerful thing. Every window you stared through before was your parent’s world, and now, suddenly, you’re in a city. You’re washed with optimism and a sense of freedom — you’ve just been liberated and that’s amazing. And then you realize you can do very little, and it’s terribly disappointing. But the heartache and all that, that comes later,” he said.

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