New New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt.2: Edward Steed

And here’s part two of Ink Spill‘s look at some of the newest New Yorker cartoon contributors. If you saw the piece about Liana Finck the other day you’ll remember I’ve asked a trio of fresh faces to tell us a little about themselves and how it was they ended up at The New Yorker. Today we hear from  Edward Steed, who hails from England (joining a stellar cast of our colleagues from across the Atlantic, including Alfred Leete*, who was in the very first issue of The New Yorker).

Mr. Steed’s first New Yorker appearance was in the issue dated March 4, 2013 (an example of his work is below. The cartoon appeared in The New Yorker September 16, 2013).  Mr. Steed has graciously provided Ink Spill with a self portrait.

The floor is now all his:














I discovered New Yorker cartoons recently, just a couple of years ago. I saw them online and decided I would like to do that too. I hadn’t been interested in cartoons since I’d outgrown the stuff I looked at when I was young, but these were clearly different. I started writing down ideas straightaway.

When I had a bunch of what I thought were good ones I sent them in. Didn’t know about the Tuesday deadline or how the system worked, I just kept sending as many as I could come up with. I hadn’t really drawn cartoons since I was a child. I had no style. So I hoped to impress with quantity. I did that for a few months and heard nothing. Eventually, Bob Mankoff phoned and said he wanted to buy a few of them.

After that, I quit my job and went to New York (I’m from England). I bought the New Yorker magazine for the first time at the airport and read it on the plane, I liked it.
Went to the Tuesday meeting and met Bob and some of the other cartoonists. Everyone was great, very kind and welcoming. Karen Sneider took me to an art shop and explained what kinds of pens cartoonists are supposed to use. Sam Gross showed me round the cartoon section of the Strand bookshop.

& I’ve been drawing cartoons for the magazine fairly regularly since then.

Lead into gold cartoon










See Edward Steed’s New Yorker work here on the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site.

*Additional reading: here’s Alfred Leete‘s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:


Alfred Leete  (photo above)  Born at Thorpe Church, Northamptonshire, England,  August 28, 1882; Died in London,  June 17, 1933. The son of a farmer, Leete had no formal art training. According to his obit in The Times of London, June 6. 1933: “…his work early showed a keen sense of humour and a bold technique, and was welcomed by the principal illustrated weekly papers and magazines.”    NYer work: appeared in the very first issue of The New Yorker, February 21, 1925. Mr. Leete is uncredited in The New Yorker’s database (listed only as “unidentified”).  As of February 27, 2013, he’s been identified (with the assistance of colleagues, Rick Marschall, Mike Lynch  and Brian Moore). A website bio


Edward Koren Appointed Vermont’s Cartoonist Laureate



Vermont seal 2











Edward Koren has officially assumed title of Vermont’s Cartoonist Laureate.  Here are some links about it:


From The Center for Cartoon Studies, “Let Koren’s Reign Begin!”



The Daily Reporter, February 27, 2014, “Long-time cartoonist featured in New Yorker named VT cartoonist laureate”  (with a link to the Vermont Public Radio piece).

Seven Days, February 26, 2014, “Edward Koren Becomes Cartoonist Laureate With Ceremony and Talk”

Burlington Free Press, February 25, 2014, “Koren selected as Vermont’s cartoonist laureate”


See some of Edward Koren’s New Yorker work here at the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site.

New New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 1: Liana Finck



   Thirty or forty years ago, a new cartoonist published in The New Yorker  was about as rare as The New Yorker messing with its fabled Irvin typeface. That’s changed in recent years, as more and more cartoonists are embraced by the magazine. In the upcoming documentary film,  Very Semi-Serious, Bob Mankoff, the New Yorker‘s current cartoon editor, says, “When I became cartoon editor I realized this was a plane that was gonna run out of fuel. Unless we interceded this was going to be the last generation of cartoonists doing this.  I made it an open call.  So now all you have to do is call and say I want to show you my cartoons.” The open call policy has resulted in a sometimes lively scene on Tuesday mornings in and around the Cartoonists Lounge, a small rectangular room just a few feet from Mr. Mankoff’s office. Aspiring cartoonists mingle with veteran contributors as well as more recently added contributors.

This week Ink Spill checks in with three of the newer cartoonists whose work has been published in the magazine. I’ve asked each to tell us a little about themselves and how it was they ended up at The New Yorker. First up is Liana Finck, whose first cartoon (below) appeared in The New Yorker exactly one year ago today, February 25, 2013.

Without further ado, here’s Liana:

Liana_Finck_09Finck: Feb 25:13

My parents tell me that I started drawing when I was five months old. Drawing was the thing I loved to do, and it earned me praise; it was my ticket into the world. I needed a ticket, because when I was a kid I was an awkward weird-o who couldn’t make eye contact or talk loudly enough for people to hear, and who was brought to fear and trembling by the sound of blenders, vacuum cleaners. There was always a strong connection for me between making pictures and looking at them. I think I started to draw early because I was surrounded by pictures. My mom drew all the time, virtuosically and with joy–watching her draw was magic. Our house was also full of children’s books. I still read them: William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Maira Kalman. Those books still seem to me like the most sophisticated – and the most human – form of expression.

I’ve been under the spell of The New Yorker since I was twelve or fourteen. My family had donated to WNYC and received a year of the magazine as a free bonus gift. (They’ve been renewing their membership since then). One of my first New Yorker memories is of Saul Steinberg’s obituary. Something clicked when I looked at the pictures that accompanied it. I also remember looking at Roz Chast’s cartoons for the first time, and falling in love. I rediscovered Maira Kalman and William Steig, whom I had known from their children’s books. These drawings were the adult versions of the brilliant kids’ books illustrations that had always enchanted me.

The more streamlined, punch-liney, black and white New Yorker cartoons fascinated and daunted me. I was funny, and I was good at drawing, but my mind sprawled all over the place, ran in tangents. My life’s struggle has been to impose order on this chaos, and so I’ve always been attracted by precise art-forms in which every tiny piece matters. It seemed natural that I should try my hand at some cartoons. I tried, gave up, tried again. I sent a few cartoons to the New Yorker when I was sixteen. They were really bad. I don’t remember getting a rejection slip. I kept drawing them, but didn’t send any in again for a few years. I felt like I’d crossed a boundary that shouldn’t have been crossed.

In a drawing class I was taking Sophomore year at art college, in which we were allowed to choose our own projects, I hung fifty cartoons I’d made on the wall during my critique. Suddenly, the classroom emptied of students. I’m still trying to figure out what that was all about. Were the cartoons terrible? (Yes). Did the other kids hate New Yorker cartoons in general? (Yes). Was it disrespectful to make New Yorker cartoons for a drawing class? (Yes, but screw the academy). I felt like a presumptuous monster. I sent the cartoons to The New Yorker by mail. I got a rejection slip that time.

I came to The New Yorker’s office with a batch when I was twenty-four. The cartoonists in their waiting room were very nice. Bob Mankoff, the editor, was encouraging. He flipped through my cartoons and said, “Print these out bigger and bring them back.” I meant to, but I kept putting it off. I was afraid I’d misunderstood him somehow. I stayed away for two years.

I came back when I was twenty-six. This time, the stakes were less high than they’d seemed in the past. I was working on a graphic novel, and I felt anchored by it. I wasn’t as desperate to be ‘discovered’ as a cartoonist – I just wanted a reason to draw cartoons, and showing them at The New Yorker felt like an adventure. By coincidence, the day I went in, a film crew was shooting for a documentary about the New Yorker cartoons, and many of The New Yorker cartoonists were there, and a lot of prospective cartoonists. I had to wait for hours and got to know a bunch of people. I was happy. The gathering felt like a meeting of like-minded people, not a club I didn’t belong to. I decided to keep coming back every week. And I did.

Forcing myself to make ten cartoons every week has taught me how to fight various demons, including the big one: writer’s block. I’ve become a much stronger and saner graphic novelist, writer, human. I love the process of making New Yorker cartoons (especially the process of coming up with them. Free-drawing makes me feel completely alive), but I still feel self-conscious, like I’m trying to impersonate some witty, dapper New Yorker Cartoonist I have in my head. I’m missing something that I think other New Yorker cartoonists have: the ability to think objectively, translate an idea into a picture. I have something else, instead – a mind that makes surprising, organic leaps, and can’t do anything else. I used to think this was a failing, caused by the same thing that made me a weird-o when I was a kid, but I wonder now whether it’s just a way of thinking many people have: writers? Artists? Women?

I need to learn certain things from that idealized New Yorker cartoonist who lives in my head. How to be prolific rather than perfect. How to force myself to take a step back sometimes, as if this (being good, being noticed) weren’t the only thing that mattered to me. How to learn from my mistakes. By learning these things, I believe that I will finally learn how to acknowledge my real thoughts and feelings, survey them without falling in, and give them form, let them out.





Ms. Finck’s new book,

A Bintel Brief

A Bintel Brief, will be released April 15th from Ecco Press.

Link to Ms. Finck’s New Yorker work on the magazine’s Cartoon Bank site here.

An excerpt from Ms. Finck’s webcomic, “Diary of A Shadow” appears below.  Click on it to enlarge.

(Photo of Ms. Finck: John Madere)










New Yorker Art Editors: James Geraghty, Albert Hubbell & Lee Lorenz

Geraghty NYer office 1949


We conclude the Westport Historical Society bios from their current exhibit, Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport with James Geraghty, Albert Hubbell and Lee Lorenz. The three share the distinction of overseeing The New Yorker‘s Art Department between 1939 through 1997.


Mr. Hubbell holds a unique position as the only temporary Art editor in The New Yorker‘s history, filling in for James Geraghty, the magazine’s Art editor from 1939 thru 1973.  Albert Hubbell held the temporary position for the first four months of 1943 while Geraghty was away participating in classes for the  Volunteer Officer Corps. (from Mr. Hubbell’s entry on Ink Spill’s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”)

Mr. Lorenz was the Art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its Cartoon editor until 1997.


My thanks to The Westport Historical Society to run all the bios from the exhibit, and to Sarah Geraghty Herndon who has allowed Ink Spill to reproduce so many wonderful photos of her father throughout these Westport exhibit posts.

(Above: James Geraghty at The New Yorker in 1949)


Further reading.

It seems appropriate to include Rea Irvin in this post dedicated to the former editors of The New Yorker‘s Art Department.  Here’s his entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:



Rea Irvin  (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925.  He was the magazine’s  first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

No, No, No, No, No, Yes: New Yorker artist Gideon Amichay’s New Book


This delightful book was in Ink Spill’s mailbox this weekend: Gideon Amichay’s No, No, No, No, No, Yes — his story of breaking into The New Yorker, and beyond. Most anyone who’s had the dream of contributing art to the magazine will relate to Mr. Amichay’s story.  The evolution of his New Yorker rejections is well chronicled and novel.


Mr. Amichay’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Gideon Amichay ( photo above courtesy of Mr. Amichay)  NYer work: January 16, 1995 – .  Website:

H. M. Bateman Added to Ink Spill’s One Club

38328611_BatemanThanks to the keen eye of Ink Spill visitor, Bentley Roberts, H.M. Bateman (pictured here) has been identified as a One Club member and added to Ink Spill‘s A-Z listing of New Yorker cartoonists.   As it’s been a little while since there was a One Club inductee, here’s a quick refresher.  Ink Spill‘s One Club membership is limited to cartoonists whose work appeared just once in The New Yorker.  Mr. Bateman qualifies — his only appearance was October 13, 1928.  To learn more about him link here.

Every One Club member is identified on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z” in red and their entry is accompanied by this icon:

One Club icon


Extra reading: The New Yorker Cartoons of the Year 2013 (below) has a piece by yours truly (inadvertently credited to Bob Mankoff) on the One Club,  “The One & Done Club”

Cartoons o the year 2013