BBC: Bert & Ernie New Yorker Cover & The Power of Cartoons: Bob Mankoff on Favorite Cartoons, Pt.2; Book of Interest: American Cornball

BBC Bert:Ernie








From BBC News Magazine, July 19, 2013, “A Point of View: Bert, Ernie and the power of cartoons”












From New Yorker Cartoon Editor, Bob Mankoff’s blog, here’s part 2 of his look into favorite cartoons.  This time Mr. Mankoff begins to roll out favorites as suggested by visitors to the site.  Work shown includes cartoons by George Price, Peter Arno, Shel Silverstein (whose work never appeared in The New Yorker), and Charles Addams.











Now here’s a book worth waiting for: American Cornball: A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny (Harper, 2014) by Christopher Miller.  Originally slated to be out now, it’s been rescheduled for February of next year.  I asked Mr. Miller to describe the book:


It is an encyclopedia of old humor, with roughly 200 entries on things that used to strike people as funny–things like anvils, back-seat drivers, castor oil, dish-washing husbands, efficiency experts, flappers, gold diggers, hangovers, icemen, just-marrieds, kissing booths, ladies’ clubs, mothers-in-law, next-door neighbors, old maids, pie fights, rolling pins, stenographers, traveling salesmen, ulcers, women drivers, and yes men.

The focus is American humor in the first 2/3 of the 20th century, as expressed in books, movies, cartoons, comic strips, sit-coms, radio programs, etc. I talk a lot about New Yorker cartoonists like Charles Addams (especially in the entry on Spouse-Killing), Helen Hokinson (Ladies’ Clubs), Peter Arno (Gold diggers), and Richard Taylor (Drunks and Drunkenness).


Note: Mr. Miller has a Facebook page devoted to the book, with a number of images posted, including work by Charles Addams, Syd Hoff, and Sam Cobean



Liza Donnelly to SPX; Weird Writer #28: Gahan Wilson; Interview with “Born Dead, Still Weird” Film Maker; Reginald Marsh Exhibit






From SPX, this post concerning Liza Donnelly’s appearance at SPX this Fall (left: a Donnelly New Yorker cartoon).

Here’s the SPX Press release





From Weird Fiction Review, July 17, 2013, “101 Weird Writers #28: Gahan Wilson — this lengthy piece on Mr. Wilson.

As mentioned on Ink Spill the other day, Gahan Wilson is the subject of a documentary film, “Born Dead, Still Weird” that in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. From Comics Grinder here’s an interview (a podcast) with the filmmaker, Steven-Charles Jaffee




From The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2013, “Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York” — this post on an exhibit of Marsh’s work at The New York Historical Society. Mr. Marsh contributed to The New Yorker from 1925 through 1944. The exhibit runs until September 1st.

Link here  to the New York Historical Society website.



Three New Yorker Cartoonists Show Their Work, Two Speak
















From The Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY), “New Yorker Magazine Exhibit at Rhinecliff Library”


some wine with your vest

An exhibit of around 60 cartoons (published & unpublished) by Danny Shanahan, Liza Donnelly and myself


A slide show and Q&A with Shanahan and yours truly begins July 20th at 6. (above: a Shanahan New Yorker cover , and to the left, a Donnelly New Yorker cartoon)







Danny Shanahan’s website.

Liza Donnelly’s website




Cover Revealed for New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff’s Memoir












It’s a long way off to pub date (March 2014) for New Yorker Cartoon Editor, Bob Mankoff’s memoir, How About Never — Is Never Good For You?: My Life in Cartoons — but the cover is now with us to examine and enjoy. Those with long memories may remember the image from the very first New Yorker Cartoon Issue (December 15, 1997). That earlier incarnation appeared as a cartoon with the caption “Hey where ya been? The gang’s all here!” and with a different head shot of Mr. Mankoff, a self portrait (see image below).

The memoir’s title comes from Mr. Mankoff’s popular cartoon “No, Thursday’s out. How about never — is never good for you?” (published in The New Yorker, May 3, 1993). Mr. Mankoff has been the New Yorker’s Cartoon editor since 1997, when he succeeded Lee Lorenz who had held the position since 1973 (Mr. Lorenz was Art Editor from 1973 to 1993, when his title became Cartoon Editor).

Here’s the publisher’s note from Henry Holt & Co.:

Memoir in cartoons by the longtime cartoon editor of The New Yorker

People tell Bob Mankoff that as the cartoon editor of The New Yorker he has the best job in the world. Never one to beat around the bush, he explains to us, in the opening of this singular, delightfully eccentric book, that because he is also a cartoonist at the magazine he actually has two of the best jobs in the world. With the help of myriad images and his funniest, most beloved cartoons, he traces his love of the craft all the way back to his childhood, when he started doing funny drawings at the age of eight. After meeting his mother, we follow his unlikely stints as a high-school basketball star, draft dodger, and sociology grad student. Though Mankoff abandoned the study of psychology in the seventies to become a cartoonist, he recently realized that the field he abandoned could help him better understand the field he was in, and here he takes up the psychology of cartooning, analyzing why some cartoons make us laugh and others don’t. He allows us into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week. For desert, he reveals the secrets to winning the magazine’s caption contest. Throughout, we see his commitment to the motto “Anything worth saying is worth saying funny.”


Here’s the Cartoon Issue version from 1997: