New film on New Yorker Cartoonists: “Very Semi-Serious”

We’ve known that Leah Wolchok has been hard at work on her film about New Yorker cartoonists and thought this was an excellent time to check in with her (Ink Spill will revisit Very Semi-Serious in a matter of weeks).  We asked Leah to describe her film, and give us an idea of who’s in it (so far). Here’s what she had to say:


Very Semi-Serious is an offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel.  The film takes an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the 88-year old New Yorker and introduces the cartooning legends and hopefuls who create the iconic cartoons that have inspired, baffled—and occasionally pissed off—all of us for decades.

The film has been a labor of love and obsession for 6 ½ years. The film is supported by Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, the Pacific Pioneer Fund, Women Make Movies and BAVC. We are working closely with cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, and we’ve interviewed a dozen cartoonists, including Roz Chast, Michael Maslin, Liza Donnelly, Sam Gross, Mort Gerberg, Lee Lorenz, Matt Diffee, Drew Dernavich, Zach Kanin, Emily Flake, Liam Walsh and Liana Finck, who recently published her first cartoon in The New Yorker.  Next up is Bruce Eric Kaplan. 

We’ve also filmed scenes with Gahan Wilson, PC Vey, Sidney Harris, David Sipress, Mike Twohy, Joe Dator, Bob Eckstein, Robert Leighton, Farley Katz, Benjamin Schwartz, Carolita Johnson, Felippe Galindo, David Borchardt, Corey Pandolph, Paul Noth and Barbara Smaller.

Jack Ziegler and Andy Friedman both created original artwork for the film.

In a few weeks we are launching our website and trailer, featuring animation, interviews and never-before-seen footage from the New Yorker headquarters, cartoonists’ studios and inside the homes of caption contest devotees.  Plus a killer ping pong match between Bob Mankoff and Puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

New Yorker Cartoonists Turn Out for Holiday Party


 New Yorker cartoonists turned out in time honored fashion to celebrate the holidays last night.  Corey Pandolph gets a heap of credit for procuring a corner of the Upper East Side Hi Life Restaurant where nearly two dozen contributors came together in good cheer.  Among those attending, including Mr. Pandolph: Joe Dator, David Borchardt, Liam Walsh (who brought and shared a tray of cookies), Andy Friedman, Liza Donnelly, Robert Leighton, Bob Esmay, Emily Flake, Drew Dernavich, Farley Katz, John O’Brien, Avi Steinberg (celebrating his first appearance in the magazine), Barbara Smaller, Felipe Galindo, David Sipress, Bob Eckstein, Eric Lewis, Ward Sutton, Christopher Weyant, Ben Schwartz, and Karen Sneider.

Liza Donnelly has posted on her blog  a handful of photographs taken at the event.

Review: Roberts’ After the Fall; Film: Every Tuesday screened at Boston Jewish Film Festival; Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival



From Comic Book Bin, November 8, 2012, “After the Fall: An Illustrated Novel book review” —  a thumbs up for Victoria Roberts new book.




From The Jewish Daily Forward, November 8, 2012, “Lunching with New Yorker Cartoonists” — this review of the well-traveled short film by Rachel Loube. (Above: some of the cartoonists featured: clockwise, Sid Harris, Drew DernavichZach Kanin and Emily Flake)



From Comics and Graphics Fest, the who, what, where, and when about the upcoming event in Brooklyn. Among the participants: Chris Ware, Roz Chast, Adrian Tomine, and Charles Burns (Above: Chris Ware’s poster for the event)

New Yorker Cartoonists Exhibit Way Out West


 This promises to be an interesting exhibit (see the poster for all the pertinent information). According to the show’s promotional material: “Rejected works handpicked by each artist will be shown alongside originals that ran in the magazine.”  Keeping my fingers crossed that this exhibit makes its way east.

The poster above features a Bob Eckstein drawing.  Also circulating online are at least four other posters, two with drawings by Carolita Johnson, and solos by Emily Flake and Shannon Wheeler.  Collect them all!:







Review: “Every Tuesday”; R. Chast in San Fran; Liza Donnelly speaks in Geneva; Interview w/ Nick Downes

From Hollywood Soapbox, May 23, 2012, “Tribeca Review: ‘Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists'”

From San Francisco Gate, May 23, 2012, “‘The Kugelmass Episode’ at  City Arts & Lectures” (scroll down for  R. Chast content)


From European Cartoon Center, May 23, 2012, “Women Cartoonists by Liza Donnelly in Genva”


From Humor Times, May 23, 2012, “Insight on Cartoonists: Nick Downes”