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.