There’s an alternate universe of New Yorker cartoon collections out there: custom hard cover books produced by the magazine’s Cartoon Bank. These books resemble in size and format the popular series that began in 1990 with The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons. The Cartoon Bank’s Production Manager, Trevor Hoey (who is also a New Yorker cartoonist) tells Ink Spill that there are about two hundred different custom titles out in the world, with production runs of anywhere from fifty copies to ten thousand copies per title.
I really like these custom books, with their dust-jacketed hard covers and their helpful “Index of Artists” at the back (a carry-over from the mainstream New Yorker cartoon collections). And even though I’ve never been a fan of themed collections, these are kind’ve fun in a cartoony universe sort of way as they feature insurance agencies, brokerage firms, law offices, television stations, etc., etc.. It may sound as if I’m shilling for the Cartoon Bank, but these titles are usually difficult to find. A recent search on Amazon turned up just a handful. As we wait for the next big New Yorker Album—perhaps the 90th Anniversary Album in 2015, or the 100th Anniversary Album in 2025, these custom collections will do nicely, if you can find them.