Every once in awhile, a New Yorker cartoon zaps me (in a good way). Bob Eckstein’s latest drawing in the March 28th New Yorker zapped me.
I’m not one for deconstructing cartoons — all I can tell you is this: what first attracted me to the drawing (before I read the caption or even took in the cave people) was the sun on the horizon.
It reminded me of Thurber’s sun in his classic 1939 book, The Last Flower (shown here):
After soaking up and in Eckstein’s sun, I turned to the rest of his drawing. The cave people and the caption are simple and direct (again, a Thurber quality). The drawing’s funniness derives from a sweet sadness; it’s what we in this line of work call an “evergreen” — it works beautifully today and it will always work. I hope we’ll see it in future New Yorker cartoon anthologies.
I asked Mr. Eckstein to share the genesis of the drawing and here is what he told me: