A Spill Spotlight: Bob Eckstein’s “Wait! Come back!”

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.


Eckstein's "Wait! come back!"



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):

Last FlowerIt’s the sun that many children draw when they get around to  drawing their first sun. And it’s the sun that a lot of cartoonists draw (myself included).


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:


This was the sketch in my notebook. Idea was inspired from Eddie Izzard–nothing specific but just his humor in general.


Below is the sketch I showed Bob [Mankoff, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] in person. Change was probably based on fact I realized the first drawing was too static. Bob remarked, upon seeing it, he thought the caption should be softened. I remember now asking him if I could change it right there and then taking a pencil off his desk to cross out what I had.
Eckstein pt.3

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