New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years
Mr. Bachtell, whose first Talk of The Town illustrations appeared in the New Yorker‘s issue of March 20, 1995, posted the following on Facebook this afternoon:
Article of Interest: Maggie Larson
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2018, “This Bryn Mawr grad is part of an exclusive — but growing — group: women cartoonists of the New Yorker”
— this piece on Ms. Larson, who first began contributing to The New Yorker in July of 2017.
Above: Ms. Larson and one of her New Yorker cartoons (from the issue of December 4 2017).
“How many do you send in?”
I’ve found that this question is eventually asked in any cartoon-centered conversation with someone curious as to how it works, working for The New Yorker. It’s a question with as many different answers as there are cartoonists. A rumor was spread some years ago that the magic number was 10: you had to submit 10 a week. No such rule exists, or ever existed. I believe that that number still haunts the cartoon community — why, I don’t know.
This afternoon, while going through cartoon stuff, I ran across a box of index cards from my earliest years as a cartoonist for the magazine. To illustrate my point about sending in 10 cartoons a week, I noticed I had a run of sending in 20+, but there were also weeks of 30+, and then I found a few much higher. Here’s a cropped photo of the last page of one week’s submissions — the week of March 8, 1978:
57 submitted. Not one sold to The New Yorker or to any other publications that saw the work after the New Yorker (I think those red dots indicate drawings I felt might work for some other magazines). I don’t remember any of these cartoons, but judging by the captions, I’m not surprised they failed to be placed. For me, rejected work is best quickly forgotten; by the time drawings are rejected (or bought, if I’m lucky enough) I’ve already moved on to the next week’s batch, however many drawings that turns out to be.