[This post updated December 30, 2020]
The New Yorker Cartoon & the New Yorker Daily Cartoon: how are they the same and how do they differ? Daily cartoons are often referred to on social media as New Yorker cartoons, and while technically true, it’s important — at least to this site — to acknowledge that there are differences. In New Yorker cartoon culture they are apples and oranges. So let’s look at how the two differ and how they are alike.
New Yorker cartoons and Daily cartoons are edited by the New Yorker’s cartoon editor.
The Daily cartoons are sometimes the work of cartoonists whose work has yet to appear in the print version of The New Yorker (i.e., they’re not published in the magazine). This is a key difference. Appearing in the print edition is, to my mind, what allows an artist to identify as a New Yorker cartoonist. The editing process is different for print and online cartoons (see below under “Different Editing Process”).
Cartoons appearing in the magazine do not appear as Daily cartoons (the exception: A Christopher Weyant Daily cartoon later appeared in the magazine).
(Read on if you want to wallow in minutiae)
Both the New Yorker cartoon and the Daily cartoon appear on the magazine’s website, but only the Daily appears on newyorker.com under the Daily heading. The Daily cartoons are currently executed by different cartoonists; over time the work has appeared on social media variously identified as:
“today’s morning cartoon” ”
the bonus Daily cartoon”
“today’s afternoon cartoon”
“the Daily cartoon”
The Same but Sometimes Different:
Both the The New Yorker cartoonist and the Daily cartoonist are afforded the freedom to contribute ideas they have developed on their own.
Different Editing Process:
The Daily cartoon is not a cartoon that comes out the pool of work submitted weekly by the regular (and irregular) New Yorker contributors and vast ocean of cartoonists as-yet-unpublished in the magazine.* The weekly submission — cartoonists refer to it as “the batch” — goes to the Cartoon Department where it is examined by the cartoon editor who then selects a number of cartoons to be brought to the weekly Art Meeting. The cartoons selected at the Art Meeting by the Editor (currently, David Remnick) are bought by the magazine once they have passed by fact checking, etc.. Once bought, a cartoon is referred to as an “OK” — these OKed cartoons eventually appear in the print edition of the magazine, and on various social media sites. They do not appear as Daily cartoons.
*The exception(s): a small number of cartoons submitted as part of a batch but not OKed, (i.e., rejected) have made their way to the Daily in its brief history.
The Daily cartoonist/cartoon is selected daily (this practice began last Spring (May 2017) when Emma Allen was appointed cartoon editor). Contributors send work in weekday mornings. If one of their submissions is selected, it is green-lighted by noon that day and runs by the afternoon.
When you see a Daily cartoon, you are seeing an economical offshoot of what most people think of as a New Yorker cartoon; a New Yorker cartoon being one that has arrived in the published print version of The New Yorker magazine after surviving enormous competition from a mountain of submitted work by other cartoonists and editorial scrutiny during the weekly Art Meeting.
The Daily is meant as a snap-response or reflection upon up-to-the-minute events. Call it a fruit if you must, but it’s an orange, not an apple.
(My thanks to my colleague, Ben Schwartz for his input on this piece)