the new yorker

Just Announced: Live Podcast with special guest Bob Mankoff @ NCSFest 2019


We’re very excited to announce that our next live podcast will be taking place on Friday, May 17 in Huntington Beach, California with special guest Bob Mankoff!

After two decades as cartoon editor for The New Yorker, Bob Mankoff was named Cartoon and Humor Editor for "Esquire" in 2017. He launched the following year.

Bob will join us on stage in the Marriners Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency at 12:00pm.

The Lovely Nineteen-Twenties Flapper Cartoons of Barbara Shermund - The New Yorker

New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly writes in today’s New Yorker about barbara Shermund’s amazing cartoons from the 1920s.

When she arrived in Manhattan, she got wind of a new magazine being started—The New Yorker. It was a humor magazine from the beginning, and Harold Ross was looking to create a new type of cartoon—a more sophisticated and urbane version of what was being published in magazines such as Life and the Saturday Evening Post. Previously, many magazine cartoons were simply illustrated jokes. Ross and his art director, Rea Irvin, sought work that was more nuanced, in which the drawing and the caption were equal partners in delivering the humor and insight. They brought in artists  to work with the editors to create what we now know as the New Yorker cartoon. Shermund was one such contributor.

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Appearing on Nightmares with Emily Flake and Kate Willett

Hey friends!
If you’re a fan of Emily Flake’s great cartoons in The New Yorker and Kate Willett’s hilarious stand up on Netflix/Comedy Central, you’ll enjoy their joint live show “Nightmares”. I’ll be a guest on the 02/11 show along with the brilliant Carole Montgomery, John Hodgman, Kenice Mobley and Jenny Boylan.
It’s free, doors 6:30 for 7. Details on Flyer below.
Would love to see you there!

Shop Talk: Recommended Books on How to be a Gag Cartoonist?

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I get a lot of emails and DM’s from aspiring cartoonists asking for advice on courses or books to read on cartooning; particularly the art of gag cartooning. All I can do is refer you to two of the best books I was referred to on this topic when I was starting out, and those are:

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This one above* is by Mort Gerberg, who I think still holds the record for ‘most detailed first New Yorker cartoon in history’. (It was a full-pager of the ornate interior of church; a gag about high ceilings.) I think  the thing I like about Mort’s book is the more you refer back to it, the more you learn a little bit you might have missed the last time you read it. Mort continues to publish New Yorker cartoons to this day from his home in Manhattan. He still comes into the open pitch meetings and the local New Yorker events, and is one of those ever-adaptable cartoonists who keep up with the trends. (He has an Instagram and a Twitter you can follow.)
*It should be noted that it has since been republished under other publishers, but this is the original version. The opening chapter or two about schlepping around New York on a Wednesday to the various publishers with a stack of cartoons under your arm is a thing that just doesn’t exist any more. The only open call cartoon publication left of that stature is The New Yorker.

(Note: Mort has an exhibition opening at the New York Historical Society Museum & Library on 15th February this year. Link.)

The other book I was recommended, which I also refer back to often is “The Cartoonist's Muse: A Guide to Generating and Developing Creative Ideas” by Mischa Richter and Harald Bakken. I think either Tony Lopes or Glen LeLievre referred me to this book back in Australia about a decade ago, and to this day I recommend it to other cartoonists (and refer back to it myself very often).

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There is a lot more work than you realise that goes into creating a good cartoon, and these books are very instructive on the elusive craft therein.
Every week, I do a podcast with my friend Scott Dooley about this very topic of coming up with New Yorker cartoons, and by some miracle, we’re getting a few across the line at The New Yorker and MAD Magazine on a regular basis. You can subscribe to it wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you have any good book recommendations on gag cartooning, by all means let me know if the comments. I love getting new recommendations.

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6 Duck Salads: A Cartoonist Lunch with Gus Van Sant

Last month I was invited to have lunch with a bunch of New Yorker cartoonists and the film director, Gus Van Sant. Gus directed of some of the greatest films of the past 20 years: "Good Will Hunting", "Milk", "Drugstore Cowboy", and has just released another brilliant film about the cartoonist John Callahan, "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot."

The invitation came from the Cartoon Editor of the New Yorker, Emma Allen, at our weekly Tuesday cartoon meeting. I was flattered to be asked, and to say the lunch was surreal is an understatement. I was more starstruck by some of the other cartoonists who showed up than I was by Gus!

The lunch took place at the decades-long traditional weekly 'cartoonists lunch' which usually takes place following the Tuesday cartoon meeting at the New Yorker. We shuffle up to Pergola Del Artistes in the Theatre District and talk shop over duck salad and cheap red wine.

My tablecloth sketch of Sam Gross.


6 of us ordered the gigantic duck salad and noshed away as Sam Gross held court, telling stories of his experience with Callahan and with other New Yorker cartoonists. Gossip and scandal aplenty! At one point I scribbled a quick portrait of Sam on the tablecloth and pitched a gag caption for one of his cartoons to a tableful of eye-rolls. Emma wrote up the goings-on at the lunch in this week's New Yorker in the "Talk of The Town" section.

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