Thursday, February 16, 2012

Field Trip: New Yorker Magazine

the industry (is counter-intuitive)

Tuesday at the New Yorker is cartoon submission day.
Through a friend of a friend, I got invited
to sit in the little couch room 
and eavesdrop.

The cartoonists were unilaterally
friendly.
Perhaps this is the one day a week
they let themselves out from behind their desks,
perhaps it was just a fluke.
But it was interesting to get to chat
with some people who make their living at being artists.

I also got to meet with Bob Mankoff.

I was terrified.

When  I got in the room, I found
Bob is personable and knife-edge articulate.
He likes to work with cartoonists and
really improve their work if he feels
they're worth publishing.

He feels that illustration is totally different
(and that Hirschfeld was a caricaturist,
which is also different)
and while there are some people who
cartoon as well as a few other things,
mostly he likes to publish people who 
submit a huge volume of work.

This is understandable: he probably doesn't want
a waiting room full of one-hit wonders
crowding his waiting room every week.

Happy Dance


Is it a touch despotic?
Maybe. But maybe he wants to reward
whatever his version of hard work
and commitment is.
And to be perfectly frank,
he's the cartoon editor of the New Yorker.
He can do whatever the fuck he wants.





I brought a few examples of my work
and he described it as
'sinuous stick figures.'

He also mentioned that
some internet stuff is funny,
and some of it is crap,
but the NYer can't be as weirdly specific
as Feminist Ryan Gosling.


What did I learn overall?
I'm not going to be a cartoonist, at least while Bob is in charge.
I have massive respect for the work,
but slaving away at drawing gag cartoons
isn't for me.

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