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Arts & Culture

What It's Like to (Try to) Make Cartoons for The New Yorker

Jared Narber
Flickr Creative Commons

I'll tell you one of the big thrills of my writing career: I was a contributing editor to Mirabella Magazine in the 80's. I'd written an essay about getting bitten (sort of) by a dog in New Hampshire. The magazine had a huge art budget in those days, and I had already had one of my pieces illustrated by Ed Koren. But they told me this one was being illustrated by George Booth. George Booth! I worship George Booth! And so it came to pass that my article ran with a classing Booth dog cartoon.

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
Michael Cody teaches cartooning and drawing in after school programs in Massachusetts.

Now, this is the kind of story that's meaningful only to a select group of people. If you've read The New Yorker all your adult life, you know who George Booth it. If not, you have no clue who I'm talking about, and if not, you have no clue who I'm talking about, and if I showed you some of his work, you might say, "That's not funny!"

Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, has been all over the media this week, and we got to wondering, what's life like for successful New Yorker cartoonists, and for the many, many people who draw cartoons and submit them, but never breach the wall of Fortress New Yorker? On this show, we'll talk to both!

Questions? Comments? Write below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.