Marvel Two In One: New York, New York

DC Comics has officially left New York.  Marvel Comics, and the New Yorker, have not.

DC Comics has officially left New York. Marvel Comics, and the New Yorker, have not.

There is a whole lot going on with this post.

The first bit is directly related to the caption. DC Comics, long headquartered in Manhattan, has moved to Burbank, California. It’s a big change, and a big deal for the comics industry. Marvel Comics, of course, is still based in New York.

The second bit is in the content itself. Work related stress is at an all time high. As I write this post, I am heavily in the throes of a migraine. My co teachers have record absences, and a general “negative head space.” Even heavy hitters like teammate Ben Grimm are in need of serious counsel, or general mental health treatment.

Third…I was considering the New Yorker. The New Yorker magazine has long had a tradition of cartoons, published in one image with a caption. I was wondering this weekend just how hard it was to get a cartoon published in the New Yorker.

Answer…@#$%ing hard. Really @#$%ing hard.

First…drawing in the style that the New Yorker favors is much, much harder than it looks. The simplicity is deceptive. Minimalist linework, with a maximum of illustration, context, and background. Furthermore, the art has to tell the story in one single panel, with a sole caption. No speech balloons, no narration boxes…one caption. That is a serious technical challenge not to be underestimated.

If you don’t live in New York City, and you’d like to submit your ideas to The New Yorker there are several ways to do it. They accept faxes, email, and snail-mail. Call Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor’s, present assistant for the guidelines, email specifications and address, or mailing address. The assistant can be easily reached by calling the Magazine’s editorial offices. Tuesday is the submission day at the magazine.

Bob would do a simple, brief review process with attending cartoonist, and later do the same, alone, with faxed and PDF submissions. At the end of this process he’d have a stack of “best” cartoons from everyone’s batches. This stack would be the short list that would, the next day, become even shorter. Needless to say, Competition is stiff.

The following day, if it’s a typical week, Bob and the Editor of the magazine get together to chop that short list down to a really short list. And then from that really short list, they make some purchases. In the two days following this meeting, cartoonists who have sold a cartoon are notified by Bob’s assistant either by phone or email.

A note about selling vs being published. Sometimes, unfortunately, these two things are not one and the same. The New Yorker can hold on to a drawing for months, years even, before they run it. And worse, some purchased cartoons never get published at all.


After the Tuesday meeting it’s back to the drawing board to come up with 10 or 15 more cartoons for next week’s batch, and the process begins again.

This is the short form…there is a whole lot more to it. In short…I don’t think I’ll be submitting anything to the highbrow New Yorker magazine anytime soon. Or ever.

From the content above, I have enough stress from my day job…which apparently pays more, and more consistently. Drawing for the New Yorker is apparently a labor of love, not major financial restitution, True Believers.

Now you know. An knowing is half the battle, according to GI Joe.


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