Not Erudite Enough

Here's a couple rejected attempts at New Yorker cartoons. I thought they'd print anything that had a psychiatrist's couch in it, but I guess I was wrong!


Willy Willions said...

I hadn't seen the Roman one before--that's funny! Seems like you could find some other place for it.

I can't always figure out what makes a cartoon "New Yorker" worthy. I'd love to know exactly why it was rejected.

jer@nyquil.org said...

"I or II" really made my day. THank you for sharing.

Robert Ullman said...

Thanks for the kind words about "I or II?"...I came up with that one years ago for bunch of gag strips I pitched to a regional magazine here back in the 90s, but they never ran them...a wise decision, for the most part, as this one is really the only one even remotely worth printing. I really like it, though...maybe people don't get it right away and they gloss right over it, I dunno...

As to what makes a cartoon "New Yorker" worthy, I really don't know. I've heard Evan Dorkin say that they're not really looking for cartoons that are funny, they're looking for cartoons that are erudite...hence the title's post.

They do make some strange choices...I find their cartoons pretty good for the most part, and occasionally brilliant...but every now and then, they really print some stinkers. My wife was flipping through an issue from last January the other day ion a waiting room, and every strip she showed me was worse than the last...the most obvious jokes, the most tedious, nonsensical (and not in a good way) topics ...it was odd.

Willions...have you knoticed how often they run strips by the "Fusco Brothers" guy? Who'd a thought he'd go anywhere...but I often really like his gags!

Willy Willions said...

I'd forgotten about the Fusco Brothers. No thank you for reminding me.

I think "Dork" was on to something. The subtext of a lot of the jokes is basically "A person who would not read the New Yorker would not get this joke." It serves the same function as an obscure reference among comic-book geeks or Star Trek fans: "getting it" means you're "in the club".

I also think drawing style has a lot to do with it. They seem to print cartoons that don't look "cartoony."

Robert Ullman said...

Dude, I totally grok you!