The rolling right along April 16, 2012 issue
A charming enough one. Leighton is reliable. What helps is that the picture is right over the guy’s head, as if it’s always on his mind. My feeling again, is that this could be the slightest bit funnier, with perhaps a longer caption: “That story reminds me of the time I walked on the moon, have I told you about that?” while he’s leaning in a bit, or maybe nonchalantly drinking some tea, while talking…
There’s been a lot of Mankoff lately, and topical too, as if no one is coming in with the right topical gags. This one’s good, I think.
Why am I not getting the Ziegler cartoons these days? I like the visual he’s going for- enormous cannon, small target, strewn cannonball debris (see the famous Crimean War photo) from but I just don’t know what this is about.
[Note- Tim Kreider writes in via email (firstname.lastname@example.org):
I’m skipping ones that bore me.
Despite my giving Crawford so much mean-spirited crap for his past month of cartoons, this has a slight charm. The completely weird stiffness is certainly unique, and nothing in the cartoon is distracting like the past 3 or 5. Except… not to be a jerk, but this is SO weird, it might as well be weirder. First: he’s out of bounds, either off of first or third. Is he coming from the dugout? Second, he’s not really reaching for a ball, he’s sort of floating/stopping in mid-air. Third, the weird tangent formed by his arm and the main part of the bottom of the stands makes the path of the ball seem like just another aisle in the stands. But as a martini fan and someone who wants it weirder, I want to see this cartoon work. Could it have been weirder? Real floating perhaps? Or maybe he was sitting in the dirt still, or if he’s out of bounds, show us why? I can’t tell what I like about this cartoon, if anything. It certainly made me stop and look.
My only complaint here is the two don’t seem to be in the same moment, and he’s not going fast, he’s about to fall in front of her. I really do want to know if they know each other, are a pair, are biking together, or if they are strangers or what. Is she taunting him anew or is this part of an old trend? This cartoon doesn’t tell me, and yes, I think it’s important.
I like Kanin, but to me, this isn’t enough yet. Maybe more wind effecting the woman’s hair too and the toupee, or cheering alien silhouettes in the spaceship or something.
I’m fair. I like this one. These characters from this cartoonist always looked like Janice from the Muppets
[Kreider again from his email: “I think the guy who draws the Janice characters is the second-most hateful NYer cartoonist after that guy everyone hates most. And this one is a terrible cartoon, doing what you call “shooting the outline”: it’s an idea for a cartoon, not a cartoon. Which is what quite a lot of NY’er cartoons are, which is why The Believer can have that feature that just describes NY’er cartoons which are (at least) as funny as actual NY’er cartoons.”
My response: “ Yes this is true. I also think the New Yorker is not in the business of staying true to the idea of “The Cartoon.” I think they want to ellicit a laugh amongst their ranks. I laughed at the Janice guy bit, actually, and BEK is like that too. Witty dialogue with no need for a drawing. I agree that a great cartoon has a vital drawing, but I also don’t want to complain about the NYer on my terms. I want to do it on theirs.]
This is good writing. “I’ll be right in front of your face” is a shocking and odd image. “Furiously texting” adds an annoying awful layer to it, and the idea that “anyone” would want him right now while he’s just sitting there is funny. What would Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf look like if they had text messaging? Again, BEK rubber stamps his art, but this one, through writing chops and specificity, works.
Wilson is so unique, that we can be in danger of trusting him too much. (He’s not always great, but he is always unique.) What is good about this one is the great weird creature staring upward from under the bed…
Simple, fine. Good stones.
Koren’s been so abstract and in his own world lately, it’s interesting to see him deal with realities of finance, class, etc. “Bonding with his compensation package” is quite unique, and of course the drawing is too, with the weird smiling little rat-man surrounded by dark hatching in his moral hovel while the secretary/wife whatever remains in the cold light we share with her.
I know a therapist who will love this one. The tissues make it.
Cartoon contest. This cartoon makes me realize that we have completely gone from cartoon-renderable TV screens (they haven’t had rabbit ears in decades and now they are merely thin undrawable rectangles) to something you point a remote at. The remote in this picture gives you a good dramatic specificity.
A pretty standard, fine issue. No reason to throw the issue across the room in a while, thanks everyone!
(Be sure to check out the previous post all about 1968’s JB Handelsman)