Friday, March 03, 2017

Longtime New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff to Step Down

Above photo of Bob Mankoff in his New Yorker office from the 2015 HBO documentary “Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists.”

WWD reports that after over twenty years, Bob Mankoff will leave his position at the Condé Nast publication. He will continue to be a contributor, edit “The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons,”a new anthology of cartoons, and redesign the CartoonBank web site. The new New Yorker magazine cartoon editor position will be filled by Emma Allen, a member of the editorial staff. 

From the article:

“My greatest gratitude goes to the cartoonists. I know how much easier it is to pick a good cartoon than do one, much less the many thousands they have done and will continue to do,” Mankoff said. “And, continue they will, with Emma Allen who now takes over this most iconic of all New Yorker features. I wish her and them the best of luck. And me, too—I’ve got to find that old cartoon pen of mine.”

Allen, a 2010 Yale grad, joined The New Yorker in 2012 and has, most recently, worked as an editor of The Talk of the Town section and oversaw Daily Shouts, the humor and satire section of the web site.

“I look forward both to maintaining The New Yorker’s great tradition of humor—founding editor Harold Ross referred to his magazine, in 1925, as ‘the comic weekly’—and to finding new ways to highlight our exceptional (and growing) team of cartoonists and comedically inclined writers and performers, in print, on the web, on the radio, and beyond,” Allen said.

 "No, Thursday's out. How about never -- is never good for you?"

Cartoon by Bob Mankoff/New Yorker

New Yorker editor David Remnick made the announcement to the cartoonists the afternoon of March 2nd:
To all the cartoonists of The New Yorker,

In two months, we are going to have a change. After more than two decades as cartoon editor, the incomparable Bob Mankoff is stepping aside from that post and assuming what is arguably a higher post, that of a regularly contributing artist. In addition to going back to the drawing board with greater frequency, Bob is going to edit an ambitious new anthology, The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons, and will continue to work with Condé Nast on redeveloping the Cartoon Bank, which he founded and ran for many successful years.

Bob has been a remarkable and innovative partner to me, as he was to Tina Brown. He brought a real sense of originality to this work, but, even more important, a sense of the artists and their interests. He has tried to bring everyone’s best work to the table and he has made it plain to me over the years what a complicated balancing act this is: to sustain the work of people who have been publishing in The New Yorker for many years; to bring new artists into the mix; to bring greater diversity to the voices we publish each week. In addition, Bob was an early and constant digital enthusiast, and has found myriad new ways to publish cartoons and promote the form. I want to thank Bob for his extraordinary vision and leadership on these fronts.

The person I’ve chosen to be the next cartoon editor is Emma Allen, who has worked in recent years an editor of The Talk of the Town, a writer, and the driving force behind Daily Shouts, which is one of the best features of Unlike Bob and Lee, she is not a cartoonist, but then neither was James Geraghty, who did the job before Lee. (Hell, William Shawn was not a writer, either, and he wasn’t too bad in the editing department.) Emma has a terrific eye for talent, knows the history of cartooning deeply, and is an immensely energetic and intelligent and sympathetic editor. She will work with Colin Stokes on selecting cartoons, running the caption contest, and creating a bigger digital footprint for cartoons. I am quite sure that we have only just begun to figure out new ways to explore and exploit digital technologies as a way to distribute your work to more and new readers. All of this is intended to stake out a healthy future for cartoons at The New Yorker.

I hope you know just how much I respect and cherish what you do. To create cartoons that have real humor and insight and originality—it’s an incredible daily challenge. I thank you for your work, and I hope you will join me in saluting Bob Mankoff for so many years of remarkable contributions and welcoming Emma into this new job.




A last laugh: Bob Mankoff will step down as the New Yorker’s cartoon editor by Michael Cavna/Washington Post

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