Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday: New Yorker & Playboy

Over here in Cartoonland, the place where I live, the two coveted gag cartoon markets are The New Yorker and Playboy magazines. On Tuesday, I had a confluence of both.

Above: one of the several NYer rejection slips. This is my favorite one.

"Every Tuesday Afternoon," to quote Thurber, is NYer's "look day." This is the day when cartoonists walk in to the magazine's offices, and have the opportunity to show their cartoons to cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. Now, saying that, I have to add that not just anyone can troop in. You have to be invited.

Bob will review your submission, maybe hold a couple, and then you are done. If the magazine wants to buy, they should phone you by Thursday. The following week, you can go to your file drawer to pick up you unsold "holds."

This is the rejection drawer, where roughs that were held are returned. After a couple of years of being rejected, I got my own hanging file.

This week, I dropped off my submissions at the magazine, picked up my returns from the hanging file, went to the bank, the drugstore, the post office -- and then went home to work a couple of hours.

Until the Playboy party to celebrate the release of the new Shel Silverstein book.

Decades ago, Shel Silverstein was a regular cartoonist for Playboy. And Hefner sent him here and there, and he drew about life in Europe. Gorgeous stuff, with an easy, sketchy style. It's wonderful that Playboy chose to honor this largely unreprinted work with a smartly reproduced hardcover.

Up on the second floor of the Rizzoli book store on 57th Street, I stood with Don Orehek, Arnie Roth, Gahan Wilson, Mort Gerberg, V.G. Myers and other cartoonists, sipping some kind of bubbly white wine. All of the cartoonists knew to hang out near the booze. We glanced out the large windows as the rain pured and people rushed by under their umbrellas. I was glad I had made it inside before the showers.

Mort told us about his prowess as a New Yorker magazine ball player. He's been a member of the Nyer ball team for some time. "I'm called 'Mort the Fort,'" he told us. "Nothing can get past me!" And then he pointed at me. "Put THAT on your blog, Mike!"

Smiling, I told him I didn't believe it. But, here it is on the blog since, if nothing else, I'm a sucker for a dare.

Above: Playboy cartoonist Don Orehek and Cartoon Department Editorial Coordinator Jennifer Thiele.

It was a kick to meet Ward Sutton, whose work I admire. We started talking about Minnesota (he's from there) and North Dakota (his wife's from there). I lived in MN when I was a kid. I asked him if Red Owl grocery stores were still around, and he didn't think so. But, like me, Red Owl was the chain store that everyone shopped at in that part of the world. I was always spooked by that owl logo! Lots of Red Owl photos here.

So, that's Tuesday!

Until Mort Gerberg gets his own baseball card ....


Mike Rhode said...

I picked up the December 1973 Playboy at a flea market a month or so ago... for a biting article on Disney! I swear! In it were two other neat articles:

Roth, Arnold. 1973.
A Profusely Illustrated History of Sex.
Playboy (December): 231-234

Silverstein, Shel. 1973.
Uncle Shelby's Mother Goose.
Playboy (December): 181-183

Missy said...

I had no idea Silverstein drew for Playboy- then again, I don't really read Playboy!

I am in MN and Red Owl has been closed for a while, probably since the mid 1980's. The logo still pops up in all kinds of local art though! It is a great and creepy logo.

Oh, and I found your nice blog randomly, glad you share your insights! I do some TERRIBLE drawings in my blog.