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Emma Allen photo

Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor at The New Yorker, stepped down at the end of April after more than 20 years at the job; Emma Allen, another editor at the magazine, has assumed his position, but Mankoff won’t be leaving the magazine’s pages: he plans to contribute his own cartoons regularly, and he’s also editing a new anthology, The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons, scheduled for publication in 2018.

At the Usual Place (RCHarvey.com) in the Harv’s Hindsight department a few weeks ago we rehearsed all the Mankoff details — his life, career, impact on the magazine, etc., including ample evidence that New Yorker cartoons are meant to induce knowing chortles rather than guffaws.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com


MAD Trump AN coverOn Wednesday, March 22, Mad caricaturist Tom Richmond pondered the fate of the magazine:

A week or so ago Bleeding Cool broke the news that Mad was apparently following the rest of DC Comics out to Burbank “soon.” Back in 2013 when DC announced they were moving out of NYC and to Burbank, I wrote this post speculating on what would happen with Mad. The short version offers four possible scenarios:

  1. Enough current Mad editors and art staff make the move that Mad remains the Mad we know and love.
  2. DC bankrolls a small, separate Mad office in NYC, and Mad remains the Mad we know and love.
  3. DC forms a new editorial and art staff to continue Mad out west, and we have no idea if Mad remains the Mad we know and love.
  4. DC cancels Mad magazine.

Turned out that No.2 was what happened. Now it seems we will see one of the other options take place. Several people have written to ask me if I will still continue to draw for Mad, if the editorial staff will make Tom-richmond-1the move, or what in general will happen. I have no answers.

My general sense is that, of the three remaining possibilities above, No.3 is the most likely. I do not foresee many or any of the current staff pulling up stakes from the city most have lived in their whole lives and moving to the world of bean sprouts, infused water, and suntans, but as far as I know, no one on the current staff has made any official decisions. Mad is a valuable brand for DC Entertainment and that brand is much more viable with a magazine in production, so I do not think No.4 is likely.

As for what kind of changes will take place if scenario No.3 is indeed what takes place, your guess is as good as mine. I think we will see some big changes, though. Mad has always had a distinct New York flavor to its voice, from the Yiddish slang it’s always incorporated to just a general NYC sensibility, I do not see that flavor continuing on. A new staff will bring new voices and new directions. My work may or may not have a place there. Lots of unknowns. Time will tell.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com


Sack TrumpOn Tuesday, the Overseas Press Club announced that the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Steve Sack is this year’s recipient of its Thomas Nast Award for editorial cartooning. Sack, whose work won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, says he is “immensely honored” to be recognized by the OPC, even as he emphasizes the role of the press in 2017.

“Technology may be shrinking our world, but without the work of professional journalists to sort out what’s truly of value, we’d be left with nothing but gibberish, commercial pablum and government spin,” Sack tells Michael Cavna at the Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “The press is my window to the world. To have my cartoons recognized by those whose efforts I depend on every day,” he adds, “is most gratifying.”

The OPC judges said that “Sack successfully harnessed all the cartoonist’s tools — caricature, composition, biting wit and solid journalism — in his impressive portfolio.”

Said Cavna: “Sack draws a rather uncanny Vladimir Putin, complete with heavily hooded eyes perched above long cheekbones — as if even the Russian leader’s very face is simultaneously distancing itself while remaining ever watchful.”

The OPC also awarded a finalist (runner-up) citation to Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News.

“I was extremely happy to see Steve Sack win the top prize,” says Zyglis, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. “He is a true master of the craft, and is at the top of his game right now. To be a finalist behind someone of his caliber is humbling.”


For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com