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How about Never--Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoonsby Bob Mankoff
Synopses & Reviews
Memoir in cartoons by the longtime cartoon editor of The New Yorker
People tell Bob Mankoff that as the cartoon editor of The New Yorker he has the best job in the world. Never one to beat around the bush, he explains to us, in the opening of this singular, delightfully eccentric book, that because he is also a cartoonist at the magazine he actually has two of the best jobs in the world. With the help of myriad images and his funniest, most beloved cartoons, he traces his love of the craft all the way back to his childhood, when he started doing funny drawings at the age of eight. After meeting his mother, we follow his unlikely stints as a high-school basketball star, draft dodger, and sociology grad student. Though Mankoff abandoned the study of psychology in the seventies to become a cartoonist, he recently realized that the field he abandoned could help him better understand the field he was in, and here he takes up the psychology of cartooning, analyzing why some cartoons make us laugh and others don't. He allows us into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week. For desert, he reveals the secrets to winning the magazine's caption contest. Throughout How About Never--Is Never Good for You?, we see his commitment to the motto “Anything worth saying is worth saying funny.”
"Mankoff's (The Naked Cartoonist) memoir of life as the cartoon editor of the New Yorker, how he got there, and what he has seen and learned along the way, is a must-read for devotees of the magazine and is as funny as the best of his own work. The title is taken from what Mankoff calls 'by far the most popular cartoon' he's ever done, one that has become part of the American vernacular: a businessman talking into a telephone while looking at his appointment book, who says, 'No, Thursday's out. How about never — is never good for you?' Mankoff traces his career from his youth in New York City, when the fluent Yiddish spoken by his mother — a language 'combining aggression, friendliness, and ambiguity, a basic recipe for humor' — heavily influenced him. The book generously displays New Yorker cartoons by Mankoff and others from earlier (Peter Arno, Charles Addams) and contemporary (Roz Chast and Bruce Eric Kaplan) generations of artists. In this way, How About Never serves up not only a mini-collection of great cartoons but also as a look at the shift in styles through the editorships of legendary William Shawn, Tina Brown, and current editor David Remnick. Mankoff also provides a very funny and insightful look at how to win the New Yorker cartoon caption contest." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Bob Mankoff is the cartoon editor for The New Yorker. Before he succeeded Lee Lorenz as editor, Mankoff was a cartoonist for the magazine for twenty years. He founded the online Cartoon Bank, which has every cartoon since the magazine's founding. He is the author of the book The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way to Enhance Your Creativity.
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