Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker

From the New York Times review of ‘The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker’ by Walter Kern:

[O]ne does sense that the cartoons have done the job they first set out to do: purging any lingering puritanism from their relatively well-heeled audience and replacing it with a smart-aleck self-awareness that suddenly — just look around — feels useless, lonely and crippling.

I just received this book as a Christmas present. My first encounter, I think, with the New Yorker cartoons was in college, where they were scotch-taped on the doors of the offices of professors and grad assistants in Wells Hall, which housed the mathematics and linguistics departments.

The obsessive in me enjoys owning all 68,647 cartoons from the first 80 years of the New Yorker (and worries a bit about falling behind). The nostalgic enjoys remembering great cartoons. I also read a few together with my daughter Jane: for example, two large crackled-edge holes on a frozen lake titled, “Sumos on Ice!” She surprised me by ‘getting’ the joke.

OK, if I read one cartoon every ten seconds …

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