From Publishers Weekly
Cartoon editor of the New Yorker since 1997, Mankoff has a license to be silly. This combination memoir, how-to, abridged history, manifesto and IQ test (Inanity Quotient) on the art and pseudo-science of gag panel cartooning puts that license to the test-with fine results. Much like Scott McCloud did in Understanding Comics, which examined the nature of narrative comics, Mankoff breaks down the creative process of the gag panel, offering a succession of thoughtful (dreams are "analogous to what cartoonists do when they're awake") and generally amusing insights into the craft. There's also a more or less coherent argument about the role of the subconscious mind in cartooning, in which he uses Magritte, a baseball, a tomato and Andy Warhol's soup can to explain it all for us. Still, his explanations aren't nearly as much fun as the cartoons themselves, by Mankoff and by fellow New Yorker cartoonists Roz Chast, Mort Gerberg, Jack Zeigler and others. Mankoff can be overly cute, but mostly offers smart, practical and funny ideas about how to make funny cartoons for a living. In fact, Mankoff argues that magazine cartoonists are the most creative people in the world: "If a scientist comes up with one new idea a year, he's a genius. If a cartoonist comes up with only one new idea a day, he's looking for other work." Mankoff offers such minutely and intensely considered examinations of the mechanics of cartooning that for all we know he may be right.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Learn how to be a more creative thinker in this one-of-a-kind book from the cartoon editor of The New Yorker.
Through insider knowledge, inspirational wisdom, and useful examples, the man who chooses those cartoons (and contributes many of the funniest ones himself) answers the question, "How can I be more creative and funnier?", and others in the first book to use cartooning as a means of exploring the creative process.
"Everything I need to know in life I learned from cartoons," says the opinionated, eccentric and devastatingly funny Bob Mankoff in this entertaining journey through the art, craft and Zen of cartooning. With the help of many other well-known cartoonists, Mankoff discusses, dissects and depicts such topics as:
- How to develop your creativity and your natural talents
- How to find your own particular voice and message
- How to learn from the cartoon masters of the past and present
- What a cartoon is (and what it is not)
- What makes a good cartoon work
- How to market cartoons-and more.
Featuring lots of art-drawings, photos, panel cartoons and doodles-on every extravagant page, this breezy yet info-packed book also includes lots of Bob's personal anecdotes about his development as an artist and smart aleck, and about life at the world's most urbane magazine.