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.
From the Back Cover
In this practical, funny, and easy-to-follow approach to the creative process, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker reveals—through the medium of cartooning—the simple secrets to finding your inspiration, honing your wit, getting great ideas, and being more creative every day.
INCLUDES MORE THAN 400 CARTOONS!
"You were born with a gift for laughter and a sense that the world is mad.