Brooklyn Boro

Cartoon guru, former New Yorker ​editor, featured at EDNY Court​

July 14, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Photo courtesy of the U.S. District Court, EDNY

Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry on Friday announced the opening of “The World of Bob Mankoff: A Cartoon Retrospective” by Bob Mankoff at the Charles P. Sifton Gallery in the Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn.

Bob Mankoff is the former cartoon editor of The New Yorker and the current humor and cartoon editor of Esquire. He edited “The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker” (Black Dog & Leventhal), the best-selling coffee table book during holiday 2004, featuring all 68,647 cartoons ever published in The New Yorker since its debut in 1925. He describes this as the “golden age of humor,” where humor helps build personal connections in business and personal relationships.

Mankoff has edited dozens of cartoon books, published four of his own and is an accomplished cartoonist. More than 950 of his cartoons have been published in The New Yorker during the past 20 years, including the best-selling New Yorker cartoon of all time (the harried businessman at his desk with a phone to his ear, reviewing his calendar and saying: “No, Thursday’s out, how about never. Is never good for you?”). He is the author of “The Naked Cartoonist,” a book published in 2003 on the creative process behind developing magazine-style cartoons. His most recent book is a memoir titled “How About Never — Is Never Good For You?: My Life in Cartoons,” published by Henry Holt & Co. on March 25, which was featured in a segment on “60 Minutes” on March 23.

He is also a successful entrepreneur. In 1991, he took out a small business loan and started The Cartoon Bank, a business devoted to licensing cartoons for use in newsletters, textbooks, magazines and other media. The Cartoon Bank initially licensed material that was not published by The New Yorker. In 1997, The New Yorker purchased The Cartoon Bank from Mankoff, giving The Cartoon Bank access to all cartoons published in the magazine over the past eight decades. That same year, Mankoff was named cartoon editor of The New Yorker.

Mankoff graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1966, and then entered the doctoral program at CUNY to pursue a degree in experimental psychology. At age 30, just short of completing his dissertation, Mankoff decided to use his know-how in a new way: as a cartoonist. In 1977, Mankoff spent four months creating hundreds of original cartoons, and then started submitting them to magazines throughout New York City. It took more than a year to break into The New Yorker — perhaps the most prestigious outlet for a cartoonist — and within three years became a regular contributor.

On April 30, Mankoff retired from The New Yorker and two days later un-retired to become humor and cartoon editor of Esquire.

The exhibit opens on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. and runs through Oct. 20 at the Charles P. Sifton Gallery in the Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.

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—Information from the Office of the District Executive

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