Bob Mankoff, who began doing cartoons for TheNew Yorker in 1977 (and became the magazine’s cartoon editor in 1997), has a new home (Esquire) and a new venture. Called Cartoon Collections (@collectcartoons on Instagram), it’s, yes, a collection of cartoons that have run—or been submitted to, but not run—in a handful of magazines. (As Bob notes, there are only 17 slots per week for cartoons in TheNew Yorker, so the odds of one actually running are slim.) At the moment, there are 20,000 on his new site (which is free to browse; using the cartoons costs money, though not a lot), which sounds like, and is, a lot, but Bob plans to have 100,000 by the end of the year and “eventually, a million.”
“The idea,” he says, “is to make the world’s best cartoons available, affordable, searchable, and easy to use.” The search function, as far as I can tell, works—which, as everyone knows, is no guarantee on websites.
I asked Bob about food and cartoons, and he said, “Everyone connects to food—people eat more than they have sex. And food cartoons tend to be not just gags, but meaningful in different ways for different people. Look at ‘How’s the squid?’ for example. It’s a sensational drawing, for one thing, but points to the obtuseness of asking about your food in a restaurant.”
We asked Bob to pick some favorites, and then threw in a few of our own (along with a couple of recipes that relate to the cartoons, of course). Enjoy them, and have a look around the site.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.