Rejected and controversial New Yorker cover art: exclusive Boing Boing preview gallery


35 Responses to “Rejected and controversial New Yorker cover art: exclusive Boing Boing preview gallery”

  1. BardofAvon says:

     I can see why these got rejected. Controversy is not a substitute for talent.

    • eeePapa says:

      They are sketches

    • A) They’re scamps.

      B) Talent in this case is subjective.  And IMO political cartoons are all about the message, the style is more than secondary.

    • Brainspore says:

      Controversy is not a substitute for talent.

      How many Pulitzers do you have?

    • millie fink says:

      I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. 

      –George Carlin

      • BardofAvon says:

        Thats a great quote but I think you are misconstruing what I am saying.

        I didn’t say controversial is a bad thing, I just said these images rely a LOT more on controversy to sell themselves than any artistic quality.

        Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Dave Chappelle… shit they were all controversial but they were more than just controversial, they were genius and genuinely funny.

        This is a scrapbook of rejects, I personally wouldn’t waste my money. You can buy quite a few Carlin DVD’s for the amount this book costs and learn a lot more.

  2. Living my whole life in California, I don’t think I’ve ever gone past New Yorker covers to actually read the content of the magazine, thinking it is mainly just a collection of concert and events listings and local NYC commentary. Does it actually run features that would appeal to readers in non-NY states? – of course, the true classic New Yorker covers were drawn by Saul Steinberg. Bruce McCall has done some peachy ones, also.

    • Richard says:

      “Does it actually run features that would appeal to readers in non-NY states?”

      It certainly does. The art department at the New Yorker is stuffier than the editorial department, the writing is first rate and it’s worth reading.

      Give this current piece on the relationship of Stanford University and Silicon Valley a shot, my guess is you’ll find it interesting:

      I’ve been reading it most of my life, from California to Oregon to Connecticut. Most of the content, even the Talk of the Town, isn’t aimed at a local audience.

      • I’ll try that article – I used to see the New Yorker in the periodicals reading room at school and somehow got the idea that it was a poetry magazine or something – I do have the MASSIVE New Yorker red collection of cartoons (with MASSIVE DVD), of which I’ve only made it up through the first 30-40 pages. At the very least, it seems that the New Yorker has maintained and fed the great American tradition of cartooning – - but, so much to read, too little time and patience!

        • Richard says:

          They have had excellent cartoonists but tend to be quite backwards in sharing. Their collections, DVDs, and their web presence sucks IMHO. However, the content of the magazine itself is excellent, full of meat, well edited, and timely. Another excellent writer who’s done stuff for them on predator drones and the Koch brothers is Jane Mayer. Not sure her stuff is still on the web but she’s one of the first ones to “out” the Kochs and their impact on libertarian, tea party, and now republican politics. I’ll be interested to know what you think.

          • The New Yorker cartoon book I have is 650 pages with 2000 cartoons. That’s about all the comics sharing I can handle. If I read two cartoons a day, it would take me almost 3 years to get through them all – I like cartoons, but not that much – apparently the included DVD has cartoons with bad resolution, but I haven’t gone there yet. Any magazine that prints Sam Gross is probably alright with me (frogs legs anybody?)

        • Teller says:

          The journalism, profiles, film and book reviews are terrific; the political writing is laughably shrill.

    • jery Kilker says:

      I’ve been reading The New Yorker for the past 60 years, first in California, then in Massachusetts and Arizona (while in the Army), then New York (while in graduate school), then Bangkok, Geneva, Phnom Penh, South Africa (while working for the United Nations and the World Health Organization), and now in Bonneville, France (in retirement). I’ve always found the magazine to be exciting, well-written, and informative and of interest to my frequent lunch partners from other countries. The New Yorker is a world-class read.

    • buddy66 says:

      How about John McPhee’s wonderful 3-issue essay “The Control of Nature” that dealt with the realities of Los Angeles geology? (It should have been subtitled “Men To Match My Mudslides.”)

  3. These are great. Cliches being used to say something new is right on the money.

  4. Balance of Power says:

    Can someone give context to the first image credited to Chris Ware (i.e., the solitary mother looking out over a playground with fathers and their children)?  I’m confused. Is this also a rejected image? Either way, the message is lost on me.

    • estragon_nyc says:

      It’s the cover of the current issue.  And I think you actually described the message quite well — a woman and child arrive at a playground where the other children are accompanied by their fathers (or other male caregivers), taking on a role once considered exclusively “woman’s work.”

      • Brainspore says:

        More context: it’s for the Mother’s Day issue, so it forces the viewer to reflect on what “motherhood” means in the 21st century.

        • Balance of Power says:

           Ah! Your comment provides the context I was looking for. Thank you for making sense of it for me. I originally had a different interpretation which suggested fatherhood was a “bad” thing… needless to say it left me perplexed.

    • EvilTerran says:

      Further to others’ comments, the thought that first sprung to my mind is that archetypally, a father will take the kids off his wife’s hands for mothers’ day — hence all the men — which got me thinking that the uncomfortable-looking woman might be intended to “have no man”, as it were (be she unmarried, lesbian, widowed, whatever).

      Hence the picture could be interpreted to be pointing out that mothers’ day marginalises those who don’t fit into the hetero-normative atomic-family mould.

      • Ambiguity says:

        …and sometimes a Baby Bjorn is just a Baby Bjorn.

        (Or, as they say in the Academy… something about hermeneutics, identity politics, and oppression.)

  5. VicqRuiz says:

    High heels on the burqa bomber – a brilliant touch

    • donniebnyc says:

      I have a female friend who often travels to Saudi Arabia.  She has seen many women wearing very stylish clothes that are only revealed when they are inside either at home or among other women.  Whether the artist knew this or not, or what he might have been trying to say is of course a mystery. 

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Saudi women are dressed like any woman of their economic status would be in New York or Paris. I wonder what westerners think is under there – some Disney Arabian Nights princess outfit?

  6. hostile_17 says:

    Shared the sandcastle one had to be done.

    Love the style of the playground one… even if I don’t get it, love the style.

  7. AlexG55 says:

    Interesting that in the first cover (the WTC bombing one) the kid pretending to be an Arab terrorist is the only obviously white one (you can see red hair peeking out from under the towel), though the one with his back to the camera might be- I imagine he’s either Jewish or Hispanic if they’re supposed to represent New York’s ethnic mix.

    I wonder what this says about conspiracy theories?

  8. Hamish Grant says:

    If I’m not mistaken Chris Ware himself recently became a father – it looks like he drew himself in on the cover sitting on the park bench at the left of the frame.

  9. Teller says:

    Paid to see the cartoon editor, Mankoff, on tour a year or two ago with the rejected cartoons. Brutally funny stuff.

  10. millie fink says:

    I wonder if any submitted by Adrian Tomine got rejected. Some of his that got accepted rock.

  11. buddy66 says:

    A friend once said to me, “You’ll know you’re sophisticated when you understand every cartoon in a year’s worth of New Yorkers.”

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