Graphic novelist James Sturm thought it might be nice to have his work published in The New Yorker. So he spent three months trying his best to cook up gag cartoons before eventually presenting them to editor Robert Mankoff. He was gently rejected. But rather than letting his pretty-good cartoons go to waste, they got a second-life in a Slate article published today. And, we think, some of them are dead-ringers for the type that actually gets published (especially an incongruity gag cartoon showing an overjoyed man riding an elephant with the caption "He sold a cartoon to the New Yorker"). But, it seems that Strum is done with his New Yorker affair. His rejection gave him a little bit of time to think and pause:
I started the drawings for the right reasons, but in taking them to The New Yorker, I was looking for a feather for my cap. Mankoff was right: There wasn't anything unique and distinct about my gag work. I was in the neighborhood, just visiting, not willing to stay there long enough to become a full-time resident....My affair was over, and I was ready to go home....
...And write a great Slate piece.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.