The subtle art of the New Yorker cartoon in an HBO documentary

Film · Visual arts

Whether they leave readers amused, inspired or baffled, the iconic single-panel cartoons in The New Yorker magazine have been a cultural touchstone over the past 90 years. They power not on a laugh out loud, but on a brain-tickling smile.

roz chastVERY SEMI-SERIOUS, a film directed by Leah Wolchok that glimpses the process behind publishing the cartoons, will be broadcast on HBO Dec

The film follows cartoon editor Bob Mankoff as he sifts through submissions and pitches to bring readers a carefully curated selection of insightful and humorous work.

Among the cartoonists featured:

  • George Booth, now 89, sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker in 1969.
  • Roz Chast. To date, more than 1,230 of her cartoons have been published.
  • Liana Finck, a young aspiring cartoonist.
  • Emily Flake, has been submitting cartoons about “the darker side of motherhood.”
  • Mort Gerberg, who has had over 200 cartoons published in The New Yorker.
  • Ed Steed has already sold close to 50 cartoons to the magazine, even though he encountered The New Yorker for the first time just two years ago

Very Semi-Serious | HBO | Dec 7, 9 pm first broadcast

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