Robert Mankoff, Editor, David Remnick, Foreword by
Robert Mankoff, Editor, David Remnick, Foreword by . Black Dog & Leventhal $60 (655p) ISBN 978-1-57912-322-2
Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004

What could be better than a gigantic 656-page collection of 2,004 (get it?) of the best cartoons published in the New Yorker over the last 80 years? Perhaps a double CD set with all 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine—complete with a nifty search function that allows readers to search for cartoons by year of publication or by cartoonist's name. This improbably large offering is a bonanza of wry Manhattan-centric comic commentary on urban life and much else in American culture over the years. There's Peter Arno's 1948 ink-and-wash cartoon of a mildly concerned matron, book in hand, asking her newspaper-reading husband, "Is there a Mrs. Kinsey?" Or Peter Steiner's now famous cartoon drawing of two dogs chatting in front of a computer. "On the Internet," says one canine to the other, "nobody knows you're a dog." The book offers an introduction by New Yorker editor David Remnick and short essays introducing each decade—which readers may want to read after perusing the cartoons first—by such New Yorker luminaries as Roger Angell, Lillian Ross and John Updike. This is an absolutely fabulous collection of sophisticated silliness that will soon take its rightful place on coffee tables all over the country. (Oct. 5)

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