Bob Mankoff lives and breathes cartoons. He’s drawn many himself — he’s had a contract with The New Yorker for more than 30 years and, in 1997, he became the magazine’s cartoon editor. It’s now his job to sift through the 1,000 or so “idea drawings” (as they’re called within The New Yorker‘s walls) that are submitted each week — and decide upon the 17 or so that will make it into print. As Mankoff explains in great detail in his TED Talk, he has a keen idea of what works within the context of the cerebral pages of his magazine. And he’s built up a stable of his own favorite drawings over the years.
We asked Mankoff to do the unthinkable and reveal in public some of the cartoons he finds perennially delightful. With typical good humor, he not only did so, but added his own wry commentary on why exactly he deems these cartoons perfectly New Yorker-worthy. Here, in chronological order, his top eleven. Enjoy.
Want more on the making of New Yorker cartoons? Watch the adorable TED-Ed lesson “Inside a cartoonist’s world” from Liza Donnelly, as she walks you through the stages every cartoon goes through, from idea to finish.
About the author
Helen Walters is the editorial director at TED. She writes about interesting people and what keeps them up at night.