New Yorker Names Cartoon Editor

Posted on June 9, 1997

Robert Mankoff will become the cartoon editor of The New Yorker in September, Tina Brown, the magazine's editor, has announced.

Mankoff is taking over from Lee Lorenz, who has held the job for the last twenty-three years. Lorenz will remain at the magazine as a consultant and as one of its leading cartoonists.

"Bob Mankoff is to cartooning what Wynton Marsalis is to jazz," Brown said today in announcing the appointment. "He is not only a peerless cartoonist himself but also a custodian and scholar of the art form. And he's riotously funny."

Of Lorenz, Brown said, "Cartoons are the soul of The New Yorker, and for a whole generation Lee has been the soul of the cartoons. He is one of the creators of the modern New Yorker."

Mankoff has contributed more than five hundred cartoons to The New Yorker since 1977. He is the founder and president of the Cartoon Bank, a cartoon licensing, syndication and archive business that represents more than fifty leading American cartoonists. In January, the Cartoon Bank was purchased by The New Yorker Magazine Inc.

Mankoff said, "I've been watching Lee for twenty years, and he has been my model. He's a hard act to follow. In the field of magazine cartooning, The New Yorker is preeminent. Its only competition is itself. And I'm looking forward to giving ourselves a run for our money."

"It was exactly twenty years ago this month that I published my first cartoon in The New Yorker," Mankoff continued. "I remember saying, 'Now I can die happy.' What can I say now? I guess I can die happier."

Lorenz, the outgoing cartoon editor, joined the staff in 1958 and has drawn twelve covers and more than fifteen hundred cartoons for the magazine. From 1973 until 1993, he was art editor, responsible for cartoons, covers, illustrations and other art; from 1993 until the present he has been the magazine's cartoon editor. During this period he also published his book, "The Art of The New Yorker, 1925-1995" (Knopf), a comprehensive illustrated survey of the magazine's art, and has published many cartoon collections and children's books.

"Working with the artists of The New Yorker has been an extraordinary privilege," Lorenz said. "In Bob, they will have an editor who combines the sensitivity of an artist with the resourcefulness of an entrepreneur. I'm sure they will be as generous and welcoming to him as they have been to me."