May 1, 1944 (age 72)
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|How About Never — Is Never Good for You?: A Life in Cartoons
The Naked Cartoonist: A Way to Enhance your Creativity
Robert "Bob" Mankoff (born May 1, 1944) is an American cartoonist, editor, and author. He is the current cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine. Before he succeeded Lee Lorenz as cartoon editor, Mankoff was a cartoonist for The New Yorker for twenty years.
Mankoff submitted more than 500 cartoons to The New Yorker for over two years before he had his first one published in 1977. One of his cartoons (captioned "No, Thursday's out. How about never—is never good for you?") is one of The New Yorker's most widely reprinted cartoons.
In 1992, Mankoff founded the online Cartoon Bank, a licensing platform for New Yorker cartoons and art, with more than 85,000 cartoons available for sale. Mankoff was hired as New Yorker cartoon editor in 1997; he credits his administration of the Cartoon Bank as being an important reason for why he was chosen to replace Lorenz. Tina Brown, The New Yorker's editor at the time, said of Mankoff, "Bob is not only a brilliant cartoonist himself, he's also an impassioned promoter, defender and curator of the art of cartooning. … He's put himself out to nurture cartoonists."
Mankoff has stated that his all-time favorite New Yorker cartoonist is Jack Ziegler. He has also cited Shel Silverstein as an artist he would have liked as a contributing cartoonist. Under Mankoff, the magazine has brought in a new generation of cartoonists (including a number of female contributors); notable names include Pat Byrnes, J. C. Duffy, P. C. Vey, Farley Katz, Emily Flake, and Julia Suits. Mankoff usually contributes a short article to each issue of The New Yorker, describing some aspect of the cartooning process or the methods used to select cartoons for the magazine.
Under Mankoff's stewardship, in April 2005 the magazine began using the last page of each issue for the subsequently very popular "The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest" (prior that date, the Caption Contest had appeared as a back-page feature in the magazine's annual "Cartoon Issue"). Mankoff himself contributes cartoons to Moment magazine's own monthly cartoon caption contest.
The 2015 documentary, Very Semi-Serious, presents a behind-the-scenes look at the cartoons of The New Yorker, and features glimpses into Mankoff's career, his current role at The New Yorker, and his personal life. The film was produced by Redora Films.
- Urban Bumpkins (St. Martin's/Marek, 1985) ISBN 0312834306
- Call Your Office (Topper Books, 1986) ISBN 0886872782
- It's Lonely at the Top (Ballantine Books, 1987) ISBN 0886873169
- The Naked Cartoonist: A Way to Enhance Your Creativity (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2002)
- How About Never — Is Never Good for You?: A Life in Cartoons (Henry Holt, 2014) ISBN 9780805095906 — published to positive reviews in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal
Mankoff has edited at least 14 collections of New Yorker cartoons, including The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2004), a compilation of every cartoon published since the magazine was founded; the hardcover book is a 656-page collection of the magazine's best cartoons published during 80 years, plus a double CD set with all 68,647 cartoons published to that point.
- Wilson, Craig. "Top drawer at 'The New Yorker' Mankoff makes his imprint as cartoon editor," USA Today (2 October 1997): D, 1:2.
- Mankoff, Robert. "Comics: Meet the Artist," (transcript), Washington Post (November 5, 2004).
- Mankoff bio, New Yorker website. Accessed April 5, 2013.
- "No, Thursday's out. How about never—is never good for you?" New Yorker cartoon by Robert Mankoff, Conde Nast Online Store. Accessed April 5, 2013.
- Fleishman, Glenn. "New Yorker Cartoons to Go on Line," New York Times (October 29, 1998).
- "Moment Cartoon Caption Contest," Moment website. Accessed May 2, 2013.
- Mankoff bio, Leigh Bureau website. Accessed April 5, 2013.
- Mankoff, Robert. "Rhyme Scheme," The New Yorker online: The Cartoon Bureau (August 26, 2010).
- Minzesheimer, Bob (April 22, 2014). "Bob Mankoff, New Yorker cartoon editor, at the Burns". The Journal News. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- Maslin, Janet. "If He Says It’s Funny, It’s Funny: Bob Mankoff’s ‘How About Never — Is Never Good for You?’" New York Times (March 19, 2014).
- Kosner, Edward. "Book Review: 'How About Never—Is Never Good for You?' by Bob Mankoff: The cartoon editor of the New Yorker began as a psychology graduate student but quit when his lab animal died," Wall Street Journal (March 21, 2014).
- Official website
- New Yorker blog "The Cartoon Bureau"
- Cartoon Bank
- Fresh Air interview (November 27, 2002)
- "Comics: Meet the Artist," Washington Post (October 23, 2004).
- "A Life in Pictures : Bob Mankoff," Moment Magazine (January/February 2014).
- Bob Mankoff at TED