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Monday, May 18, 2015


GUEST BLOG—By Robert Mankoff, Cartoon Editor,
The New Yorker.

1. The odds are against you: the average number of entries per week is 5,372.

2. Your caption was not unique. Although there are more than five thousand entries each week, there are not five thousand different captions. Here is an example of similar captions from a recent contest:
--“You were constantly nagging me about having some exposed brick in our place!”
--“Exposed brick is all the rage.”
--“You know how you’ve always wanted exposed brick…”
--“Exposed brick, honey! Just increased our property value!”
--“Haven’t you heard? Exposed brick is out.”
--“You get the exposed brick you’ve always wanted, and I get to watch the second half in peace.”
--“You always said that you wished we had exposed brick.”
--“You always said you wanted exposed brick!”
--“It’s the exposed brick you’ve been hankering after.”
--“You said you like the look of exposed brick.”
--“You always said you loved exposed brick!”
--“Hey, neighbor. I’m starting the next biggest design trend. This is what comes after exposed brick.”
--“Think of it as ‘exposed brick.’”
--“You know, exposed brick does increase our resale value…”
--“You said you wanted a place with exposed brick.”
--“I fell in love with the exposed brick…”
--“Ta-da! Exposed brick!”
--“Oh baby, thanks for putting that up, I love that exposed brick, so romantic. Is it also soundproof? I’m cooking dinner for a hot date tonight, and don’t mean to disturb you in the heat of the moment.”
--“I’ve always wanted an apartment with exposed brick.”
--“It’s exposed brick!”
--“He wanted boundaries and she wanted exposed brick.”
--“Hi, honey. How do you like the exposed-brick wall you’ve always wanted?”
--“Trust me. Exposed brick is all the rage right now.”

3. You have to enter every week. Did you enter this week?

4. Your caption would work better as a Kanye West lyric, such as this submission: “Why this room so fuckin’ tall?” “I’m buildin’ me a motherfuckin’ wall.”

5. Your caption is too long: “Man cave!? No, no, this is an installation critiquing the American man’s reactionary streak: faced with the collapse of traditional gender roles, he retreats into a masculinized space. I’m an ally! Also, have you seen my Xbox? Can’t find it anywhere.”

6. Your caption is too short: “Deal?”


Robert Mankoff. 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 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 “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

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