Book Review – The Rejection Collection – Edited by Matthew Diffee

I love cartoons of all types. While many people express dislike for the standard newspaper cartoons that are everywhere, I love them. But I also like cartoons featured in other places, like online or in magazines. And while I do appreciate the family-friendly, I’m not really a fan of censoring cartoonists. Which is where the Rejection Collection comes in.


Here is a collection of wonderful cartoons that couldn’t appear in the New Yorker magazine for various reasons. Most of them are wondrously funny, and those that I personally don’t like will definitely be enjoyed by others. And since most of these cartoonists do work for the New Yorker, the jokes that might be distasteful are presented in at least an appropriate and (almost) intelligent manner.

Accompanying the cartoons is a collection of forms filled out by the various artists to represent themselves. These forms are somewhat tedious, but in many cases you get to find out fascinating and funny things. In other cases it’s clearly a joke, but at least you find out the cartoonist’s sense of humor. Occasionally there is one who unfortunately takes it seriously (I would if the New Yorker sent me a questionnaire), and these can be skipped. The drawing and answers in this portion really make the book, in my opinion, as otherwise it would just be a collection of mostly obscene jokes done by New Yorker cartoonists. And while there is a market for that thing (I would buy it if I had a lot of money laying around, while I’d buy this with just a little more money than I currently have, as my copy was a gift). The cartoons are fun though quite fast, and the only thing that makes this a book and not a collection of cartoons are the forms.

This book is a wonderful insight into both the heads of cartoonists and what will and will not get published. It is hilarious and well drawn. The execution is what one would expect from the New Yorker: excellent.

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