Archives for category: cartoons

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CAPTION: “If I hire you to find my husband, will you turn some lights on in your office?”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Ward Sutton, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at condenaststore.com.

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CAPTION: “If he was really intelligent, he wouldn’t limit his applications to East Coast schools.”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Danny Shanahan, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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CAPTION: “Costco.”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Joe Dator, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Editor’s Note: For readers around the world (in case there isn’t a Costco where you live), the name designates a gigantic store where you can buy huge quantities of everything you need (and don’t need) at discount prices.

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Cartoonist Matt Diffee offers insight into the creative process by explaining how he developed his “Skywriter’s Block” cartoon. (Read the entire article at the New Yorker.)

I started by jotting down the words “writer’s block.”…I started by playing with those words. First I thought of alternative meanings of the words themselves. So “writer’s block” could be a city block where writers live. It could be writers playing with children’s building blocks, or a football block performed by a writer. You can see there’s probably a joke to be had among those options, but I don’t think it would be a very good one. Might be more “punny” than funny.

You could mess around with the “writer” part of the phrase, too, and make it “rider’s block.” You could take that as far as you wanted and get “horse-rider’s block” or “subway-rider’s block.” I don’t think I pursued that angle very much.

I mostly thought in terms of replacing the “writer” with another occupation. I jotted down things like “dentist’s block,” “taxidermist’s block,” “proctologist’s block,” “ventriloquist’s block,” and then a bunch of occupations that end in “-er” like “plumber’s block” and “butcher’s block” (which has its own punny potential).

In the end, I found the gag by adding words to the phrase. Where can you add words to it? In the middle? Not really. At the end? “Writer’s block and tackle.” “Writer’s blockade.” At the beginning? Sure, “copywriter’s block,” “grant-writer’s block,” then eventually I came to “skywriter’s block” and BAM, there’s the idea…

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Matt Diffee, all rights reserved

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CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Harry Bliss, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at condenaststore.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Instead of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, this werewolf father reads the lycanthrope version.

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CAPTION: “I’m looking for a book by T. What’s-His-Face Boyle.”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Mick Stevens, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at condenaststore.com.

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CAPTION: “But when she got there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none.” 

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Mike Twohy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at condenast.com.

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CAPTION: “If I hire you to find my husband, will you turn some lights on in your office?”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Ward Sutton, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at condenaststore.com.

Image CAPTION: “I got tired of Moby-Dick taunting me from my bookshelf, so I put it on my Kindle and haven’t thought of it since.”

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by WIlliam Haefeli, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — prints for sale at condenast.com.

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CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by David Pascal, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints for sale at condenast.com.

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For a real-life farmers market poetry vendor, check out this feature at komonews.com (article and video) about Meredith Clark, a Seattle-area author who writes poems for customers on the spot — for free on a manual typewriter. (Photo of Meredith Clark by Zachary D. Lyons, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

FOR ARLENE

by Meredith Clark

Garlic, too, works
through the weather,
builds roots that way,
grows taller, never falters.
It, too, shows up
with earth in its skin,
braids tightly together
the land and those
who live it. Both
leave bright traces,
some sharp, clean taste
on all the hands
they touch. Both make
from the inside out
their own new scape.

“For Arlene” was commissioned by Ballard Farmers Market from Meredith Clark of the Poem Store in loving memory of Arlene Dabrusca of Anselmo Farms.