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Rejected New Yorker Cartoonists Find Solace in Each Other, Booze

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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REJECTED Maybe next time

Last night, inside a hot and sticky Hotel QT in Times Square, uber-agent David Kuhn (America's 50th most powerful gay, according to Out magazine) invited a cavalry of cartoonists and lit-types to celebrate the publication of The Rejection Collection 2: The Cream of the Crop." The contents of the book are precisely what the title indicates: each of the cartoons included were submitted for publication in the esteemed New Yorker pages but didn't quite make the cut.

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Which isn't to say they aren't funny. Quite the opposite: many are actually funnier than those that passed muster with the magazine's cartoon editor, Robert Mankoff. So what gives, Bob? "I agree that many cartoons in this book are funnier than those I picked," said Mankoff. "The book, though, is sort of like a porn club. There are no standards of taste. The New Yorker, on the other hand, is an intellectual club. The ones we pick have to have an idea behind them. Boob and poop jokes are funny. They're just not us!" Which pretty accurately explains why we never read the New Yorker.

Cartoonist Sam Gross concurred. "You can't draw a successful cartoon for them without an element of realism. It doesn't work," says Gross, whose own book, We Have Ways of Making You Laugh: 120 Swastika Cartoons, contains an image of the Nazi emblem fashioned out of the asshole of a dog.

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