New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff Is Stepping Down in May

Emma Allen will take his place

Bob Mankoff’s two-decade reign as cartoon editor of The New Yorker is coming to a close in May, when he is stepping down from his position to become a contributing artist, a move editor David Remnick punningly called “going back to the drawing board” in a note to staff.

Mankoff’s time in his role spanned two of the five New Yorker editors in the magazine’s history, something Remnick acknowledged in his note. “Bob has been a remarkable and innovative partner to me, as he was to Tina Brown,” he wrote. “He has brought everyone’s best work to the table and managed a complicated balancing act with grace, sustaining the work of people who have been publishing in The New Yorker for many years while bringing new artists into the mix, including more diverse voices and views of the world.”

There is also the matter of Mankoff’s own work, with includes classics like the cartoon below:

Bob Mankoff

Remnick also acknowledges Mankoff’s work on cartooning’s digital frontier, writing that Mankoff “has found myriad new ways to publish cartoons and promote the form.” Mankoff started the Cartoon Bank, a repository for preserving and selling cartoons from The New Yorker and elsewhere, in humble surroundings (his home) in 1991. The New Yorker later purchased the Cartoon Bank in 1997.

The next cartoon editor, Emma Allen, will continue Mankoff’s work on the digital front, focusing, in part, on “creating a bigger digital footprint for cartoons,” per Remnick. “I am quite sure that we have only just begun to figure out new ways to explore and exploit digital technologies as a way to distribute cartoons to more and new readers,” he writes.

Allen is an internal hire, an editor of the magazine’s Talk of the Town section. “Emma has a terrific eye for talent, knows the history of cartooning deeply, and is an immensely energetic and intelligent and sympathetic editor,” Remnick writes.

While a new cartoon editor rises, there will still be editing work in Mankoff’s future; he’ll be the editor of a new cartoon tome called The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons.