A Cartoonist’s Diary A Cartoonist’s Diary

Shannon Wheeler: Day Two — The New Yorker

The New Yorker is one of the few magazines which traditionally has its cartoonists submit work in person. Once a week veterans and newbies hang out together in a small room, waiting to show editor Bob Mankoff their cartoons, usually in sets of around ten apiece. Bob has an amazing memory and an even better eye. He always calls me out when I take a short cut with a cartoon. This week’s group of cartoonists included Sam Gross, Corey Pandolph, Drew Dernavich, and Gahan Wilson.

Gahan Wilson signed my (his) book and did an appropriately absent drawing for a blank book.

Sam Gross raves.

Traditionally, the cartoonists go out to lunch. Someone almost spilled wine on my sketchbook. They apologized, and I said, “Don’t worry, this is not art.” The phrase became a theme of the evening.

On to $7 pitchers with a small crew of younger cartoonists—and jokes that got worse and worse.

We get a bite up in Harlem, then take the subway back down to a comedy event that Corey’s friend is stage managing. Oddly, I know the performers: Julia Wertz, Michael Kupperman, and Kate Beaton.

We were a few sheets to the wind by this point.

At McSorley’s bar later on, I told a story about my first comic convention as a pro. Nobody at the con was interested in what I had to offer, so I started taking a buck to draw any superhero taking a crap. It wasn’t long before every kid at the convention was lining up for a sketch. Everyone at our table at the bar that night had to take a shot and draw their own contribution. We voted that the bat-pole poop was the winner.

Shannon Wheeler is the Eisner Award-winning creator of Too Much Coffee Man, and contributes cartoons to The New Yorker. His latest book, Oil and Water, is in stores now. He is currently at work on the Bible.


20 Responses to Shannon Wheeler: Day Two — The New Yorker

  1. ant says:

    Oooh, gossip!

  2. Mark Russell says:

    “This is not art!” could be the rallying cry of a generation.

  3. Mei K says:


    Maybe they weren’t friendly ’cause when you’re famous you get overwhelmed? Also, I think Julia Wertz is chronically cranky. Haha. She gets away with it cause she’s small.

    Who knows?

    Anyways, I like your cartoonists rant drawings!

  4. dave says:

    am I the only one who wants more from the “super heroes shitting” series here?

  5. Paul Slade says:

    Caganers are traditional Spanish nativity figures, which sit in the corner of the crib taking a shit. You’ll find a Superman one at the first link above (scroll down) and a Spider-Man one at the second.

  6. Dear God Shannon, you live quite the awesome life! It’s so great to see you doing this. Put a word in to Bob for me won’t you?

  7. Jape says:

    Shannon, you realize if they had spilled wine on your book it would have made it a performance piece … or an installation. Either way, art!

  8. Mike Lynch says:

    Ha ha! I know who that ranting cartoonist is!

  9. Julia Wertz says:

    hm…well, considering that I didn’t even see you at the show and therefore did not speak to you, I’m not sure what your reasoning for my being “unfriendly” is.

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: Julia Wertz is referring to a statement that has since been removed from the entry.]

  10. Chris Monroe says:

    Love this. I can’t wait for more.

  11. Hey Julia,

    saying that you weren’t friendly was mostly a set up for the gag at the end – when we’re drawing superheros pooping when I say “I can guess why why Kate and Julia weren’t friendly” … ie. we are immature idiots who like to draw superheros pooping. If it bugs you I’ll fix it.

    I did try to say hello but you were mobbed with fans.

  12. Roxy says:

    “I can guess why why Kate and Julia weren’t friendly” … because they’re girls, you mean? Is this for real?

  13. Julia Wertz says:

    naw, leave it, t doesn’t bug me, it just amuses me that anyone would pretend to preface an unfunny joke with erroneous information. I’m dubious…

  14. crashsuit says:

    Reminds me of a “Super Peens” comic I did where I had Spidey shooting webs out his penis.

  15. Balaguer says:

    “Caganers” are not spanish, but catalan

  16. we did a bunch more illos – I started it but Drew, Corey and Ben ran full tilt with it. Great stuff. To see the really good ones you have to be there. Cartoonists are foul bunch.

  17. my sketchbook is still sticky from our second time out when we spilled a full glass of beer on it. It helped most of the art.

  18. Ouch.

  19. That’s just wrong. Next time you’ll have to join us at McSorley’s.

  20. Kai Middleton says:

    “I stole a book about karma. Nothing happened.”

    Reminds me of Abbey Hoffman’s “Steal This Book” (which I stole from a friend … it disappeared not long after that).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *