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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 10, 2000. All rights reserved.

Get the Picture: Sex, Sublimated, Equals Money


Of the 13,000 cartoons run in the New Yorker since 1986,

one-quarter of them have been on the subjects of business and money.

And until Tina Brown arrived as editor in 1992, the cartoons never

were about (shh) sex. The New Yorker cartoon editor, Robert Mankoff,

says this obsession with money was a "sublimation" of the

forbidden subject of sex.

More than 110 of the best are in the "New Yorker Book of Money

Cartoons: the influence, power, and occasional insanity of money in

all our lives," just published by Bloomberg Press for $21.95.

Selection was made by Mankoff, and the introduction is by Christopher

Buckley, author of eight books and editor of Forbes FYI magazine.

Henry Martin, Princeton’s resident cartoonist, is represented here

by one offering, two men on a street where every advertisement, awning,

and license plate displays the one word, "Money." The caption:

"Remember a few years ago when everything was sex, sex, sex?"

The book could be an excellent corporate gift. For someone who has

just left a big business to go off on his own, point to Eric Teitelbaum’s

drawing of a bearded pilgrim with staff, looking up at a talking cloud,

with the caption, "Now go forth as an independent contractor,

keeping a careful diary of your travel expense." Or for someone

who is househunting, Boris Drucker shows a cavewoman talking to her

friend while her caveman husband is wrestling with a tiger at the

entrance to a cave. She says brightly: "We’re buying into the

dream of home ownership."

You can peruse many New Yorker cartoons for free by going to,

a site that opens up all kinds of possibilities for livening up presentations

and newsletters. For a fee, you can use one. The standard price for

corporate presentations is $100 per cartoon. To use the same cartoon

in a newsletter or other publication costs $175. To use it as an illustration

for a book is $250 for a print run of 5,000 copies or less. It costs

$250 to get a high quality reprint — on archival paper in a mat

and on supportive backing, ready for frames.

Non-profits and educational institutions get a 20 percent discount.

The cartoons are also available for calendars, T-shirts, advertisements,

CD-ROMs, and direct mail, but these rights are individually priced.

Prices for electronic rights depend on whether the cartoon was published

in the New Yorker, how long you will keep the cartoon up on your site,

and how much traffic your site receives.

Anyone can search the Cartoon Bank site for a particular subject,

but this search can be done for you for $50 (deductible from the price

if you buy one) and fax a contact sheet of selected cartoons.

How the Cartoon Bank started: Bob Mankoff came to the New Yorker with

the idea of using New Yorker cartoonists but not necessarily the exact

cartoons that had appeared in the New Yorker. The magazine wasn’t

interested. Then when Mankoff got the website up and running, the

magazine bought it, named him president, and shortly after that named

him cartoon editor of the magazine. Meanwhile Bloomberg Financial

was running cartoons from the Cartoon Bank on its terminals for stockbrokers.

This relationship paved the way for Bloomberg Press to snatch publishing

the cartoon books from Knopf, the previous publisher. "I zipped

in as quickly as I could, and so far it has resulted in four titles

and a paperback reprint of one of them," says John Crutcher, director

of marketing of Bloomberg Press and a former bookseller in Westchester,

New York. "It also brought a real wonderful relationship with

Bob Mankoff and the New Yorker." Before David Remnick replaced

Tina Brown as editor, Crutcher had tapped him to write the introduction

to the first of the Bloomberg Press volumes.

And all because Michael Bloomberg is fond of cartoons.

— Barbara Fox

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