How about Never, is Never Good For You?

How About Never, Is Never Good For You?


People tell Bob Mankoff that as the cartoon editor of “The New Yorker” he has the best job in the world. Never one to beat around the bush, he explains to us, in the opening of this singular, delightfully eccentric book, that because he is also a cartoonist at the magazine he actually has two of the best jobs in the world. With the help of myriad images and his funniest, most beloved cartoons, he traces his love of the craft all the way back to his childhood, when he started doing funny drawings at the age of eight. After meeting his mother, we follow his unlikely stints as a high-school basketball star, draft dodger, and sociology grad student. Though Mankoff abandoned the study of psychology in the seventies to become a cartoonist, he recently realized that the field he abandoned could help him better understand the field he was in, and here he takes up the psychology of cartooning, analyzing why some cartoons make us laugh and others don't. He allows us into the hallowed halls of “The New Yorker” to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week. For desert, he reveals the secrets to winning the magazine's caption contest. Throughout “How About Never--Is Never Good for You?”, we see his commitment to the motto "Anything worth saying is worth saying funny."(Summary and cover courtesy of


This book was hilarious.  I was somewhat familiar with Bob Mankoff, but this gave me a completely different perspective.  Mankoff is the epitome of the success story for a cartoonist, at least in the traditional sense, and as a fan of graphic novels and cartoons in general it was neat to see how he made his way to be the editor.  There’s a lot more that goes into the creation of those cartoons than you’d think!

I don’t think that everyone  will find the biographical aspect as interesting as I did, but the creation and what goes into the cartoon will certainly be interesting for most who have read the magazine. 

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Highly recommended for cartooning fans and particularly for those who read “The New Yorker”