Howard Goes North

I just got a note from Howard.
Apparently he contacted me in his usual telepathic way last night, and caused me to write the note in my sleep. I found it lying on the floor next to my bed when I awoke:

Dear Mr. Stevens,

It was hard running your blog. I never really got the hang of it. I had a lot of trouble finding stuff. Where do you keep the Inspiration, for instance? I spent a lot of time looking for that. Also, where are the Expertise and the Panache? I searched high and low for them. It’s very hard running a blog without these items, as you must know.

I didn’t expect you to butt in, either. It’s hard enough doing a blog without some flesh-and-blood, self-styled editor tinkering with my hard work! You just had to mess with my captions, didn’t you?!

Also, I never heard from the editors and publishers I expected to get in touch with me with accolades and contracts.

Honestly, the whole experience was a big disappointment. I’m leaving early. I’m going back to the Afterlife, where I know where everything is and people have to appreciate my work by Law!


So much for trying to help out a poor, dead guy.

When I got back here, the place was a god-awful mess, just as I feared, with unused captions and crumpled up roughs littering the floor, and spilled coffee and ink on everything. Cleanup will take some time.

Meanwhile, Here’s a New Post:

Rejected by The Rejection Collection, Even

Possibly the ultimate rejection for New Yorker cartoonists are those drawings that didn’t make the cut for Matt Diffee’s Rejection Collection. Here are five examples from his files of cartoons that were so tasteless or silly that they couldn’t be published even in his books, which are devoted to the kind of cartoons that make viewers and editors alike a little queasy. Fortunately, they also might make them laugh.


The following cartoons may offend or otherwise discomfit some viewers.
Before proceeding, you may wish to send the adults out of the room.


From Harry Bliss:

“This rejected cartoon caught the attention of many readers of my syndicated panel, BLISS. I received quite a few angry letters from people who thought the subject of suicide was not ‘funny.’ I guess it depends on the person because I’ve killed myself three times and I still think it’s a funny cartoon. Go figure.”

From Julia Suits:

“This cartoon is one of my favorites. Riding the subways last week, I lamented its rejection all over again.”

From Pat Byrnes:

“I did this cartoon eight or nine years ago, judging from the signature. There is a good chance that I have reformed my character since then. My cartoons are all about far more sophisticated subjects these days. Still, I can’t deny that even in this more evolved self I sense that an inherent awkwardness must exist in suggesting to a friend that you toddle off for a recreational enema. Or am I just being judgmental? Maybe I just need to get out more. Not “out” out, not that I’m ‘in’ or that there’s anything wrong with that, but, you know…”

From Ariel Molvig:

“My wife, who is really smart otherwise, has a weakness
for those trashy weekly magazines wherein celebrities
are tagged and released into the wild to have their
weights monitored. I, who am not-so-smart otherwise,
make fun of her and then read [those trashy weekly magazines] for important research. My research noted that rat dogs were one of the hottest accessories of last season, and fashions change. It was probably rejected because the gun wasn’t big enough.”

From Tom Cheney:

The “Bad Dog” cartoon started off as a doodle on a snowy afternoon, and ballooned into the detailed drawing that was promptly rejected by The New Yorker. I submitted the rough to Penthouse magazine where it was published a month later. The cartoon has since seen lots of action on calendars, greeting cards, and refrigerator magnets.


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