My NYer & Mankoff Captions
In March of 2018, I started doing the weekly Cartoon Caption Contest run by The New Yorker Magazine. Shortly after that, Bob Mankoff, after retiring from the New Yorker, began his own contest which I also now do. It's fun. Makes you think and invent and, most of all, think funny. I have never won, but enjoy seeing what I thought was funny after some time has passed by. I think some are quite witty.
- Jeffrey Reid Baker (2019)
My Original Cartoons
I developed an interest in cartoons in the late 50's primarily because of The New Yorker Magazine and Johnny Hart's B. C. strip. I howled at all of their efforts. In the 60's it was Mad Magazine, in the 70's National Lampoon. Then The Lockhorns, Hagar, Ziggy. And, of course, The Far Side and Dilbert
It occured to me years later that a cartoon (especially the single frame type) was a high art form. A cartoon (a terrible name for a high art form) was and is a very effective device for allowing the creator to (a) discover a truth and (b) to comment on it - simultaneously. Political cartoons are a good example. A cartoon can be with a caption or without a caption. Charles Addams' unicorns standing on an island while Noah's arc sails into the distance without them exemplifies the latter. No words are needed.
I believe a cartoon is "a cynical celebration of our own weaknesses, misconceptions, and foibles, forever affixed to a piece of paper over which we chuckle, wanting to believe we're personally better than that, but, in the end, realizing we really aren't. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but incongruity is what makes us laugh.
Woody Allen wrote in Deconstructing Harry: "The most beautiful words in the English language are not "I love you" but rather "It's benign!" Humor is born from the TRUTH no matter how ugly it is. And laughter is the result when we recognize that TRUTH. People like to laugh. You like to laugh.
And when I think of things that make me laugh, I do cartoons. I do them because I must. It's that simple.
Life cracks me up!
Someone challenged me to create my own Calvin & Hobbes dialog. So I created one and then found random frames from the strip. This is the result.
Bunny Hoest of Lockhorn fame liked this idea of mine and used in one of her Sunday strips