It’s no secret that most New Yorker readers flip through the magazine to look at the cartoons before they ever lay eyes on a word of the text. But what isn’t generally known is that over the decades a growing cadre of women artists have contributed to the witty, memorable cartoons that readers look forward to each week. Now Liza Donnelly, herself a renowned cartoonist with The New Yorker for more than twenty years, has written this wonderful, in-depth celebration of women cartoonists who have graced the pages of the famous magazine from the Roaring Twenties to the present day. An anthology of funny, poignant, and entertaining cartoons, biographical sketches, and social history all in one, Funny Ladies offers a unique slant on 20th-century and early 21st-century America through the humorous perspectives of the talented women who have captured in pictures and captions many of the key social issues of their time. As someone who understands firsthand the cartoonist’s art, Donnelly is in a position to offer distinctive insights on the creative process, the relationships between artists and editors, what it means to be a female cartoonist, and the personalities of the other New Yorker women cartoonists, whom she has known over the years. Funny Ladies reveals never-before-published material from The New Yorker archives, including correspondence from Harold Ross, Katharine White, and many others. In addition, Donnelly has interviewed all of the living female cartoonists, many of their male counterparts, and editors and writers: David Remnick, Roger Angell, Lee Lorenz, Harriet Walden (legendary editor Harold Ross’s secretary), Bob Mankoff, Eldon Dedini, Dana Fradon, Frank Model, Bob Weber, Sam Gross, Gahan Wilson, Joe Farris, among others. Combining a wealth of information with an engaging and charming narrative, plus more than seventy cartoons, along with photographs and self-portraits of the cartoonists, Funny Ladies beautifully portrays the art and contributions of the brilliant female cartoonists in America’s greatest magazine.
“Every year there’s a new New Yorker cartoon anthology, of course, but this one is more than that – it is also a history. Donnelly has been a cartoonist for the magazine for 26 years, and she has a deep knowledge of the work of all her colleagues….There are more than 70 cartoons and many more anecdotes, most as rollicking as the art they celebrate. This is the perfect present for the female New Yorker reader on your gift list.” – Chicago Sun-Times “[A] bonanza for those looking for raw material to analyze society’s changing attitudes toward women and humor as reflected in the most high-brow of magazines…. As history Funny Ladies is essential.” – Publishers Weekly
“From Helen Hokinson to Roz Chast, some of The New Yorker’s cleverest and most original cartoonists have been women. Liza Donnelly dusts off the archives and brings the famous and the forgotten back into the light. Next time someone tells you women aren’t funny, give them this book and watch them try not to laugh!” Katha Pollitt, Nation Columnist
“A long overdue examination of the contributions of women artists to The New Yorker cartoon tradition by one of its talented practitioners.” Robert Mankoff, Cartoon Editor, The New Yorker