Cartooning: the early days

In the latest New Yorker (December 22&29), this cartoon by Mick Stevens, showing two cave people examining a cave drawing:


Now, some discussion of the cartoonist, which will lead us back to the 2012 Nipplegate controversy on Facebook.

Stevens’s work has appeared three times on this blog so far: #3 on 6/12/10; in “The end of The New Y” of 2/24/12; and #5 on 8/29/12. His mini-bio from his own website:

I began drawing while still a tiny person in Lake Grove, Oregon, and have continued to do so, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of the unlikelyhood of making a living. My first drawing was accepted at The New Yorker in 1979. I immediately moved from San Francisco, where I’d been experimenting with alternative lifestyles and underground comics, to New York. There, I gradually began selling more cartoons and ideas to The New Yorker and eventually received a contract with the magazine.

My work has also appeared in other publications, among them The Harvard Business Review, Barron’s, The National Law Journal, and USA Weekend. Books published include If Ducks Carried Guns, Things Not To Do Today, and A Mystery, Wrapped in An Enigma, Served On a Bed of Lettuce.

I’m currently living in St. Augustine, Florida, USA.

On to Nipplegate. Here’s a link of 9/17/12 to a summary:

In this week’s New Yorker Out Loud podcast, the magazine’s cartoon editor, Robert Mankoff, discusses the recent Nipplegate incident, in which a cartoon portraying Adam and Eve got the New Yorker temporarily banned from Facebook. Mankoff talks with Michael Agger and Mick Stevens, the cartoonist behind the offending cartoon, about the curious history of nipples in the magazine. Mankoff and Stevens also discuss the advantages of cartoon clichés like Adam and Eve, how cartoonists practice their art, and the evolution of the crash-test-dummy cartoon.

Two postings by Mankoff on his own blog:

First, from 9/10/12: “Nipplegate”:

The New Yorker has a Facebook page, which a lot of you like, or maybe it’s just one person with a lot of time on their hands, liking the page over and over again. But in any case, it’s a whole lotta like. We like that.

What we don’t like is that we got temporarily banned from Facebook for violating their community standards on “Nudity and Sex,” by posting this Mick Stevens cartoon:


The objection was to Eve’s nipples; Adam’s were fine.

And them from 9/13/12, in “Nipplegate: the exciting conclusion”:

Huzzah! Facebook reversed the ban on our cartoon! A spokesperson sent us an apologetic e-mail, but we still find the guidelines somewhat murky. So to test the waters we’re going to dip our toes in by posting this Zach Kanin double-trouble bit of funniness.


Kanin on this blog, from 9/28/14, cartoons #1 and #3, plus information on the cartoonist.

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