PERTH VOICE cartoonist Jason Chatfield has had one of his doodles accepted for the prestigious New Yorker magazine.
The former Perth lad now lives in the Big Apple, pursuing his stand-up comedy and cartooning dreams, while still collaborating with the Perth Voice for our weekly toons and working on a little strip called Ginger Meggs.
And after many failed attempts, Chatfield has finally had one of his cartoons accepted by the New Yorker.
The posh magazine is known for its esoteric and sometimes inscrutable cartoons drawn in a characteristic sparse style with a single-line caption (an insider joke suggests that a true New Yorker cartoon should be able to be captioned with the sentence “Christ, what an asshole!” and still make sense — or at least as much sense as the original).
It’s so tough to get a toon accepted that 60 Minutes devoted an entire segment to the agonising process.
Over the years Chatfield’s submitted plenty of cartoons to the New Yorker’s cartoon gatekeeper Bob Mankoff (an industry legend who’s recently announced he’s leaving the magazine to head over to work as Esquire’s “humour editor”).
Chatfiled first met up with Mankoff in 2014 and nervously put 10 cartoons in front of him.
There was a lot of “hmms”.
One doodle was met with the review; “Hmm. Toilet humour… no.”
None were accepted.
He continued to submit cartoons for the next two and a half years, and last month was called in to meet Mankoff again.
This meeting lasted “approximately 21 seconds”, as Chatfield dumped some cartoons on the legend’s desk and handed over his email to his assistant.
Four days later he got the email from Mankoff himself: “We are buying this cartoon.”
He says the one Mankoff chose was actually one he put in to make the others look better.
The exact cartoon remains under wraps until the New Yorker publishes it.
Calling in to Simon Beaumont’s 6PR show with the good news this week, Chatfield reminded listeners of his roots in our humble Cliff Street office.
“You can still see my stuff in the Perth Voice every week if you miss the New Yorker.”
You can read the whole tale of his New Yorker quest here:
by DAVID BELL