Bob Mankoff, the longtime New Yorker cartoonist who resigned from the magazine earlier this year, has found a home at Esquire.
Mankoff joins Esquire as cartoon and humor editor, which is a new role at the Hearst-owned men’s glossy. The editor illustrated the announcement with a cartoon of him rowing a boat with the lad mag’s Esky, away from Eustace Tilley, the New Yorker’s monocled mascot. At the Condé Nast-owned New Yorker, Mankoff was succeeded by editorial staffer Emma Allen.
According to Hearst, Mankoff will be responsible for “reviving the decades-long tradition of cartoons in Esquire, which numbers more than 13,000 cartoons and dates back to the 1930s when they were published regularly until the early 1970s.”
He will edit humor stories, pitch ideas, draft cartoons and recruit a new generation of humorists to Esquire and Esquire.com. He will also find ways for the magazine to make its original cartoons available for prints and licensing.
“Bob is one of the funniest, most creative people I know,” said Esquire editor in chief Jay Fielden. “What he’s going to do is invent an entirely new look and sensibility in cartooning by upping the aesthetics and embracing a wide set of fresh voices. ‘La La Land’ proved an old form can become a new sensation. That’s the ambition here.”
Mankoff was cartoon editor of The New Yorker for 20 years until this past April, where more than 950 of his cartoons have been published. He has also edited dozens of cartoon books and published four of his own. In 2014, an offbeat documentary about humor, art and the genius of the single panel featuring Mankoff called “Very Semi-Serious” premiered on HBO. Mankoff is the founder of The Cartoon Bank, a business devoted to licensing cartoons for use in newsletters, textbooks, magazines and other media.
“Esquire was home to some incredible cartoonists and humorists over the years, and it’s a real thrill to be able to reintroduce and reinterpret that legacy for a new audience,” Mankoff said.
This isn’t the first time Fielden has grabbed former Condé talent; he hired GQ’s editor at large Michael Hainey as executive director of editorial last year, for instance. It also isn’t the first time the editor has tried to bring humor to his title. In the fall, Fielden relaunched the satirical Spy Magazine as a digital property for a month on Esquire’s site. The launch raised some eyebrows as it was the brainchild of Graydon Carter, the editor in chief of Condé’s Vanity Fair, and Kurt Andersen.