The Best of the Rejection Collection


Rejection Collection Front Cover

Rejection Collection Back Cover

I came across this book at St. Vinnie’s, here in The Dalles, Oregon.


Nice selection, excellent prices.


There are forty-two cartoonists represented of which I chose four to profile. The book deals with the rejections from The New Yorker. Inside there is a note that these cartoons were rescued by Matthew Diffee, and there is also a forward by Robert Mankoff, cartoon editor of the magazine for the last ten years (as of 2011).

So, what gets a cartoon rejected. Sometimes office politics, but more on that when we talk about Jack Zeigler.

From the book, we have ten reasons for rejections.

Reason #1

Reason #2


Reason #3


Reason #4


Reason #4a

Reason #5



Reason #6


Reason #7


Reason #8



Reason #9



Reason #10

As I said, there are fourth-two cartoonists in this book. I urge you to get a copy for yourself to see who got left out.

First up, we have Jack Zeigler.


Photo credit:

Courtesy of The New Yorker,  we have the following:

Jack Ziegler is a cartoonist. He has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1974, and has published more than fifteen hundred cartoons. He has also published eight collections of drawings, including “Hamburger Madness,” “How’s the Squid?: A Book of Food Cartoons,” “Olive or Twist?: A Book of Drinking Cartoons,” and “You Had Me at Bow Wow: A Book of Dog Cartoons.” He wrote and illustrated the children’s book “Mr. Knocky,” and has illustrated several other books. “The Essential Jack Ziegler,” edited by former cartoon editor Lee Lorenz, was released in 2000.

As I mentioned earlier, internal politics can affect the publication of a cartoon. Please follow this link  for The Journey of a Thousand Cartoons by Bob Mankoff, as Jack Zeigler talks about how he sold his first cartoon to the magazine, only to have it, and others which they bought, not used. There is also an interesting discussion on how payment was determined.

Here is an interesting blog, Lines and colors, by Charley Parker, with many links to other sites.

As usual, google has a collection of his cartoons.   However, we are interested in those that did not make the cut. But first, a Q and A from the book. This format is basically the same for each cartoonist.

Jack Zeigler01

Jack Zeigler02

And, now, on to the rejected cartoons.

Jack Zeigler03

Jack Zeigler04

Jack Zeigler05


Jack Zeigler06

Jack Zeigler07


Jack Zeigler08

Next up is Leo Cullum. ( January 11, 1942 – October 23, 2010)

I believe he published 819 cartoons in The New Yorker. The Wikipedia  article has this to say,

He had always hoped to be published in The New Yorker, which turned down a series of his early entries. The magazine liked some of Cullum’s concepts for cartoons, which were turned over to Charles Addams for illustration, with the first of Cullum’s ideas appearing in print in 1975 showing a couple paddling in a canoe with their reflection in the water showing a vision of the man attacking the woman

In an article in The New Times, Oct 25 2010, by William Grimes, on Cullum’s death, and history with the magazine, Grimes’ mentions,

Before long he cracked The New Yorker. On Jan. 3, 1977, the magazine published his first cartoon, which showed a bathrobed businessman drinking coffee at his desk, surrounded by chickens and speaking into a telephone. The caption read: “No, you’re not disturbing me, Herb. I’m up with the chickens this morning.”

Here is a link to an article by Bob Mankoff, on Leo Cullum.  Check out the cartoons.

As always, google has a collection of his images.

And now for his entry from The Best of the Rejection Collection.


Leo Cullum01


Leo Cullum02


And his rejected cartoons.

Leo Cullum03

Leo Cullum04


Leo Cullum05


Leo Cullum06


Next up, Gahan Wilson. Born February 8, 1930 and still going strong.

How strong is evidenced by the following.



Click on over to, for more information.

I have always enjoyed his humor. I always went for his cartoons in Playboy before unfolding the center fold.

He has a facebook page.  There is some type of web page for a Gahan Wilson museum, that says it is the largest repository of his work. Scroll on over and check it out.

And the google site of his cartoons,

And our offering.

Gahan Wilson01


Gahan Wilson02

The rejected cartoons.

Gahan Wilson03

Gahan Wilson04


Gahan Wilson05

Gahan Wilson06

P.S. Mueller is next.

Most articles about this cartoonist start withCartoonist, writer, and radio personality.” I understand that the radio part came from a stint with The Onion Radio News, along with voice over jobs. For the writer part, just follow this link for an example.

There is an interesting interview in the 2010 June issue of Funny Times. The interviewer is unnamed, so I assume it was by the editor(s) of the site. A brief portion of that interview follows.

Cartoonist, writer, and radio personality, P.S. Mueller is the mad genius of Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been a regular Funny Times contributor of both cartoons and stories for over 20 years. His cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Barron’s, Field and Stream and hundreds of other publications. Two collections of his humor, Cats and Dogs/Dogs and Cats and Your Belief System Is Shotare currently available from your favorite bookseller.

I suggest you link on over to the site for the complete interview.

P.S. Mueller has his own web site.  Much more information about him, his cartoons, and his activities.

Google has a bunch of his cartoons. 

And now, here is The Best of the Rejection Collection, take on Mr P.S. Mueller.



And the cartoons.





The book closes with some cartoons rejected by the cartoonists themselves, and at the very end a Q&A by the cartoonists asking Bob Mankoff questions, and his replies. This section is not visual, so I did not peruse it.

Anyway here are a few of the self rejected cartoons.

First up, Matthew Diffee, the creator of the book.


Then, William Haefeli and Ariel Molvig.


Then, P.C. Vey

P.C.Vey's Regection

Finally, Glen LeLieve


So, there you have it. How to not get published in the The New Yorker.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time.


About visualhumor

Enjoy viewing and collecting visual humor from around the world.
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