Friday, March 20, 2015

The New Yorker's Annual Collections: Evolution or Devolution?

In recent years, the New Yorker's annual cartoon collection has undergone a major transformation. Once a stately hardcover book, it is now a softbound "bookazine" designed for newsstand sales. It might even be printed on the same presses as the magazine. Annual hardbound books, in theory, could be great additions to any library if they were published consistently, but in recent years they really weren't. The newer softbound volumes have a number of features--including magazine-like articles and photos--that go way beyond the content of the old hardbound collections. In some sense, the recent crop of softbound books replace not only the older hardcovers with their collected cartoons, but also the magazine's annual cartoon issue that included a similar smattering of features. Will the noble Cartoon Yearbook format ever return? Anything's possible, but I don't think the magazine is going to retreat from electronic media and the last three volumes of Cartoons of the Year translate splendidly to the New Yorker's iPad format. They have been included in the magazine's iPad edition at no additional charge.

The New Yorker Cartoon Yearbook 2007 and The New Yorker Cartoons of the Year 2014

Note:  Yesterday I took a closer look at The New Yorker Cartoons of the Year 2014.


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