Monday, December 11, 2017

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #596

As ye sow, so shall ye reap my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #596 for December 11, 2017. The drawing is by Frank Cotham.

"I prefer mine dark."

The caption not taken:
"Yes, I will take one for the, er, road."

December 25, 2017 Update:  The Finalists

January 1, 2018 Update:  I forgot to vote, but I would've gone for the third caption, it being closest to my own.

Note:  Last week cartoonist Drew Dernavich's snowman went on a shopping spree. My caption got a frosty reception. Let's wrap up Contest #595.

See what cartoonist Frank Cotham already has reaped on this blog here.

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  1. Hi! I've recently started submitting to the contest again after a hiatus of several years. I've been looking at your past posts, and it's been fascinating and informative to see the whole history of the contest -- it's much easier to get a sense of the likes and dislikes of the judges when you see them one after another. And so interesting to see the approach of a fellow contestant! Honestly, I'm surprised you haven't won -- you've had some gems (though I haven't always agreed with your final decision!).

    One thing that's been interesting is how the judges seem to forget that a previous cartoon had an almost identical caption -- for instance, last week's finalist about the last boss being "abominable" was very similar to the snowglobe sex cartoon of awhile back (although that one was much funnier). Maybe because of the high turnover of judges? (Had I submitted, mine would've been "I hate giving him feedback -- you think he'd roll with it, but he's just a big snowflake." But I didn't start again until this past week. Probably too punny, anyway.)

    I have a question for you: Awhile back you were listing semi-finalists in addition to the three finalists. Where were you getting that information? When you view the also-rans, are they in some kind of order? I can definitely see that those on the first page are, as a group, better than those on the last page (most of which seem to be captioning the wrong cartoon) but I can't imagine that without their former crowdsourcing system they're doing any ranking past winnowing down to the top 50.

    Good luck this week! Your submission was much more creative than mine.

    1. Thanks, jcaritas. It's always good to welcome a new contestant to a Caption Contest with no prize. Thanks for your encouragement.

      The crowdsourcing is still going on over at, but the resulting rankings are no longer being made available to us. Generally, when I posted semifinalist information or spreadsheets, I included a link in aqua at the lower right of my image to show where I obtained it. For a while we were able to rank the semifinalists ourselves, but now that's being left to the professionals. There might have been a week or two when I could guess the web address of the semifinalists based on previous postings, but that doesn't work for me anymore. (Still, if someone entrusted with the ranking of the semifinalists were to share that link with me, I would be happy to post the top ten.) The spreadsheets were ungainly. While it was nice to be able to see where one's caption ranked, it was really too much trouble to look it up.