School of Art, Media, and Technology

The New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium Presents Mort Gerberg

Written by:


Mort Gerberg on The Magazine Cartoon: Telling a Story in Only One Panel

The magazine cartoon is said to be the most challenging to create of all the cartoon forms, because it must communicate a complete narrative in the space of only a single, motionless frame, in about four seconds – contrasted with multi-panel pages, comic strips, animations and graphic novels.  A cartoon is instant visual/verbal communication of a funny idea, designed so that a reader gets its message in a glance – during the flip of a page.  A cartoon is a split second in time – the one precise moment during some continuous action that not only perfectly describes that action, but also tells what immediately preceded it, and perhaps implies what will happen next.  To be successful, this split second must be the correct freeze frame chosen from the imagined movie, that tells the whole story.  The drawing itself does not move, but it is not a still life.  In creating a single panel cartoon, the challenge is not only to envision the correct moment, but to reproduce it so that readers can see it, too.  To do this, the cartoonist employs a number of elements commonly associated with art and drama.  These include, among others, cast, dialogue, gesture, setting, composition, and clichés.  In Mort Gerberg’s presentation, Gerberg will show examples of works of his own that abbreviate this as well as others’ cartoons, chosen from two familiar subjects.

Mort Gerberg is a longtime multi-genre cartoonist and author best known for his magazine cartoons in The New Yorker, Playboy and numerous other publications.  He was voted as Best Magazine Cartoonist of 2007 and 2008 by the NCS, and was a six-time finalist in other years in other categories.  He was also a founding member and president of The Cartoonists Guild.  Gerberg has drawn several nationally-syndicated newspaper comic strips and has written, edited and / or illustrated 43 books for adults and children, including Cartooning: The Art and the Business, which has been the most respected instructional / reference work in the field for over 30 years.He also has written and drawn for television, online and home video and he taught cartooning for 15 years at New York City’s Parsons School of Design.  For clients in the business world he creates customized art and humorous writing for their advertising and public relations, and is a creative consultant for ideation focus groups.  Gerberg is also a popular public speaker, particularly on the subjects of creativity and positive aging.

The 179th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7pmat Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby).

Free and open to the public.

All Rights Reserved © 2024. Parsons School of Design.