New Yorker flubs nerd humor drawing test

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Via this week’s issue. As correspondent Jamie T. points out “While I suspect Lee Lorenz believes he has drawn Iron man, doesn’t his armoured gent more closely resemble ROM: Spaceknight? Is he a closet Bill Mantlo fan?”



  1. A year or two ago, my grandparents gave me The Complete New Yorker Cartoons book. I can understand why they thought I would like that, and I thanked them, but I hate New Yorker cartoons. They are, to me, consistently the opposite of funny, and not usually very well drawn. I took the book back to the store a day or two later and got a refund.

    Anyway, this cartoon is stupid. Ignoring the poorly-drawn superheroes, there is nothing funny about this. Given that there are a) more Marvel characters present than Disney characters and b) all the Marvel characters look threatening, one could reasonably assume that the cartoonist thought that, in fact, Marvel had bought Disney (or, alternately, that the Marvel characters were buying Mickey and Donald as prostitutes for a little BDSM play).


  3. I like it. Works for me.

    As for Iron Man it’s no different than the dog-looking Mickey Mouse.

  4. Dude couldn’t do 5 minutes of Google Images research? It took me a second to recognize Iron Man and Spidey. Wolvie and Hulk are ok. I like the Disney ones.

  5. Why is Spidey wearing a european bathing suit? L-A-M-E.

  6. michael says:

    ha! love that illo.! :)

  7. Synsidar says:

    The cartoon isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but the visual contrast between the heroes and the Disney characters, and the thought of Mickey and Donald buying them drinks are amusing. The cartoon works.


  8. Ha ha, this one is good. Love the semi generic Marvel characters, with Spidey sitting weirdly on bar stool. The idea of “Disney” characters drinking in a bar is funny enuff. Maybe the cartoonist got advice from his litigation team to not be too literal with the caricatures.

  9. Stephen C. says:

    Lee Lorenz is one of the all-time great magazine gag cartoonists. I think the cartoon is hilarious. I’m sure his intent was not to do 100% “accurate” versions of the characters. They’re basically caricatures twice over, since they’re caricatures of cartoon characters.

  10. It’s a cartoon, people, not a documentary!

    It works.

  11. I kind of have a soft spot for off model drawings of superheroes.

  12. Tom Spurgeon says:

    That bartender is terrible. He has no neck and his head is shaped like a pontoon. Total failure.

  13. Ike Iszany says:

    Not to mention that looks more like Carnage in a thong rather than Spiderman.

  14. Jim Caldwell says:

    I thought that wasn’t Iron Man at all. Rather it was either the Crimson Dynamo or the Titanium Man.

    Perhaps he’s a Wings fan?

  15. The cartoon is pretty funny, but even more hilarious is the self righteous nerd anger over a poorly done caricature of Iron Man and Spiderman in funny underpants. Once again proving that comic book pedants are truly the worst kind.

  16. C’mon, you’d love it if it were in the new Strange Tales collection!

    And maybe it is meant to be ROM. He was published by Marvel, wasn’t he?

  17. Speaking of off-model characters and ROM, I have a Family Circus collection with a Sunday strip with Jeffy having nightmares surrounded by silhouettes of monsters, including a slightly off model Greedo, a dragon, and ROM Space Knight with a SPIKE MOHAWK. That’s right; Bill Keane improved ROM Space Knight.

  18. It’s an OK cartoon, not great. The compositon is good– the gag is visual. WHo cares if it is or isn’t Iron Man? I dont anyhow, gets the point across either way.

    Itd be much cooler if it was the Marvel heroes buying drinks for MM and DD though.

  19. Chris Duffy says:

    Good gag–great composition, has “timing” the way a good gag should. I don’t know…the Marvel characters were recognizable to me. The creepy Disney guys at the end of the bar seems perfect. Agree with Tom about the bartender though. Shows no respect for 100s of years of bartender history.


  1. […] The Beat, er, beat me to this Lee Lorenz cartoon in this week’s issue of the New Yorker (I always seem to get my subscription issue several days late), but it’s amusing enough I think to warrant reposting here. […]

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