The publication of the Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker (there are two CD-ROMs included with the 9 pound book that hold all 68,647 cartoons ever published) reminds Gothamist of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine can't figure out what a New Yorker cartoon is about:
Elaine: Look at this cartoon in the New Yorker, I don't get this.
Jerry: I don't either.
Elaine: And you're on the fringe of the humor business.
George comes in
Elaine: Hey! George look at this.
George: That's cute.
Elaine: You got it?
George: No , never mind.
Elaine: Come on , We're two intelligent people here. We can figure this out. Now we got a dog and a cat in an office.
Jerry: It looks like my accountant's office but there's no pets working there.
Elaine: The cat is saying "I've enjoyed reading your E-mail".
George: Maybe it's got something to do with that 42 in the corner.
Elaine: It's a page number.
George: Well , I can't crack this one.
And then Elaine confronts a New Yorker editor about this, who claims to know what it's about, but then admits he published it because "he liked the kitty." If Gothamist were editing the cartoon, that's probably what our MO would be, because when we don't understand the cartoon, we take comfort that it might be a Barsotti Pup.
Jeff Danziger, political cartoonist, reviews the book for the Christian Science Monitor, saying that the book is still a "major accomplishment," even though a sad thing he notices is that real drawing isn't taught anymore. John McWhorter discussed how most of the cartoons depict a white New York, whereas New York is very multi-culti, on NPR.