New Doc on New Yorker Cartoonists features Emily Flake, author of CP’s Lulu Eightball
Very Semi-Serious, a new documentary about the New Yorker‘s cartoonists is currently in production and raising money through Kickstarter. The film takes a, well, very semi-serious look at the people and culture behind the magazine’s iconic cartoons, including Lulu Eightball author and occasional CP illustrator Emily Flake.
“When I first started, the New Yorker may as well have been on the moon,” Flake told City Paper. “I had no idea how the submission process worked, but I thought of it as an unassailable castle. And I was just this bumbling serf.” Nevertheless, it only took her about five months of rejections before she had a cartoon accepted by the magazine.
“When I sit down to write my New Yorker submissions I have to keep their editorial tone in mind,” Flake says. “It’s not as though I have to alter my sensibility entirely, but I do have to be aware of theirs; with Lulu I can just let ‘er rip. Also, I think my drawing stiffens up for the New Yorker – I’m trying to get to a place where I like the way I draw, but that may never actually happen.”
Leah Wolchok, the film’s director says she got the idea as she obsessed over the cartoon caption contest on the back page. “For the first time, I started paying attention to the signature at the bottom of each cartoon,” she writes. After she began to notice the signatures of the individual cartoonists, she began to research their lives and rituals and ultimately asked “Why isn’t someone making a documentary about this?”