I create a lot of business cartoons, which is kind of ironic since I gave up my business career to draw cartoons full time. Business related cartoons seem to come relatively easy to me, and I love doing them! They're some of my absolute favorites (maybe its therapy, or revenge, or maybe a little of both)! I read up on business most days to see what's new and to keep up on the jargon. Not surprisingly I've also read my share of business cartoons.
I thought it might be interesting to compare some colletions of business cartoons from some of the major business publications out there - The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and the New Yorker. (OK, the New Yorker isn't technically a business magazine, but I needed another book!)
(Note - Just so we're on the up and up here, my business cartoons have been published in both Barron's and The Wall Street Journal. I'll also be listing the books alphabetically to avoid any favoritism.)
Published by Prentice Hall Press in 1999, this collection of business cartoons begins with a pleasant foreword by Edwin A. Finn, Jr., editor and president of Barron's. It's a nice introduction and I get the feeling that Finn has a real affinity for the cartoons and cartoonists that appear in his publication.
The book, although the smallest of the three, has 100 business cartoons by artists including fellow Harvard Business Review regular Leo Cullum, Roy Delgado, P.C. Vey and Mick Stevens (who supplied the cartoon for the cover) to name just a few.
There's some great stuff in here. One of my favorites is a Thomas Cheney cartoon showing a man behind a desk talking to another man (possibly an applicant?) while various fights, chokings and chases ensue behind them through the office's windows. The caption reads "As you may have already gathered, we're family-owned-and-operated."
Another classic is Cullum's boardroom with downward trending graphs. The man at the head of the table is obviously angry and confronts one of the workers with 'What happened, Caswell? You were in charge of the feng shui.'
But it's not all just business cartoons either. Barron's includes a smattering of other cartoons like Nick Downes' optometrist with a baseball bat throwing a pair of glasses into the air saying "Here's something else you should never do with your glasses."
All in all, every cartoon is solid both in art and humor, and a few are laugh-out-loud funny. Finn and art director Pamela Budz have a superb volume on their hands here. Highly recommended!