OK, folks, here it is: our critically autocratic and methodologically suspect rankings of the New Yorker's 2009 cartoonists.* We've trekked through the magazine's world of cocktail swillers, bickering spouses, and talking bowling pins in an effort to determine who was best this past year at the vaunted art of the captioned doodle.
While Paul Noth deservedly takes top honors, following Danny Shanahan's win in 2008, we'd like to have seen the talented Zachary Kanin finish even higher—the guy can be pretty great, but finished a bit down in the standings because of so many entries that didn't quite measure up. More editing next year, sir!
In addition to our favorite cartoons, pictured at left, we were also quite fond of Noth's February 9 & 16 "credit-default swaps" cartoon, as well as two by Bruce Eric Kaplan: his January 19 "fable" cartoon and his July 20 "Everyone's a bottomless pit of something" cartoon.
Some lessons learned this year: Recession does not bring out the best in most satirists; Roz Chast continues to have problems delivering on her setups; and cats and dogs are apparently still different.
*Based on a minimum of 10 appearances. "Amusing percentage" ties went to the cartoonist with most good cartoons.