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Cartoonist Matthew Diffee, Making Rejection Pay

Nov 15, 2007 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Over the course of eight years, Matthew Diffee has had more than 100 of his illustrations published in the cartoonists' bible, The New Yorker.

But that magazine gets more than 500 submissions a week — and for each issue, the editors select only 20 cartoons, in a process that Diffee says may or may not involve the use of darts.

So even Diffee has had to deal with rejection. Happily, he's found a channel: His new book, featuring his own work and that of 37 other New Yorker regulars, is The Rejection Collection, Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap.

The book isn't just a collection of not-quite-right cartoons. Diffee asked the contributing cartoonists to complete a series of what he himself calls "stupid questions" for them all to fill out.

"The idea is that people know the New Yorker cartoons, but they don't know the New Yorker cartoonists," Diffee says. "And I think that's a shame, because these people are wonderful, creative, interesting people."

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