Monday, July 11, 2011

New Yorker’s unfinished cover contest

The New Yorker’s most popular feature is its “Cartoon Caption Contest,” where readers provide captions for unfinished cartoons.

Now, it seems, the magazine has slyly provided its readers with another invitation: the “Unfinished Cover Contest.” The July 4 cover by George Booth features a dog in a window above a sea of flags. Like a standup comic leaving convenient spaces for hecklers to fill, Mr. Booth drew a blank for the left half of his picture, awaiting the pens of GurneyJourney readers.

Here’s my entry, called “Pendent Independent.” I’m not sure if this is an official contest yet, but it will become one if they get enough submissions.

I’m sending in mine today, and I encourage you to do so as well.

Here's a contribution called "The Debt Ceiling" by Larry Roibal. 

Digital submissions can be addressed to Françoise Mouly, cover art editor of the New Yorker, subject line “Unfinished Cover Contest” to Ms. Mouly's assistant Emily Kan (; 

or you can mail original modified covers to the following address:

The New Yorker
C/o Emily Kan
4 Times Square
New York, NY 10036

Email a JPEG to me, too (, and I’ll post a few at the end of the month.

The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Book
Wikipedia on George Booth 
Addendum: Finalists of the Contests 
New Yorker blog post about the contest


Eugen Caitaz said...

Hi James!!! i want to participate in this contest but i little don't understand -how i can do it? At the first, I need to print this Mr. Booth's picture, and after to drawn my skeetch at the left side?

Eugen Caitaz said...

What is the deadline I can send you my work?

James Gurney said...

Jenea, Best thing would be to find a real copy of the Magazine and draw on it. (Every magazine that enters our house gets drawn on.)

I guess you could also do digital art over the file at the beginning of the post, or print it out and draw on it.

Of course this contest isn't sanctioned by New Yorker (yet), just by me at GurneyJourney. It's more of a spontaneous crowd-sourced agit-prop. The deadline for jpegs sent to me is the end of this month. If the New Yorker doesn't acknowledge winners, I certainly will.

Eugen Caitaz said...

James! you know...I live in one small country from est Europe, and here..I just cannot find this amazing magazine..but i can print it..and drawn something on it!

Dan dos Santos said...

Great idea, James!
Here's mine... already submitted.

P.T. Waugh said...

When I saw this cover in person I did a google search to see if there was a joke I had missed. I just didn't get it. Is there a joke?

P.T. Waugh said...

Oh waaaaiiittt... It's an English Bull Terrier. Joke? Right?

Rich said...

Sometimes the unfinished looks better than the finished.
Open range for people's imagination perhaps?

Same I have noticed with certain step-by-step "How To Paint" books.
An antecedent step looking better, and more inviting to imagination, than the finished product/result.

Unknown said...

LOL, nice joke. I'll see if I can come up with anything. I'd like to see the looks on their faces when they open a package of images with "finished" work for their cover. Kind of a good marketing idea, actually....

Kim Rempel said...

Cool! Wow - I love that cover art!