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The New Yorker cartoons draw on financial crisis

Want the latest sign that the US financial crisis is crossing from Wall Street to Main Street? Let the New Yorker draw you a picture.

The weekly magazine of news, culture and wry pictorials on modern life and the upper class has devoted the cartoons in its October 6 issue to fallout from the crisis.

In one, a bank teller asks a customer from behind a bulletproof window, ”Can I interest you in a faith-based account?”

Another depicts a woman at a cocktail party asking a thin-haired man wearing a pinstriped suit, ”A banker, eh? Can you make a living at that?”

A third shows a group of well-heeled plutocrats around a table, as one exclaims, ”God damn it, Kimball — for us, Main Street is Wall Street.”

This is the first time the New Yorker, owned by publishing empire Conde Nast, has devoted all the cartoons excluding the cover and small space fillers to one theme, spokesperson Alexa Cassanos said on Tuesday.

”Often for our special issues, for our fiction or money issue, we’ll include a lot of cartoons regarding a certain theme … but we’ve never done it [as] one single topic for an entire issue,” she said.

”It almost happened a little bit accidentally,” said the magazine’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, who has one submission in the current edition. ”So many good cartoons came in this week … that the quality of the material and the urgency of the topic made [editor] David [Remnick] suggest it.”

The cartoons provide their own news value to a situation that experts often describe in complicated terms, he said.

”I think humour does act as a sort of rough-and-ready BS detector,” he said.

The cartoons are also available on the New Yorker’s website. – Reuters

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