Creating an account with gives you access to more features and services, like our weekly newsletter and other special features just for the film community.

Large mf15 still very semi serious credit liam dalzell
HBO Documentary Films

VERY SEMI-SERIOUS, 2015 TFF Documentary About New Yorker Cartoonists, is Now Playing

A charming 2015 Tribeca Film Festival world premiere arrives in theaters ahead of its HBO debut.

Very Semi-Serious — or, rather, Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists — is, like its full title, a cheekily extended and proudly unconventional examination of The New Yorker's iconic single-panel cartoons, of which this nearly century-old publication has become the uncontested master. And that's predominantly because of Bob Mankoff.

Leah Wolchok's archly winsome, Tribeca Film Institute-supported documentary, which made its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival where it was acquired by HBO's documentary films division, sets its sights on the prominent genius Mankoff and his fellow New Yorker artists, whose creations have set the gold standard for comedically-inclined cartoonists everywhere.

The film is now playing in select cities and theaters, including New York City's own Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, before it airs on HBO on Monday, December 7th. Check out the trailer below:

And be sure to check out the third season of The New Yorker's utterly delightful series, The Cartoon Lounge with Bob Mankoff, in which the artist explains the influences behind his own recent clever creations.

Very Semi-Serious is delightfully worthwhile viewing if only to see a man who has lent so much of his time laboring over subjects both ordinary and oddball become the subject himself in a project so reverently attuned to his deeply-appreciated artistic legacy.


What you need to know today