1. I think Steig knew what he was doing when he ended it with an ellipsis. The point is that given her appearance, nobody in their right mind could possibly be interested in whatever she is about to write. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it would be impossible to up the ante by extending the caption, but I think the author has set a fairly high standard to improve upon.

  2. I fid a quick Google search for Steig, found out that he also drew the book “Shrek” (among others).
    My assumption of his thought process is: “Does this make sense? Okay, into one of my books. If not…meh: New Yorker.”

  3. A possible laugh-point here is that she doesn’t stick with the conventional “Dear Diary” but goes beyond and tosses in that “darling”. Whether or not the actual events of her life are fulfilling, writing them up for the diary is a big part of her focus in life now.

  4. American composer Ned Rorem recently died, at age 99. His music was I think pretty well-respected, but doesn’t mean much to me.

    But he is perhaps more famous for publishing several volumes of his sometimes scandalous Diaries.

  5. @ Powers – I am willing to admit that a woman who is wider than she is tall and hangs little models of the Taj Mahal from her earlobes could very well still enjoy a fulfilling (even exciting) love life, but I personally don’t want to imagine or read about it. Yes, this is an unfair stereotype, but that is (frequently) what comics are all about.

  6. “Dear diary” is, supposedly, a common salutation for diary entries. Since diary entries fall into the “dear” category, and since her diary seems to be a precious part of her (most likely) otherwise not very interesting life, “Dear darling diary” is in the same general class as “Dear darling Jack”would be in a love letter.

  7. I can imagine the rest of the entry filled with “darling” people, the “cutest” dresses, the “most divine” desserts and other overuses of more wonderful adjectives than Hemmingway would use in an entire short story.

  8. This is Dame Edna Everage. Yes, she was well known way back in 1972. “Dear Darling Diary” is exactly how Dame Edna would write, if she were to write in a diary. As far as I know she is still active today, entertaining her darling possums.


    A lot of Steig New Yorker illustrations are not gags but just little quirky drawings, and I guess this is one of them.

  9. I just took it as a Bit Too Much, appropriate for a self-satisfied woman whose furniture and costume are likewise a Bit Too Much. It may well be Dame Edna, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Ronald Searle did a set of cartoons on the same theme: An uptight businessman detailing trivial expenditures; a buxom vamp whose sly smile is at odds with her remorseful text; a schoolboy reporting a trip to the cinema and then adding, in backward writing, “Betty Hutton is a smasher”; and a dramatic young lady writing “History must be my judge”.

  10. To answer this question: “It looks like we only have part of a caption here. Can you finish it?”

    How about…

    “…David, my true darling, is dead.”

  11. To answer this question: “It looks like we only have part of a caption here. Can you finish it?”

    “I asked my brothers John and Michael, but they say they haven’t heard from Peter in many years now either. I suspect TinkerBell has poisoned his mind against me.”

  12. It took me a couple minutes to figure out that Stan and Shrug are playing off the fact that Darling is the surname of the girl Wendy in Peter Pan.

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