about Robert Leighton

Asked why Robert Leighton creates cartoons and puzzles, two apparently different kinds of work, he replied: “I think a puzzle is like a cartoon, like a joke, because the puzzle is the setup and the solution is the punch line. A good puzzle keeps you in suspense while you’re working on it, like a cartoon. And the ‘aha!’ is the equivalent of the laugh when a joke is resolved.” Born in 1960, after Leighton graduated from college, he was interested in the possibility of finding employment as both a humor writer and illustrator, and so he went to work as an editor for Games magazine, which hired him on the basis of his humor writing. After leaving Games, he and Mike Shenk and Amy Goldstein, who also had both worked at Games, went on to form a puzzle company called Puzzability.

Since 2002, Robert has been a regular contributor of single-panel cartoons to The New Yorker. His first published work appeared in Bananas magazine. He was a contributor of cartoons, puzzles, and other humorous articles to Nickelodeon Magazine and has illustrated a number of books, including What’s Going on Down There?, a book about puberty, and Poop Happened! A History of the World From the Bottom Up, a book about human sanitation throughout history. Robert lives and works in New York City.


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