30 JANUARY 1942, Page 20

The 1942 New Yorker Album. (Hamish Hamilton. r5s.) The New

Yorker was at one time the best comic paper in the English-speaking world. When it first found its way to England its merits were quickly recognised by the intelligent to whom Punch, with its standardised type of humour, had long become wearisomely monotonous. Here was a fresh, lively, witty paper that reflected the contemporary world as Punch had ceased to do. The smart and fishionable took it up, so that in some circles even to glance at Punch was a solecism nobody outside the suburbs dared commit. The New Yorker was paid even the final tribute of imitation, and a new comic paper, Night and Day, was founded in London which was an almost exact copy of its New York rival. This lack of originality was one of the many signs of our pre-war decadence. But now, alas! readers and inspectors of this 1942 album, which claims to contain " the cream of New York humour for the past two years," will find that it suffers from precisely the same defect as our pre-war Punch. It has become the repository of the conventional and the obvious, in a cruder form than its British rival, and—apart from rare flashes—its humour now is .too much of the smoking-room order.