Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


Founder and frequently meddling publisher Emily Gordon writes:

In blog years, we’re very mature: Emdashes turns four today. I began it in a red-floored Chelsea loft as a labor of love, an antidepressant, and a scratch for my irrepressible itch to sample new technology. Happily, these days, Emdashes reflects the hard work and enthusiasm of many others besides me. Since my first post (about Donald Antrim’s monumental essay “I Bought a Bed”) on December 31, 2004, Emdashes has grown and progressed in innumerable ways. The site looks the way it does because of my collaboration with House of Pretty, about whose whip-smart and big-hearted proprietors, Patric King and Su, I can’t say enough. Every week, you also see the elegant creations of Inkleaf Studio’s Jesse Ewing, chic cartoonist Carolita Johnson, our own Pollux, and my best pal, designer Jennifer Hadley, who adapted a 1943 Dorothy Gray ad into the Emdashes logo you see there above (referred to in-house as “pencil girl”).

What’s more, we now have a genuine staff of editors and regular contributors—including, though not limited to, current editor and total mensch Martin Schneider, ace literary columnist Benjamin Chambers, my scholarly old friend Jonathan Taylor, and my humblingly humble, multitalented new friend Paul Morris, a.k.a. Pollux (whom you can credit for the drawing of me as a prehistoric proto-blogger at right).

I’ve loved editing, and getting to know, the kind, witty, and meticulous New Yorker librarians, Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey, who write the indispensable column “Ask the Librarians.” (Look forward to a fresh installment soon!) The virtual and real-life conversations that the blog has inspired have enhanced my life immeasurably. I’ve soaked up more of the New Yorker Festival and New Yorker Conference, and more readings, lectures, gallery shows, conversations, softball games, histories, anthologies, and other things New Yorker, than I’d ever imagined experiencing (even in my previously acute state of preoccupation). Last year, the site won the coveted distinction of being a Webby Awards official honoree. Four years later, my personal affinity for The New Yorker, and the sometimes cryptic ways in which I try to express it, is only a part of the picture.

This isn’t a blog that had any model, particularly. It’s driven by the collective bees in our bonnets, who are erratic drivers. We write about pigeons. (A lot.) We do whatever we can to make Rea Irvin a household name. I’ve banned a number of words and phrases and pontificated on punctuation. We were entertained and pleased by a large number of submissions to our rename the upside-down question mark contest. We explore the “Best American” series like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve had crazy spikes we couldn’t have predicted—at one time, this site has been the #1 world resource on both the Ricky Gervais cult sensation “I Could Eat a Knob at Night” dance remix and iPod security, not to mention a surprising magnet of commentary on Knocked Up, tacos, and Brandenn Bremmer—while equally spirited analyses are met with baffled silence. We don’t mind a bit. We’ve had fascinating comments from friends and relatives of departed New Yorker writers and artists, all of whom we try to recognize when they pass away.

And we’ve had so much fun. Here’s to the next year—is that five or ten in blog years?—whatever it may bring! Happy new year, dear readers. And to Jasmin Chua and Ashby Jones, you were there when the twinkle met the eye. Thank you.


Hurrah! It’s 2009 where I am, but not where you are. Here’s to four more, and then some!

What can I do but cheer, as I raise a chilly glass to the entire Emdashes team?

Thank you for the privilege of being part of your team! It’s been a wonderful 2008! Happy New Year, Emily, Martin, Benjamin and Jonathan! Et alii.

Congratulations! Wonderful to read your very first post just now and remember the exciting beginning. Emdashes is even better than a Dux.
(I feel too much! I feel too much.)

I love The New Yorker. It’s been a constant source of pleasure for over thirty years. Emily’s idea to start up Emdashes was inspired! I visit the site regularly. It’s great to be among fellow fans, folks who are as crazy about the magazine as I am, if not more so! Congratulations on your fourth birthday!

Have always LOVED pencil girl! Compliments to JH for converting that ad! Congratulations on 4 actual years (and TK blog years)!


Heartfelt congratulations, Em, and everyone!

Congratulations, Emily and Emdashes! Here’s wishing you four more years, and then some.

Congratulations to Emily and her team! Thank you for keeping us engaged and amused. Here is wishing you all the best in the years to come.

Congratulations on four years of welcome contributions!

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree