Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How'd I Do That? Pt.1

Ninety percent of the people who contact me want to know the same thing. My reply is always the same: You'll get paid as soon as I have the money. Occasionally someone will also ask about the process I go through when creating a cartoon. They'll usually say something like 'If I sat around all day I couldn't come up with a single joke.' While this is meant as a complement it always strikes me as somewhat less than well thought out. It makes want to find a surgeon and say that if I had an entire afternoon I wouldn't be able to figure out how to transplant a kidney. Not that I'm comparing cartooning to surgery. For instance it's probably a bad idea to perform surgery while siting on your couch in your pajamas.

Anyway, the first step in creating a cartoon is coming up with a joke, or, as those of us in the business say, a gag. This takes time. I either sit around with a pad or do something else, like my taxes, with a pad in arm's reach. During this process I'm thinking about phrases or topics that might lend themselves to gags. I'll sometimes listen to the radio or read the paper with the hopes of getting my brain going. When I do get rolling-and this is important-I write down anything that seems like a gag I might want to use. I don't trust my memory in this situation. As soon as something else enters my mind, like another joke, a screaming offspring, a screaming wife, a police officer asking why my entire family is screaming, the gag will be pushed out of my mind and into oblivion.

For this exercise we're going to focus on the gag at the bottom of the page I've scanned. It reads: "I'm not interested in things that don't kill me but make me stronger. I'm interested in things that don't kill me and make me rich." I sometimes wind up changing the wording, but for now, that's the gag. Tune in in a couple of days and I'll post the rough pencil drawing that will be miraculously transformed into a soon to be classic cartoon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Less is More . . . Unless it's Less

By now careful readers of this blog will have picked up on my schedule; new posts every day for about two weeks, then nothing for 3 months. At least I 'm sticking to a schedule that doesn't overwhelm the blogosphere. Too much of a good thing can be a real problem.

Here's a recent cartoon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm really glad I don't work in an office.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Career for my Next Life

When I'm not busy making millions cartooning I dream about making millions making music.

In my next post I promise not to use the word 'making' quite so often.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here's a cartoon that was in the Wall Street Journal last month. My work has been appearing in their Pepper & Salt feature for over 20 years.

The cartoons in the WSJ tend to have a business slant and usually no political component. That's a good thing because as someone who tends to lean to the left I'd probably be a bad fit for them if politics were an issue. That said, I used to do a lot of work for the National Review. At one point I was in every issue for over a year. Shortly after that they got a new editor with a whole new sense of humor and taste in cartoons. That happens in this business. One day your a valued contributor to a major political journal, the next day you're just some poorly dressed dude working in your basement.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's His Face from U2

Just put together my daughter's first bed. Probably should have waited until she, my son, and our beagle puppy were not around. Big mistake.

This caricature of Bono is from an old sketchbook. I think it was done one or two years ago. I should probably date my sketchbook drawings.


Friday, August 28, 2009

A while back the local sports talk radio station- ESPN 980- here in DC asked me to do a series of cartoons for their website focusing on their afternoon drive show; The Sports Reporters. This was a cool gig for me because I listen to that station, and in particular, that show, in the late afternoon when I'm sort of half working/half hanging out with my kids. The show is hosted by Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban (he also does the Fox morning sports show). Anyway, one of the hosts killed the project because he wasn't crazy about being made to look sort of goofy. My feeling is that if you don't want to be portrayed in tights and a cape you have no business hosting a radio show. It's possible I could be wrong about that. This was my favorite of the bunch.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm not going to be updating this thing every day. I'll probably shoot for a few times per week. Nevertheless, here's another cartoon that I drew a few days ago. Maybe for my next post I'll scan a caricature from my sketch book.

Okay . . . back to work.

Visit my website

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now What?

I had some trouble deciding how start my first blog post. I considered:
"It was the best of blogs, it was the worst of blogs . . ." Too literary.
"Call me Ishmael" Too whale-like. And finally, "Why is this blog different from all other blogs?" Too Jewish.

Anyway, since the purpose of this blog is to increase my web presence and hopefully move my website up in the Google rankings to generate more business, here's a cartoon.

Click to visit my website.