Monday night I was waiting for my late night spot at Broadway comedy club and my friend (and fellow comic) Ethan also had some time to kill, so we slipped out to an all-night diner across the street to write.
He was scribbling away, manic as ever, while I drew up a few cartoons to pitch to the New Yorker the next morning. I needed the right light to take photos of the drawings with the Adobe Scan app on my phone, so I had him hold up the drawings for me.
Anyway, while he was being nice and holding up the pictures for me he pitched an idea that I thought was pretty funny — he said, “What about a cartoon of Putin sitting all smug with a whole bunch of ‘I Voted” stickers plastered all over him.
Actually pretty funny, I thought. So I drew it up and pitched it to the New Yorker the next day. It would have been a nice little collaboration.
Pick up a copy of this week's New Yorker and swiftly flip to page 45 to cop an eyeful of this wee scribble.
You can hear it being plucked from the ether on our weekly podcast "Is There Something In This?" with myself and Scott Dooley, wherever you listen to your pods.
This one is discussed on Episode #8: 'Larry Juice', which you can hear excerpted below:
I spent this afternoon as I often do; weeping uncontrollably while looking at other cartoonists' work on Mike Lynch's incredible cartoon blog, when I realised every cartoonist who pitches cartoons has a different idea of how rough their roughs should be.
When we cartoonists sit in the cartoon lounge each week at the New Yorker waiting to see the Cartoon Editor, we sometimes allow each other to peek at our batch (if we brought one) and see what we were schilling that week. While one cartoonist has fully-finished cartoons, another might have a loosely drawn pencil rough of the toon, usually indicating the strength of the gag really lies in the words for that one. My batch usually has a combination of both finished toons and pencil roughs.
To give you an idea of how rough my 'roughs' are, here's a toon I pitched in a batch for the magazine, which they later bought as a daily cartoon.
The short answer is: it's as rough as it needs to be to service the gag. Does that make sense?
After they buy it, I clean it up and draw it a bit nicer. It seems as though 9 times out of 10 I hate my tightened-up drawings because I lose the spontaneity of the pencils, but such is life. I'm sure one day I'll find the balance between roughly scribbling on the subway and overdrawing a cartoon to within an inch of its life.
Okay, even I admit this is a terrible pun. But I couldn't not draw it.
“Good afternoon, ma’am. Have you discovered Crossfit?”