Every so often I get an email from someone who doesn’t understand one of my cartoons.
To be fair, sometimes even I don’t understand some of them. Often I think of them in the shower before my coffee, or at night when I get up to use the bathroom, and by the time I get to actually drawing them a week or so later, even I have to wonder what I was thinking.
But, those cartoons are not infrequently purchased/published, so I’ve pretty much given my brain free reign.
Here are a few that I get asked about a lot:
This one is mainly an art issue I think. For some reason that day I just found it damn impossible to draw chameleons! The joke is supposed to be that one of the chameleons is wearing camouflage to blend in even further. But when you can’t tell what the hell the two main characters are, the joke becomes a lot harder to get.
This Halloween cartoon is sort of a weird one too. The art is pretty good I think; I even looked up the original movie poster for Poltergeist to make sure I got all the details correct. Anyway, the “Bawk Baaaawk…” is supposed to be the “They’re heeeeere…” line from the movie, but maybe that’s too far back in pop culture to be immediately recognizable. Got me. It makes me laugh.
Another cartoon that I spent waaaay too much time on for sort of a lame pun. The idea here is they’re all outside, so no one will get a joke that’s apparently inside. Looking back, this shoulda hit the recycle bin…
Sometimes a cartoonist is really digging deep for subject matter, and this cartoon is the result of perhaps looking too far a field for material. The word ‘orange’ is largely considered to have no words that rhyme with it, and I thought that would really piss poets off.
You’re not missing anything in this cartoon, it’s just really weird. I think I was heavy into some Jack Ziegler at this point and this just sort of popped out.
And finally, this cartoon has caused a lot of folks to scratch their heads. The idea here doesn’t revolve around the fact that it’s the letter ‘g,’ but on the font. The font is Times New Roman (if I remember correctly) and that seems really serious to me. So I guess if a Times New Roman ‘g’ had an agent trying to get him work, it might be hard to perceive that letter as funny.
Whew! It feels good to get some of that off of my chest. I’ll dig a little deeper and see what other stuff I can find later. I’m fairly sure there are more that are confusing, obtuse, and just downright odd. (I think I just wrote my epitaph!)