Why This Cartoon Doesn’t Work (I Think) #4

OK, time for a stinker:


This one’s fairly recent, but I still dunno what I was thinking.

The art:

Not bad really. The characters pretty much look like who they’re supposed to, although the Muppet across from the Count is hard to recognize. (It’s Elmo.)

Why I felt the need to add Cookie Monster in the next room I have no idea. It just confuses things more.

The joke:

The gag was intended to be that Sesame Street characters all use the Count for their accounting needs come April 15th because he’s good with counting.

*chirp chirp chirp*

Yeah. Real knee slapper, huh?


The sale:

Nope. No takers, and I can’t blame them.


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Why This Cartoon Doesn’t Work (I Think) #2

OK, now the flip side. Here’s one that’s an oldie and a baddie:


The gag here is that the men are all outside, and so none of them get the inside joke.


Let’s look at the art:

As is usually the case with a really bad cartoon, I spent a fair amount of time on the art. There was a lot of scenery to do, four characters in different poses and nowhere to hide any bodies, and a decent amount of shading to get the night effect right.

Also, you’ll notice that I used a white airbrush in Photoshop around the border to crop a crappy composition.

Add to it that the guy talking takes a minute to find, and it’s a train wreck from start to finish.

On to the joke:

Actually, I sort of like the gag, but I’m not sure there’s a way to do the art successfully enough to really get it across quickly. And, OK, the joke is weak.

Also, it kinda gets you thinking “is the joke here that there is no joke? Is that the ‘inside joke?'” Which is just a mess.

And the sale:

Nada. Nothing. No one ever bought this, liked it, or understood it. And I really can’t blame them.

So there’s a big fat failure, and not the last. More to come soon…

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Glorious Failure, and Plenty of It

I was talking about failing and failing often earlier in the week, and I ran across this Henry Martin book, “Good News – Bad News.”


Martin is one of my favorite cartoonists, and goodness knows he was successful, but when I got to the back of the book, I noticed how many of the cartoons were listed as ‘previously unpublished.’ (Click on the images to see larger ones…)



There’s a lot of failure in the back of that book; a lot of really good, useful, necessary failure.

And that’s why Martin sold so much.

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