Thanksgiving cartoons are usually not my favorite to write because there’s not a lot of material to mine. But for whatever reason, this year they came relatively quickly (September!) and I squirrelled them away to draw up on a busy and/or bad writing week. Boy was I glad I did!
A few weeks back we had to travel for a family wedding and 3/4 of the Anderson family unit was sick (including me), so having these Thanksgiving cartoons at the ready came in handy. Anyway, I thought I’d share a little info on each of them to get us all in the mood for Turkey Day! Enjoy:
I’m not normally a purely visual gag kind of cartoonist. There are people that do that well, but I’ve found myself to be more interested in playing with language. This is also a fairly difficult scene to pull off, so you’d think I’d save it for last, right? Nope! I dug right in and spent most of a day on this one Thanksgiving cartoon. (Normally I can create 3 cartoons start to finish in about two hours.) I think it was worth it, but because it had me a little out of my element I’m still not sure. What do you think?
This cartoon went through all kinds of changes to the caption. At various points the turkey had ordered night vision goggles, a hot air balloon, a taxi, a trampoline and more. The trickiest part was the airline portion. I wanted to get across that the turkey was headed someplace exotic, but people calling to check on credit card charges don’t tell you what was purchased so I couldn’t write anything like “two tickets to the Bahamas.” Thankfully there’s an actual Hawaiian Airlines which solved my problem.
This Thanksgiving cartoon came to me by working backwards. “It’s a little dry” is something probably everyone has heard connected to a turkey, but I wanted to take it a show just how dry this particular bird ended up being. I was also considering putting in one of those cow skulls and some heat lines, but thought it might complicate what I was hoping to make more of a subtle joke.
This caption got completely reworked after showing it my wife. The original was “I thought Halloween was last month.” Now, my wife being the good cartoon editor she is said “Why would the pig dress up?”
“It’s not the pig, the turkey is tricking him and dressing him up so he gets eaten instead,” I explained.
“OK, but that’s not clear with that caption,” she said. And she was totally right.
It took me about an hour of deep thought (OK, 20 minutes of deep thought, some BuzzFeed browsing and a short nap) but I think adding “Thanks for the help” and the “Turkee” sign got this one working. Actually now I that I look at it I think it might be my favorite of the Thanksgiving cartoons this year. WOO!
I did a bit of research for this cartoon because stuff is always funnier if it’s accurate. (See the gourd cartoon from Halloween.) The idea here is that the therapist, while working with his client, takes a moment to get a little expert Thanksgiving advice. I’d considered giving the guy more of a hungry look, but thought that was a little easy.
This is not only the last of the new Thanksgiving cartoons, but the wordiest by far. But you know what? It was even wordier right up until I was typing in the caption. The original caption was:
“OK, last thing. It’s come to my attention that some people in the office are hanging up those little hand turkey drawings their kids made and some employees, and I’m not saying who, find those quite offensive and have complained to HR. So, if you could do me a favor and just take them down…”
Whew! Pant pant… That’s a mouthful isn’t it?! So a little pruning later it’s certainly more readable, but I have to admit it lost just a little zip.
So that’s it for this year. Feel free to head on over to the main site and check out all of my Thanksgiving cartoons. And have a great Thanksgiving!
Wanna see more blogs about Thanksgiving Cartoons? Here you go: