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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Round Clown

Who didn't love those crazy fun house mirrors when we were kids. Since I was a skinny youngster I preferred the mirror that made me look short and stocky, like a real tough guy. I imagined MYSELF doing some bullying for a change, instead of using my long, skinny legs to RUN from trouble. I'm jealous of Blippo here, who owns his very own mirror. I always wanted one of those... sniff.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Weird Chameleon

I dug into the archives tonight and found this odd cartoon. This was done in the early 80s, back before I really understood how to create a gag. At that time most of my ideas were more weird than funny. A chameleon doing inventory on his fly snacks would qualify as pretty weird, especially since it's not really related to the actual word play about his eyes. One thing I've learned is you can't have two funny ideas going at the same time within a panel cartoon, conflicting with each other and diluting the focus of the humor. Most cartoonist's minds are racing with crazy ideas, so it takes a lot of discipline to filter all that down into one solid gag that makes sense. It took me years to figure this out, and I'm still learning.

I believe my fascination with the single-panel cartoon rather than strip cartoons is in the challenge of fine-tuning a single moment, with all the information, staging and story telling frozen in time perfectly. You can't set the stage a minute before the event takes place, or the momentum is compromised, a minute later and the message is confusing. It's like dialing in a radio signal for clarity. You need to give just enough information, but not all, in order to engage the reader's imagination. A gag is working when the audience is part of the process, when their mind completes the riddle; give them too much information and they might feel you're talking down to them. Anyway, I think I've figured out how to do it, but I still struggle with each one. I suppose I always will, the proof is in the trash can I fill with rejected jokes every week, and the occasional clunker I post right here on this blog. Your comments help me a lot in that area, so thanks again for that. -Ted

Oh yeah; as an art director I'm known for being quite a stickler about having the correct ellipses in artwork. So it amuses me greatly to see the jar lid I drew on the desk top in this cartoon. It's so wrong it's ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Silence, Please!

I wonder, do they really have card-stacking competitions? Would you have to take your shoes off and talk in a whisper like they do during televised golf? Would it be okay to laugh out loud when someone's card stack comes crashing down? Or would that be forbidden. I only start to think about things like this AFTER I finish my cartoon ideas.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

As The Sun Slowly Sets...

I'd rant on and on about this one, but I have to go grab something to eat before Boardwalk Empire starts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ventriloquists Of The Wild West

Just a quickie here, been kind of busy with work. I don't know if it's that funny but it was certainly fun to draw.
I wonder if there was ever a time when people thought that ventriloquist dummies were actually talking to them? And I wonder when the first ventriloquist waltzed into town to try it out?