Not buying: the new stealing

Here’s my cartoon in this week’s New Yorker, done with Black Friday in mind. But it could also apply to anytime in December, or early January, or President’s weekend if it was at a car dealership, or Valentine’s Day, or – you get the idea. This is America, after all. Does anybody else sometimes feel like you’ve got to sneak out of a store if you’ve been there awhile and haven’t bought anything?

My initial sketch cut the figures off at the knees, which is an awkward place to do it. The are no rules for this kind of thing, at least nowhere in the Constitution that I can find, but generally if you’re gonna crop a cartoon person you do it around the waist. When I went to do the final drawing for this, though, I decided to include the full figures. Because this scenario presents something of a physical confrontation and not just a line of witty dialogue it seemed to warrant that arrangement. When this cartoon is adapted for an off-Broadway show, the director may want to do the blocking differently. I’ll leave that up to him.

Happy shopping!

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Paleo Gym

I’m in the New Yorker again this week with a cartoon began as this idea:

gymcolorYup. “The gym,” with some cavemen standing around and large boulders on the ground. It’s a fragment of an idea, that I wrote down a while ago and figured that I’d do something with it later. But I kept looking at it and thinking “meh” and moving on to other fully-realized ideas. This happens a lot. When I go to draw my weekly batch, I paw through my sketchbook and if a concept requires too much work, then sometimes I leave it for another day.

I did that a couple times with this, but then I must have had just the right amount of coffee, because I realized all it needed was a simple scenario to illustrate it.

gymFor a moment I considered trying to invent a clever prehistoric treadmill, or some primitive version of a modern stationary bike or elliptical machine using a pterodactyl or something, but that seemed to make the joke weaker. The pile of rocks was enough. Things were, you know, simpler back then.

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And here’s the final version that ran.

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What does your wine label say about you?

I don’t know anything about wine (although I did this cartoon about the language of wine). I prefer whiskey, honestly. But sometimes you have to buy a bottle of wine. And when I do, I’m just as likely to be influenced by the label as anything else, because – yeah, art. I made a list over at Curator about the different categories of wine label design, and what each says about it’s buyer. Read it here.

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Wrecking Brush

The 21st Precinct police building, on East 22nd St in New York City, is a long-defunct building targeted for demolition. But before it gets the wrecking ball, it is the temporary home of a plethora of great wall art, curated by Robert Aloia. Brooklyn Street Art has the story behind the exhibit as well as a good documentation of images, so I won’t merely repost anything that you can see there. But I went to the opening this weekend (it is up for one more week) and here are some shots from that. It was hot, crowded, and claustrophobic, but as they wrote at BSA, there aren’t too many things like this in Manhattan. As Gothamist put it, it was “four floors of dope.”

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While Supplies Last!

I just uploaded a t-shirt design to TeePublic. It’s only $14 today, but will be $20 after. Hey, I think it’s worth it at either price, but why not get it now?

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Cooling it

It’s suddenly that time of year when my hand is sticking to the page, because of the humidity. It’s time to break out those cooling summer cartoons! An issue of the New Yorker makes a nice face shield. And you can use the back issues – you know you’ve got them lying around – to cover your other body parts.

I did this one a few years ago and am still waiting for the movie to be made about this summer superhero.

spf super heroFor this week’s issue I thought of a similar idea. Full disclosure: I got my grad school degree in drawing shade. My professors said it was at least 5 degrees cooler than the other students. So it seems like a good thing for me to focus on.

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Mashed

I was already a fan of Fela Soul, Amerigo Gazaway’s full album mashup of Fela Kuti and De La Soul tunes, so when he asked me to do the cover for Yasiin Gaye, the second volume of his project mashing up the music of Mos Def and Marvin Gaye, it took me a hot second to mull it over before saying yes.

The record has something of a backstory. Gazaway’s previous release, Bizarre Tribe, which set the vocals from The Pharcyde over the music of A Tribe Called Quest, met a quick internet death.  It was effectively shut down by Sony, who cited copyright infringement despite the fact that Gazaway wasn’t actually sampling ATCQ – he was sampling the same jazz and funk recordings that the Tribe had sampled for their recordings. Big fat irony, right? (For a fantastic documentary on the evolution of the fair use exception in regard to art in general and remix/mashup music in particular, watch RIP: A Remix Manifesto, which features Girl Talk.)

So, this new release felt like it had a mission, like it was part of a thrill ride, or more to the point, a chase. And that was reflected in the imagery that we chose. This was an initial contender: 06

but in the end we chose to make it an airplane or a spaceship, because that seemed to fit better. And it wasn’t going to be so much of an action scene, but more of a conceptual journey, with Gazaway piloting Yasiin Bey and Marvin Gaye to new heights as they confabbed about their new venture.

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and after a few drafts it came together nicely.

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For the reverse side  click here to finish reading this post

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