Tag Archives: cartoon
I’ve never been to Burning Man, but my cartoon in this week’s New Yorker asks whether the festival has turned from a small countercultural freakfest into a corporate theme park of an event, as cited by this New York Times article from last year. Then again, all of these events are starting to feel the same, as the below pictures from this year’s Goldman Sachs annual board meeting show.
The fact checkers at the New Yorker magazine are famous for their thoroughness, but they might have (spoiler alert: football analogy coming) dropped the ball on my most recent cartoon, which I think I drew during a power outage. I’ll detail these errors so that you, the readers, don’t have to. Where to start?
1) If you are an art student who has been instructed in the correct use of linear perspective, you might notice that the table kind of disappears at the far end. In fact, if you trace the edges of it, you’ll find that the table has this shape:
2) It’s pretty hard to drink a glass of wine through a football helmet’s face mask. They are just posing with them.
3) Oops! No silverware.
4) Nobody is Tebowing in the end zone, which means that it’s pretty obvious that the cartoon was drawn in early October, and therefore not in touch with the current national zeitgeist.
5) There are 12 men at the dinner table, which is one too many according to NFL rules, and clearly a penalty. This touchdown should have been called back. What’s ironic is that there’s no delay of game penalty. Because there’s no silverware, the meal is over pretty quickly.
6) You would never know this by looking at the cartoon, but it’s the 4th quarter, and the team that is celebrating is still behind in this game, 31-10. There is no reason for them to be celebrating.
7) This is also very self-serving of me, but the players aren’t actually talking about the game (maybe because they’re behind 31-10). They’re trying to think of captions for my last caption contest cartoon with the hippo. It’s so meta!
We did this a few weeks ago, so let’s try it again just for fun. Here’s what I sketched when I had the original ‘a-ha’ about a guy whose couch was so filled with leftovers from previous dinners that he had to get gutters installed. It’s about somebody else, naturally.
It needed a bit more fleshing out to be understood. Who is that person looking over his shoulder?
This is the last step in getting it to be a submission-worthy sketch. Yes, I sometimes sign my sketches. Why? No idea.
And this is what it looks like in this week’s issue of the New Yorker. Page 80 if you have one of the printed thingys.
The original art for this cartoon is still available here, for anybody who considers themselves a part of the hot, sweaty, art-buying public.
What better way to celebrate the confirmation of our SXSW panel on words & images than with caption shop talk?
There are some cartoon tropes that lend themselves to endless variations: the grim reaper, the desert island, the guru on the mountain, the government of the United States. And then there are things that are in themselves so absurd that they are difficult to add humor to: again, the government of the United States. But another example of this is wine. The language of wine tasting is inherently ridiculous. When you talk about wine you’re allowed to give it all kinds of flavors and characteristics that aren’t really there: trees, nuts, leaves, flesh, backbones, noses, legs, a short temper. It’s almost theological. The language associated with tasting wine is similar. I still have no idea what a “long finish” is besides the amount of time it takes the next day to get rid of a really bad wine headache.
And so, every time I try to think of a good wine cartoon, I end up in the same rut. You can twist wine language in all kinds of ways: it’s got a crooked nose, it’s got a full body but don’t call it fat, it’s got a 7:30 train to Seacaucus – but it always struck me that none of it is as funny as what real wine experts say. It seems so ripe for parody, but in reality the best way to parody it is to just leave it alone. It is probably the same approach that should be taken with cartoons about Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
It’s why I was so pleased that the good editors at the New Yorker published this cartoon this week, after helping me tweak the caption a little bit. It’s one of the only wine ideas of mine that ever made it out of the notebook and onto scratchboard (besides this silly one). It seemed like a good twist on the whole thing. While financial language isn’t absurd, it does have it’s own set of semi-intelligible jargon, and it’s a logical idea that your stereotypical Wall Street types who are experienced drinkers would also be interested in the financials of a wine brand. There are lots of ways that you could write the caption, but to my mind it had to sound both like opaque wine language and like they were describing a specific company. It had to blur the analytical and the experiential. And also it had to sound completely natural.
So, mission accomplished. And now, back to doing cartoons about vodka, which is a heck of a lot easier.
At last night’s Steam Powered Hour at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, I had the privilege of joining a great Halloween-themed multimedia event: horror/suspense writer Jack Ketchum read one of his stories, and I did a live illustration for it, along with illustrator Natalie Ascencios. Kris Gruen and the Bowman sisters accompanied on music. Here’s a little teaser montage for the second of Jack’s stories, with drawing by Felipe Gallindo, Matthew Diffee, and R. Sikoryak, and music by Jacob Tilove, Rick Snell, Bridget Kearney, and the Party People: