I believe that when you are writing you need to know when you are done, and you need to know when to listen to criticism.  I am not an expert on either of those things, but I am going to show you three examples of my cartoons where I believe things ran amuck.  Three examples where, for a variety of reasons, I got it wrong.

This first example was from 1/9/05.  This is the first Sunday strip after the birth of the twins. 

1/9/05

I like this strip and I can see nothing wrong with it, but my editor wouldn’t let it run as is.  (Actually, if I remember correctly, my usual editor was on vacation at the time, but let’s just say that the decision was out of my hands).  First of all, Eve’s groaning in the fifth panel while she was nursing was deemed too graphic (even though she is quite deliberately all covered up), and the punchline was too harsh.  Who in their right minds would chloroform an infant?  Well, that was the point, actually.  They don’t own chloroform, they love their child, but they are tired and making sick jokes.  But I had to change the punchline in case people didn’t get that.  So here is the second version; the version that ran.

1/9/04 final version

I don’t think this version is anywhere near as funny as the first, and it made me sad to not have a real say in this.  This is an example where I think the editing process kind of ruined a cartoon for me.  It was better before it started being fiddled with.

This next example is one where I edited it before I even turned it in.  I just knew the punch line, as written, was too dirty for print so I changed it before anyone saw it.  I think that once again the editing process ruined a cartoon, but this time I did it to myself and I HAD to, because there is really no way it could have run as is.  There are standards, you know.  Here’s the toon in question.

Originally ran in 1/07

The original punch line had Manny saying, “What is WRONG with me?  Am I growing a vagina?!”  And Eve snapping back, “…and here I thought you were just happy to see me.”  I have never seen the word vagina on the comics page, and I think that’s probably for the best. 

…But I still think it was a pretty funny punch line…

This last example is a cartoon that never ran because it sucks and makes no sense at all.  I can see NOW that is sucks but at the time I thought it was funny and I was beyond irritated that my editor didn’t get it and asked that I provide a substitute.  Looking at this NOW, I can see that she was absolutely right and I am grateful to her for her wisdom.

Unpublished horrible cartoon

If I remember correctly, the point of this cartoon is just that the wet man with the umbrella has irritated the woman and she is making a blasphemous remark when this random dude makes a random observation that I thought was funny and true.  None of the people on the elevator know each other (well, except for Eve and her twins), and the HUGE looming plant on the left side serves no purpose except to fill up an otherwise blank wall in the cartoon.  WHY I thought this was funny, I’ll never know. 

So, what was my point in this blog post?  What did I learn?  What did all this teach me?

…Hell if I know.

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