Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cat Cartoons and Fat Cat Cartoons and Fat Kid Cartoons

Here are some regular cat cartoons and then a fat cat cartoon that was censored. Here we go:

A interviewer noted that I draw a lot of business cartoons. I said that the reason I do is because there are a lot of business cartoon markets. If there were a lot of cat cartoon markets, I would draw a lot of cat cartoons.

Above: the honoree at a cat surprise birthday party will, of course, get very puffed after all his or her cat friends surprise him or her. The original of this cartoon is framed and hanging in our Brooklyn vet's office.

Above: a favorite cartoon with an inky version of our beloved kitty Opie. Opie had a little grin sometimes. He was a great fellow. The cartoon was bought by Reader's Digest.

Above: Oops! Just cleansing the palate with a dog cartoon. This one was for BBC Music Magazine. The dog has those big, dark no-thinking, kinda eyes. The musicians follow along, blindly.

Above: this one was run in several publications here and in the UK.

OK, now a story that I thought I had long ago told you. (I thought I written this a couple years ago. I know I submitted the below cartoons and story to David Wallis, for his KILLED CARTOONS book.)

Yes, it's about a cat cartoon. It entails fat people, fat pets and -- in the end -- fat teenagers.

What was it? Maybe five years ago, fat people were suing the fast food restaurants, remember? Soon after, pet owners began to sue pet food manufacturers on behalf of their XXXL pets.

So I pitched a cartoon to my then-regular client, the New York Daily News. The idea was given a green light. This is the one I drew up for the NY Daily News:

I got a call from the editor as soon as I emailed it. She really sounded upset. "You can't have the man fat AND a slob. Fat people aren't necessarily sloppy housekeepers, you know?" I told her it was funny because all this irresponsible guy and his cat do all day is sit around eat, and they toss the wrappers and containers around.

Well, she was really upset. It didn't make too much sense to me. Regardless, I drew up another, sanitized version:

And she was relieved, and it ran in the paper and there was no outcry that I heard of.

Afterward, she told me that the Daily News had run a major multi-part story about obese children. For a week, articles ran about these weight-challenged kids and what their lives were like. It was meant to illuminate their worlds in a thoughtful way. And it did. But the kids' schoolmates ridiculed them. And these kids who had that thought they would be celebrities for a week, became even bigger targets of teasing. The parents of the obese children called the News, holding them liable for the bullying their kids were enduring. The News apologized and treated the kids and parents to a day at the News: a tour, a nice lunch, etc. That smoothed things over.

And it explained why, when the News shows an obese person (or cat), they are overly sensitive.

And it explained why they outright rejected this one:


Anonymous said...

ha! i love that teeter-totter one.

Sandra said...

Interesting story, Mike. It just reinforces that ol' "walk a mile in my shoes" phrase. Things always look different when you know the other side of the story.

Anonymous said...

There folling the tail wag for tempo