Friday, November 21, 2008

Legal Cartoons by Mike Lynch

It's hard to write about stuff you don't know.

I don't know about lawyers, but, being an American, I am entitled to my uninformed opinion of what lawyers are like. Below are some law cartoons.

Above: I was at my Mom's a couple of years ago. This was over a holiday and I had to draw a couple of cartoons while I was away. Mom retired a while ago and ever since, she's been painting. Her watercolors have been in dozens of gallery shows. She had some paper and a conte crayon, so I used that to draw up a couple of my own cartoons. Above is one example.

When I first found out that there was a market for lawyer cartoons, I was concerned that I could not really draw that many cartoons about them. I'm not a lawyer. All I know I learned from watching LA LAW, JUDGE JUDY and movies like WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. Then I remembered an anecdote that Gene Roddenberry told. In 1965, when STAR TREK was in development, Roddenberry went around to his writer colleagues and asked them to contribute some story outlines. Most of them were not science fiction fans, and they told him they couldn't write for the genre. Gene countered with the point that they weren't cowboys, but they had written TV westerns; they weren't cops, but they had written cop shows. So, I'm not a lawyer, but I can write about them.

Here is the problem: there are some publications that lawyers buy, and the editors are looking for cartoon content. Now, you can't just do some "ambulance chaser" of "First, we kill all the lawyers" kinda hostile jokes. You can't pick on the audience. Above is a silly bit of nonsense showcasing the problems with a binding contract. The "his computer's an Etch-a-Sketch" puts this over the top.

Above: there's a whole whirlwind of action in this as the woman (l.) looks up at Death, and the fellow (r.) runs over to the wraith, asking him to forestall fate until the paperwork is signed. My favorite touch: the soot falling from Death's palsy outstretched hand.

And, yes, McKimson is a tribute to the Warner animation director.

Lobbyists can do more for you than your lawyer or your mother. Harvard Business Review bought this one real quick.

Above: naming rights are a way for municipalities to make money. For instance, a lot of the buildings and stadiums built in the past decade are named after corporations. These corporations pay a lot of money to the city for the privilege of having their name on the new ballparks and so on.

Above: I think we all know that when there are large paperwork errors, it will take time to straighten things out. Think MUNRO by Jules Feiffer, about the little boy drafted into the army. The little boy will have to stay in the army because NO ONE in the military echelon will admit they made a mistake. The above fellow is going to be stuck with his lawyer's kids for quite some time.

Above: the "covered for huff and puff" cartoon has been popular. Note how the guilty wolf doesn't even show, he just sends his lawyer in.

Above: for some reason, I am good at drawing hair. I just am. I don't know why.

It occurred to me that there was no contract regarding reasons for Adam & Eve's expulsion from Paradise, and that God's decision should at least be open to arbitration.

Above: I like cartoons that make you wonder a little bit. With this one, what on Earth did this poor partner do to his law firm colleagues to make them hate him so vehemently?


Sandra said...

Great post, Mike and funny cartoons!

Brian Fies said...

Great stuff, Mike. I like God's hands--like, he's just finished very patiently explaining his position and is just about ready to make with the thunderbolts. And having the serpent sit on God's side of the table is darn close to a profound theological statement.

FYI, the right side of many of your images is cut off in my browser (IE7 on Windows XP). The cartoons look OK when I click on them, though.

Matt Jones said...

Al capp meets Salvador Dali?! Check out the LIFE mag photo archive:

Rod McKie said...


Is Hoskins the most put upon fellow in cartooning history?

Mark Anderson said...

Love the "You want daddy to sue" gag! Wow! And that grim reaper!