Friday, March 13, 2009

Animal Cartoons

Hippo cartoons, pig cartoons, vulture cartoons, duck cartoons, cat cartoons, dog cartoons, turkey cartoons and penguin cartoons. And they are also fat cartoons, diet cartoons, family cartoons, insurance cartoons, business cartoons, x-ray cartoons and bowling cartoons.

"Oh yeah. Like the stripes help."

The above cartoon was published in Reader's Digest. Animals can, without people getting upset and writing letters into the Reader's Digest, be pretty dang mean to one another. Here is a fat joke, complete with snide sarcasm. Because it's happening to hippo, we laugh and don't feel the pain.

'I don't know about you guys, but I miss the carbs."

The above cartoon I sold around the end of the carb diet thing phase. I sold it to a magazine and later, to a calendar.

The drawing was done freehand, no penciling. This was one of the first cartoons I drew where I gave up penciling and went right to drawing it, ink on paper. I think it gives the lines more life.

"What do you have that's bigger than 'king?'"

Bought for a dog calendar. Above is the original version. When I redrew it for the dog calendar, I replaced all the cats with dogs. Too bad. I liked the cat hanging on the woman's arm ala Frieda' cat from PEANUTS.

"Steady Ralph. That isn't fear you smell, it's hubris."

The above was in the Chronicle of Higher Education during those early days of the war where "cakewalk" was used to describe it.

"We've has to cut back on our employee mental health budget. Do from now on, if you get stressed out, feel free to stop by and pet 'Fluffy,' our new corporate therapy cat."

I would redraw this today since, in this version, Fluffy gets lost behind those inky bars.

"I would do most of it over again, Simkins --
but this time I'd rethink letting the ducks imprint on me."

No one like the above and it remained unsold despite dozens of attempts. The idea that these ducks imprinting themselves on this CEO-type guy, following him around his whole life, seems very funny to me. Ah well.

Well, here's the problem, Stan.
Your internal organs have been shrinkwrapped."

Well, here's the problem, Stan.
Your internal organs have been shrinkwrapped."

Above: 2 versions of the same cartoon. The top one, with the Photoshop greys, is the earlier one. I like the real wash on paper (the later, second cartoon) better than the electronic Photoshop tones. I also like the face we can see the cord of the turkey x-ray machine in #2.

"I did my homework but the dog pressed control-alt-delete."

I don't like the above one, but it sold a couple of times and made money, and that's what it's about. I think I drew it about 5 years ago. If I colored it today I would use fewer colors. Fewer colors look better and a diminished palette makes my coloring labor time go quicker.

"He's saying he's gonna huff and puff.
Quick -- are we covered for that?"

Above: here we have a cartoon about pigs, fear, intruders, homes and insurance. It sold a couple of times. The more keyword information you can pack into a cartoon, the more appealing it becomes to diverse markets.

Above: a perennial cartoon that is now a t-shirt.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour! V. interesting.

Nick Fechter said...

Lovin' the cartoons Mike!

The one with the dog pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete gave me a real good laugh.

Mike said...

I think the problem with the CEO and the ducks is that "I'd do it all," which is intended as "everything in my life," is overwhelmed by the presence of the ducks. They "appear" before the line is read, so that the reader is wondering about them, and "I'd do it all" seems to be a reference specifically to them.

It's a limitation of a one panel cartoon -- with two panels, you could show him saying "I'd do it all ..." and then, in the second panel, introduce both the ducks and the punchline. However, the sort of client who would appreciate (i.e., buy) the joke wouldn't want a two-panel cartoon.

Ah well. Into the drawer.

HospiceMindsetinCentralPA said...

A CAT pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete would be hilarious (my cats are ALWAYS walking across the keyboard when I'm working!) :) Love your cartoons!