One of the questions people often ask cartoonists is how long it takes to draw a cartoon. The smartass answer is 40 years.
Meaning it took your entire career to get to the point where you could produce whatever you drew that day. Theoretically your work should get better and better and if you saw my early stuff you’d know it had to; it wasn’t very good to start with.
Now here’s the non-smartass answer and bear with me, this is not an attitude I’m familiar with so I’m working with one hand tied behind my back.
When people ask how long it takes to draw a cartoon they mean the drawing part of your day, not the reading and thinking part, which often takes way longer than producing the drawing.
My late friend Dwane Powell used to drive everybody around him crazy because he often spent the entire day reading and thinking and deciding what to draw and might not put pen on paper until the deadline was breathing down his neck in the late afternoon. (Personally, I think Dwane needed a shove to do anything that didn’t involve playing a guitar and laughing. Jan…your opinion on this subject is welcome. Maybe you could explain the term “Dwaning.”)
But now that I’ve explained how hard it can be to come up with a cartoon idea, I have to confess that once in awhile they jump out at you on their own.
After Elizabeth Warren got 9 percent of the vote in New Hampshire she said her campaign was built for the long haul and this is the image that immediately came to mind.
This is the kind of cartoon that can come back to bite you because it makes a prediction and if Warren goes on to do well I hope you guys all develop cartoon amnesia at the same time.