Warning: Geeky and creative details are in today’s blog post.
Late Wednesday afternoon, I got an email from an editor at CNN. I was referred to her by a producer who had communicated with me in the past about reprinting my work, but this time CNN wanted something original. She asked if I was up to it, could I deliver a cartoon to them within the next 24 hours…and uh, do you have any ideas now? I did.
They wanted something topical that would have a shelf life for a week (political cartoons have short lives) and feature a news personality. But, they didn’t want it “too newsy,” which can be kinda hard to understand, even if you’re in the news business.
I was actually out the door to get a sandwich at Wawa when I got the email from CNN. I still went to Wawa but put the sandwich in the fridge until they approved of an idea. They rejected the first idea, which didn’t surprise me. It wasn’t that good but it was what I had at the moment. They liked the second idea but asked if I could shoot them one more. I did and that’s the one you see above. They loved it. Then, they asked if I could draw another “mock-up” of it and deliver that in the morning, then we’d go to work on the finished product.
I don’t really work that way. I usually produce a rough and from there create the finished cartoon. I recently drew a cover for the Orlando Weekly where I did draw more than one rough because they wanted to see it in color. So, what I did with CNN was send them the finished cartoon, but uncolored. I told them I could make changes before the coloring. All they had to do was approve and/or make changes.
The approval took from 8:00 am to shortly after 5:00 pm. I don’t think they normally take that long, but some editors were running a hectic schedule last Thursday with one of them out sick. So, they kept my editor waiting who kept me waiting. In the end, we didn’t change anything. All I had to do once it was approved was color it. We also had to go through the contract stuff after they approved it, but that was easy. While they have rights to it, I get to publish it on my blog. My clients will not be receiving this cartoon.
While I was waiting Thursday, I drew a bonus cartoon for my syndication (you’ve already seen that) and I drew up a rough for The Costa Rica Star. I didn’t get any sleep at all last Thursday.
I was afraid CNN wouldn’t like the way I draw Trump, and they’d ask me to change his hair and lips. I’m not sure how I would have handled that as those are kind of my trademarks with him. Fortunately, it never came up.
It was published today with their Opinions Newsletter. They said they want to work with me again in the future. I hope that happens.
Watch the video.