Roughing It, Volume Twelve

I didn’t have to draw a lot of roughs for CNN last week. I wrote the editor, asking what our lead subject was, and he replied, “Sharpie, Sharpie, Sharpie, Sharpie.” I was pretty happy with that.


This was the first idea and I thought I hit it out of the park. Yeah, it’s riffing on a cliche, but I thought he had Sharpied himself into a corner. And…so did Mike Luckovich. A few hours later, he did a very similar cartoon. Usually, when cartoonists draw the same idea, there’s more than two. But I’ve only seen his. I take a lot of comfort that I think as weirdly as Lucko. Him, not so much.

I did message Mike saying, “how dare you steal my ideas before you even see them.” He said he was sorry. I told him, “You’re not sorry.”


This idea stunk. Why didn’t Lucko “steal” this one? Oh, yeah. It stunk.


This one stunk too which makes me surprised someone else (not Lucko) didn’t think of it too.


Honestly, I drew this one to nudge my editors to make a decision from the previous ideas because at this point, everyone had a favorite but they hadn’t made it official yet. I really shouldn’t make cartoonists tricks public for editors’ to read them. But then again, most cartoonists don’t know this trick. Also, for it to work, it depends upon your editor. When I worked at The Free Lance-Star, it usually got me screamed at. “How dare you show me something I don’t want to see!!!” Seriously. Fortunately for me, my editors at CNN don’t scream at me. Not even through emails. Now, they might scream ABOUT me.

But it did work.


See? I was bummed about the Sharpied-into-a-corner cartoon, but my editors really dug this one better. I thought it was the second-best, but now, yeah they were right. It was the best. The only thing I didn’t like is that there were a thousand cartoons of Trump taking a Sharpie to approval ratings. It was my first idea the day before. Hello, Captain Obvious. But, I thought this was tweaking it a bit. Nobody had the Mueller Report Sharpied. I knew this was the right one when one of my editors (we had several chiming in last week) said this cartoon made her snort her coffee.

That’s another cartoonists’ trick, sort of. If someone snorts or chokes on their coffee, that’s the cartoon…unless it’s about mustache rides.

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