Roughing It, Volume Thirteen

Here are a few roughs from last week. My editors at CNN wanted something on the Democratic debate. As you will see, I threw them a few on other issues as well, but we did pick one on the intended target.


I picked the infamous “mustache ride” cartoon over this one. One of my copy editors preferred this one and my CNN editor really liked it as well. He even said it was too bad we couldn’t use it for the opinion newsletter, as they wanted one on the debate. I really liked the point this one made.


I almost drew this for my newspaper clients before I tossed it to CNN. But after loving it in just the idea stage, I didn’t like it when it was time to draw a cartoon. Love can be fickle. Yeah, that’s supposed to be Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.


I started to draw this for my newspaper clients and even had my copy editors, Laura and Hilary proofread it. Right after sending it to them, I had second thoughts as I had another idea that was less cumbersome to draw and that didn’t make the same point I saw several other cartoons make. This is another one of those times where I switched gears around 4:00 a.m.


I threw away the last vaping idea for this cartoon. If it’s not your first time here, you’ve seen it. This one was not given to CNN, but the last one was.


Then I returned to do a cartoon on the debate. This one didn’t light a fire in me or my editors.


My editor suggested something on Joe Biden’s outdated reference to record players. Later, I saw another cartoonist do something with the gramophone.


This one didn’t do anything for any of us. Meh.

It was a Friday. We decided to wait out the Democratic debate which was on a Thursday night. I was feeling some pressure writing and drawing these things Friday morning with nothing really clicking for me. I decided I needed to step away from the drawing board (actually, Surface Pro) and take a shower. While in the shower, it hit me.


Within a minute of sending this, my editor replied that he loved it. I knew it was the one. We were trying to decide on the biggest takeaway from the debate. I kept insisting it was Beto’s pledge to take away assault rifles. My editor called me after I finished the cartoon to talk about a teeny, tiny change to it (he just wanted to make sure it was apparent there were two different panels), and he agreed Beto’s pledge was it. He kept praising this one. I felt good about it too.

Support the cartoonist.

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.


  1. I loved looking through your pile of cartoons that didn’t cut it…and agree with the winner! You don’t know how many times a month I say, THAT would make a great claytoon! ~Pamela


  2. Beto was essentially right — he could have worded it better! Also — I’m not a vaping fan but it sure shows this administration’s misplaced priorities……

    Liked by 1 person

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