Roughing It, Volume Fourteen

Last Thursday, when I started working on a cartoon for CNN Opinion’s newsletter, the Whistleblowergate thingy was just breaking. I thought it was our topic, but my editor was afraid that by the time the cartoon ran on Sunday, it would be outdated. That was my concern too. He was interested in some other topics, not just to be safe but because he really liked them. So, I took a lot of shots at Sean Spicer’s horrifying performance, and horrifying shirt, on Dancing with the Stars. There are a few other topics here too.

I drew a lot of roughs last week, so buckle in.


I actually drew this a day or two before we started on the newsletter. How often do I get to use the word “wherewithal?” Never.


But, I started the day drawing cartoons on whistleblowergate. As you’ll see, the issue has changed substantially since last week.


This one wasn’t very good. This is the kind of idea I write to help me get to a better idea. It doesn’t always work.


Honestly, I really like this one. I like the point. I like beating up on Kavanaugh. I like drawing his stupid, ridiculous hair. I wanted to draw this at some point but it got away from me.


This one still makes me laugh but I don’t know if it works. I made the shirt green so the editor could get an idea of just how stupid I was planning to make the guy. It’s really hard to make Lewandowski more ridiculous than he already is.


My editor said Lewandowski might be a subject. I can do a Lewandowski cartoon. I liked this one though it’s not great.


And another Spicy.


That’s supposed to look like William Barr. By this point, I was really getting tired of that puffy/pirate/Seinfeld shirt.


I liked this one. Sometimes I’ll put some color in a rough to help get the idea across. Sometimes I add color just because I wanna.


I like this one too though I should get away from drawing these guys for a while.


This was OK.


I like the point in this one even if the cartoon isn’t awesome.


I don’t know if I got what I was going for but I got to look up “dasvidaniya.” Russian really is a beautiful language.


And this one made me look up the Spice Girls song Spicy danced to which was brutal for me. Yes, I did a lyrics search. I didn’t know this song. I probably did hear it a lot in the late 90s, but I forgot it. Thanks, brain.


When we took a break Thursday night, this was my editor’s pick. But we decided to hold off on a choice until Friday morning. When the morning came, he said I could go ahead and go with it or I could take a couple more hours to pitch ideas. I took the couple more hours and thanked him. I knew we could do better. I have a great editor.


OK, so this wasn’t better.


The thing that happened after we took a break Thursday night was Rudy Giuliani going on CNN and talking bonkers to Chris Cuomo. When my editor said we could go with the Spicy UFO cartoon, he also threw out doing something on Rudy. I drew a lot of roughs Thursday but only four Friday. Ultimately, we picked from those four. By the way, this cartoon didn’t work.


This one did work but again, too easy. I throw away ideas other cartoonists would jump all over. I did want to draw Chris Cuomo which I finally got to do yesterday morning (a week later). Nobody noticed it was him.


This was our winner which I was extremely happy about. After I started to draw the cartoon, I realized I liked the rough too much. I trashed what I started and pulled up the rough. I made a few things sharper and fixed a thing here and there, but it’s basically the same. I knew I wasn’t going to draw a better Rudy. A colleague of mine, Ward Sutton, gave me a compliment for it on Instagram which means the world to me. Ward’s art skill is superior to most cartoonists.

There were two more roughs but I eventually drew those for my newspapers so I didn’t bother posting them here. I drew a lot of them last week.

So, which one’s your favorite? Did we pick the right cartoon?

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. Oh yes, you picked the right toon from several “right” ones. Hard to say ‘no’ to the ruffled shirt ones, however! After outright lying to the world about crowd size, I guess nothing embarrasses that guy now.

    Liked by 2 people

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