Roughs, Volume 115

Kids, we have a bunch of roughs this week. Let’s get to it.


I can’t stand early holiday cartoons. I made a promise to my readers that I wouldn’t draw any Thanksgiving or Christmas cartoons until I finished all my Halloween candy (trick-r-treaters never showed up. Also, I wasn’t home). But, I broke that promise when I did a cartoon of Ted Cruz and his family eating Big Bird for Thanksgiving.
I can not stand early holiday cartoons and I swear to God, I saw a Santa cartoon the day after Halloween. If was the king of the cartoonists, I would make a new law that no Christmas cartoons will be drawn before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I am not the king of the cartoonists and nobody listens to me.

I did like this cartoon because Republicans, no matter how pretty they wrap the package, are a bunch of racists. 


I like this one. I think I’ll put it into my “maybe” folder which is already full of ideas I’ll probably never do. I don’t mind posting this for you now as when I do it, if I do, you won’t remember it. Maybe I just want to draw a flaming meteor. No, the meteor isn’t gay. It’s flaming because it’s on fire. And, there’d be nothing wrong with it if it was gay, you homophobic jerk. Why can’t you leave people and meteors alone to live their lives? They’re not hurting you. Well, the meteor is, but not because of who it wants to sleep with. Welcome to the 21st century.


These cartoons were drawn election week, with a lot o them being drawn election night. This is one of them. I liked this one but I didn’t know if it was the first message I wanted to draw after Youngkin…gag…won. I do like this and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get around to it. I like the way the gaggle of donkeys worked out.


This one was drawn for the CNN Opinion newsletter. I lot of these cartoons I’m drawing now about the upcoming midterms are about a situation that can change before November 2022. Oh, God, we can’t allow Kevin McCarthy to control the House. Democrats, you gotta turn this around. Shit.


I liked this one but I wasn’t able to get to it. I didn’t want to draw three cartoons a day to get all these in. When you draw three cartoons a day, the cartoons look like you draw three cartoons a day.

There’s this perception among other cartoonists I draw a lot of cartoons every day, and sometimes I do. I draw two a day on either Thursday or Friday with one being for CNN. And then, you don’t see the CNN until Sunday. I draw a lot of roughs on those days (where do you think this collection came from?). Occasionally, I’ll draw two in one day and post both of them as soon as they’re drawn. I like doing that now and then to be a step ahead with my file dates and to take a Sunday off from drawing. But I learned, at least with work, that my quality decreases when I do two cartoons a day repeatedly and that the cartoons kinda step on each other with how much attention they get from both social and news outlets. There have been times I’ve drawn two in one day and regretted it the next morning.
Still, a few of my colleagues think I draw several a day. Matt Davies alluded to it in his Herblock Award acceptance speech, which amused me, and I was asked by another at a party a few weeks ago, “How many do you draw a day?” I said, “Usually, one.” And then I went back to my hotel and drew a cartoon.


I didn’t like this one and was afraid it’d be misconstrued.


I really liked this one and it became a real cartoon. I liked this one just because it’s weird enough that I could be pretty sure no other cartoonists would have the same idea.


This became an official cartoon also. I didn’t love the judges’ desks very much, so I made it a two-panel but with them still relating to each other. I also hated having this many labels. I still didn’t love the desks.


I was totally set to do this but then thought of the Thunder Shirt cartoon (you might remember). The Thunder Shirt pushed this one aside and then I decided not to do it at all because I had already done a cartoon featuring the Sweater Vest. Then my friend Rob Rogers did a cartoon featuring Youngkin and the term “racist dog whistles” and it made me wish I had done this. Rob’s cartoon was great. This cartoon isn’t the same as Rob’s, but I don’t think it’d be fair to him if I published this after seeing his. It’s the same message. I think the thing that annoyed me most is the Thunder Shirt/Sweater Vest cartoon that replaced this wasn’t executed the way I planned. It still eats at me.


This was drawn on election night. I didn’t go with it because I had already drawn stockades fairly recently and I wasn’t sure if it was the right cartoon for the moment.


I didn’t know if anyone would get this. You know, dogs…dog whistles? Never mind. I suck.


Other cartoonists can relate to this and in fact, I was talking to a fellow cartoonist Tim Campbell about this yesterday. Election night was the same night as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros in the World Series (the Astros, being like Republicans, cheat). This is what Tim and most cartoonists know (not the hacks who trace and steal ideas): You get an idea, you think it’s great, you start drawing it, and in the middle of it, you realize it sucks. This is one of those. It sucks. In my defense, I had drawn about six ideas that night.

Another reason I wasn’t sure about this is that it was about the loser and not the winner. Like most rules in cartooning, this rule is not rock-solid.
I read an article years ago about Mike Peters, who’s a big influence on me and an inspiration to most cartoonists. When Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford in the 1976 election, he was drawing up ideas on Ford losing when his editor told him it should be about the winner. You can hit the loser tomorrow. He realized some rare had just happened. An editor was right. So, he drew the White House with Carter’s teeth. It was in his Pulitzer Prize-winning entry. I also read an article that Mike Peters will eat out of his office garbage can.

Which of these are your faves?

I have videos of these being drawn but they won’t be posted. I’m still on my YouTube probation for drawing a good anti-Qanon cartoon ten months ago.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to You can also snail it to P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402.

Watch me draw: I am currently on one-week probation from posting new videos on YouTube because somebody got upset with me for criticizing Marjorie Taylor Green, Qanon, white nationalists, and Nazis ten months ago.



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