Roughs, Episode 120

The roughs are back. I see a few freelance cartoonists posting their roughs on social media which makes me wonder, “Why are they drawing roughs?”. I mean, to each their own, but if I don’t need an editor to approve of an idea, then it’s going to be rare that I draw a rough for it. But, I’m drawing digitally, so when I make the outline of my cartoon, like a rough, I draw over it and delete the crap as I go. Maybe the other guys can’t do that because they’re working on paper. Or maybe they just want to practice. But even when I worked on paper as a freelancer, I put the outline down in pencil. I usually don’t need to see how it’s going to look on paper before I draw it because the rough is in my head. I can see the cartoon before I draw it.

As you may recall, I took a break from the CNN newsletter for three weeks. It was supposed to be four but I was asked to come back a week early which I was happy to do. My editor for the week was Yaffa and she’s fun to work with. And, I didn’t have to draw a lot of roughs before she picked one. I only had to draw four, but there is an extra in here. This batch is shorter than usual.


I drew this rough back in November and my editor wanted something else then. When I got a call asking for something on the 2022 midterms, I brought it back. It was in my saved folder for me to resurrect and do later when the midterms would become a larger part of the news cycle. I didn’t even know a movie was being made at that time called “Don’t Look Up.” For CNN, I changed it.


I don’t know if I like this one better but I think it worked better because of the movie. People are still talking about it. It is too close to the first version for me to use again. But I’m glad I got something out of it as I liked the idea. And looking at this batch now, I may have only given Yaffa one good idea.


These cartoons were being drawn for the newsletter before New Years Day but would be published the day after In case you’re a Republican, that was January 2. This cartoon here would have been good enough, but not for what we were doing.


Same for this one. It’s not very good.


I thought this was OK but didn’t fall in love with it.

It’s fun to show you guys the roughs again. It’s also more work for me. I’m now going to make the video for these. Next week’s batch is another short one.

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 18 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:


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