I drew this Thursday afternoon just for social media and to have a little fun with my colleagues. When I drew this, there were at least six cartoons on the Queen featuring corgis. Many more have popped up since.
With this criticism, I’m not talking about cartoons that feature the corgis but the ones that revolved around them.
Honestly, this isn’t a case of cartoonists being lazy and unimaginative. It’s really hard to be original, unique, and irreverent with obit cartoons. In fact, after scratching around all day to come up with something unique and brilliant for CNN as a tribute to the Queen (a non-corgi cartoon), two other cartoonists duplicated that cartoon. That meant I had to come up with another cartoon for CNN. There went my Friday.
In all honesty, I too came up with a corgi idea on Thursday. I thought it was sweet and brilliant. I remembered how much my readers loved my cartoon of Betty White being greeted in Heaven by doggies. This corgi cartoon of mine was going to go over big time. Why it might even go viral. It was going to be the greatest cartoon anyone in the world had ever seen. Why, it was going to be totally unique and original. Nobody else would think of it, right? Wrong.
When I saw the first corgi cartoon after I roughed out my idea, I felt sick. I thought my cartoon was great and now I wouldn’t be able to do it. That other cartoonist was going to get all the credit and praise for being a genius, not me. I showed it to one of my colleagues who told me I should do it anyway. I didn’t wanna do that, but I still felt sick.
And then I saw the second corgi cartoon, and I felt a little less sick. Then I saw the third, and I stopped feeling bad that I wouldn’t get to draw my corgi cartoon. Then I saw a fourth corgi cartoon…and a fifth cartoon, and by the time I saw the sixth, I was totally over it.
Cartoonists will often rush to be the first with an idea, and I’ve done that myself here and there throughout my career. But if multiple cartoonists are doing the same idea or concept, it doesn’t matter who’s first. I’d rather not be in the club.
Some of the cartoonists who drew corgi cartoons don’t care enough to feel bad about being unoriginal. But to all those who do, don’t feel bad. It happens. I’m just glad it didn’t get me this time. And to the cartoonists who draw a corgi cartoon today and after, you do kinda suck. If you know the corgi idea was already done, then why do it? Sheesh!
I posted this on social media Thursday afternoon and I had several cartoonists contact me about it, a few who did draw corgi cartoons. A Canadian colleague emailed me yesterday saying “right on.” Another tweeted at me his corgi cartoon basically telling me to bite him. And another who had drawn a corgi cartoon texted me saying he didn’t expect to fall into a Yahtzee pit with his cartoon. I think most cartoonist know my poke was good natured.
As I mentioned, I almost Yahtzeed with the corgi and another idea, so it does happen to all of us. I was just fortunate to pull back in time before going over the cliff.
Note: A “Yahtzee” is when at least two cartoonists have the same idea.
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