Roughs

Roughs, Volume 85


I drew a crap ton of roughs last week. Wanna see them? Good. Let’s go.

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A few from this batch grew up to become official cartoons. I sat on this idea for a couple of days before going with it. It’s turned out to be popular with my clients.

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This is the rough that grew up to become the weekly cartoon for the CNN Opinion newsletter. This might be my favorite cartoon of the week. Bananas are always funny to me. Also, I bet Putin could kill someone with a banana.

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This was my first idea on the Putin/Killer thing but I think I came up with the banana peel gag just as I was finishing it up. I was like, “How do I draw the Kremlin? Wait! I don’t need to draw the Kremlin! I’ll draw bananas!”

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I really liked this one and I almost drew it Monday morning. The only thing that held me back is that I already drew one kinda similar last week. I may bring this back.

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I started to draw this last Wednesday or Thursday, and then I got another idea. I sat on it for several days but finally finished it on Monday. I was afraid this incident was old news but the San Francisco Examiner ran this cartoon today.

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I was taking a few tries on something on anti-Asian violence for CNN. This is something where I don’t know if it’s too much or if it’s OK. Either way, I didn’t love it.

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This one, I wasn’t confused over. I knew a lot of people would be upset with it. I wasn’t even serious about making it an official cartoon, publishing it, or good god, sending it to my clients. Then, it grew on me and like I often do, I said, “Fuck those torpedoes” and I went with it. I really dug the rough, so I just went it again and added color. It didn’t change much.

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I thought about going with this one too but honestly, I was tired of drawing TVs. I drew two last week.

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This one is not very good…or maybe it is. I don’t know. It’s March Madness for racists.

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I still like this one. Now I’m wishing I had drawn it.

That’s all of them. Which one is your favorite?

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have SEVEN copies of my book in stock, which I’m selling 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw.

Roughs, Volume 84


I drew too many roughs last week. Let’s check them out.

CNNrough1145

I drew this rough for CNN and I’m glad they chose over it. I saw a few other cartoons with this idea and even though they all ran after this one was scheduled, I’m still glad I didn’t do it. I can’t trust other cartoonists will see my ideas because yesterday, a Pulitzer Prize winner kinda-sorta did the same cheese head Ron Johnson cartoon I did a couple weeks ago.

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And I did two on the theme. Honestly, I didn’t like either.

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Looking at this one again, I’m like, “What?” It really stinks. Those are supposed to be their stimulus checks.

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I think was an idea I gave up on before I was finished drawing it.

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I don’t love this one either, though it’s pretty accurate. After I drew this rough, I saw a similar cartoon (by another Pulitzer Prize winner) which was a lot better than this version.

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This is the one I drew for CNN.

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I kinda liked this one.

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I left a word out. “This is a campaign to convince PEOPLE to like getting checks?” Still, not a great idea.

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I did draw a cartoon on the Biden’s biting dogs. I liked this one and so did two people I bounced them both off of, but we all chose the other. That list was going to get longer.

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Why did Trump get his vaccination in secret while all the other living presidents got theirs in public?

Which of these is your fave? I don’t think I had a good week for roughs.

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have FIVE copies of my book in stock, which I’m selling 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 83


It’s time to check out some roughs from the week before…and a few from weeks before that.

CNNrough1137

I watched the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan. The show was over at 10:00 P.M. and I was looking to go to bed. But, I wanted an idea on it first. I got the idea at midnight and scratched this out. But I couldn’t go to bed. I had to go ahead and draw the cartoon for my clients, most of whom will probably never run it. Also, Buckingham Palace is kinda hard to draw. I did some Googling since I’ve never been there.

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I drew this rough last Friday and went ahead and posted it on social media to have some fun. I knew I wasn’t going to make an official cartoon from it. Then, another accuser came out Monday and I started to wish I hadn’t shared this yet. But I had drawn enough potatoes over the past week and the Pepe Le Pew thing had just happened, so I went with Pepe. Still, I liked this idea a lot.

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This isn’t a great idea but the point is awesome.

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I drew this mostly to screw with my editor at CNN. It was drawn three days before the interview. Three days before we knew what revelations would be dropped.

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Again, before I saw the interview. And I know…that’s a terrible version of Kermit. In hindsight, this cartoon would have been the wrong cartoon.

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This is what we went with for CNN. I dug it.

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I kinda like this and I kinda don’t. I do like drawing raccoons. 

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I took this idea…

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And I combined it with this idea for the cartoon on voter suppression that ran today. That all came to me this morning at four A.M.

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I kinda liked this one.

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I liked this one too and it became a real cartoon which was published last Saturday. It was fun to draw a Halloween cliché in March, which probably means it’s not a cliché. 

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I drew this about a month ago and I’ve kept it in my open idea folder thinking one day soon, I could use it. I was waiting on a slow news days but I haven’t had one yet. So now, I’m giving it up and presenting it to you as a rough. Good bye, idea. You didn’t totally suck.

Remember when Larry Flynt died and I told you I had a rough I was never going to show you? Well, never say “never.” Now, I think enough time has passed to reveal it. Are you ready? Warning: It’s not as bad as you’re expecting it to be.

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See? Now was that so bad? This was not pulled because of the bare bum. It was pulled, on the advice of one of my proofers, that it was an insult to handicapped people. And that’s not what I was going for so I pulled it.

Which of these roughs are your favorites?

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have SEVEN copies of my book in stock, which I’m selling 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 82


I almost forgot I need to post these roughs before they build up on me. I’ve drawn several more today but you’re not going to see them until at least next week. These are from the past two weeks.

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I thought this was funny.

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My editor at CNN liked where I was going with this one but was open for more ideas. So I shot her an “upgrade” to it and told her, “I think you’ll like it.”

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This was the “upgrade” and she did like it. I made a few changes to make it more absurd, but this is what we went with.

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I did this one last Saturday. Liberals are still screaming at me.

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I was trying to cover all the bases here but on the advice of one of my proofers, I narrowed it down to just three panels. 

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I was going with this while I was out of town last week. I was talking to my pal, Karen, a lot during that trip. She said she liked this but didn’t love it. I didn’t either, so I did something else. You need to imagine there are curse word symbols in that empty speech balloon. Also, where I was at the time had icy sidewalks, so they made it into this cartoon. 

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This was for the CNN newsletter two weeks ago. I drew this rough on a Thursday, drew the finished cartoon on a Friday, then Saturday, a couple of cartoons came out with the same concept, when mine wasn’t going to be published until Sunday. Those curse word symbols could have been drawn over my head. 

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This is true.

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I spent about an hour on Josh Hawley’s face (which nobody will ever say), then decided nobody would get this.

Do you have a favorite?

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have SEVEN copies of my book in stock, which I’m selling 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 81


I didn’t draw many roughs last week, but here are the few I did sketch out.

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I was not in love, no pun intended, with this one. Have I ever told you I’m not a big fan of holiday cartoons?

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This is the one that became the cartoon for the CNN Opinion newsletter. I changed a couple of quotes. 

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I really liked this one and the only reason I didn’t do it last week is that I ran out of time.

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I almost drew this one but I pushed it aside for another idea. 

Now that the impeachment is over, is it truly time to focus on the Biden era? Probably not. 

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 80


I was delayed in posting these roughs because there were several I wanted to draw. I think I’m done now.

CNNrough1105

Do you remember the cavegirl cartoon with the peering dinosaur  and pterodactyls? I picked that over this idea…but I liked this idea too.

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I put this cartoon aside and pretty much forgot about it until Trump’s lawyers gave their awful defense Tuesday. Trump’s lawyers brought this cartoon back.

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I sat on this cartoon for a couple of days before I got around to drawing it for my papers. I figured I don’t have many more opportunities to draw Rudy, his drippy hair, and his teeth, so I better take my shots when I can. What am I going to do without goons? Oh wait. I still have Republicans.

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I really liked this idea. I thought it was weird enough that only I could do it. It’s so me.

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This is the rough for last Sunday’s CNN cartoon. I liked this argument. It’s all mine.

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Some members of the jury are actually strategizing with the defense team. This is one of the few from last week I didn’t publish.

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This is my favorite from the past week. I love my chicken. I raised his weight to 243 because that’s what Trump’s chicken doctors say he weighs. Today, another cartoonist did a chicken cartoon on the impeachment…sonofabitch.

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Those are supposed to be those giant fan foam finger thingies. I liked the idea but didn’t do it.

Which are your faves?

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 78


Hey, kids. Here are several roughs from the past week and a fine example of what it looks like trying to write cartoons about an administration that’s not led by a lying tyrannical narcissistic immature stupid racist. Honestly, I’m still working with a lot of the debris and backwash left by the orange shitgibbon and probably will continue doing so for the next few weeks.

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Wanna be mad about something? Here’s a great place to start.

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This is the rough for this week’s CNN cartoon. Someone asked if Pinocchio represents any specific person. My editor asked if I wanted to label him. I didn’t think he needed a label. He represents, not just the Trump goons President Biden fired, but the entire change in direction from the one Trump implemented of lies, conspiracy theories, and bullshit. I like this cartoon.

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See? Get mad.

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This was OK. A little too sun-shiny for me.

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I have another rough similar to this but I’m gonna hold onto it for now. I may use it.

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I drew this one yesterday and damn, it got over 500 shares. That’s really good for a Saturday…or any day. The final version had more text and elephants. I actually heard one Trump cultists complain, not about the context, but that I even bothered to point it out.

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Yeah, I know. I see the typo.

There’s one more rough I’m holding onto as I might use it tomorrow.

So, got a favorite?

Roughs, Volume 76


I held off on posting these because I thought there was one or two I might still want to use, but now I think that bird has flown, ship has sailed…yadda yadda yadda. Here are the roughs from last week.

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I thought of this one when I knew I’d never be able to use it. I was doing something else for CNN and had my mind set on a totally different angle on a cartoon for my clients. I think at this point, I had already done two on the MAGA mob. But I liked it enough to sketch it out for my own giggles…and now yours.

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I had every intention of doing this one, even though flying monkeys is kinda played out. I made myself laugh with it. But one of the few people who get to see these ahead of everyone else talked me into doing a cartoon on the horn-wearing guy and I wanted to do something on Trump not going to the inauguration.

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That was this one, but I did change it around.

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This is the one I drew for CNN. That is supposed to be a MAGA hat on the ground and my editor said, “Hey, you should make that note a MAGA hat.” My roughs can be rough. I usually don’t like drawing cartoons like this because it’s not funny and there are no people in it. But I think it really worked. 

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This is another version of the one I did for CNN. Roughs are demos. I like the one we went with better. 

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This may be the worst one in this batch.

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Maybe I should have held onto this one for next week. Forget you saw it!

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I was literally roughing this when the riot broke out. Literally. In the literal sense.

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I expected to get screamed at a lot more than I did for this one. I published it last Sunday. MAGAts are terrorists.

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I was determined to do this one for the morning after the riot. It would have been published last Thursday. I even did the lettering. Isn’t that lettering nice? But then I thought I needed to say something else. Something a bit more important about what happened to the capitol building than what Twitter was doing to Trump…at least at that moment. So this one was shelved. But still, the lettering is nice. The very first thing conservative cartoonists covered about terrorists attacking the United States Congress was about how Twitter is being mean to Trump. Different priorities.

What’s your favorite of the roughs?

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw.

Roughs, Volume 75


Let’s check out some roughs from the past week.

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I was going to show you this one in the last post of roughs, but then I thought that I still might finish and publish it. I kinda sorta did. I took the four Trumps and put them all in a dumpster fire. More than one reader called the cartoon the “Four Trumplicans of the Apocalypse.” I like that.

CNNrough1058Puppet cartoons are kinda lame and cliché. And every cartoonist, at least liberal ones, have drawn their share of puppets over the past four years. Still, I kinda like this one. Yes, I have a typo in the cartoon. When I draw these, my brain is going faster than my hand can keep up with.

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I finished and published this cartoon yesterday. It had actually been sitting in myidea email. I even forgot it was in the email for at least a week. Why do I have cartoons ideas in an email? I have an unsent email written to myself with cartoon ideas. I also include links to stories so I don’t have to hunt them down again. It’s easier than opening a file. Eventually, there are so many ideas in the email that it gets bogged down and slow to open and scroll. I eventually delete it and start over as most of the ideas are never done and grow out of relevancy. I was wondering if this had passed, then I saw Mike Luckovich do the same subject last week and that told me it was still relevant. My readers let me know it was still relevant by giving it about 200 shares and a ton of comments. Thanks, guys.

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I’m not really crazy about the whole fat lady singing concept anymore. Cartoonists do it too often and I’m sure it’s been done recently. And while many won’t see it as offensive because it’s such an old cliché, I’m not really a fan of it because it’s still degrading. But I thought it would be a little funny if she was singing “Auld Lang Syne” specifically. Also, drawing Viking garb is fun. Why did horn helmets ever have to go out of style? Can we bring those back? And how about boob breastplates? Please?

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Republicans, encouraged by Trump, are really going to make a shit show of the electoral college count this Wednesday. Be careful where you step.

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I thought this was just OK. 

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This is the one I drew for CNN this week. It was my second favorite of the roughs submitted. You’re not going to see my fave in this blog as I’m saving it for tomorrow…or Tuesday. But this one started differently.

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It started like this…and then I thought, “This will be more fun if Trump is the fly.” Trump being a fly makes a lot of sense because his supports are MAGAts.

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I showed these roughs to my padwan (that’s what I call her) and she said, “Please, please, please, do this cartoon.” I wasn’t sure about it but it does make me laugh.

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This is probably the crappiest of the bunch. I don’t like it.

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I took this concept and used it for a cartoon with Josh Hawley. Because editors tend to be afraid of everything, it won’t get any reprints. But the boring Pence 2024 idea above would have gotten a zillion.

OK, kids. Which of these are your favorites? 

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. 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 clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw:

Roughs, Volume 74


Maybe checking out a few roughs from the week before, and then some, will help you with your Christmas hangover. But it probably won’t.

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I drew this up the week before last but passed on it. Do you know who draws cartoons like this? Other cartoonists. I thought it was too generic and too safe. I mean, we can all agree 2020 sucked great big donkey balls.

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I took this idea and made it the cartoon for this week’s CNN Opinion newsletter. I threw a few ideas with the same concept at them.

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This was OK.

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My editor at CNN turned this one down and now that I’m looking at it again, I don’t get it either.

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This is playing on the book I did last year. I’m tired of drawing dumpsters.

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I don’t think this one really hit what I was aiming for.

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I drew this one.

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And I drew this one. I really liked the way the caricature just worked out. And I didn’t even reference it by looking at photos or previous drawings I made of him. I even started over for the official cartoon. It’s funny his caricature falls into place for me while I’ll spend all day on a Putin or Hillary Clinton caricature. I’m still working on my Biden.

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And this one. I had fun drawing the Grinch and his dog. Two points to the first person to comment with the dog’s name.

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I liked this and even made myself laugh with it, but I was afraid it’d come off like I was against Biden having a diverse cabinet…so I nixed it. I do regret having to pass on the opportunity to draw an igloo but I am glad I didn’t have to offend any Eskimos and make them blubber. HA!

Do you have a favorite among these? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

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 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. 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: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (13 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. 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 (me) and feel good about yourself, please send a donation through PayPal to clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

Watch me draw: