Roughs

Roughing It, Volume 8


I haven’t posted roughs in a couple of weeks, mostly because I was a bit overwhelmed with how many there are. But, I’m going to work around that and not post each of them. I’m just going to post the ones I think pose some interest. There are a lot of duds.

Most of these are from two weeks of submitting ideas to CNN Opinion for their weekly newsletter and the subject for both weeks was the Democratic Debate. Here we go.

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This one was pretty bad but it amused me for a minute.

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My editor really liked this one but he thought it was a bit disgusting. His standards are way higher than mine. But, it sent me in a direction to focus on Biden and his preparations for the debate.

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We almost went with this one. I was just OK with it.

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It amused me.

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I fought for this one but I was a bit perplexed. Was this being rude or overly nice?

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You see where we were going with this and I kept striking out.

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I think I liked this one just because of the way all the “Obamas” were laid out in the first panel.

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Different subject. I liked it.

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I liked the point in this.

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I liked where this was going but I was concerned Trump’s blaming of Obama for the White House air conditioning wasn’t known well enough. In case you don’t know, yes he did that.

The next week, we focused on guns and mass shootings.

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That’s Mitch McConnell carrying out the NRA. Sometimes my roughs are very rough.

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Meh.

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I did something in the same vein for my syndication and website. If you read me daily, you saw. I actually liked this one better.

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This is one I think is good, but an idea another cartoonist might draw, or has already drawn.

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I thought we might go with this one.

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I was wondering, how can I shop for a bulletproof backpack without getting shot while doing it?

I left a bunch out because it would take you all day to read them. Which one is your favorite or do you think they all suck? I won’t be insulted if you think they do.

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.

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Roughing It, Volume 7


Each of these roughs was created for CNN Opinion to choose from for last week’s newsletter. I started creating these before we started talking, which was when I discovered they weren’t interested in any of the subjects I covered. That’s my fault for sketching before I talked to them. I started working to get a cartoon for CNN on Thursday morning and we finally selected one Friday around 7:00 PM. It was probably our hardest week. I’m not going to post any of the roughs in this post from the subject we ultimately chose, which was the Democratic Debates. There were so many roughs that I wanted to break them up into two separate blog posts.

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I started on the Mueller testimony. My editors thought the subject would be old by Sunday (this was last Thursday and we were talking about the upcoming Sunday). They really wanted to cover the debate. This was the first idea I drew. I think they were right to pass on Mueller.

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I wasn’t super crazy for this one. To me, it’s doable but not great.

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I didn’t just cover the Mueller testimony. As simplistic as this is, I actually like it. I almost drew it for my clients but other issues and ideas overtook it.

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Another one I thought was OK.

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I liked this one but thought I could replace “fat” with something else Trump is self-conscious about. I thought it would be a contender.

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I really like the point in this. Republicans aren’t very realistic. You also have to remember that the same people who don’t believe Trump is a racist also believes he’s honest, ethical, godly, a great businessman, and very presidential. They believe everything Donald Trump has told them about him. I could write an entire blog post on this alone.

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I decided to do one on the big-spending bill Congress sent to Trump. We knew all along that the Tea Party was never about government spending or fiscal responsibility. Republicans only get upset over government spending when Democrats do it. Since Eisenhower, Republican presidents have spent more than Democratic presidents. True. Again, that can be another blog post. By the way, the Tea Party was only about being upset we had a black president.

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I liked “Maga Man” but I wasn’t in love with the movie concept. I knew other cartoonists would use the same concept.

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I liked the whole slinging concept and I used it for another cartoon. Don’t make me explain “slinging” again. Also, I saw another cartoon with the Paul Revere concept the next day. I pass on ideas other cartoonists settle for.

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And, I did the slinging here. This is one of those that worked for some people and not for others. Most people probably didn’t get it. There is a negative to watching too much television.

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I liked this one and I have a few other ideas in my head over the whole A$ap Rocky thing. I haven’t drawn on it yet because other stuff keeps happening.

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I didn’t draw this one because I thought the issue would die soon. I’m also not big about the whole puppet concept and I used it today with Mitch McConnell. So, this cartoon will never be completed. But, I did like it.

Which of these ideas is your favorite?

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.

Roughing It, Volume 6


These are roughs from last week. Each of these was submitted for the CNN Opinion newsletter, which was published last Sunday. The reason I’m only showing you roughs for CNN and not the cartoons for my newspaper clients is because I only draw roughs for CNN.  All the ideas I have for my newspapers are written down and they don’t need to see roughs. They get what I give them.

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Last Thursday, my editor emailed asking me what topics I had in mind. I replied, “race, race, race, and race.” He agreed that was the direction. They like for the cartoon to fit the lead of the newsletter. Some weeks, they’re not sure what the lead will be and they kinda explore it with me, or at least I think that’s what we’re doing. This was the first idea. I had already drawn out several for them before our conversation even started.

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I really liked this one and I almost did it for my newspapers, but it was overtaken by other issues and ideas. I wrote a lot of notes down for this one.

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This was kind of a meh. Don’t you agree?

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I liked this one and it’s similar to something I did earlier in the year. Funny thing. The news moves so fast now that by Thursday when I had sketched this out, the vote in Congress to condemn Trump’s racist tweets was old news.

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I used this concept a few days later about Trump’s handling of Iran.

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I liked this one and the argument it makes. But, I’ve drawn a lot of Klansmen lately. I’m getting tired of them. In fact, I’m tired of drawing about Trump’s racism, but I can’t stop drawing about it if he can’t stop expressing his racism. In fact, he did it again on Saturday.

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I almost did this one the next night. I may do it in the future as I’m sure it’ll come back. Is it gone now?

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I thought this was OK, but I later saw some memes on Facebook on the same concept. That killed it for me.

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My editor has already made his pick, but since I had a couple more ideas, I sent them anyway. So, this was sketched out even quicker than usual which explains why it’s even sloppier than usual. I was also getting burned out on drawing roughs. Trust me. It takes its toll. I liked this idea though.

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I never finished fleshing this one out. The concept was to show the buildup of racism from the GOP, from the dog whistles like states rights to welfare queens to Willie Horton to “go back to where you came from.” But, we had selected our cartoon so this got a rough rough treatment. I do a lot of research for my cartoons and blogs and for this one, I wasn’t done with the research. This is a really good look inside my butcher shop. Maybe I should have done this. Maybe I’ll still do it. It’s in my notes but my notes are a huge mess.

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This is what we went with. My editor loved it and said it was “brilliant.” He may have just been soothing my ego, but he really did like it. It seems a lot of readers did too as it got a bunch of shares on social media. I think it made a very good point. In case you’re not up to speed, Republicans are hypocrites.

Which one is your favorite? Did we make the right call? I love to hear what the reader thinks.

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.

 

Roughing It, Volume 4


Hey, kids. It’s time to check out some cartoon ideas that didn’t make the cut. Each of these is from the batch submitted to CNN last week.

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We were set on the Democratic debates being our subject. This was a fun week as the newsletter was published on Friday instead of the usual Sunday. This made the deadline flexible and had me drawing in real time during the debate with Rich, my editor, sending me notes during. The rough above was sent Thursday morning before the second debate.

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I almost finished this one for my syndication. Maybe I shouldn’t be posting it here as I can always use it for a future debate. Maybe I’ll still do that if it’s not stolen by another cartoonist. I do like drawing Trump with Trump Bear.

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This was also drawn before the second debate. That’s kinda how it turned out too. Despite the accuracy, I still didn’t like it that much.

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I drew this one before the second debate. This one has two problems. The first is, it wasn’t a townhall-style debate. The second one is, this would have ignored the narrative that came out of both debates. But, it’s another one that I can probably use in the future, again, if it’s not stolen.

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This was drawn right after Kamala Harris took down Biden. My editor, who was watching it live like I was, wrote about the takedown and my reply included this cartoon, which was not very good.

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Rich kinda liked this one but another editor thought it was too grim. I think that’s the word they used. That didn’t automatically kill it, but we kept searching. I wasn’t in love with it.

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This is the idea we went with. They liked it but wanted to see more and wasn’t yet sure if this was the direction to go in. Rich said it may be the one to use. I drew a couple more but I kept going back fighting for this one. I knew it was the one.

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The idea here is, Harris just took out Biden and now was aiming for Trump. I didn’t love it and continued to push for the first bus idea.

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Honestly, I thought if I threw in some Klansmen, it’d make the other idea look better by comparison. Yikes! We can’t publish a cartoon with Klansmen, let’s go with that other idea. I don’t know if it worked that way because they finally chose my favorite after I pushed for it a couple more times. They ever agreed with me or got tired of hearing it.

In the future, every rough in the batch will have Klansmen except for the one I really want. Do you think they’ll catch on?

The cartoon, in its finished form, was a big hit on social media, at least on my accounts. I was a very happy boy. What made it really work out was that the Harris campaign released a childhood photo of her just as I was about to start drawing. I actually Googled for her childhood photo, seconds after the campaign had released it. It was kismet.

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Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch Me Draw.

Roughing it, Volume One


A lot of people like to see the rough sketches, even if those roughs never go beyond being a rough. I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting them here but I’m going to attempt to resume it.

Years ago, I saved each and every single one of them that was drawn on paper. My office at The Free Lance-Star was full of them until one day I decided they were junk and trashed them all. I never lost any sleep over it. Today, I try to save each file. My sketches for CNN have their own folders. There’s only been one week where I’ve drawn fewer than eight ideas for them. This week, not from the examples here, I drew fifteen.

The roughs I’m posting today were submitted to CNN last week. A couple of those ideas eventually made it into actual cartoons. Enjoy.

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My editors at CNN will often choose a cartoon that may not necessarily be the best of the batch, but that fits their newsletter the best. They also throw subjects at me, sometimes a lot of subjects. They did that last week. This was the very first idea I drew for them and my editor liked it. He said they’d probably pick it but still wanted to see some more ideas from me. He had suggested something about or with a jeopardy theme. In the end, we didn’t go with it.

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I thought there was no way they’d go with this one. I was right. I would have drawn it for my syndication but I had already done something on Jared that week. Some weeks, there are too many fish to fry.

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This was Amanda’s favorite. I liked it a lot too. I would have done it for my syndication if I hadn’t already had covered the subject. I thought doing it again would have just been beating it to death.

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This might be my favorite of the batch. I wasn’t surprised they didn’t choose it which I was OK with. It meant I got to do it for my clients. So, you’ve probably already seen this cartoon. The Straight Pride parade was the only subject I tackled that CNN didn’t mention.

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I thought they might choose this one. I’m glad they didn’t. I didn’t love it.

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I never did get around to covering this subject. I’m glad they didn’t choose it because I hate this one. It’s so meh.

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This is the subject we went with, but not this cartoon. I liked this one better. I was going to draw it for my syndication, but again…too many fish to fry. Maybe I shouldn’t be posting it here because it might come back. I did draw a cartoon this weekend from an idea I had been pushing back for several days.

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CNN chose this one and I was cool with it. Even though I liked the Trump in jail idea better, this was my first crowd scene for CNN. Maybe my first chance to make them go “DAMN!” I doubt they did that but still.

Which one was your favorite?