Friday, July 13, 2007

Spectator magazine cartoon: All change


When this cartoon was first sent out the caption was "Bloody Health and Safety". The cartoon was rejected and when I sent it out again I thought that maybe it didn't need the swearing, even though it's not exactly offensive, so I changed it to "Curse those Health and Safety guys". The cartoon is in The Spectator this week, and clearly the cartoon editor did think it needed swearing as he changed "curse" to "damn"! Of course, I don't mind if such changes are made (the cartoon editor also changed "and" to an ampersand and added an exclamation mark) as long as the meaning of the joke isn't changed.

Some years ago though, a magazine did make a change that I felt was not needed. It was a cartoon with a leopard on a psychiatrist's couch. The psychiatrist was saying, "You have got to want to change." When it appeared in the magazine it had been changed to: "You have got to want to change your spots." I felt that this was really spelling the joke out, and denying the reader that "penny drops" moment. A couple of years later a re-drawn version of the cartoon appeared in the Metro, the now-defunct listings mag that came with the Saturday Times, with the caption in its intended form.

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