Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Private Eye cartoon: Fine-tuning jokes

"That's a little unfair, I just haven't found my niche."

I've got a couple of cartoons in the current Private Eye, here's one of them.

It's a reworking of a gag I sent round a few years ago which was rejected. The original drawing was a similar set-up but the cat looked depressed and said "I wouldn't say I was lost, it's more of a disaffected malaise".  I think I did another version where he spoke of "ennui". It's more than possible that I was over-thinking the joke.

While re-working it I removed the repeated use of the word "lost" in the caption and decided that making the cat look depressed was over-egging the joke. These were both crucial to making it all work, I think. Cartoons often need a little fine-tuning to get them right.


  1. I much prefer the 'disaffected malaise' line.

    I've often struggled when I know what the cartoon is meant to say, but I don't know the best way to say it.
    Larry had the right idea- no caption.

  2. Really? I liked it at the time but it sounds like I was trying to be too clever to me now. Simplifying things is often the best way. Larry certainly knew that. Many a time I've come up with a gag with lots of extra words and visual details, and the more you throw out the better it gets.



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