My first actual cartoon! Why are all my cartoon ideas violent or disgusting?! Who cares! I think it's funny!
Everything below this line is me blithering on about the artistic process. If you just want to enjoy the cartoon on its own merits, run away screaming now.
Funny how things work out, a few days ago I was bemoaning the fact that I can't think of any ideas for a cartoon. Then Frank "BMF" Wren dropped the hammer yesterday and I got the idea for this cartoon. Then once I'd finished it I got ideas for five more cartoons in the same vein. If this thing actually pans out I might start my own cartoon blog by the end of the month.
I recently picked up a massive book of every New Yorker cartoon from Borders' fire sale. I've been reading it on the can (and a 20 pound book ain't easy to read in the john either) and one thing I've learned from that book is that you don't have to draw pretty to be funny. A lot of times you don't have to draw pretty or be funny to get in the New Yorker. This realization is one of the reasons I've been able to draw more freely lately. You don't have to be Michelangelo to get your point across. I think I got the point across but the cartoon ain't perfect. Here's what I like and don't like about this 'toon:
I think I did well on the faces and expressions. I'm pretty sure an audience of Braves fans can figure out who everyone is on first glance. Well, maybe not the decapitated head of Larry Parrish in the bin, but I don't think 99% of baseball fans could pick Larry Parrish out of a police lineup unless he was holding his 1981 Topps baseball card. I cheated on Lowe and just had him facing away from the viewer. I didn't really want to have to draw two grimacing corpse faces anyway.
Pretty happy with how I used all the space. Here's the original sketch I drew when I got the idea:
I wasn't entirely certain how to place everything when I was first staring at a blank sheet of paper but it all ties together in the end I think.
I think the joke really works. At least to an audience of Braves fans who are thirsting for blood and vengeance right now it works that is.
I futzed with Fredi peeking around the corner for a long time and I think I finally got it right.
Wren looks totally bad ass there, don't he?
I wish I could have gotten Fredi's eves just a smidge more panicky.
No one's going to realize that's Larry Parrish in the trash. I just couldn't think of a way to emphasize HEY THAT'S THE HITTING COACH THERE JUST GOT CHOPPED
In retrospect I should have put the AJC CHOKE newspaper on the desk. It was a late addition to the toon, and by the time I'd thought of it I had already filled up the desk with random junk and guns.
Derek Lowe is a mess. There's a reason for this - I need references to draw well and to be honest I didn't really want to Google Image "Dead Body" "Bloody Corpse" or "Axe Plunged Into a Man's Back". So with Derek I winged it and it shows.
Yeah, that's supposed to be an axe in D-Lowe's back. You can imagine it's a tomahawk if you wish.
Also: I never, ever want to draw Derek Lowe's ass again.
Even more disturbing is that I had no qualms at all about drawing J-Hey's package.
Speaking of J-Hey, he's kind of positioned awkwardly behind Derek and it almost looks like Derek is lying on his feet. Jason was the last addition to the toon and wasn't supposed to even be in there, but once I had the idea I had to do it.
Also: Jason holding up the jersey was supposed to let me cheat and not have to draw arms, but now he looks like he has baby arms.
Also also: That Rome Braves jersey is way too small for Jason.
The punch line got tweaked at the last possible second, after I had already scanned the cartoon. Here's the first version if you want to play a game of "Can you spot the differences"?
Finally, while I think the whole thing is utterly hilarious, I feel kind of squicky for actually drawing a comic where human beings are brutally murdered for losing a ballgame. IT'S A METAPHOR. Got the chop? Getting the axe? Get it? If anyone involved in the Braves organization (especially Larry and Derek and Jason) somehow stumble across this I'm sorry for being creepy. I have a weird sense of humor.
What I LOVE:
Jason Heyward's puppy dog eyes. I cannot stop laughing at that. It's probably my favorite thing that I've ever drawn.
I still love ya J-Hey. You'll be back next year! Thanks for giving me one more offseason where I can pick up your cards cheaply.