By far and away my personal favorite of the whole year: one of the comparatively rare so-bad-it's-good caliber. Actually around half the folks I showed it too in the "proofing" stage didn't get it, at least until I'd hint to "repeat the last three words." That's when the event borders on stand-up comedy, as it's a rare thrill to get to see someone in the act of getting a joke, to watch the "ah-ha" moment spread across their features. It's a sublime, voyeuristic pleasure that 99% of the time a cartoonist never gets to experience when it runs in print. So much that I've adopted the panel as one of the primary set of samples that double as oversized business cards I tote around to hand out to people.
Another note of interest was this panel being yet another in a succession of successful washes on the original pen & ink drawing, enough so that the digital line version (seen above) simply went unshaded and unused. This is becoming more often than not a pattern that's played out in the usual evolution of a piece, so much that it might portent a change in the basic process.
|Happiness Is: Sunday comics + Kahlua malt|
Speaking of those last three words it's interesting to note that it would have over-tipped the gag's hand to bolden up the letter "a." And as evidenced by the accompanying scrawl about the doodle from the sketchbook it took a bit of finagling to get it funny enough to work just right.