Hat Trick!

The Press Club of Long Island announced it’s 2013 Media Award winners last night.
I won all three places in the “Visual Media: Cartoons” category.

The two black and white cartoons ran in the Long Island Business News.
The color one ran in Newsday.

Third Place:

islanders don't leave2

Second Place:

smoking banFirst Place:


Against the wind

And now, some Sandy inspired work. These were done by battery and flashlight power, at first. Then, thanks to Norwegian hospitality and my first-ever cartoonist’s bug-out kit, I worked from my in-laws dining room table. It’s amazing what you can fit into a blue bag that’s bigger on the inside.

Despite the hurricane, I made deadline. I don’t know whether I should be proud or fitted for a white jacket.

Aw, rats.

Nassau County has put the management of their sewer system out for bid to private operators in an attempt to save money and narrow the budget gap. What could be better for satire than sewers and government together, right? I really liked the idea of drawing that big pipe with muck flowing out of it and crocodiles, but the vote at the dinner table clearly favored rats (and fishbones).

I started sketching.









I didn’t like the rats in the sketch, the above floating one was a second failed attempt. So, I drew rats until I liked the ones at left.


Then, I added the new rats into the sketch and did a final drawing in ink, cleaning things up in the process.

Once that was done, I scanned, colored and added the witty caption.

Done, right? Nope. Now it’s time to run it past some editors. In this case, they all rejected it. (It wouldn’t be much of a story if it simply ran as-is, now would it?) Basically, no one got why the rats would be right for the job. My thinking was, as rats, they’d be uniquely qualified to deal with sewers and government besides being natural managers. But, what I think doesn’t mean much if the folks paying don’t like it. It was time to figure out what went wrong.

Since the rats were the sticking point, they came out and these guys were drawn, scanned & “Photoshopped” in. Suits are just as funny as rats anyway.

The question now became why are these two, the guy on the far left was abandoned, standing in front of a huge sewer pipe?

It seemed to me, they were talking about the issue in front of them, the sewer and how to save money. What was the decision process that led them to bid the operation out? What else could they do? What would anyone do?

This version passed editorial muster. The kids still like the rats and want me to print them a poster of the first version, without the caption. They just like the rats.