The below tear sheets are from “First Class,” a weekly cartoon panel I co-created with fellow cartoonist David Boxerman. The panel ran in newspaper travel sections. Bon mot voyage…
Dark screen. A long pause and then we hear soft human cries and moans and sniffles; the black air filled with sadness. Within seconds a deep male voice commands attention over the darkness: “Per istam sanctam unctionem…” and the lights go up to show we’re in the bedroom of a well maintained house, crowded with mourners.
The camera pans the room, showing close ups of distraught faces. Women and men of all ages weep or stand speechless, full of grief, left with nothing more to say.
Quickly the camera zooms in on framed photos of a family and their dog or just photos of the dog. The camera pulls back to reveal the same dog, now lifeless, in the middle of a king-sized bed. A young girl sits alongside Dexter, for that is the dog’s name, and strokes it affectionately.
The male human voice comes from Father Hannah, local pastor and long-time family friend, who continues giving Dexter the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick with Last Rites: “… et suam piissimam misericordiam adiuvet te dominus gratia spiritus sancti, ut a peccatis liberatum te salvet atque propitius alleviet.” An altar boy swings a thurible, an incense burner suspended from chains. Several people make the sign of the cross as a line forms and mourners approach Dexter, touch his paws for one last time, kiss his forehead or his long nose.
A young boy pushes his way through the crowd to see what’s going on. In one hand he holds a half-eaten burger. Another young boy next to him turns, points to the burger, and asks: “What’s that?” The first young boy replies: “Bacon burger.” “Smells yummy,” says the second boy. “It is. Want a bite?”
Suddenly, Dexter’s head snaps up. He sniffs the air several times and looks over in the direction of the kid with the burger. He begins to drool.
An elderly woman in the room clutching rosary beads looks to the ceiling and shouts: “It’s a miracle!”
No. It’s bacon.
I wanted to open with that scene for two reasons. The first is to show how, for many of us, our dogs are family and our love for them is unconditional. The second is to acknowledge that when it comes to bacon, the canine species is all in. So am I.
[to be continued]
I took time out this morning from my regular job of wearing a spandex bodysuit, fighting comic book villains named after Welsh towns and making the world safe for pinot gris. Instead of the usual BLAM-BONK-KAPOW, I decided to clean up my office. Never a good idea. Among the dust and detritus, however, I found a few old cartoons of mine, in a format commonly known as tear sheets.
The first one I’m posting today is a cartoon I created on a Macintosh computer, back in the day. Not many cartoonists were using Macs to create their gag cartoons, back in the day. This was before the availability of a stylus pen, which is why I like to say it was back in the day; I drew the cartoons in a software package called SuperPaint and used a semi-responsive mouse. Truth be told, it was like drawing with a bar of soap. The below cartoon was published on the cover of a national Macintosh magazine… The second one I’m posting today is a cartoon I created for a technical writing journal. I worked as a tech writer for several years and then a documentation manager, before crossing over to the dark side of marketing (bahahaha!)… For the life of me or someone else, I can’t recall where this third cartoon I’m posting today was published. I wanted to include it because the gag is a wretched pun and the chimp looks like he’s just finished his seventh cup of strong coffee–either that or he is struggling to remember his password…