I was on vacation for a week, watching the various fascinating low, gray cloud formations Portland, Oregon has to offer, when I got an idea to live blog my political cartoon. Of course, this isn't live, and I am lying about some of it (like the times), but it's mostly true. And this is a blog.
11:35: Start thinking about cartoon subject after large coffee, two yogurts, and a breakfast bar of some kind. Talk to amusing friend about her shoes. Run into another lady I know from coffee shop who now remembers my name (she initially thought it was Matt Wuerker). Carry The New York Times around in an authoritative manner. Read The Bee.
11:41: Begin trying to think of an idea revolving around the phrase "Iranian Moderate" that I haven't done 56 times since 1979.
11:56: Am unsuccessful.
11:56:30: Decide to go with an idea, as yet completely unformed, about the NSA.
11:58: Determined to do very elaborate parodies of NSA and other intelligence agency logos that will be really cool.
12:08: After looking at all the logos and deciding there was too much lettering (see also: work), I reject this thematic approach and start drawing dogs.
!2:08:15: Dogs are funny.
12:08:19: So are chickens.
12:08:34: Recall anecdote about me and another political cartoonist, Chris Britt, challenging each other to a contest which involved trying to get as many chickens into our cartoons over the course of one week. I think I won with four consecutive days. But maybe he did. I can't remember.
12:08:56: Go back to dog drawings. Specifically, watchdogs.
12:12--12:37: Draw a dog sitting on a porch looking a window of a house labeled America or Civil Liberties or Privacy, and I was going to letter it all out, but didn't (see also: too much work).
12:38: Try out "data strip mining" theme. Draw large mining machines, mountains labelled Civil Liberties. Decide against it because there were a lot of little parts on the machine, and I decided it was too much...lettering/work. Maybe I'll do it later. I don't know. Head starts hurting a little.
12:44: Do a drawing of a receptionist at the NSA putting someone (Civil Liberties, as a skeleton) on hold. Kind of works, but didn't feel like drawing a skeleton today (felt creepy) and seemed like too much...um...you know.
12:48: Realize I have forgotten how to draw dogs over my vacation.
12:49: Go to Google images for pit bulls. See a nice one. I go to copier, enlarge it 129%, put it on light table, flop it, rearrange it.
12:50--1:46: Look at it to make sure it isn't too much work.
1:47: Note to McClatchy senior management: kidding.
1:49: Bring rough into my editor. He does his little "nasal snort laugh," which means it's passably ok. I decide I like it anyway and it'll be cooler when I draw it.
1:55: Editor comes into my office with "other ideas" I might be interested in. I do my little "nasal snort laugh," and promise to do all of them.
1:56: I'm not stupid.
1:59: Draw as fast as I can to hit 3:00 national syndication deadline.
2:08: Add slightly more injury and dismemberment to Civil Liberties Guy. This helps.
2:14: Move hand as fast as I can while taking two (2) telephone calls.
2:40: Finish black and white version of drawing.
2:59:59: Finish color version, email to McClatchy, Tribune Media Services, and hope every pit bull owner in the United States (and Texas) doesn't call for my resignation.
3:00:00: Practice drawing dogs and chickens for tomorrow's cartoon about Iranian Moderates.