Monday, May 12, 2008
My Personal Commitment to Recycling, or, How to Tell a Joke Three and a Half Times
The above is last Sunday's Cul de Sac. This is an idea I had about 18 years ago. At the time, the Post's Sunday Outlook section was interested in maybe running a cartoon by me every week, and I came up with about a dozen roughs to show them what I had in mind.
This is the sketch of the sofa-man I did for the Outlook editor. The stuff I turned in was okay, nothing special, some better than others. For various reasons we never pursued the weekly cartoon deal. But I still liked this idea, so when I turned in some roughs to Gene Weingarten when we were talking abou maybe running a cartoon by me every week in Sunday Style, I resurrected this one.
Then, when the cartoon that eventually became Richard's Poor Almanac launched, I finally used the sofa-man sketch, but I stretched it out to two weeks. The cartoons below ran in mid-1997. For those not from the DC area, Wendy Rieger is a local newscaster who's cute.
Some day I'll use the sofa-man idea again, maybe in a graphic novel, something Kafka-esque. Instead of a big bug Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into an ugly sofa, and he gets left on the curb where he's picked up by a guy scrounging for furniture for a group house in College Park, Maryland. Hijinks ensue and he finds true love at the end with a fainting couch. See? This stuff writes itself.