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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stubborn Bush


at 5/1/07, 5:17 PM Blogger Terrence said...

I seem to remember you saying once that when your sketchbooks contain significantly more text than pictures, that's a sign that you're getting cartoonist's block (I know that's what it usually means for me!). Indeed, nothing really seems to be jumping off the page in the last few sketchbook sessions you have posted, and you should probably let go of that "truths are coming out!" gag, because it seems almost too blunt, IMO.

This cartoon has some nice little details (gas/tnt/chainsaw, and especially the pick-axe... though the bed of the truck seems almost conspicuously empty... suggest putting more explosives, weed-killer, and maybe a jack-hammer back there?), but shouldn't the bush be less innocent-looking, and more of a gnarly, thorny, noxious weed?

Here's my own cartoon on the subject. For the nerds in the audience.

at 5/1/07, 6:15 PM Anonymous h. beige said...

I think Terrence wuz at that party, too.

at 5/1/07, 8:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"IMO": I'm mistaken often?

at 5/1/07, 8:39 PM Anonymous John Carey (NJ) said...

Swell one. (Something about it -- the pick up? -- reminds me of the great McNelly.)

at 5/1/07, 8:45 PM Anonymous John Carey (NJ) said...

Er, MacNelly. (IMO)

at 5/2/07, 6:08 AM Blogger Terrence said...

In my opinion, but you probably knew that.

I'm curious what it is that I've said that you disagree with? That he should let go of that gag I was talking about?

I'm sure he'd rather get constructive criticism from another artist and admirer than mindless congratulations from random people at parties or mindless complaints from anonymous blog posters (though mindless congratulations are nice sometimes).

at 5/2/07, 9:28 AM Blogger Jim Borgman said...

Can't we all just get along?

Your comment on the conspicuously empty pickup bed is right, I think, Terrence. I think I'd draw that a little differently today, less black drawing attention to itself.

The drawing was entirely about the axle of the truck coming off right up until the end. As I finished drawing I realized it would be stronger if the axle was just the last straw, with other methods having been tried. I literally added the pick, gas can, etc. in the ten minutes before filing the cartoon.

When a drawing evolves midstream like that, other decisions already made need to be revisited. In this case, it would be obvious that even more tools could be in the bed. But I didn't think of that at the time.

I kind of like your comment about the bush, too. Mine is sort of springy and innocent. Better to have drawn a gnarly stubborn one.

I thought the obvious flaw of this cartoon was my total lack of knowledge about axles. I can't believe this is what one really looks like. But I couldn't find research photos or diagrams.

I thought of the great Jeff MacNelly many times in drawing this one. Could anybody draw vehicles like him? His cars and trucks absolutely breathed. Wish I had enough appreciation for vehicles to reinvent them my own way.

at 5/2/07, 9:30 AM Anonymous JRC said...

Good, funny and original take on the topic.

As a car guy, though, I gotta ask: Where's the rear differential on the truck's axle?

Must be a front-wheel drive model.


at 5/2/07, 9:57 AM Blogger Jim Borgman said...


at 5/2/07, 1:16 PM Blogger Doug said...

To respond to JRC's sarcasm in a more serious way, it would have to be front wheel drive for the rear axl to come off like that. So I'd say you're in the clear, Mr. Borgman. ;)

at 5/2/07, 3:00 PM Anonymous kencookusa said...

No need for a differential because obviously the vehicle is powered by "dem-feet." "Ba-da-bumb-bumb."
Time to leave the bush and the rubble behind. Sorry to go all editorial on you.

at 5/2/07, 5:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize Terrence. I was grumpy.
Nice cartoon.

at 5/2/07, 6:37 PM Anonymous h. beige said...

anonymous: you're ok! BTW Terrence, I was just goofing on IMO... I'm a dummy (IAD) about computer talk.

at 5/2/07, 7:50 PM Blogger Terrence said...

Sorry, the "mindless complaints" comment wasn't directed at anybody in this particular thread. I did realize that it could potentially be read that way after I published the comment, though (isn't that what always happens?).

No harm, no foul. :)

I, personally, really love MacNelly's drawings of trains. I've had a sketch in my sketchbook for months for a cartoon that involves a large train and I think one of the things keeping me from doing it is the knowledge that I can't possibly live up to the Master's work.

at 5/2/07, 9:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

VEERry funny cartoon, and yes, it brings Macnelly's memories, when are they going to publish a big book with his editorial cartoons?... meanwhile, I think I'll have to keep all my clipped archive, by the way if anyone wants to share scanned old macnelly cartoons... count me in...

at 5/3/07, 12:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

just goes to show, put it in (D)emocrat to go forward or (R)epublican to go backwards

at 5/3/07, 7:47 PM Anonymous anon 6:35 said...

That's good, 12:57. Terrence: you've got serious skills.

at 5/4/07, 11:37 AM Blogger Graham said...

has nothing to do with the authenticity or otherwise of the axle; it's the look on the donkey's face. Regardless of your politics, this one is priceless.

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