I need to frequent more bars.

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Happy Hour Bar & Grill cartoon - Happiest Damn Place on Earth

The Idea

This is from my self-syndicated series, Daily Special. It ran in the LA Times for almost 5 years, and I slowly expanded it to reach a dozen other major newspapers (like the award-winning Minneapolis Taste section!) and alternates, like Nashville Scene. Daily Special is all about restaurants. Don’cha love them? I still think it’s a treat when I get to go out and be served a carefully configured meal with a smile. I stroke the lovely tablecloth, or get out markers to draw on the placemats, whichever seems more appropriate. Hopefully they’ll give us special restaurant bread, as we start drooling when we read the menus.

The Drawing

I was so nervous  by the idea that hundreds of thousands of people would read me every week in the Times – including people I knew, some of whom were critical (Marty Murphy) some who were better! (Marty Murphy)- that I did the thing I know really well – signs! (went to sign school, did them in the studios.)  Out of the 4 or 5 cartoons I did a month, one would just be a funny sign – without any people in the drawing. (Even though a person or stray dog adds some perspective to the size of a building or window.)

I fancied up the drawing by adding  all the bricks here, and the little plants outside the bar. (I don’t go to bars very much, so had to imagine that part. I’ve never seen flowers outside a bar, but maybe in West Hollywood?)

My favorite drawings have minimal lines, so these details make it a worse drawing, I think. Gah.

Drawing theories aside, the idea is always most important, and one of my friends says it’s his favorite, and always makes him laugh! Thanks, Keith!

Newspapers

The great thing about doing cartoons for newspapers is that they pretty much leave you alone, although they do check on language. They trust you to know what’s funny, what’s appropriate, etc. They take what you hand them, because could they do it? No.

I did this one both with Damn and Darn on the window, in case any papers objected. The Times did, but the others, (including Salt Lake Tribune!) didn’t! Of course, damn is funnier. (The word damn is a little smeared because I was learning to use Photoshop Elements from scratch.  Hell is learning new graphics programs over and over.)

Sometimes you just gotta draw it and send it out there, DAMN it.