Gags That Don’t Kill

30 Apr

There’s no worse feeling than having a comic that doesn’t work.  You know – a BAD joke.  I’ve had a few misses in my journey, and it’s something I desperately try to avoid like a cold sore (especially at this point).

I try to be like a Chef Ramsay of cartooning – I try not to  let crap leave the kitchen.

But, sometimes, I have some ‘toons that don’t quite hit the mark.  And if they do slip past the gate and end up out there in the public, it sometimes doesn’t dawn on me that it wasn’t that great until I hear from a different source.  Then, that’s when I truly look at it objectively, and realize that it probably wasn’t the best work I could offer.  And just like an undercooked pork chop, I send it back to the kitchen to get it right.

I really try to demand quality of my material.  And beyond that, the competitive nature of me tries to outdo the next guy.

The good thing about having a crappy cartoon on occasion though is I tend to learn a lot from it.  I try to never make the same mistakes, and improve on it.  And if I make the same mistake, I scratch my head and try to figure out who’s managing this place (which is me, so really I’m scratching the managers head).

In saying all of that, there are times I do a gag that I personally enjoy, and someone else won’t.  That’s bound to happen, but generally, I don’t feel too bad about these.  Every comic I do, my biggest rule of thumb is that if I don’t laugh at it, or find it amusing, the general public won’t either.  So, if I do like something, it seems to work out well that someone else out there will like it as well.  BUT – blame it on a warped mind…I guess – there are moments when the joke doesn’t hit with anyone but myself.

In general, over the past year especially, I’ve been extra-hard on myself to make sure the crap doesn’t leave the studio.  And if it does, I guess I’ll have to find a way to take it off your tab.

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2 Responses to “Gags That Don’t Kill”

  1. Bearman April 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    My wife is my voice of what works and what doesn’t. For example, after spending hours on what worked in my head my cartoon for Wed she said was cute but not as good as normal. F’ That…I am still running it. haha

    • Nate Fakes April 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

      The best judges I know are kids (usually under 8). If you can showcase any work in front of them, they’re brutally honest. If they laugh, it’s a good sign. If they just look at it with no response, scrap it and move on.

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