What is the best way to start a cartoon? In my opinion before starting to plan composition, a cartoonist must develop a mood regarding the drawing he is about to make. This mood will not only establish the feeling for the picture but be most important in helping him determine what to put into it.
For example, let us say the assignment is a nervous bookkeeper about to hit his boss up for a raise. I begin by thinking about both characters. After a while I have a good mental image of both and I begin sketching them.
Being an old friend of underdogs everywhere the more I think of the bookkeeper, the sorrier I feel for him. I decide that it's taken the poor guy ten years to work up nerve enough to ask for this raise and that it's his wife's idea anyway.
Then I start thinking about the boss and perhaps I hear great roaring sounds of battle first. After the smoke clears away I see him, the Old Man. Harvard or Princeton '03, a vegetarian except for the fact that once in a while he eats nervous bookkeepers asking for a raise.
I decide to make it even tougher for the bookkeeper by making the boss real busy this day. . . lots of orders on his desk, five phones ringing, secretaries barging in and out. . . (aren't cartoonists sadistic?)
Will the bookkeeper
get the raise? Will the boss say yes or throw him out of the 84th floor window? For the answer to this and other startling questions turn to the next page.