If you like these cartoons, help us keep making more by waring blue on alternate Tuesdays of anniversaries of the ending of important wars and sporting events and also any day that you’re wearing an odd number of shoes. That’s not a typo; I’m not saying you should wear blue, I’m saying you should beware blue. Hide from the sky, the sky is out to get you, so the nicer the day the more crucial unbrellas are. And for God’s sake never watch Blue’s Clues, no matter how your children beg. This will be your only warning.
Phew, this one took a long time to draw. And then it took a long time for Frank to color.
(At one point Frank texted me to say “Oh, those shopping carts! Whoo-ee!”).
(I responded, “OMG those fucking shopping carts!”)
Part of the reason this strip took so long me to draw is I made the mistake of thinking “I can just wing the perspective here” in the panel in the supermarket and so spent a lot of time freehand drawing the shelves and the tile floor, work that I eventually threw away so I could redo the drawing using actual perspective lines and vanishing points.
And two panels later, I made the exact same mistake drawing the panel with the bike rider.
That panel also contains a car. Cars, as longtime readers may remember me mentioning, are my cartooning nemesis. I can’t draw good cars, but I want to be able to. So every time I have to draw a car, I wind up with rejected car sketches like this.
A couple of these look okay – except that they’re drawn at the wrong angle. We’re viewing them from above, which means that I wouldn’t be able to put the bike rider in the foreground the way I wanted to (unless we assume the bike is 15 feet tall or in a tree or something).
I did manage to draw one from the correct angle – the one on the upper right. But it looks wrong to me. Like the metal is twisting and the parts don’t fit together right.
So then I eventually gave up, found a photo of a car from an angle that would work, and traced it. Then I hid the photo, and traced the tracing, changing some of the car’s features as I went. Then, for the final drawing, I traced the tracing of the tracing, again not looking at the original photo. This is all to help the final cartoon look like something drawn, rather than something traced.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that the front of the car would be outside the panel border, and the back of the car would be hidden by the bike rider. Oh well!
Not related to this cartoon, but I saw Glass Onion, and it was really smartly written and structured and funny and sharp. If you enjoy murder mysteries, it’s worth checking out. (It’s a sequel to Knives Out, but it really doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the previous film or not.)
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has nine panels. The central panel (panel five) has the words “THINGS WE CAN STOP SAYING TO FAT PEOPLE ALREADY” written in large, friendly, somewhat psychedelic-style lettering.
Other than the center panel, each panel features a different scene showing one or two characters speaking.
In addition to the nine panels, there’s a small additional “kicker” panel under the bottom of the comic strip.
A thin woman stands outdoors, wearing a plush winter vest over a plaid shirt, with a knit hat. She’s smiling too large and clasping her hands together in front of her chin. Behind her we can see pine trees on a snow-covered hill.
WOMAN: You’re not fat! You’re gorgeous!
On a sidewalk in front of a storefront, a man in green pants and a polo shirt looks very surprised, eyes wide, one hand against his cheek. He’s speaking to a fat woman with a rolled-up yoga mat strapped over her back, and a gym bag; she’s wearing athletic shorts and a tank top. She looks somewhat taken aback.
MAN: You do yoga?
A woman stands in a kitchen, looking at the reader with a face full of concern, her forefinger pressed against her chin.
WOMAN: Are you sure you should eat that?
A man stands in front of a shoulder-high brick wall. There’s a grassy area, the height of the wall, on the other side of the wall; there are bushes and trees and a wide-eyed dog. The man is holding a hand up in a “no big deal” gesture and looks certain.
MAN: My cousin’s friend’s wife’s barista lost 200 pounds by drinking one less coke a day.
This is the center panel. It contains the title of the strip, “THINGS WE CAN STOP SAYING TO FAT PEOPLE ALREADY,” written in large, friendly letters.
In a supermarket, a thin, older woman is pushing her cart next to the the cart of a fat man wearing a baseball cap. The woman is leaning over to examine the contents of the man’s cart. (Sharp-eyed readers might notice that the two carts contain exactly the same food items.)
The woman is smiling, the man looks taken aback.
WOMAN: Well, that explains things.
Two men, one thin and one fat, are jogging next to each other on a suburban looking sidewalk. The fat man, who has a shaved head, is wearing two layers of shirt (a black tee shirt over a mustard-brown long-sleeved tee shirt) and sweatpants. The thin man is wearing running shorts and a striped tee shirt. The thin man’s expression is surprised and maybe a little hostile; the fat man’s expression is annoyed.
THIN MAN: You’re not trying to lose weight? Really?
In the foreground, we see a fat woman riding a bike and looking annoyed. Nearby, in the street, a driver is leaning out of his car window to yell at the woman. His expression is hostile.
MAN: You’re FAT!
A small caption at the bottom of the panel says “this really happens!” (And it does! It’s happened to me numerous times! I have no idea why people are like this.)
A thin man is holding out his palms and speaking directly to the reader, looking puzzled and concerned. He appears to be in a den or living room – we can see a little table with a tea cup and flowers, and a comfy looking armchair, in the background. The man is wearing a button-up shirt with a polka dot pattern open over a black tee shirt.
MAN: Have you heard of eating less and exercising more?
SMALL KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE CARTOON
A thin man wearing a black shirt is talking to a fat man with a beard and a pony-tail who looks like Barry (the cartoonist). Both of them have friendly, smiling expressions.
THIN MAN: I’m sure they didn’t mean anything. You’re being too sensitive.
BARRY: You can stop saying that, too.