Thanksgiving cartoons are usually not my favorite to write because there’s not a lot of material to mine. But for whatever reason, this year they came relatively quickly (September!) and I squirrelled them away to draw up on a busy and/or bad writing week. Boy was I glad I did!
A few weeks back we had to travel for a family wedding and 3/4 of the Anderson family unit was sick (including me), so having these Thanksgiving cartoons at the ready came in handy. Anyway, I thought I’d share a little info on each of them to get us all in the mood for Turkey Day! Enjoy:
I’m not normally a purely visual gag kind of cartoonist. There are people that do that well, but I’ve found myself to be more interested in playing with language. This is also a fairly difficult scene to pull off, so you’d think I’d save it for last, right? Nope! I dug right in and spent most of a day on this one Thanksgiving cartoon. (Normally I can create 3 cartoons start to finish in about two hours.) I think it was worth it, but because it had me a little out of my element I’m still not sure. What do you think?
This cartoon went through all kinds of changes to the caption. At various points the turkey had ordered night vision goggles, a hot air balloon, a taxi, a trampoline and more. The trickiest part was the airline portion. I wanted to get across that the turkey was headed someplace exotic, but people calling to check on credit card charges don’t tell you what was purchased so I couldn’t write anything like “two tickets to the Bahamas.” Thankfully there’s an actual Hawaiian Airlines which solved my problem.
This Thanksgiving cartoon came to me by working backwards. “It’s a little dry” is something probably everyone has heard connected to a turkey, but I wanted to take it a show just how dry this particular bird ended up being. I was also considering putting in one of those cow skulls and some heat lines, but thought it might complicate what I was hoping to make more of a subtle joke.
This caption got completely reworked after showing it my wife. The original was “I thought Halloween was last month.” Now, my wife being the good cartoon editor she is said “Why would the pig dress up?”
“It’s not the pig, the turkey is tricking him and dressing him up so he gets eaten instead,” I explained.
“OK, but that’s not clear with that caption,” she said. And she was totally right.
It took me about an hour of deep thought (OK, 20 minutes of deep thought, some BuzzFeed browsing and a short nap) but I think adding “Thanks for the help” and the “Turkee” sign got this one working. Actually now I that I look at it I think it might be my favorite of the Thanksgiving cartoons this year. WOO!
I did a bit of research for this cartoon because stuff is always funnier if it’s accurate. (See the gourd cartoon from Halloween.) The idea here is that the therapist, while working with his client, takes a moment to get a little expert Thanksgiving advice. I’d considered giving the guy more of a hungry look, but thought that was a little easy.
This is not only the last of the new Thanksgiving cartoons, but the wordiest by far. But you know what? It was even wordier right up until I was typing in the caption. The original caption was:
“OK, last thing. It’s come to my attention that some people in the office are hanging up those little hand turkey drawings their kids made and some employees, and I’m not saying who, find those quite offensive and have complained to HR. So, if you could do me a favor and just take them down…”
Whew! Pant pant… That’s a mouthful isn’t it?! So a little pruning later it’s certainly more readable, but I have to admit it lost just a little zip.
So that’s it for this year. Feel free to head on over to the main site and check out all of my Thanksgiving cartoons. And have a great Thanksgiving!
Wanna see more blogs about Thanksgiving Cartoons? Here you go:
Thanksgiving is coming soon, so before the tryptophan sets in, we’re going to draw a cartoon turkey! Just follow the 8 easy steps below and you’ll soon have a great gobbler to call your own!
When you’re finished, feel free to tweet, pin, email or otherwise share a pic of your cartoon turkey with me and I’ll post it over at Pinterest! And if you’d like to grab the tutorial and post it on your own blog or website, you’re more than welcome to. (A link back would be appreciated.) Enjoy:
Easy, right? You should try out my other how-to-draw tutorials too:
Feel free to check out my Thanksgiving cartoons too!
Turkey day is coming soon, so, to get you in the mood, here’s a veritable feast of Thanksgiving cartoons!
I don’t think I’ve done any First Thanksgiving cartoons before, and once I began drawing it I knew why. You have to draw your pilgrims, your Native Americans, a table & chairs, a cabin, a forest, turkeys… Sheesh!
More thought than you’d assume went into the text for the sign in this cartoon. I’d considered, and actually had another cartoon recommend “Because, unlike your rmother, you can’t cook,” but I like the one-two punch of putting “unlike your mother” at the end.
Nothing says family holiday meal like petty squabbling, the silent treatment, and pushing family members’ buttons. Throw in some politics and you’re good to go!
When thinking Thanksgiving cartoons, a turkey with a samurai sword probably doesn’t come immediately to mind. That is unless you had just watched Kill Bill before sitting down to write. Ahem.
Every Thanksgiving I think “Hey, I’ll put on the parade for the kids! I used to love that when I was a kid!” You sit them down and watch about 10 minutes of lip-synced dancing, the Podunk High School Marching Weevils, and endless teases for balloons and then, like every Thanksgiving, I apologize and hand over the iPhone and iPad.
Turkeys disguising themselves as other birds is a staple of Thanksgiving cartoons, but for some reason the phrase “feather extensions” made me chortle to myself for about five minutes. So there it is.
Thanksgiving blackmail. You go, turkey!
This Thanksgiving cartoon took a bit of research. When is a turkey done? What’s that thing about stuffing? How do you get salmonella? All in a day’s work for your friendly neighborhood cartoonist.
Well that’s it, Feel free to check out all of my other Thanksgiving cartoons too. And happy turkey day, everyone!
There is nothing I don’t like about Thanksgiving turkey. The crispy skin, the big hunks of meat, the cooking the stuffing in it… Just writing this is making me hungry!!
Turkeys are also way too much fun to do cartoons about. They’re fun to draw, there’s the whole impending doom thing, and they were Ben Franklin’s choice for the national bird! Jackpot!!
So, since Thanksgiving is almost here, I thought I’d share some of my favorite turkey cartoons. Gobble gobble!
I do so love drawing animals in ordinary day-to-day situations. Working in offices, sitting on the couch, but one of special favorites is the bar. Animals hunched over drinking their problems away is almost funny enough without a caption. Throw in another holiday related animal and some bitter envy and you’ve got yourself a pretty good cartoon (if I do say so myself).
Ok, I always like selling a cartoon, but sometimes just drawing the cartoon is enough. Turkey newscaster with a turkey murder chalk outline? Fun!!
This cartoon, on further reflection, probably has a little too much going on to work well. You have to see that the doctor character is a plastic surgeon, you have to see that the picture the turkey is handing over is a duck… There’s probably a simpler way to do this with a longer caption, but I couldn’t get myself to stretch it out. Sometimes the balancing act gets a little tipsy.
Mostly I draw Thanksgiving turkey cartoons where the bird is dealing with the upcoming unpleasantness, so this one where the turkey is actually dead is a bit of a departure. But once I got “leftovers” in my head I couldn’t get it out, so we get the sort of sad cartoon above. Still, leftovers is kinda funny.
This cartoon is your basic reversal. What would turkeys eat for Thanksgiving?
You’d think they shy away from the whole holiday, never mind a turkey-ish main dish, but there it is. Who knew?!
Pop-up thermometers are inherently funny. They just are. I’m not saying they’re not useful, and I have to admit they’re kind of cool, but the name “pop-up thermometer” is awesomely goofy.
We’ll, that does it for our fine feathered fun. Feel free to check out all of my turkey cartoons, and enjoy your feast, everyone!