Prospect Magazine (UK -- NOT "THE American Prospect" mag) publishes a cartoon that takes a business expression literally. And it's hostile. I find that a lot of time, cartoons that are passively hostile sell. Cartoons that are openly angry do not. Back that idea in a minute.
Above is the version that the editors saw. They asked for color, which, I thought, actually helped out the gag.
Now they are holding either (a) balls or (b) tomatoes. It's funny not so much for what is happening, but for what will happen next. It's the expectation of chaos that gooses this one along, and makes it humorous. This is something that Gary Larson used to do so well with his FAR SIDE cartoons. But, still, readers
... were outraged at the idea of deriving humor from the suffering of animals -- even if imaginary -- as in the cartoon of two dogs playing tethercat, or the one showing a pet owner encouraging her little Fifi to dash full speed through a (boarded-up) dog door.
-- from a 1999 Salon.com article on Gary Larson
That Fifi cartoon still makes me smile.
Openly nasty cartoons rarely sell. I drew 2 todders, and one says to the other, "Yeah, your diaper makes you look fat. Your whole outfit makes you look fat."
I guess it was too mean, what with childhood obesity and all. Maybe it should have been, "Yeah, your diaper makes you look big-boned. Your whole outfit makes you look big-boned." Anyway, the thing never sold. I guess editors are sensitive to their readers' sensibilities.
This one, of a professional white collar worker throttling same, was not published in the US, despite repeated submissions. The UK edition of Reader's Digest picked it up. I think overt violence -- even if they are just cartoon people -- makes editors squeamish. If, for instance, the fellow was choking a minority, it would set a whole different tone. Because it's middle-aged white guys, it's more acceptable. You can portray the middle-aged white guy as the biggest idiot in the world, and no one complains. As one of those MAWGs, I'm offended!
But I still laugh at Homer Simpson and so, recognize, ironically, that I am part of the problem.