February 21st, 2011
I honestly don’t know where cartoon ideas come from. I mean, I can tell you that I read read read the newspaper, catch a bit of TV news, always keeping my ear to the ground, letting the news and personal observations swirl around in my head—
Pencil and paper. That’s not where the idea starts but that’s where it comes out. I know that much. Most of the time it just happens. Might take a few seconds. Might take a few hours. But eventually, the idea appears. And when it does, I sometimes laugh out loud. Of course, when you laugh at your own idea, you worry that coworkers will suspect you’re being egotistical. But the truth is, I’m often just as surprised as anyone by the ideas that show up.
Rarely, however, do I ever get emotional when an idea comes, choking back tears.
But that’s what happened when I drew this cartoon about the nine-year old girl who was killed during the assassination attempt on U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. When I learned that Christina Taylor Green had been born on September 11, 2001, I couldn’t help but think of those heroic firemen who lost their lives that day. The idea came so quickly I worried that maybe it wasn’t good enough to publish. But sometimes the ones that come quickly and without notice are the best ones.
The cartoon appeared in print; I moved on to other topics.
Now I’ve learned that the cartoon made its way to Arizona and to Christina Taylor Green’s family.
And I got choked up all over again.
May you find peace, Christina Taylor Green, and may the angels and firemen protect you.