You know what’s great about insurance ads? Instead of talking about their products they recycle old gags and they never get old even if they fixate on it for 30 seconds, 70 times a day for six months.
I tried drawing this person as a 40+ish year old man with a black 1980s-looking mustache but then I felt sympathy for him, which was not the point, but I couldn’t get a clear idea what stereotypical person I was angry at, so now I am not sure what it is. But I sure dwelt on this stupid thing for long enough. I need to have this away from me more then the execution needs to work. this is the sort of thing that would probably have been much funnier if I had drawn it as obnoxiously as possible in ten minutes.
Here is my base sketch to establish the concept. If I had drawn crude impressions of the idea of far side cartoons rather than directly sourcing specific ones and put blatant stupid labels on the books like “FAR SIDE LAST BOOK” instead of trying to use real covers that plenty of people familiar with The Far Side would not necessarily recognize. The cruder way it is plainly a joke, without being stated as such, and I can not be held deeply accountable for it. The eyes look less creepy because that is the natural, unnatural size I draw them at. I would not feel as ashamed putting this out somewhere and having it be ignored. The more accurate and specific something is, the harder it flops if some aspect of it is wrong. That is why John Callahan, a quadriplegic cartoonist who couldn’t draw worth a basket of tumbleweeds but was free from obsessive compulsive fears had a career and I probably won’t ever. I probably won’t die at the age of 59 from complications of a botched bedsore surgery either, but I have 26 years to dwell on what a rude thing to say that is/also become quadriplegic.
In fact that “FAR SIDE LAST BOOK” was one of the last things I changed; since I used a real cover on the other, less focal book, having the one in the center be generic looked lazy. I worked harder to make my joke less funny because I apparently would rather not look lazy than be funny, even though trying to be funny is the whole point of doing it to begin with, and it was only just barely funny. And I KNEW that but I couldn’t stop myself.
As the tentatively final version is, somebody could point out “ah HA, geico put out an ad specifically referring to a problem invented by contemporary phones, which cannot possibly have come from The Far Side.” or “ehm excuse me that is NOT the real far side panel that was used for December on the 1996 wall calendar.” I showed this to my older brother, who I only see twice a year, and whose approval I am desperate for, because he was my first idol and my last idol that still talks to me (Zartan come back, I forgive you, I forgive everyone), but who won’t look at anything I do unless I specifically show it to him, and he asked “DO they do that?” As in: DO the geico people steal old Far Side gags? Like he thought I was making a sincere political statement with this. And I had to say some waffly nonsense like no, but sort of I suppose they could maybe, like with the parrots and Tarzan and Marco Polo in the pool, you know? I felt like a profound moron. I spent hours drawing that thing, and I might as well have just have looked at Where’s Waldo books while eating chex mix and cupcakes all day. Just give up.
Nobody cares that gary larson’s dinosaurs all look generic and unscientific because he doesn’t draw elaborate shading and scales and muscles on them like i would try to.
This is how autism affects me. I cannot take hints, and nobody takes mine, so I need to be as specific as possible. But I do not have the manual dexterity to be specific beyond a certain point so everything i do turns into uncanny valley mush. And by dwelling on this so hard I am doing the same thing I accuse geico of doing (outside of airing the things repeatedly forever)
Someday I will write a great book about how not to screw up. I will spend years on it, and all the advice in it will be the opposite of whatever you should do.
Here is another example. My plan was to post this on all the usual totally redundant websites with a heading in the vein of: “the REAL reason he quit the show.” Being as vague as possible, and likely not quite communicating my point, because I always over- or under-do all things. Goopness grapejuice I’ve even digressed and overdone my story about how I overdo things.
I didn’t finish this. I noticed that once I added the font it wasn’t funny to me anymore, even though the font is approximately what it ought to be. Because once the lettering is solid, the drawing looks unsolid, but the whole is solid enough that I start to wonder: why is a Broadway show using a movie poster? Is this a movie sequel TO a Broadway show? Why would that be the case? Who specifically does/should this second person look like? Is it funnier if he is billed first? Do I need to add a background now? What sort of background would it have, and would it match the anachronistically dressed person or the historically dressed person (with anachronistic hair that we don’t talk about)?
HOWEVER, this was ultimately a positive step, since drawing this turned the Hamilton guy into a joke to me, so now when I, inevitably, see him, I think it is funny rather than annoying. I can coexist with him.
I no longer need to seek refuge in the bizarre alternate universe this New York Post headline is from in which Stephen Colbert doesn’t mention Hamilton at every opportunity. Broadcast television is still dead to me, however.
Also, I went to look up lyrics for a different show on some stupid broadway site that I didn’t realize was covered with graphics detailing all the awards hamilton (and flippin dippin RENT) had won, but when I saw they used this exact same dorky publicity shot it just made me laugh.
But then I got annoyed again when I realized Hamilton Guy also had the same approximate run of credits in “In the Heights” which I had not prior to then considered or cared if it had won anything.
Also that site is trash since it didn’t have lyrics, but the link that I THOUGHT would lead to them just went to a page to BUY tracks on i-tunes, which presumes both that I will suddenly spend money without having planned in advance to do so and that I would willingly introduce parasitic organisms into my operating system other than the 24 gigabyte folder of every pathetic redundant cash-in gameboy advance rom ever released.
And THAT was already on the hard drive when I got it! I swear. Somebody else specially installed, on my request, a 1 terrorbyte drive in the computer I bought from him, in place of the 320gigabyte drive it otherwise would have had, and perhaps he was trying to show me that I didn’t need half as much space as I thought I did by half-filling it with nonsense that I still haven’t totally sorted through (I am kidding, it was only one tenth. Come back Pez, I forgive you).
Going back to the anachronistic facial hair, I can understand if the first guy just looks like that anyway, but why does the second one, taking over the role, ALSO need to have that “I forgot to use a napkin after I ate a chocolate doughnut” beard? Alexander Hamilton didn’t look like that! He also didn’t rap or refuse to be photographed in poses that don’t make his pants look as tight as possible either, so I should excuse other fantasy aspects, but I never considered that the appearance was deliberate, like when there is an anime about Julius Caesar or something and all the men look like Sephiroth and all the women look like Sailor Moon. Also all my Japanese cultural references stop at 1997, you know that. Sometimes I wish my American ones did, too!