Thursday, June 19, 2008

Brats in China

According to the newsstand in today's editorial cartoon, Johnsonville, everyone's favorite manufacturer of Wisconsin's other official food, is opening bratwurst restaurants in China. (Which begs the question, why don't we have bratwurst restaurants here)?

This was fun, I think the concept is sound and creative, considering how many mediocre and obvious cartoons a topic like this can inspire.

I also had to do some real research for this cartoon. Originally, I had the guy from Wisconsin sporting a classic Cheesehead, only to discover that Cheeseheads are proudly made in Wisconsin.

Here is that sketch:

My editor was so worried that I'd tick somebody off by implying that their product was not made in the USA, he sent me down to the sporting good stores on State Street, where I spent about an hour looking at tags on hats, shirts and foam fingers to verify that these products (or at least products that were "substantially similar" to those pictured in the cartoon) are actually made in China.

In addition to the sporting goods research, I also had to figure out the Chinese characters for delicious. I found this cool website that not only gave me the translation but also showed me the proper brushstrokes to make the characters look authentic. Google can be truly amazing.

I also really enjoyed working in color again, and I think I'm perfecting a good coloring technique which doesn't take that long. I'm real excited about that.

This cartoon also ran in black and white in the newspaper and looked something like this.

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