Posted by: ahallatt | April 9, 2008

Editorial control

Each week I have a phone chat with my King Features editor, Brendan Burford. I love these chats, mostly because we end up going off-topic a lot (I’m glad I don’t pay for the call: this one came in at 52 minutes), but also because BB really gets comics. He knows my characters nearly as well as I do and questions if one of them does something out of character. He rarely totally nixes ideas, but if he sows a seed of doubt in my head about one that he’s going to let run, I usually can it myself. Like this one, about thin ice:

The idea was that the ice was so thin that the danger sign had already fallen through it, so that Lenny only sees it when it is too late. But it’s a bit of a stretch and not a good enough gag to let it run.

Another rejected rough was inspired by a visit to Lyttelton by Rainbow Warrior II, the Greenpeace flagship. I was trying hard to come up with something related to global warming and icebergs breaking off, but I was trying too hard, so I wasn’t sorry to see this go:

One rough (actually an old strip in a series from way back) that I am sorry to go is this one:

It is the final cartoon to a series of 5, but I’m going to have to write another one because newspaper editors wouldn’t want to offend their readers…

Back to the drawing board….




  1. I think the print world will be a poorer place for being deprived of the Angelina Jolie joke. Welcome onboard,

  2. I found you through Susan Bell-Lundy’s blog. I must admit, I chuckled at all three of these “rejects,” with a downright guffaw at the last one here. 🙂

  3. Good to see you (virtually), Matt!

    Thanks, Danielle

    If only you could get away with what you can in a sitcom, the comics pages would be much funnier. They seem to be stuck in the 1950s when it comes to what is permissible.

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