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Zoology & UnNatural History 'toons
Tips & Donations are more than welcome.
If you got a few laughs from this site, why not buy the cartoonist a beer or two?
Magazines I've drawn for. The New Yorker, of course ... although they've yet to have the good sense to buy any of my work. Hundreds of others have, from the Saturday Evening Post to The Oregonian to large publishing houses to small trade journals. Let me draw a few cartoons for you. No matter what, I hope you get a few laughs as you go through my site.
Need a cartoon on a
Using my computer data base of over 100,000 cross-indexed ideas, I'll send you some targeted whimsy, you pick out what makes you smirk, and I email the drawings with no obligation on your part to buy anything unless you like them.
Index of Cartoons
Use Cartoons in Presentations.
Public Speakers, even when speaking on serious topics, break the ice with a joke. Cartoons do the same thing--and you can't "tell a cartoon wrong.
Use Cartoons in Textbooks, Advertisements, Brochures, Web Sites & Blogs.
Cartoons & humorous illustrations grab people's attention and therefore increase your chances to convey your message.
Use Cartoons on T-shirts.
Events can't be called true events unless they have official T-shirts, and t-shirts with personalized cartoons on them are the T-shirts preferred by 9 out of 10 people stranded on a desert island.
Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult, published by Caxton Press, is my first book of literary nonfiction. It's a story that has everything a good read should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the downfall of prominent families, murder & sensational court trials. AND it's all true. To learn more about cults and the book, go to Holy Rollers
One Cartoonist's Mind Works
How to create cartoon ideas.
An illustration of anyone can be Photoshopped into any cartoon on the mchumor.com web site. This is a great CHEAP gift.
The perfect "gift from the gang" at retirement or going away parties is an original cartoon of the guest of honor.
Finally, what tens of people have been waiting for: collections of some of my most popular cartoons on various topics. The books only cost $8.50, and that even includes postage & handling if you're in the U.S.
Do you run a business & want something special to send prospective clients, give as gifts or hand out at meetings? People can only fit so many souvenir coffee mugs into a cupboard, whereas books of cartoons are something everyone will really appreciate AND keep. I have cartoon collections of various trades that only cost $8.50 per book. At no extra charge you can have your business's name and logo printed on them.
mugs, cards, posters, prints & more.
In addition to cartooning I paint watercolors and draw scientific illustrations. My series titled UnNatural History is a combination of all three. Someday they will be part of a book that's a whimsical look at my life as a naturalist.
I'm an award winning naturalist. Want a few laughs & learn about the local flora, fauna & history on your next visit to the central Oregon coast. Rent me.
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394
Got comments and/or suggestions about this web page design? Contact me. I, a techno moron, designed it on an ancient, but much-loved circa 1997 Performa Macintosh.
All work on this page is copyright
Reproduction via all means and all use is strictly prohibited without written permission of the artist.
copyright by T. McCracken
It is a collection of 100 of my most popular cartoons, including Lemming Suicide Hotline, Dorothy selling the Tin Man to a recycling center, and Druids changing to Daylight Saving Time.
I first thought about the idea while listening to a conversation between Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza in Seinfeld's season five's episode, The Stock Tip.
Jerry: I think Superman probably has a very good
sense of humor.
George: I never heard him say anything really funny.
Jerry: But it's common sense. He's got super strength, super speed. I'm sure he's got super humor.
George: You would think that, but either you're born with a sense of humor, or you're not. It's not going to change even if you go from the red sun of Krypton all the way to the yellow sun of the Earth.
Jerry: Why? Why would that one area of his mind not be affected by the yellow sun of Earth?
George: I don't know, but he ain't funny.
Superman may not have super humor, but The Komic does. The Komic is the funniest person on the planet, perhaps the funniest person in the universe. No one has a better sense of timing or a sense of the absurd or a better way with words than The Komic. Stand ups the world over study her segues, her turns of phrase, her jokes and her delivery technique, but none come close to making people laugh the way The Komic does. Nobody studies her punch lines, though, because anyone hearing her say one, literally dies laughing.
She tries to control this awful power, tries to be dry and humorless, but sometimes she's careless. Something as innocent as idle conversation in a checkout stand can result in a body count.
I don't know how most graphic novelists work: whether they come up with the drawings or the story first, or work on them both simultaneously. I know I'm a story first kind of creator.
In my fantasy life I envision this becoming a very interactive comic. For instance, how am I to write jokes so funny that people die laughing from them? I'm good, but I'm not that good. Besides, who'll buy my comics if I kill my audience ... not to mention the potential law suits. My solution is that when The Komic is telling a joke, you don't see much of the text because it's covered with a thought bubble. Often it will be “do-not-tell-the-punchline-do-not-tell-the-punchline” My loyal fan base can then submit their versions of what the jokes are, sort of a variation on The New Yorker's caption contest.
THE SCENE: ODD PORT'S MERCANTILE
The shopper waiting ahead of Kate reads a tabloid headline aloud, “Two Headed Batboy is Being Considered for Secretary of the Interior.”
“I'm surprised Fox News didn't lead with that,” Kate wants to say, but instead just smiles the uneasy sympathetic smile you make to strangers in checkout lines who are trying to stave off boredom with inane chitchat. The tabloid headline triggers something in Kate's brain. Joke upon joke upon joke spring forth whole cloth, enough jokes to fill a whole set.
“I need a price check for Green-Adult diapers,” the cashier says into the microphone. The customer ahead of Kate, a dignified kind-looking man who up until that moment had excellent posture, slumps. Kate feels bad for him. She wants to say something to ease his embarrassment. The pressure begins to build within her.
“This cashier is so slow she'll never have to worry about carpal tunnel,” Kate thinks, but doesn't say. It isn't a really funny line and it's cruel. There's little Kate hates more than cruel humor. Besides, Kate feels it's always best to air on the side of caution when it comes to her saying anything remotely funny.
Kate tries to distract herself. She looks for a headline about global warming, genocide or someone drowning kittens, but all the news of the day is heartening. Kate desperately scans the aisles. “Where is a frazzled shopper yelling at and spanking an unruly two year old when you want one?” she thinks. “They're always here when I have a migraine.”
“Those diapers,” a voice on the PA says, “Regular or absorbent?”
“Extra-absorbent,” a nasty boor behind Kate yells. The dignified kind-looking man slumps further and stares intently at his shoes.
Kate starts to tell a joke and doesn't realize the monologue that's going on in her head is tumbling out of her mouth until she sees that the man is no longer slumped and is laughing at what she's saying. He was so engrossed that he didn't even notice when a voice on the PA asks, “Econo or Jumbo pack?”
“Super-Jumbo,” the boor behind Kate yells.
“Go on,” the man says to Kate. “The mechanic drains the shrimp bisque from the carburetor and then what?”
Kate knows she needs to stall, needs to make a short story long because the man is hanging on to her every word.
As is the cashier.
“I thought it'd be impossible for this woman to get any slower, but she is,” Kate thinks while she struggles with her story and the man and the cashier laugh more and more. Tears begin to leak out of their eyes.
Kate breathes a sign of relief when the cashier puts the last of his bags in a cart.
“And?” the man asks as he stuffs the receipt in his pocket and waits for Kate to finish.
“What's the punch line?” the cashier asks. Kate indicates that the woman should keep scanning while she finishes the story. Kate bags her own groceries to speed things up.
Suddenly Kate looks at her watch and says, “My God. I'm late, I'm late for a very important date.” She pulls a $100 bill out of her wallet--at least double what she owes--throws it on the counter, grabs her groceries and runs out of the store.
The bewildered cashier waves the bill and shouts, “Don't you want your change?“
“And the punch line! What's the punch line?” the boor who was behind Kate yells.
The boor runs after Kate and grabs her elbow. “Come on. You can't leave without telling us the punch line.” The pressure inside Kate is intense. All the while she was weaving the small joke that turned eventually turned into a long convoluted story she was silently screaming to herself “Do-not-get to-the-punch-line-do-not-say-the-punch-line-out-loud...”
“I'm not budging until you tell me the punch line,” the boor says.
Kate so wants to blurt it out. It would be so easy. Holding in a punch line is agony and gives her a headache. How many times has she been in a situation like this: someone wanting to hear the punch line and her wanting to give it? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands most likely
Kate is born at the Odd Port Hospital for the Indigent where, her mother (name To Be Determined, TBD), so desperately wants to be done with her pregnancy, gives one last push with such force that the new born flies out her womb, slips through the doctor's hands and out the open second story window (safety measures are lax in Odd Port). The baby lands on her head in front of Bonnie Watson, a kindly woman who yells up to the mother, “Want her?”
“Not now,” the mother says snipping the two-story long umbilical cord. “She's brain damaged.” Bonnie scoops up baby Kate and takes her home to the funeral parlor she runs next door to the hospital, a never-ending source of business.
Bonnie Watson raises Kate and frets about her future. “What can brain damaged people do?” she asks herself.
Bonnie reads on the fantastic cartoon web site, www.mchumor.com, that Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner, said that to be a cartoonist it helps to have been dropped on your head as a child. A huge cartoon hand, like the hand of God, draws a light bulb above her head. She gives Kate a box of crayons.
Bonnie frequents the Odd Port Comedy Club because it's nice to hear people laughing after a day of dealing with the dead and their grieving relatives. She always takes Kate and her box of crayons with her. When Kate is 10 years old she says to Bonnie, “Did you know you can do something with crayons other than eat them?”
“Poor, dear,” the kindly woman thinks. “She's probably too brain damaged to even be a cartoonist.”
Some years later, Bonnie prepares a body, she says to Kate, “You should think of going on during open mike night at the Comedy Club. You may be too brain damaged to be a cartoonist, but maybe not to be a stand up comic.”
“Oh, I don't know,” Kate mumbles while chewing on a crayon. “What if I bomb? I'd never be able to go out in public again?”
Bonnie's sleeve accidentally snags a big bushy wig on the head of the body she's working on.
“How about if you wear a disguise? Here try this on,” she says handing the wig to Kate. Kate puts it on.
Bonnie removes a pair of big goofy glasses from the body and hands those to Kate.
“There. Nobody will recognize you so there's no need to be embarrassed if you bomb.”
That night Kate, wearing the wig, glasses and a T-shirt with a big letter K on it, signs up for open mike night as “The Komic.” When she's on stage, people laugh. She's not sure if they're laughing at her jokes or her get up, but she doesn't care, they're laughing and there's nothing she likes better than being in a room full of people laughing.
After that, every time she gets on stage she gets more laughs.
At some point Bonnie contracts cancer. She's terminal and when drugs (legal and illegal) stop controlling the pain she says, “Kate, tell me a joke that's so funny I'll die laughing.” Kate loves Bonnie and can't bear the thought of her dying, but she also can't bear seeing her in pain.
“I don't know that I'm that funny,” Kate says.
“Try,” Bonnie urges. “There's nobody that makes me laugh the way you do.”
Fighting back tears, Kate starts to tell a joke.
When Kate finishes the punch line, Bonnie Watson, tears of laughter rolling down her cheek, takes her last breath. Kate's not sure if her joke killed her or if it just was the kindly woman's time to go.
Kate incinerates her in the funeral home and never files for a death certificate. “You never know when you may need to assume another identity,” she says.
After the Bonnie's death The Komic is nervous the first time she's back on stage. “Do I really have the ability to make people die laughing?” she wonders. “If so, it's akin to Midas's ability to turn everything and everyone he touches into gold.”
She starts telling a joke, people are really laughing. “Should I tell the punch-line?” she asks herself.
“Uhhhh,” she mutters.
She stares wide-eyed out at the audience. “Gosh, I've forgotten the punch line,” she says and runs off the stage.
The next night she returns to the club, once again she starts to tell a joke and once again, as the audience begins to laugh she pauses. “Oh wait,” she says, “I got it mixed up. It was the man who said that. The woman said ... no wait, she ... ummm.”
This soon becomes The Komic's shtick: The comic who never finishes a joke.
One night a friend of hers (name TBD) has the best set of his life. Two producers from OPBC (Odd Port Broadcasting) are in the audience and say they want to offer him a contract for his own show. The Komic is ecstatic for her friend. After the club closes and the rest of the audience is gone she, her friend and the producers stay behind to celebrate and hash out the deal. Her friend excuses himself for a moment to go to the restroom.
While he's gone of the producers asks The Komic, “Do you really not remember the punch lines, or it all an act?”
The Komic laughs nervously.
“Come on,” the other producer says. “Spit one out. I can tell you want to.” And she really really does. Holding in the punch lines all the time strains the Komic. “This must be what it's like to be on the verge of an orgasm and pulling away at the next to the last moment,” she thinks, “Not that I know a lot about such things since a brain damaged woman in Odd Port has a better chance of being abducted by space aliens than of finding a compatible man ... ooh, that's a good line. Remember that for later.”
One of the producers holds up his cell phone camera and says, “We're waiting.” The Komic can't resist and says the punch line to the joke she started earlier in the evening. We can't see the text because the producers' laughter is so huge it blots it out.
Her friend comes out of the bathroom and sees the producers dying laughing.
“What did you do?” he screams at The Komic. “You killed them ... and we hadn't signed the contract yet.”
“All I did was finish a joke,” The Komic says almost inaudibly.
The Komic's friend now becomes her arch enemy because everyone with super powers has to have an arch enemy.
Kate a.k.a. the Komic is wracked with guilt both because she ruined her friend's chances for a sitcom deal and because of the producer's deaths. She vows to try to always leave people laughing, but to not go so far as to kill them.
The video from the producers' cell phones becomes an internet sensation. Everyone wants to know what the punch line is, but the producers laughter is so loud that no one can hear it and their hands are shaking so much that The Komic's not on camera enough for someone read her lips.
One geek spends weeks filtering and tweaking the audio, doing all that sort of technical stuff that geeks can do that we mere mortals can't, and when he's finally was able to hear the punch line, he drops dead laughing. Or did he just die of a heart attack at 19?
Someone breaks in to the geek's computer, copies the file containing the joke and emails it to all these people he hates. An email killer.
When Kate learns of this she rushes to warn victims not to open their email. Some she saves and others, alas, grinned to death. There must be closed coffins because the smiles on the corpses is so overpowering.
No one can prove Kate's killing people, but many believe she is. There is an increase in heart attacks in Odd Port. Or are they heart attacks? Soon, whenever there is a suspicious death someone asks, “Was it natural or was he a victim of The Komic?”
The rise in heart attacks has been a boon for business. One of the heart attack victims was the brother of Odd Port's Senator, Tracy Spencer. Spencer tells Kate that he believes his brother was killed by The Komic and he hopes to have vengeance some day. He becomes another of The Komic's arch enemies because super heroes need more than one arch enemy.
Spencer doesn't realize that Kate is The Komic because she's not wearing her wig and glasses. The disguise is as lame as Clark Kent's glasses, but hey, in comic books people don't seem to have very good eye-sight. Maybe it's because their eyes are just big dots.
Spencer's brother in fact was murdered, but not by The Komic. Someone else killed him and made it look like The Komic did the foul deed. The Komic makes it her mission to find this evil-doer. Not only does she want justice, she's also fallen in love with Spencer and he with her.
As The Komic's fame grows people ask her to help them commit suicide and murder. The Texas governor proposes they get rid of lethal injection and have her perform more “humane executions.”
Spencer head's a Congressional committee that holds hearing on banning comedians (hey, it's no more absurd an idea than congress holding hearings on baseball). I'm hoping to get real life comedians to make guest appearances and weigh in on the subject.
BACK TO THE BOOR OUTSIDE THE MERCANTILE
“You really want to know the punch line?” she asks. The boor is already laughing so hard that he can't speak so he nods his head vigorously. Kate pulls off one of the two wigs she's wearing, puts on a pair of big goofy glasses and rips off her shirt so the boor can see the Big K on her T-shirt.
“Still want to hear the punch line?” she asks. The boor is terrified and whimpers, “No. Please, no.”
Kate, a.k.a. The Komic, gets in the boor's face and says, “If I ever see you harassing someone in line again, I'll tell you the punch line, and you know what that means.”
“I'll die laughing,” the boor whimpers.
“Yes, you'll die laughing,” The Komic says as she rolls away on the roller blades that here-to-for were hidden in her sneaker soles.
She skates back to the funeral home that she now runs and thinks, “If I'd have killed that boor, I'd have either had a new client, or at least I'd know how to get rid of the body.”
OTHER STUFF ABOUT THE NOVEL, AND WITH LUCK, SERIES.
I plan to use a whole page for a single drawing and have absurd details throughout (e.g., a knife in a box of cereal as the cashier scans it, or eyes rolling along the side walk as a man with Orphan Annie eyes runs into a pole). Then at bottom of the page in thought bubbles to be known at “Deep Thought” I'll have tag lines (Cereal Killer, Cornea Transplant Rejection). It'll be sort of a, “Can you find six things that are wrong with this picture?
Dreadful dates will be a regular feature in The Komic comic books. You can imagine the sort of man who answers a classified that says, “Wanted: Man with no sense of humor.”
Kate's assistant at the funeral parlor has Asperger Syndrome and no sense of humor.
The Komic mulls over the requests for help she receives. Some she flat out rejects, but others, especially those about wife beaters, child abusers and obnoxious bullies, she thinks about. One of these stories will be what each issue of the comic book will about.
Wearing a different wig on top of her Komic wig she'll go out and study the situations, meet the people involved, and eventually tell a joke. Right before she tells the punch line she'll pull off her top wig, put on her big goofy glasses, rip open her shirt to show her Big K T-shirt and says, “I am The Komic. Change your ways, or I'll come back and tell you the punch line.” Then she'll pop the roller blades that are hidden in her sneaker's soles and roll away laughing.
CafePress or Zazzle can print any mchumor.com cartoon on demand on T-shirts and lots of other merchandise. I'll set up a link for you if you email me which cartoon you want on a shirt, poster or whatever--they even print things on thongs (I've yet to have a request for these yet, but you never know.)
It’s also the perfect mind to have if you’re a cartoonist. Like all great cartoonists, I’ve drawn for the New Yorker, although they've yet to have the good sense to buy any of my work. However, hundreds of others around the world have.