Jim is a folk art collector and general cataloguer of weird-time Americana, on Dull Tool Dim Bulb and historical books like the Grammy-nominated Take Me To The Water , so it was a real treat to do something for his site. This cartoon was a bit more involved, process-wise, then my usual doodles, so I thought it'd merit a process blog.
I'm an admirer of gag cartoonists like Bill Wenzel and Dan DeCarlo, as well as the classic illustration chops of Russell Patterson, so I decided to draw suitably ribald, but hopefully a bit lush and colorful too. Dancing girls are a staple of those strips (along with such staples as workplace sexual harrassment, infidelity, and wardrobe malfunction) The vintage burlesque is full of pattern and pageantry that is fun to draw.
I did some hasty research for old time showgirl images:
I roughed out a pose in my sketchbook before I really knew how the joke was going to be executed.
(note the 3 Patterson studies in the center)
I drew it first in pencil (which I seem to have misplaced, but trust me that it's frustratingly superior to the final inked version).
I then used a light box to ink the pencils:
...I mainly did this so I wouldn't have to fuss with erasing. After scanning the above image, just to have a record, I watercolored the page. Then I had to figure out what actual the gag would be, after hemming and hawing on the exact wording I settled on the final caption, which I lettered in Photoshop, using the Futura bold font, a go-to type for pulp tabloid editors (and Barbara Kruger):
(click it to see it at actual size)