Friday, January 09, 2009

Israel Breaks the Rules

Israel Breaks The Rules : Dry Bones cartoon.
Many many years ago I was a young gag cartoonist trying to break into the business. One day I found myself cooling my heels in the small reception room of a magazine publisher in New York. I sat in the room with my portfolio of work, doodling with a pencil on the pad I always carried with me ...waiting to meet with the editor. The minutes dragged on and my boredom increased.

The room was dominated by a large fish tank in which swam only one fish! It was bluish in color with an amusingly pugnacious look on his face. I walked over to the aquarium to take a closer look. The top of the fish tank was not covered, and so I could look down into the water from above. Absent-mindedly I tapped the water surface with the eraser end of my pencil ...and the fish jumped, snapped, and SANK HIS TEETH INTO THE WOOD OF THE PENCIL!! He then let go and dropped back into the water. I staggered back, in shock. I looked at the deep teeth holes in my pencil and was thankful that I had decided against tapping the water surface with my finger.

When I was ushered in to meet with the editor I was still shaking. "What kind of fish is that in the reception area?" I asked. "Oh that's a Piranha" was the answer.

When I did today's cartoon I drew the fish to look like the piranha fish that attacked me in a New York reception room more than forty years ago.


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