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The Slip

“I have a terrific idea for a comic!” I say to myself as I’m hopping out of the shower, slipping on the wet tile because I forgot to put a towel down.

I stagger a bit to the bathroom sink trying to keep my balance.  Desperately, I try to locate a pen and a piece of paper – ANY paper – so I can jot my idea down before I forget it or in case it’s lost from amnesia because I did eventually slip and bash my head into the countertop.

In a frenzy I manage to make it to the nearest cupboard, that wasn’t in the bathroom, but close.  I find a pencil, a piece of scrap paper and I write down the idea.

“This.  This ideas is great.  I mean, how can anyone not laugh at this!” I said, naked and dripping water.  “Oh, I’d better go dry off now.”

Great!

I come up with an idea.

This scenario isn’t exactly typical (usually I come up with ideas AFTER I dry off).  But, when an idea strikes my noggin, I write it down.  Either during a writing session that I purposely have (that’s when I sit on the couch and stare at the wall trying to think of something) or by accident – like in the shower.

It’s a nice feeling to have an idea.  The next step to that is to create the idea.  That requires drawing.

I spend time doing this.  It is a lot of energy to rough out a sketch, ink it, scan it and then color it up.  After that, I have to edit it for print and/or online – depending what it’s used for.

I’ve got it all completed.  The funny idea I had in the shower is ready to make its debut to the world.

On my side of things, I hope people enjoy it.  I’d love to get an email about how the comic made someones day or it was hung on the fridge at the local asylum.  Anything like that.

But, that doesn’t happen the day this cartoon is published.

Instead, I get the ‘other’ emails….or comments.

“Didn’t you mean to write__________?”

“That’s not how that is spelled.”

“This would’ve been funny, but it’s not grammatically correct.”

“How could the editors let this slip by?  Or the cartoonist?”

What happened?

The dreaded TYPO.

Yes, as a cartoonist, here at Nate Fakes Studios it’s always typo season.  They happen – and I hate that they do (you’ve probably noticed them already scattered throughout my blogs).

I honestly read, and then re-read again and again my work.  If I don’t know how to spell something, I Google it or look it up in a dictionary.  Still, after all my efforts, I once in awhile have a typo get past me.

You see, I don’t have an editor per say.   I mean, I DO – but I don’t when it comes to my text.  That’s all me.  I’m syndicated online and self-syndicated in the newspapers.  Since I’m not exactly Jim Davis of Garfield when it comes to the syndication field, my work does not get proofread before being published.  Yikes.

I know people that are good at proofreading, but unfortunately, with the time frame that I have with my cartoons, it’s not always possible to run things by them in due time.

Therefore, a typo gets published.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but my daily cartoons appear online first at GoComics.  After that, they’re published about a month and a half to two months later in physical newspapers (via self syndication).  And that’s good news.

How is that good?

Well, if there IS a typo – as I kind of hinted at earlier – I’m informed online.  That’s the magic of the internet.  If you #$#%-up – you’ll know instantly.  And I hear about it.

When it is brought to my attention, I can correct it before going into the newspapers.  So the print side of things is generally typo-free (although, I did catch one several years ago that made it that far).

And after being published online, I can change the comic and then go back and republish it.  Unbeknownst to anyone that DIDN’T catch the typo, it will appear as it should – typo free.

However, there is the occasional typo that is a completely lost cause.

That happens when I actually have a typo that is DRAWN in the comic and I can’t just go in and correct it via Photoshop or Word.

This blows when this happens because the whole cartoon is kind of, well, ruined.  I usually rework it at some point, but that’s a lot of time and my availability is very limited.

I bring this up because an example of this happened recently.  I’ll go ahead and just post the cartoon so you can see.

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Above:  Can YOU spot where I went wrong?  No?  Whew!

This honestly isn’t one of my best or brightest ideas.  Nothing like the exaggerated version I tried to demonstrate at the beginning of this post.  However, I don’t just draw anything that doesn’t pass my test.  It was good enough for me – and so I made it.  And I do like the premise of this cartoon.  But…

Oh, no!  

Forrest‘ is NOT how you spell what it is.  It’s a FOREST.

Oops.

Some readers thought I purposely did it this way.  I think some readers also think I have a dark, hidden message in some cartoons and over think the gag.  It’s usually not the case (except in my cute fluffy bunny cartoons that are connected with the Illuminati).

This was supposed to read ‘Nudist Forest‘ – not the way I have it.

As you can see though, I drew the text on that sign.  So, I can’t just simply remove it.  That would make quite the mess with the amount of White-Out I’d have to use.

I’m only human and mistakes will happen.  If I had interns, I could yell at them about it, but I don’t.  I still cringe anytime something like this slips through the cracks and into the ether of where the public can consume cartoons.

I was driving down I-675 and as I passed the exit that I was supposed to merge off of, I said to myself, “Oh, wow!  I have the most incredible idea for a cartoon!  It might be, like, the VERY best cartoon idea of this century!”

I quickly pulled the car over on the busy expressway, barely missing traffic that was furious with my actions and honked their horns.

“This time, I’ll write it down.  And if I get a typo on this one, I’ll….I’ll….well, I don’t know yet.  But I’ll something.”

I get home, write down my outstanding idea and nervously sketch it out.

It was later inked, colored and published.

As I looked at the comic the next day, I notice that my grammar has not been corrected.  There are no other ways of spelling the text and, unless I’m wrong, I may have narrowly escaped a misspelling.

“Well, there you have it.  No typo on that cartoon.” I pause and reflect as I crunch on a Cheet-o.

It wasn’t the best comic in the world, come to find out.  But a day without a typo is a good day.  And days with a typo are good days as well, but frustrating.

Like my slipping in the shower, sometimes a tipo – er – TYPO does slip by.