A Cartoonist’s Diary

Leslie Stein: Day 1

I wake up at 9 am to the alarm going off on my phone. I worked late at the restaurant last night, and have the opening shift tonight, so I want to get as much work as possible done on my comic done before I leave for work at 3 pm.

A. Dreams escaping

B. My Yamaha guitar, nameless, limbless

C. Pants

D. Boxes and boxes of unsold issues of Eye of the Majestic Creature

E. My many night-time companions -- books!

I juice some vegetables and make tea. I never eat much during the day.


My desk is a mess.  This is how I like it, I guess, and the way I know where everything is. I’m almost done with Eye of the Majestic Creature #7.

While I draw I listen to audiobooks, NPR, old time radio shows on AM 1710 Antioch, stuff like that. Right now I’m listening to Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry. I’ll be sad when it’s over because I’ve already listened to every other book in the Lonesome Dove series.

I manage about five hours of drawing and I change into my work clothes and begin walking. I walk to and from work every day, no matter what the weather is like. It takes about thirty-five minutes if I walk fast. It gives me the time to clear my head and get ready to be social after so many hours alone in my head.

My favorite part of the shift is right after we open, when everything is in its place, the candles are freshly lit, when it’s clean and quiet. Madness interferes with the atmosphere later on, taking the form of drunken self-entitlement.

The kitchen is at work developing new specials. I try the oxtail soup, which is comforting.  The cooks let me draw a picture on their specials board. I draw a self-portrait of myself waiting tables, Sam Henderson style.

I joke around with my manager and friend Terri, who informs me that the man I was making fun of for riding into the restaurant on a razor scooter yesterday was Mike D from the Beastie Boys. The night is slow and I get out of work around 11. I walk by Marshall, the French Canadian who mans the Christmas tree stand late at night, which is around the corner from work. We say friendly hellos. I smell the pine.

Leslie Stein is a cartoonist living in Brooklyn, New York. She writes and draws the autobiographical comic book series Eye of the Majestic Creature.