A Cartoonist’s Diary

Leslie Stein: Day 2

I’m at a theme park that is hosting a rock show. I’m friends with the band, a couple. The man dresses in drag. I’m having a great time being there and not drinking, but I say to myself, “What the fuck?” and let the female member of the band but me a rose spritzer. I take one sip and feel guilty, so I set the drink down and try to sneak off.

I get in line for a roller coaster and when I get to the top I realize it’s just going to be me, alone, shooting down a tube. I’m scared, but then realize I’m supposed to be scared, so I shouldn’t be scared at all. I zen out and fall down the shoot, letting my mind go.

Elsewhere in the park there’s a a meeting to decide who will be the creative director for the new Pogo animated cartoon. It’s me up against two men. We have to draw an image for the network execs on the spot, so we begin. The two other men are technically great, and draw Pogo on top of intricate machines, with shading and perspective. Since this is no option for me, I go a different route and exclude Pogo all together. I draw a squiggly sketch of a woman with some sentence that makes no sense next to Dorothy’s slipper from The Wizard of Oz. I figure I’m screwed, but they like mine the best. They say they want to take the cartoon in a “hipper” direction.

I wake up late, but I have the day off so it doesn’t matter. I draw for a few hours and then take a break to run around Prospect Park, about four miles.

I resume drawing and then shower, get some food and walk over to BAM, which is showing  John Candy’s Uncle Buck for some reason.

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