Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative with that Compensation Package

Pokemon Business Cartoon

One of the reasons I’m not a political cartoonist is that topical cartoons have a pretty short shelf life. You can sell them for maybe a week if nothing else hijacks the news cycle.

My kind of cartoon, though, is more evergreen. A cartoon about a kid having trouble at school could potentially sell over and over for years and years.

Sometimes though, some phenomenon presents itself and it’s so big and so popular that I feel like I should address it. Pokemon Go was one of those.

The thing is, I’m not a trendy guy, so I had to do my research. For this one, I spent most of an afternoon figuring out what Pokemon Go was, how it worked, and how to talk about it correctly.

Now, some time later, that fad seems to have cooled significantly and I have this little cartoon that’s probably not going to ever sell again. And I look at it and wonder if it was something I should’ve dedicated that time to. It’s a good reminder to stick to more general themes.

This article, “Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative with that Compensation Package” was first published on Small Business Trends

Davidson’s Excuse for Missing the Meeting Seemed a Bit Fishy

No Thanks Business Cartoon

One of my tricks when I’m a little stumped is to imagine an animal in an office and let my brain wander. Incongruity is usually a pretty good kick in the ol’ brain.

Normally, though, I pick something like a cat or a dog or a bear — something more typically anthropomorphic. But for whatever reason, this day I chose a salmon. Yep, a salmon.

So right away I remembered that salmon swim upstream to spawn. You see it in like every other nature film. But how to address that in an office?

Is there some sort of manager salmon to keep track of their progress? Did someone check to see if it was the bears’ day off? Do they just call an Uber?

It took a bit, but just acknowledging the whole weird situation ended up working best. And now I can scratch “draw fish at work” off my to-do list.

This article, “Davidson’s Excuse for Missing the Meeting Seemed a Bit Fishy” was first published on Small Business Trends

Looking for the Upside

Silver Lining Business Cartoon

This cartoon came to me while I was counseling one my kids on a problem they were having. “Remember,” I said, “every cloud has a silver lining.” Then the cartoonist part of me kicked in…

“Unless for some reason this particular cloud was born without one. That happens sometimes. Or maybe another cloud borrowed it and never returned it. Or maybe it’s gotten used so often that it’s worn down to a nub now and it’s ineffective. So maybe not every cloud has a silver lining, but I think the odds are still pretty good.”

The good news is my kids have a good sense of humor and they just laughed instead of looking at me all moist-eyed with their bottom lip quivering. It’s like they say, every cloud…

This article, “Looking for the Upside” was first published on Small Business Trends

Be Careful When Expanding Your Offerings

Diversifying Business Cartoon

The idea here was to expand on the ear, nose, and throat thing and include some other part of the body. Elbow ended up being the funniest, but here’s a few options I threw out:

Forehead
Dimple
Belly Button
Pinky Toe
Chest Hair
Oxford Comma

See what I mean? Elbow is totally the right choice.

This article, “Be Careful When Expanding Your Offerings” was first published on Small Business Trends

Does Your Business Have a Clear Vision?

Double Vision Business Cartoon

I don’t get a lot of email from readers, but my favorite ones are usually of the “I don’t get this” variety. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to intentionally confuse people, but occasionally an idea comes to me that I know will solicit those emails. And it kind of makes me happy knowing that people will be heading to Google to figure out what the heck I’m talking about.

This is one of those.

About diplopia. Wikipedia describes it as “… commonly known as double vision, [and] is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, diagonally (i.e., both vertically and horizontally), or rotationally in relation to each other.”

So there you go. Now when people email me I can just direct them here.

This article, “Does Your Business Have a Clear Vision?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Taking Qualifications to Ridiculous Extremes

Crimes of Passion Business Cartoon

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a terrific artist. I never took an art class, I’ve never done any life drawing, and goodness knows I’ve never studied anatomy. (Eww!) So I get nervous when I have to draw the human form not conveniently covered with easy-to-draw clothing.

It took me a good while to figure out how to draw this well-muscled guy but still have him look like he fit with the rest of the cartoon cast. It looks simple — a few lines for abs and pecs, slightly larger arms — but it took a fair amount of research and trial and error. (You would not believe the number of romance novel covers I looked at!)

Anyway, I showed it to my wife later and she said “hubba hubba!” before laughing at the caption. So I think I got it.

Happy (Early) Valentine’s Day!

This article, “Taking Qualifications to Ridiculous Extremes” was first published on Small Business Trends

Getting Creative with Job Titles

Temp Business Cartoon

Lately I’ve been doing some teaching at local libraries. I have a few different classes and I’ve found I really enjoy it and really connect with the kids. (I’m basically an overgrown kid, and I run around like a loon, so it’s not a stretch.)

Anyway, I’ve been looking at expanding into schools and while researching it I ran across the term “artist in residence.” Now, I went to school for music, and I tend to hang with a creative crowd so it’s not something I’d never seen, but I hadn’t in a while and it popped out to me.

Well, it didn’t take long inserting other words for this cartoon to present itself.

Looking at it now, I think, maybe the kid should look more smug. Then again his naiveté is kind of fun, too.

What do you think?

This article, “Getting Creative with Job Titles” was first published on Small Business Trends

Has Your Business Figured Out the Next Big Thing?

Next Big Thing Business Cartoon

Every so often, especially in tech, there comes an idea or set of ideas that everyone promises will totally revolutionize, well, everything. Sometimes they’re right (blogs, social media, smartphones) and sometimes they’re not (QR codes, Google Glass, etc.).

But usually when something new and notable comes along, people often jump first and ask “What is this?” later. And I understand the instinct. I wish I’d have utilized Facebook more early on instead of having to pay for that reach now.

It’s tempting. I get it.

Anyway, I was perusing a new service one day that everyone told me you totally had to do or you’d be left in the dust because it’s completely disruptive and, hey, what’s that over there? Can I do that? Where do I sign up?

And this cartoon came to me.

This article, “Has Your Business Figured Out the Next Big Thing?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Setting the Right Tone in Business

Negativity Business Cartoon

The idea for this cartoon is pretty simple. Put a bunch of really negative comments on the board and have the presenter sort of soft-pedal it.

Simple, but nice.

The trick was how far to go with the negativity.

There’s only so much space there and you want to get it across quickly and plainly, so I had to throw out a few options:

Arrggh!!
Are you talking’ to me?!
Oh yeah?! Well YOU try it!
Them’s fightin’ words!
It’s Cathy. It’s always Cathy.
Burn it! BURN IT ALL!!!

OK, those are fun, but I think in the end the cartoon turned out fine as is.

This article, “Setting the Right Tone in Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

Setting the Right Tone in Business

Negativity Business Cartoon

The idea for this cartoon is pretty simple. Put a bunch of really negative comments on the board and have the presenter sort of soft-pedal it.

Simple, but nice.

The trick was how far to go with the negativity.

There’s only so much space there and you want to get it across quickly and plainly, so I had to throw out a few options:

Arrggh!!
Are you talking’ to me?!
Oh yeah?! Well YOU try it!
Them’s fightin’ words!
It’s Cathy. It’s always Cathy.
Burn it! BURN IT ALL!!!

OK, those are fun, but I think in the end the cartoon turned out fine as is.

This article, “Setting the Right Tone in Business” was first published on Small Business Trends