The idea for this cartoon went through a few revisions in my head before arriving at the final product you see here.
While essentially remaining the same gag – a guy with two hooked hands in a bar, literally unable to hold his liquor – the delivery of it was going to be tricky… It began in a generic Aussie pub, a couple of the patrons looking across at the guy with two hooked hands, saying to one another “Now there’s a bloke who can’t hold his liquor”.
Before long, I’m thinking “You know, this is going to be offensive to people with disabilities…”. Now, I’ve spent a good deal of my professional time illustrating educational textbooks, and one thing that the publishers drove into me, which has stuck with me since, is a sense of political correctness. Plus, some of my good friends have disabilities, both physical and mental, so in all good conscience, there was absolutely no way I was going to release this idea in its current form.
Shame to waste a good punchline though, so let’s try it again… This time I dressed the guy up as a pirate. Now he was less offensive – one would expect a pirate to have hooked hands, after all…
But somehow it still didn’t work. Why would a guy go into a pub dressed as a pirate? You could say it fits the “bloke walks into a pub” mould of humour, and you’d have a valid point. But the setup still seemed far-fetched somehow.
So, I decided to dress everybody as pirates, and set it in a pirates’ tavern. Much better! But since I began drawing my cartoons in their current narrower format, I couldn’t fit the other tavern patrons in. So they were replaced with the bartender – better use of space, and improving the caption in the process!