No Present Like the Time

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You’ll remember this recent A&J episode. I hope you will! It appeared last month in newspapers. No, I’m not quite that hard-up for classic strips yet, but I want to illustrate something. This is why I can’t get ahead of deadlines, no matter how much I’d like to or how hard I try. The work expands to fill the time allotted! I first drew this yawner at a leisurely pace, well ahead of my weekly deadline, except I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. I didn’t like the last panel, which originally was this:

Janis’ body language was off slightly, and body language, to a comic, is almost as important as the written language. Oh, it was close. Under the pressure of deadline, I would have let it pass, but given the time, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I drew a fifth panel, to replace the above. So, I spent an arguably inordinate amount of time fretting about this one strip, and the next thing you know I’m racing to finish the others. Business as usual. By now, you’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking: I’d be a better cartoonist if I’d only take more time with my work. Well, that’s another topic, albeit related.