[One of my all-time favorite cartoons, from The Hughtrain.]
As the book now stands, there will be about eighty or so cartoons in it. I don’t have the exact number so far, a lot has to do with the actual design of the physical book- dimensions, page numbers, layout, cost of production etc. all factor into it.
Choosing the cartoons has probably been the hardest bit of the editing process so far. Besides the 1,800 or so cartoons on the blog, I’ve got- Wow- AT LEAST another 4,000 unpublished ones just sitting around in cardboard boxes.
I wanted the cartoons in the book to offer a pretty thorough overview of my work- who knows, this might be the only book I ever publish, or whatever. So I wanted to include cartoons from all my various stages in the last ten years. From the early days in New York, to publishing “How To Be Creative” and “The Hughtrain”, to my recent work.
The other thing- I’m older. A lot of my best earlier work has a lot more f-bombs and sexual references than the cartoons I’m drawing today. But I wanted them in the book anyway, regardless of how it may misrepresent my more “mature”, present-day self, or undermine the “corporate” side of the book market. Thank God my editor agreed with this approach. Whittle down the edges too much, of course, and eventually you have nothing left.
The good news is, whatever my petty concerns might be, the people at Penguin, both Editorial and Sales alike, seem very excited and gung-ho. I’m feeling that way a bit, myself. Rock on.