...It's good fun and gets a lot of response from the readers. This year the "winning" entry was performed by the Acalanes high school choir and posted on the Contra Costa Times website... somewhere in there. I can't find it, but it's there.
...This one isn't as much fun as the illustration I did for last year's contest. Conceptually, it doesn't quite fit the theme of the thing the way the other one did. This was my first idea-- not always the best idea in my creative process-- but I didn't have time to come up with anything else. I started working on the final version toward the end of one shift and I stayed up most of the night to get it done.
...I was inspired by the notion of playing Santa as Pavarotti, and thought it would be fun to have a small orchestra of elves sitting behind the crooning Claus. Perhaps they would all be playing toy instruments, or perhaps just fist fulls of bells. At 4 a.m. I decided an elf orchestra wasn't going to happen. So, I my sights on an elf trio consisting of a violin, a cello and a one man band, with a drum, ukelele, kazoo, cymbals, etc.
...I was tired and running out of time, so I said: "a triangle will do." Maybe it's not as funny as a one-man-band but the triangle turns it into a more subtle joke. One of those subtle, unfunny jokes, perhaps.
...For my newspaper job I always work in photoshop and with many layers; it allows me to move things around and to scale the seperate pieces in order to accommodate the needs of the page designers, even at the last minute. For this project I had to scale the elves way down to get the final page layout to work but I was very happy with it.