Who Makes the First Move?

This is a pretty simple illustration, and there wasn't much evolution of the drawing from conception to execution, so a step-by-step description would be two steps and each step would look about the same.

My first sketch of the guy in the tower differed in that he had cigarette instead of a beer mug and he wasn't smiling. I self-edited the cigarette because the angriest phone call I ever got from a reader was about an illustration in which a character was smoking a pipe.

The outraged person called on my day off so I missed out on a personal berating, but the long, intensely angry message he left was a doozy and had me flinching every time my phone rang for weeks. The answering machine timed-out before he was able to get to the grand finale but it must have been wondrous!

I've always imagined him pacing back and forth, shrieking into the phone, waving the newspaper around in the air, spitting and cussing and foaming; yes, he was that furious. At the end I bet he slammed the phone down with a flourish – it was back when telephones could be slammed down – wiped the sweat from his brow and slumped into his favorite chair, panting, shaking, exhausted. Then, to calm his nerves, he lit a cigarette.

Ha!

*    *    *    *


Anyway. Sorry. Went off-trail there for a second.

Here is how it ran in the paper! Jessica Yadegaran, excellent features writer and long-time very patient victim of my illustrative efforts, checks to see if it's socially acceptable for women to make the first move on desirable dudes in her story here. Sounds good to me.

Not that I'm waiting around for that. I'm married, you see. And I asked her out – but she did leave a clear trail of breadcrumbs, now that I think about it.