For me, bad cartoon ideas fall into three categories:
1. The Obviously Bad Idea – when I immediately realize how awful it is, seconds after sketching it out.
2. The Bad Idea Disguised as a Good Idea – when I sketch something and like it a lot, but then later realize (usually after the caffeine wears off) that it’s totally lame.
3. The Bad Idea That I Still Kind of Like – puns, offensive material and obvious, clichéd jokes fall into this category. These are the ideas that are essentially bad but there’s something about them that I can’t help but like.
The other day I sketched something that fell squarely into Category 3. Initially I thought it was funny but later I had this nagging feeling that it wasn’t all that good. I was on the fence about it, so I did what I usually do when I’m in doubt about a sketch: I showed it to my wife Katrina. (Here it is, in all its crappy glory)
After reading it, Katrina looked up and locked her eyes on mine. She was silent but her eyes said “Hell no.”
“So…you don’t like it.” I said.
“I hate jokes about women’s periods. HATE them.”
“But see, they’re robots and she’s asking—”
“I get it, but it's dumb. Sorry.”
A few seconds of silence.
“You shouldn’t do jokes about women’s periods,” she said. “Not a good idea.”
I agree that, generally speaking, it’s a bad idea for guys to make jokes about women’s periods. But I see this more as relationship humor. You know, even robot husbands sometimes have to buy feminine products for their wives. They’re just like us!
Is it funny now? No?