Robert Ariail, the many-time national-award-winning editorial cartoonist for The State, likes to run his cartoon ideas by somebody — usually several times before he’s done. Usually, I’m that somebody, although he’ll go down the hall to Mike Fitts or someone else if I’m on the phone and wave him off or something.
That’s what happened this morning. I was listening to the phone message and waved him away, so he made his pitch to others. This video shows what happened after I yelled at the door, "Robert! Did you want to talk to me?"
I’ve always said that working with Robert was sort of like being part of the comedy-writing team on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." You know, Morey Amsterdam gets up and starts walking through an idea, while saying something like, "OK, so Alan walks into a room…" And Sally and Rob hoot and call out ideas to make it better, or not, and the script evolves.
Well I did NOT capture that flavor on video today. I’m not sure it’s possible, with me holding the camera. First, Robert looked a little like he thought it was a gun or something. Then, I’m concentrating on the camera while trying to be natural, and that causes me not to react spontaneously to what Robert’s saying. He sees my unnaturally subdued reaction, and it puts him off-stride, and he gets awkward.
But at least it’s a toned-down, constrained approximation of the process. So I share it.