Michael Maslin is blogging this month at the The New Yorker cartoonist blog. Here, he attempts to make things scrutable, explaining the genesis of a cartoon:
First, an image of a Thurber guy on skis popped into my head as I sat staring at a blank piece of paper. So I had my rough inspiration. Can’t say why I chose to make the skier a woman, and put her in a showroom—sorry, some things just can’t be explained. I began by drawing the salesman, and, wanting him in the school of Thurber, I drew his body with wavy fluid lines. The man’s expression, especially his wedge-shaped open mouth, was distilled from the hundreds of Thurber drawings I’d studied. The woman trying out the skis was less Thurber-ish. I thought that if she were a copycat Thurber woman, the drawing would just look like a Thurber rip-off. The caption, “Whoosh!,” was, as is so often the case with me, a gift from the cartoon gods.