Blog comic

alas, poor yorick! me and the new yorker knew him

Occasionally two cartoonists will come up with the same idea independent of each other.  A variation of this happened to me recently, when a cartoonist for the New Yorker came up with a joke very similar to a Falling Rock strip I drew two years ago.  Here’s my Yorick-the-cow joke:

And here is Zachary Kanin’s:

The only similarity here is the line from Hamlet (The oft-misquoted “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him“) being used on the skull of a cow.  The punchlines are not the same, nor is the drawing style.

I was surprised when I came across Mr. Kanin’s Yorick joke.  It didn’t seem like an obvious connection to me when I wrote it, so the fact that another cartoonist thought of it as well means there’s something there.  I was also flattered in a weird way; I am at least as clever as a New Yorker cartoonist.


I’m not going to sue, New Yorker lawyers.  Don’t worry your pretty little heads.  What I will do is put forth the same deal I gave to the writers of the NBC show Community when they used a joke I thought of first: hire me!  I’d make a great staff cartoonist.  Think it over, make me an offer.


Now I’ll get back to writing jokes you’ll see in the New Yorker two years from now.

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