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:
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.