For Spring Break I, along with my husband and daughter, spent two weeks with my sister in Ottawa. She took us on a mini road trip to Montreal, Quebec where I hadn’t been inundated with French since maybe 15 years ago. My rusty high school French came back and I must have seen “Chine” somewhere and thought, “Golly, that seems awfully close to ‘chien’ (which means ‘dog’)”. I googled it to be sure and sure enough, it was just as I suspected.
I was really worried though that the masculine/feminine thing would bar me from drawing up the cartoon. I agonized over this and asked various French expert friends and relatives of mine. I wasn’t sure if it was grammatically correct to say “de” or if I had to use the proper prepositions “de la” or “du” since it is la Chine and le chien. Those darn particles were sure to ruin me.
Anyway, I cleared it with the French teacher at the school I teach at and boy was I relieved! I had been thinking about the cartoon a LOT. You sort of become a bit nutty when one punchline keeps punching your thoughts 24/7.
Also, I wanted to experiment with different styles of cartoons. The New Yorker has very tame looking black and white cartoons so I wanted to try something of that vein. Boy, was it fun! It’s so much easier not drawing it in colour and it adds a classic look to the comic which enhances the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you. I guess I don’t always have to. I am, after all, a math-teaching cartoonist. Go figure.