A local cartoonist is setting out to make both people inside and outside of this world have a laugh.
Jake McGuire is a cartoonist/photographer based out of Arlington, Virginia, and is publishing a book entitled “Cartoons Too Funny For The New Yorker.” The book features cartoons drawn by McGuire, mostly of small, green big-eyed aliens “talking like humans.”
As a former photography editor for The Hill newspaper and former National Inquirer photographer, McGuire has experience with both cartoons and extraterrestrial life; the latter position required him to go places and “capture images of flying saucers,” although he was never lucky enough to catch anything out of the ordinary.
McGuire was inspired to publish his book due to his love of laughter, whether it be telling jokes or funny stories. Coming from “a long line of Irish storytellers” that “like to entertain people with short stories,” McGuire decided to give drawing cartoons a try after initially believing that he was “never really much of a painter or illustrator.”
Once the pandemic began and his career as a freelance photographer was put on hold, McGuire started what is now known as “Cartoons Too Funny For The New Yorker,” mainly focusing on aliens in both human and humorous situations.
“Humor is a juxtaposition between reality and nonreality,” McGuire said. “Aliens saying almost anything can be very funny because they’re talking like people.” Publishing the book came with its challenges, as
McGuire said he had to learn how to fix the layout of the publication to fit online formats such as the Amazon Kindle E-readers. This came with a lot of “trial and error” as McGuire had to figure out the correct format with limited knowledge of graphic design and layouts. However, this was also a benefit for McGuire as it allowed his book to be put on Amazon since he’s “not really into retail.”
The book features “adult humor,” with McGuire stating his primary audience is for “people who are relatively educated and relatively well-traveled, just like the New Yorker magazine audience.”
Although he “hasn’t done a lot of [promoting the book]” due to “being busy,” McGuire got the idea of taking some self-signed cartoon reprints from the book and handing them out for free. McGuire announced on Nextdoor — an app for neighborhoods where one can get local tips, buy and sell items and more — that he would be giving out the reprints by the Starbucks at the Virginia Square Metro on Sunday mornings in August from 8 — 9 a.m., with the possibility of an extension into the Autumn months.
By putting out the book and giving out free reprints to promote it on Amazon, McGuire hopes to have “entertained people and made them laugh.” He doesn’t expect “to get rich off of it,” but is having a “fun time doing it.”
“I wake up at three or four in the morning to get to my kitchen table to start drawing aliens,” McGuire said. “[Illustrating the cartoons] might be kind of self-oriented, because I’m enjoying it immensely.”