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The Amazing Toontones

August 4, 2015

Every year at our annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists–yes, this group of oddballs who draw political cartoons for a living comes together to talk shop once a year (actually, there’s probably more drinking than talk)–a bunch of the more musically-inclined ink-slingers assemble a not-quite impromptu band, which they call the Toontones.

After we’ve all had enough wine and beer, they actually don’t sound so bad, considering that the Toontones don’t practice and only play together one night a year.

A fair number of our membership apparently have some musical skill. It’s always intrigued me that so many cartoonists are also decent musicians. It seems that whatever wild gene is responsible for the ability to draw and write may also have a musical component.

Except for me. I got left out of that one. I can’t sing, can’t stay on key, can’t keep a beat, and can’t play an instrument. It saddens me deeply that I am not, have never been, and will never be a Toontone, for which my cartooning compatriots should be eternally grateful.

Fortunately for all concerned, I figured out that music and I were destined to be strangers early in my life. Tomorrow’s Sleeper Ave. tale recounts my tragic discovery of my sad musical handicap at a tender young age.

Tune in tomorrow. Bring Kleenexes.