Toon Musings: The Cartoon Visage in Pumpkin

The Cartoon Visage as Expressed in Pumpkin–A Holiday Compendium

I love me some Halloween.

Besides the cool decorations, and the dressing up, and the implied extortion, and the wanton trespassing and petty vandalism, my favorite tradition has to be the carving of the pumpkins. Tradition dictates that the pumpkin be adorned with a face of some sort, preferably scary. Just as eyes are the windows to the soul, faces are the roadmaps to character. As a cartoonist, I like making faces. On pumpkins, even moreso.

The following is a compendium of Jack-o’-lanterns I have carved during an annual party we like to throw as part of the holiday. They were usually done hurriedly, with many interruptions to fulfill hostly duties. To anticipate your comments, I said I enjoyed doing it—not that I was any good at it; I am a hobbyist, not a sculptor. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy looking at ‘em.

An early effort, and one of my favorites, from 2002:



Not sure why I did the third eye in 2005. Maybe to cover up a mistake.



Asymmetry was in vogue in 2006. That, and a normal complement of eyes.



2007. I think I did this on purpose. The eyes, I mean.




A relatively straightforward effort from 2008. Note the backwards ‘B’, to commemorate Ashley Todd, the McCain supporter who claimed to have been assaulted by anti-Obama zealots. Topical!




From 2010. Kinda phoned that one in.



Oooo, I liked this one! A rare, non-stemnosed one from 2011.


To reflect the fate of all my jack-o-lanterns: thrown to the squirrels. From 2013.



Now if it’s a professional you want, check out this guy:

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Or this guy:

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Or this guy:

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Happy Halloween!


TooCoolHeadshotPhil Maish is a freelance cartoonist of no repute. His modest efforts may be viewed at He has worked for the Government, the Press, the Opera, and a Soulless Corporation. Self-taught and beholden only to his formidable wife and amazing son, he spends his free time gadding about in his vintage autogyro and, with his faithful manservant Nicopol, exploring untrammeled wildernesses, discovering hitherto unknown animal species, smashing spy rings, and regaling fellow members of the League of Intrepid Adventurers with tales of his intrepid adventures. 

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