Thursday, January 24, 2019

Introducing the Ward Cartoonist Tenth Anniversary Tournament of Champions

This month I’m celebrating 10 years of blogging on the web. Reaching a milestone like that deserves a little bit of navel gazing. So to honor the occasion, I’m going to undertake a little tournament to determine the best single panel comic of the week I’ve ever published on the site.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to pit two gags against each other in a winner-take-all field of 16 tournament. I’ve selected my favorite gag from each year, plus six at-large entries. I’ve assigned each gag a ranking, but it will be up to you to determine which single panel comic is crowned the Ward Cartoonist’s best! Once the pairing is posted, I’ll be looking for you, my readers, to vote on a gag to advance to the next round.

As an incentive to encourage your participation, I’ll randomly be giving away three copies of Mission Daze to commenters over the course of the voting. For every pairing you vote on, your name will be added to the drawing again. So please, comment regularly and be sure to include your name.

Believe it or not, whittling it down to 16 comics was a bit of a challenge. While we wait for the tournament to get started, here are 10 gags (listed in chronological order) that did not quite merit inclusion.

When I first started drawing these gags it was for the sole purpose of getting featured in the New Era. Of all the gags I’ve submitted to that publication, I have never been more sure of them publishing one of my jokes as I was of this one. (First published February 18, 2010)

No person in his right mind would award Flock of Seagulls a victory over Buddy Holly and the Crickets in a battle of the bands. Buddy Holly is rightly recognized as one of the architects of rock and roll while Flock of Seagulls is that band with bad hair. (First published July 22, 2010)

I love the idea of a mime speaking in church. Marcel Marceau is probably the most famous mime in history. (First published September 9, 2010)

I probably drew Jacob a bit too stern in this gag. Based on his writings in the Book of Mormon, he was probably a much more benevolent father than is represented here. (First published June 14, 2012)

I like plays on words. I also like drawing scripture-era gags (they are much more interesting to draw than a couple of guys in suits and ties). (First published January 17, 2013)

Say, I might be failing Sunday School too. (First published July 11, 2013)

This one cracks me up, although I think I should have placed a paintbrush in the Spanish speaking guy’s hand instead of a hammer. (First published July 18, 2013)

This joke was good enough when I sketched the girl looking at the boy with a puzzled expression. It became one of my favorites when I figured out what her response to his proposal should be. (First published February 12, 2015)

My love of geeky stuff has been a constant presence on the blog. I’ve drawn Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Marvel, DC, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, and even Ghostbusters. This might be my favorite. (First published December 17, 2015)

I’m probably alone in my affection for this “joke.” It falls in the so-bad-it’s-good zone for me. (First published November 15, 2018)

Come back tomorrow ready to vote!


  1. I can’t wait for the tournament! (And if I remember correctly, we listened to quite a few flock of seagulls songs).

    1. Please, let's not bring up any skeletons in my closet, okay, Sis?

  2. Alone in your affection for that last joke? I myself declared my affection for it!

    "And behold, there shall be those who call bad jokes good, and good jokes bad, and woe be unto the man who doesn't think his joke is good enough to get a laugh from his loyal readership."

    ...Basically, I want this guy to return! :D

    1. True, you did express your affection for that joke. I just figured since then, you'd come to your senses.

    2. Come to my senses? Why would I do that? :D

  3. Either the Valentine or the failing Sunday school are my favs.