Run It Past Legal First

legal cartoon

“Run it past legal.”

That’s one of those phrases you hear frequently and turning it around so that a runner-type person is actually running something past legal is a pretty logical cartoon to make.

Where this one tripped me up was the expression on the runner – specifically his mouth. When I sketched this he had a bit of a smile, but when I inked it, I thought maybe he shouldn’t be so happy about it. Maybe he’s asked to run things past people all the time and he’s tired of it. So it changed to a frown.

But while I was shading it I thought, “No, he should be more nonchalant about this. It’s a weird job, but it’s a job and he’s been doing it for a while. It’s a typical day, literally running things past people.” So then I fiddled in Photoshop until it looked right to me.

Now all of that might seem like overkill for one tiny expression line that really doesn’t impact the final joke, but it’s the kind of thing you think about a lot as a cartoonist and it’s a lot of fun.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

4 Reactions
  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Mark: How about power walking?! 😉

  2. Hmm, I wonder… how many miles a day a staff running errands on office? 🙂

    A mail carrier walks about 10 miles, by the way… (source:

    • Martin Lindeskog

      Ivan: I think it is a lot of running around in the offices and now and then they stop at the water cooler! 😉

      Thanks for the information about the mail carrier. I will soon go out for my weekend walk, listening to podcasts.

  3. I think you got the mouth just about right. It gives the viewer the freedom to interpret the picture. They can say that the runner does not feel anything or they can make it seem like he’s frowning. In the end, it depends on the person who’s viewing it – one of the things I learned about interpreting different forms of media.