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the new yorker stole my idea(s)

Writing gags is sometimes an algebraic sorta process where you just randomly slam X and Y together until Z turns out funny. So like monkeys with typewriters, it's inevitable that different people will come up with the same Z. Like this gag of mine that turned up in The New Yorker a year later:

I was particularly bummed to note their version works better...the format of the "Great Moments" panel required that I add a caption, which was frankly superfluous.

 

And then it happened again:

Of course, both of these are riffs on a 1993 New Yorker cartoon captioned "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog", which is their most reproduced cartoon ever. But in this case I think mine is funnier and I did it six years earlier.

 

And then there is this. I don't really know if having "The Family Circus" use my idea is actually something to be proud of, though...

Anyway, this stuff is a little frustrating because I was undoubtedly paid less and my work got less exposure. But it's also validating on some vague level.

If you're curious, here are the Great Moments cartoons which to my knowledge no one has yet swiped.