Just when I think I've seen everything in 27 years of dealing with editors at this paper, I am freshly astounded.
In response to the story about Alabama's newly-enacted anti-illegal immigrant law, which is even more draconian than Arizona's, I submitted the above cartoon as a sketch to my opinion page editor, Antonio Fins. Tony responded by saying, "It seems flat. What about something having to do with a New Yorker and his accent?" Naturally, I bridled at this, since it wasn't my idea. Working at cross-purposes with my initial response was that I respect Tony as a second set of eyes (this is what editors are for). I always understand my work because I'm the one who thought it up. If it doesn't hit home with him, it could mean that it is, in fact, less than effective.
I sent him an explanation, which was that Alabamans are known for having one of the highest obesity rates in the nation, and I wanted to turn the tables on them so that our readers could better understand how visual profiling, as a technique, is bigoted and hurtful.
Simultaneously, I began warming to Tony's New York idea, since it was lighter and our transplanted readers might appreciate it more. I did a riff on it and sent in the sketch below, saying that I preferred it to the earlier one:
Meanwhile, Tony had bought my explanation of the first cartoon, and decided he liked it more than the version based on his own suggestion. We then entered into a kind of editorial Twilight Zone, in which my editor began selling me on my own idea. "It's a fresh, creative take on the subject," he said.
He won the argument. I'm sure we will never speak of this again.