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Sample Wizardry in the Lab: Redrawing a cartoon from 2018


A ligation reaction is used to stick fragments of DNA together using the enzyme DNA ligase (the hot-glue gun of the biology laboratory).

You mix together the DNA pieces you want to combine, add some DNA ligase, stir and then cross your fingers that the right pieces get together…

or you can use your magic. (54 words)


Lots of room for improvement in the original from 2018. Specifically:

  • Tighter, more vertical composition. (This shows the influence of trying to draw cartoons for The New Yorker where square or vertical compositions are favored.)

  • Having the speaking character doing lab work makes it more interesting.

  • Changing the gender of the wizard character is an improvement. White-bearded-guy wizards are cliche.

  • I kept the spiral background, but changed it to smoke from the candle. I added some magic-looking items. When I veer off into fantasy, I’m very influenced by the great, Tony Diterlizzi and looked at his drawings for ideas for the smoke spiral.

  • Now I try to give everything some weight and thickness. I think this is visible if you compare the chemical bottles and the wizard robes between the two drawings.