I love this drawing! I’ve always been charmed by cartoonists’ ability to capture an essence in a seemingly simple drawing. Objects are reduced to stereotypes, but with some whimsy thrown in. Ben has always had this gift: to create just the right stroke to perfectly express an attitude or feeling.
Here Sleepy is snug in his bed, covered by a blanket. Even in his custom bed, he’s too long to fit, but he’s comfortable. The pillow isn’t shaped like a real pillow, but it’s exactly our cartoon Platonic ideal of a pillow.
When I first thought of getting a mascot, I wanted it to be a snake in bed, because of the literal meaning of “coverage.” But I threw the question out to Twitter to see what came up:
Looking for ideas of what a logo for coverage․py could look like. No idea is too crazy! Please RT— Ned Batchelder (@nedbat) October 22, 2019
I got a lot of good ideas, including blanket/quilt/duvet, and a nice quick sketch of a snake holding an umbrella.
Ben liked the idea of the umbrella, so when he started sketching ideas, he started with snakes with umbrellas:
But I really wanted to see bed ideas, so he drew a snake in bed. He said snakes are usually curved, so the bed should be curved. His cartoonist’s instinct was at work:
I said, “Hmm, flip it around, and it will look like a C for coverage.” Now he was starting to warm to the idea:
Then he switched to digital media to produce a “real” drawing of the idea:
Now all the elements were there, and it was clear that this was a winner. I suggested making the sleeping cap a little more separate from the body, Ben added detail and colors, and Sleepy was done:
I can see using this picture with a slogan underneath: “Coverage.py: rest easy.”
I’ve long used Ben’s work where I can, in my presentations. The illustrations are always a fun aspect of what otherwise might be a visually monotonous slide deck:
- The ouroboros on the title slide of Python-Aware Python,
- Illustrations of developer attitudes in Getting Started Testing,
- The jellybean-counting elves in Big-O: How Code Slows as Data Grows.