Dave Coverly is the creator so Speed Bump which he describes as "life's outtakes." Coverly has won multiple awards for Speed Bump and he was recognized as the 2008 Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonist Society. Early in his career, Coverly was the editorial cartoonist at the Battle Creek Enquirer. Hmmm .... Isn't Battle Creek also the home of Tony the Tiger?
Coverly provided the following insight into how he came up with this cartoon.
"This cartoon plays on how we sugarcoat some things - such as cereal on one hand and news on the other. Of course, the meanings differ enough so that combining them makes for a little creative mischief.
The set up - or layout - of the cartoon was important for conveying the gag as was the title at the bottom. I thought about reversing the position of the doctor and Tony the Tiger but that would prevent us from seeing Tony's face. I then worked hard to get Tony's body language right; his body language plus his facial expression communicate his concern and interest in what the doctor is saying.
The text at the bottom closes the circle, if you will. The gag would have been okay without the extra text but the juxtaposition of "bad news" and "sugarcoat" in combination with Tony the Tiger makes the gag that much stronger ... but I may be sugarcoating it!"
The cartoon appears on p. 67 of Eat Drink Vote, in chapter 4 "What Are We Supposed to Eat"?