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Digesting Health Plans

Here’s my latest cartoon. First, there is the rough sketch; here I drew it in hard pencil and came back to tighten it up with a ball point pen.

Next I draw up the finished line art in pencil on drafting vellum.  This is the image that most people will see in the newspapers.

Then I do the color version, for the newspapers that print in color and for the web.  I really wish I could do “scratch ‘n sniff.”

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Blog

Apple Approves "Bobble Rep"

This just in:

Daryl,

I just thought I’d write to let you know I heard from Bobble Rep creator Ray Griggs just now that Apple reconsidered their rejection of our app and “Bobble Rep” is now approved and available in the App Store.

I’m glad Apple came to their senses and realized that this app is not only not derogatory or insulting to our congressional representatives and senators, it’s a beneficial program and a little fun as well.

It’s thanks to the support and attention of people like you that this happened. Thanks.

MADly,
Tom

Congratulations to Tom and Ray!  And thanks, Apple, for being reasonable about this one!

Ray Griggs, who produced and financed the Bobble Reps project asked me to post this reaction:

I would like thank all of the websites, news stations, Twitter, Facebook, internet bloggers, and email sources that showed their support of the Bobble Head Congressional App. I have received over 500 emails in the past two days and I tried to personally email each and every one of them to show my gratitude for their encouraging words. Many have also recently shown support of a documentary that I am currently working on. (www.iwantyourmoney.net)  Up until last night, this iPhone app seemed like it was on life support and hope was fading quickly. It was such relief to receive the phone call from Apple and hear that they had reversed their decision.

Personally, I still wish there were a better system for app. developers in the working stages to call in and speak with a representative. This would be an ideal way to ask: “This is what I’m doing. Do you foresee any problems?” before investing into an app. That doesn’t give you a guarantee, just a little peace of mind. One must remember that some developers get away with a couple of hundred dollars in development costs while others, such as myself, spend thousands. I was very blessed that the decision was reversed; sadly, I know that there may be many developers who have not had that good fortune.

We developers take a risk in trying to make our money back on iTunes site and we shouldn’t have to take that risk just to get approval to sell it. There is only one legal market in which to place one’s iPhone apps. When all is said and done, it is a privilege and not a right to be in this market. We must always keep this in mind. However, we should not be penalized for doing what we believe is right during the development stage. I still can’t help being a Mac fan, my last two projects “Super Capers” and “Lucifer the Movie” was done with Macs and Mac software. Depending on how this App. does,  I will consider and making future Apps. Over the past few days, I have realized that with all of the fans and support base available that there are other markets whose needs a developer can meet while taking less risk in the developmental stages. Android and Palm are such markets.  We are currently looking into these other markets with the intentions of promoting our future projects and films.

I would like to thank each person who contributed to voicing opinions on my behalf or encouraging me in this endeavor.  Thanks again!

Ray Griggs
Producer/Director
RG Entertainment, Ltd.

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Mix Apple with Politics – Not a Good Recipe

I’m holding my breath. I’m now into my third month of waiting for Apple to approve my iPhone app. Yesterday I heard from Apple that they need more time to think about it.

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My app is pretty cool; it is called “MSNBC.com Cartoons” and it features a real time news feed of political cartoons by top cartoonists from around the world. My app will be supported and promoted by MSNBC.com along with their other iPhone apps “¦ that is, if Apple approves it.

It seems I have plenty to worry about. Apps for the iPhone have been multiplying at an exponential rate, with over 100,000 now approved. Developers are looking to strike it rich with the next “iFart,” but as the sheer numbers of apps explodes, the chance of an app being a hit becomes more remote and frustration with Apple’s app approval process grows. Developers have to invest in creating a finished app before submitting it to Apple, which can arbitrarily trash the investments and hopes of aspiring developers ““ as happened to a friend of mine this week.

My buddy Tom Richmond, the brilliant Mad Magazine artist, just finished drawing 544 caricatures of members of congress for an app called “Bobble Rep.” The app works as a directory of every congressman, displaying their contact information by zip code or by the GPS location of the iPhone user. Shake the iPhone and the rep’s head “bobbles.” It is a cute app, and the caricatures are not unflattering. Apple rejected “Bobble Rep.”

A letter from Apple explained the rejection:

“”¦ We’ve reviewed Bobble Rep ““ 111th Congress Edition and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section  3.3.14 from the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement which states:

“Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”

A screenshot of this issue has been attached for your reference.”

This is the image that Apple found "objectionable."

At right is a screenshot of the objectionable image that Apple attached to their rejection letter.

Ray Griggs, the producer of the “Bobble Rep” app, suffered a blow as he saw his investment in programming and in 544 Tom Richmond cartoons arbitrarily flushed away. Griggs writes,

“I wonder if they saw my website (www.iwantyourmoney.net) that promotes the iPhone app and rejected the app because I am making a Republican Documentary. Are they trying to shut me down? (Just speculation. However, it is uncanny that the “offensive” page image they sent me is of the California reps.) Is there anything on this page that could possibly be found offensive?”

My cartoonist buddy Tom Richmond writes,

Clearly this app does not ‘ridicule public figures’ and is violating nothing, but Apple has decided the world must be protected from the insidious subversiveness this would force upon the public and the brutal, heinous ridicule that my cruel, cruel caricatures would subject these politicians to.

Hard to believe that anybody could be this blind. Maybe they just have a monkey doing the approval of their apps, and he throws a dart at a dartboard with “approved” and “rejected” targets on it and whatever it hits is the fate of that app. That would explain how they could approve an app with a cartoon baby picture and when you shake the phone hard enough the baby dies. Yes, that one got through only to be yanked after some outraged people complained, but no way are a bunch of flame-throwing caricatures going to get through!!!

Unbelievable.”

Prolific iPhone app developer Brian Stormont has this advice for hopeful app applicants:

Don’t make any jokes about political figures, past or present, in either your app or the description in iTunes. Apple will most-likely reject your app.”

Apple would seem to be a bi-partisan offendee. App developer Brandyn Brosemer reports that his “iBush” app was rejected for the same reason. The app was a collection of actual George W. Bush quotes that the reader could scroll through.

Another Apple political app rejection is “MyShoe” which allowed users to throw shoes at president Bush.

Studies show that people use the iPhone differently than other mobile devices ““ they read news content on the iPhone and tend not to do so on other phones. The iPhone’s market share for news and opinion is dominant, while all other phones have an insignificant market share. Although any publisher can decide what content he wants in his own publication, Apple’s phone-news monopoly brings with it a public trust and responsibility in controlling content for a whole category of media.

And with my own political cartoons app review dragging on, I’m still holding my breath.

Turning blue now.

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Love Those Lemmings

Lemmings are an evergreen concept for an editorial cartoons.  Here’s my latest lemming cartoon, about Obama and the Dems pushing for a health care plan.  First, the rough sketch:

Then I do a nice finished line drawing on a overlay, which is what most readers see in the newspaper.

… And then I color it for the web and the minority of newspapers that print political cartoons in color.

Here’s a lemmings cartoon I drew about the housing crisis …

And here’s a lemmings cartoon I drew about college graduates and the job market …

I learned that people love lemmings all around the world -sometimes people love lemmings a little too much.  After I drew the graduation lemmings cartoon, the cartoon was plagiarized by cartoonist Ali al-Ghamdi for a major newspaper in Saudi Arabia, the Alwatan.

Lemmings.  Ouch.

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Cartoons

Obama Healthcare Lemmings

Obama Healthcare Lemmings © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Barack Obama, health, health care, medicine, medical, lemmings, donkeys, Democrats, cliff, reconciliation, congress

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Blog

How to Draw a Bad Doggie and Bubble Gum

Everyone tells me they like it when I post my messy rough skteches – so here are a couple of new ones.  The latest cartoon makes fun of how silly it is that Obama continues to try to coax the Republicans when the Dems and the GOP are so far apart.

I start with a messy rough sketch in hard pencil on slick paper – to discourage me from rendering in the sketch and force me to draw quickly, without worrying about mistakes.  I shouldn’t worry about a rough sketch looking good – and this one certainly doesn’t look good.  Here you can see that I erased, and I redrew Obama’s face on top with a darker pencil because I wanted it to look goofier and simpler than I had drawn on the first pass.  When I make an error it is usually to draw too realistically, or to draw too much detail; I have to think hard about making things simpler and cartoonier when I draw.

Next I do the finished line art on a piece of drafting vellum in pencil.  I draw pretty hard, so the lines are crisp and I scan the art at high contrast so it ends up looking like ink. I do the shading on Obama’s pinstripe suit by smudging the pencil with my finger. This line drawing is what most readers will see in the newspaper.

Then, for a small but growing number of newspapers who print editorial cartoons in color, and for our readers on the web, I add color in Photoshop.  I take care to use simple, bright colors because of poor newspaper printing.  I also make sure that my black line art is on a separate channel (the “K” channel in CMYK) so that the lines stay crisp and don’t get broken up into a halftone screen when the cartoon is reprinted.  Many cartoonists save their cartoons in RGB format and their black lines look like an illegible mess when their cartoons are printed just a little bit out of register, as is typical with lousy newspaper printing.

With this next cartoon I wanted to give the impression that Obama had stepped into, and gotten stuck in a mess that wasn’t of his own making, and that his reaction to the mess was only to make it worse. (And gooey bubble gum is always fun to draw.)

Here again I drew over the rough sketch in hard pencil on drafting vellum and scanned the drawing at high contrast to look like ink. Lots of artists complain that they like their pencil sketches better than their finished ink drawings because they lose the spontaneous look with ink. The shading on his pinstripe suit is finger smudges again. All of my drawings are 11×17, which is larger than most editorial cartoonists draw.   The black line art below is what most people see will in their newspaper.

Then I colored it in Photoshop. The pink color helps the bubble gum look more like gum.

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Cartoons

Obama Coaxes Republicans

Obama Coaxes Republicans COLOR © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,President Barack Obama,Republicans,GOP,elephant,biscuit,health care,congress,socialist,socialism,dog,doggie

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How to Draw an Ugly Health Plan and Make it Pretty

I know how you all like to see my sketches and I get lots of requests to explain my cartoons, so here is the latest one.

The goal with this one was to comment on the speculation that the Democrats would use sentiment about Teddy Kennedy’s death to push health care legislation, possibly by attaching Kennedy’s name to the bill.  I started by making the health care character a generic ugly creature, but it occurred to me that a warthog is a better choice, because a warthog is understood to be ugly and it has the aspect of being a pig, to signify waste. Making the health plan a female is a little sexist, I suppose.  I think of a woman wanting her photo to look pretty, so making the wart hog a female made the gag work a little better for me.

Next I had to deal with the mask that actually makes the warthog pretty, and I thought that using a photo of Kennedy rather than drawing his face made the cartoon more interesting.  The mask was a little tricky because it had to have some perspective and Kennedy’s face is defined by its width, so squishing it makes it look less Kennedylike.  I found this photo that seems to be everywhere, and it looks pretty good, even squished, so that was the first hurdle to cross.  Nice photo, I like his eyes.

I did my usual quick pencil sketch.  The donkey didn’t look good so I drew a new one on top with a Sharpie marker.  That usually works for me; if I don’t like what I do after a Sharpie marker I’ll start over.  Here’s the sketch:

After that, I drew the finished line art on a vellum overlay.  In Photoshop I squashed the Kennedy photo into the sign, and drew outlines around it with a wider facing edge to make it look more two dimensional.  And I added gray tone to the rest of the drawing, so it would live in the same world as the photo.

That’s how to draw an ugly health plan, and make it pretty.

Categories
Cartoons

Republicans Kill Bailout

Republicans Kill Bailout © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,wall street, elephant, bull, bailout, congress, republican, gun, piston, shoot, kill

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Cartoons

Iraq Out No!

Iraq   Out   No! © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Bush,Democrats,donkey,democrat,out,no,Iraq,congress,surge,pullout,war,military,army

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Cartoons

Democrats Fight

Democrats Fight Color © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Democrat, politics, donkey, jack ass, fight, congress, senate, house, blue, new direction, election, ambitious plans, in charge, dysfunctional republicans, get something done, vote, victory

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Cartoons

Foley Scandal Politics

Foley Scandal Politics © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,congress, congressman, Foley, pedophile, donkey, elephant, rain, cloud, sun, happy, sad, election, page, congressional, scandal, allegation, e-mail, instant message, republican, representative