Posts tagged edward snowden


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Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville!

Here I sit in my new Nashville, Tennessee apartment, trying out a new restaurant for every meal, and finally drawing cartoons.  I finished my second cartoon in Nashville today – a busy, crowd scene cartoon about Obama and foreign aid to Egypt.  Here is my rough pencil sketch.
EgyptAidSketch600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

I drew this first with a light, hard, #5 pencil to get the people in the crowd into the right composition, so they are interacting with each other, have expressive body language, their faces aren’t obscured, the feet and arms are on right … all those details need to be thought through for each figure; better to do it in a sketch than on the fly in in finished art.   The line art is below.  I debated whether to go with just line for the black and white version that most people see in the newspaper.

136479 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Here is the gray-scale version.  I thought it read a bit better with tone.  I do the gray-scale separately.  It isn’t just a gray version of the color cartoon.

136480 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

I usually avoid doing crowd scenes.  When I was an illustrator, I used to do a lot of crowd scenes.  I think art directors would sit in a brainstorming meeting and come up with a list of too many things that they needed to put in an ad – so they would call a cartoonist to jam it all into one piece of art.  Cartoonists get these jobs because the lists are too long, so the art has to be crazy. In fact, crowd scenes are usually not very effective compositions.  The most effective compositions show powerful character and expression, which is better done with large figures and faces.  With too many little figures in a crowd, the power of the expressions and body language are lost to tiny details.  That said, I hate to admit that sometimes a concept calls for a crowd scene.

Here’s the color cartoon …

136481 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

This one suffers from low resolution on the web, and will look much better in print, with crisp lines and texture in the tiny characters.  Here is a detail.

aiddetail Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

One funny thing about cartoon crowd scenes; when readers send me unsolicited ideas for cartoons, the ideas are almost always for crowd scenes.  The reader wants to say so much in his cartoon idea, that he comes up with a list of junk to include, just like the sloppy advertising art directors.  Some ideas I get start with, “draw an army on the left, and another army on the right …” or the reader will write, “fill the sky with helicopters …” Not only am I too lazy for this, all the tiny details would be ineffective in the composition, and the cartoon would be lousy.  For people who think in words, not images, these list-cartoons make perfect sense; to cartoonists, they are nonsense.

The previous cartoon is another Egypt/Arab Spring drawing.  Here’s the rough pencil sketch.  Notice that I drew Obama too low and made a note to move him up.  I make lots of mistakes.  Mistakes are easy to fix.  Better to make lots of mistakes and have no fear of mistakes – at least in cartoons.  I wouldn’t give that advice to my dentist.

AmericanSketch600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Here is the line art version that most people will see in the newspapers.  No gray version for this one.  I like to keep them as line art if possible – there is something more elegant about not having to rely on tone.

136409 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

And here is the color …

136415 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

This cartoon is similar to one I drew a week earlier, with Obama and the Republicans.  I like the yellow ochre texture background for dirty fighting scenes.

135857 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

 

Obama doesn’t actually wear pinstripe suits.  He wears plain black and blue suits, which are no fun to draw.  So I take some artistic license.  This recent Detroit-in-the-toilet cartoon also uses the yellow ochre, grungy theme that I’m fond of right now.

136000 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Another recent one I neglected to post is this one about the chilly relations with Russia – not much of a cartoon, just an illustration of chilly relations.

135924 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Sorry, with the move to Nashville I’ve fallen behind.  I’ll catch up soon.

Nashville is starting to grow on me.  I’ll get used to it soon – when it cools off and the humidity goes down.

 

 

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Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my!

It has been too long since I have posted new cartoons here!  I took time away for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in Salt Lake City. (You can see me opine on the convention with Rob Rogers and Pat Bagley here.) Then it was the end of the quarter and I had to pay the cartoonist royalties, another three days lost.  So I’m late.  But here are the missing cartoons!

I drew this one of Edward Snowden a couple of weeks ago.
133597 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

It wasn’t long before Ecuador was no longer talked about as a possible asylum for Snowden, so I drew a revision.

134264 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Today it looks like Venezuela will be the lucky winner in the Snowden derby.

The next one is Obama sweeping some crud under the constitution rug. I thought about labeling the crud “NSA,” and I could have labeled it “Guantanamo,” but I decided labels are for sissies.  Given the e-mail I get from readers, I probably should have labeled the constitution also.

134245 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Next is Mohammad Morsi in his prison garb.
134171 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

This one is actually in response to a reader comment.  I had posted this oldie of Morsi on my blog …

122900 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Thanks to Cheryl Akins, who posted a comment that I should draw Morsi in prison garb now – and, of-course, she was right.  I made his face a little cuter the second time around.  I probably should have stuck with the uglier version.

With Egypt falling into chaos, I reposted one of my favorites from earlier this year.
126311 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Which brings us back to the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Prop 8 decisions.  I drew this one.

133768 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

We had a nice bunch of DOMA decision cartoons, but the best one came from by buddy Nate Beeler, who drew this big wet kiss that went viral on Facebook.

133776 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an outpouring of love for a cartoon as I witnessed for this Beeler beauty.  Nice work, Nate.

 

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