Here is the back story on my last three editorial cartoons!
With Obama’s “middle of the road” budget that was attacked by both sides last week, there have been lots of budget cartoons showing both the left and the right angry at Obama. This is much the same thing, but without picturing the budget, so it might last a little longer.
Notice that in my drawing, Obama is not exactly in the middle … from the reader’s perspective, Obama is a little to the left of the middle -although, from Obama’s perspective, he has moved a bit to his right.
Maybe I’m overthinking this. Here is the rough pencil sketch, on tab sized copier paper in pencil.
Next I drew the finished line art for the cartoon (below), also in pencil, on drafting vellum. This is what most people will see in the newspapers, that still usually print in black and white.
There is something lovely about a black and white editorial cartoon, particularly if it is only line art, without gray tone. I know that people will choose any color over black and white – but I think it is kind of like a classic sail boat vs. a speed/power boat – the sail boat is slow and classy, the power boat is fast, flashy, and people will choose it over the sail boat – still, the sail boat has more class and is nicer to look at.
Here’s a detail – isn’t the black and white nice? It is saved as 1000 dpi tiff and has a nice pencil line quality, up close.
Then I add the color, for the image most online visitors see.
The previous cartoon was another one about L’il Kim. Here’s the black and white – I thought I had to resort to gray to make the multi-panel format work. I like to avoid gray when I can.
Here’s the color …
The next cartoon was intended to be an evergreen. There was a big, Sunday section front in my local newspaper Health section about “superbugs” – antibiotic resistant diseases that are a new plague in hospitals. The newspaper didn’t run one of our nice cartoons or illustrations with the feature article, they had some lousy clip art; and I noticed that we didn’t have good “superbug” art in the database – so this is an attempt to fill the “Superbug” void in the CagleCartoons.com/PoliticalCartoons.com databases. Here is the rough pencil sketch on 11″x17″ paper.
I know, I know, bacteria don’t look like this kind of bug. Here is the black and white line art.
And I thought it might need a bit of gray tone – I’m not sure on this one.
And here is the color, added behind the line art in layers in Photoshop.
This one was fun to draw. Here is a detail.
My last two cartoons have been about Kim Jong Un. The first was Li’l Kim making himself into a target. Here’s the rough sketch.
Here he is as line art. Most newspaper readers will see the cartoon in black and white like this.
I thought I would be bold with the color on this one – to make it more powerful with only line art and red. I’m sure some editors won’t print it because of my color choice. Editors like lots of “pretty” and “bright” colors. Editors generally avoid anything that can be called “bold.”
Since North Korea is still dominating the news I drew another one. This one with Li’l Kim as a doggie, with President Obama and the new Chinese president Xi Jinping.
I’ve done a whole lot of cartoons with leaders as doggies. In this case, i thought it would be interesting to have Obama reacting to Li’l Kim’s threatening barking, while Jinping reacts to Li’l Kim’s pee, with exactly the same body language. Here is the line art that most people see. Yes, I decided to move Obama closer, and I realized that I needed a label on Jinping, because he’s new and I didn’t know what he looked like until I looked him up.
Here is the color version – which is never as good as the simple black and white.
We have a wonderful collection of more than 250 North Korea cartoons here! I’ve drawn lots of leaders as doggies in the past. Here’s is Li’l Kim’s dad, Il, biting Obama’s butt from 2010. Things don’t change much.
Here’s one where Obama is the doggie on Wall Street’s leash.
Here’s Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the doggie.
I drew this one back in the 2008 primary season, with President Clinton as the doggie on Hillary’s leash. Ugh, I hate looking at my old, early Obama.
I drew a lot of doggie cartoons with President Bush. The military was W’s doggie.
Drawing Muslims as doggies is deeply insulting to them, which is why so many cartoonists do it, I suppose. Here are the Sunnis and Shiites fighting at the height of Bush’s Iraq Mess, with Iraq’s president Maliki.
I drew lots of W as a doggie. Here he is marking his territory.
And here is W the doggie, during the run-up to war in Iraq.
I’ll bet my cartoons would be much more popular if I drew nothing but doggies. I’ve considered it.
It has been too long since I have posted my new cartoons in the blog; so here is a big batch, with some comments.
The Cyprus bank crisis is great fun, and a good excuse for another cartoon abusing an art masterpiece. This time it is Saturn Devouring his Children by Francisco Goya. Of-course, Saturn knew one of his children would kill him, so eating the kids was the obvious thing to do. Goya painted this on the wall of his dining room. A charming, dinnertime feast for the eyes.
Saturn’s son, Zeus, escaped being eaten, came back, cut open Dad’s belly (or induced Dad to vomit, depending on the version of the story) freeing his siblings, who emerged just fine from their digestive confinement. This is an apt metaphor for Cyprus bankers, who consumed Cyprus’ economy, only to have the EU cut their financial belly open sometime next week, freeing the Cypriot economy which will come out of its digestive confinement, looking no worse for wear. By some accounts Zeus also went on to castrate his father, also an apt metaphor for the EU and Cyprus.
That’s a clip from Goya’s unaltered painting on the left. The problem I had was that I couldn’t just replace Saturn’s child/dinner with a map of Cyprus, because the child and Cyprus aren’t the same shape. And people want to see me draw in my cartoons, not just retouch masterpieces, so I decided to obviously draw over the painting.
What are public domain masterpieces good for, if not a lack of respect?
It is common for cartoonists to use famous paintings as metaphors in cartoons, and I notice that when I do it the cartoons are reprinted much more than any others. Editors seem to love it – and it amuses me. So there should be more to come.
My previous cartoon defaced a famous 1632 painting by Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The cartoon mocks the GOP “autopsy” this week by GOP Chair Reince Priebus – it amused me that Priebus chose to use the word “autopsy,” acknowledging that the patient was already dead. It was actually a pretty good GOP autopsy, and the reaction from the GOP old-guard made me laugh.
The previous cartoon was about President Obama’s trip to Israel, and how I imagined his conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would go. “Overstating the obvious” always works in cartoon.
Bellicose rhetoric from North Korea dominated the news the day I drew the cartoon below. I enjoy drawing the crazy, comicana cursing. This story doesn’t change much. I think North Koreans and Li’l Kim look for slow news days when they can make crazy threats and get some attention.
The cartoon below is a Euro-evergreen. When I draw “everyman” characters in cartoons, I try to make them look like real people, rather than big-nosed-nobodies. I thought the girl looked kind of like Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Some readers commented that she looked more like Chelsea Clinton, with a “There’s Something About Mary” hairdo, having lunch with young Nicolas Cage. Oh well …
Everyone drew something about Rand Paul’s filibuster. I thought John McCain’s strained reaction, calling Rand Paul a “Wacko Bird” was great fun, and I drew this … I think McCain is hard to draw. His face is like pudding, with no particular shape to it. And, whatever he has to say, he has a “GET OFF MY LAWN” expression on his face.
The cartoon below is about Obama’s recent “charm offensive” where he invited GOP leaders over for dinner or lunch. We saw lots of smiling faces.
This is another “charm offensive” cartoon about Obama’s dinner with Republicans. This was a quickie and I didn’t bother to color it. I got comments from conservatives who thought it was funny that I drew Obama in the role of Jesus at the last supper. hmmm.
Pope Francis as a gaucho.
One last one and I’m caught up! I drew this one (on the right) as fast as I could, when the new Pope was announced, and we learned he was from Argentina. I went to Google Images and looked up all I could find on gaucho costumes. So here is Pope Francis as a gaucho.
I won’t fall so far behind again! I promise!