05 June, 2009

New Cartoon (With Bonus Story)

Recently, whilst Toaster was still bumbling his way through undergrad and dancing around going "I WANNA BE A SCIENTIST!" like an enthusiastic 5-year-old in their art class smock smearing paint in their crush's hair, he drew cartoons that got published. I've been intentionally vague about the cartoons themselves because they form a huge electronic trail pointing directly at Toaster's Sekret Identity with neon flashing signs and klaxons. Lest I mislead you such that you think my cartoons were actually funny or interesting, I should admit that the cartoons I drew were editorial pieces for the college newspaper*. Mostly they were one panels. One summer I tried starting a humorous 3-panel strip, but it didn't last long when I ran out of crude robot humor and couldn't for the life of me figure out how a robot and an aristocratic octopus with a monocle and orange juice newspaper hat and their mutant penguin-wombat friend (I was deadset on these characters [I don't remember why], and this was my undoing) could possibly plausibly interact.

In the smallish world of political cartooning, I have/had two heroes: Matt Davies and Pat Oliphant. I admire their styles, wits, and steadfast, unapologetic content. Nonetheless, I let myself draw some really shitty cartoons that should never have been published. Part of it was that the newsprint the paper printed on was spectacularly porous, even for newsprint, and any effort I put into shading or detail work would be massacred on the page. Another part of it was that I tried very hard, sometimes too hard, to hide obscure symbolism in my cartoons so that those on campus who uncovered it could feel special. And the last part of it was that my editors didn't really know how to approach cartoons, but that's not entirely their faults, I should have helped them be critical (probably would've helped if I'd been more receptive, too; I once had a perfectly obvious cartoon rejected as being too controversial so I responded by drawing a rather crude cartoon on the inside of a paper plate and handing it in [it got published]). I started out drawing wonderful cartoons in pen, but eventually degraded into mere penciled in (literally) commentary on campus culture (equating sorority girls with garden gnomes was surprisingly unpopular). Throughout all of it, I really enjoyed getting hate mail and loved it when people wrote letters to the editor to complain about being offended by my tastelessness; however I did not so much enjoy official censure by the Student Race Advisory Committee and it is to the credit of my editors at the time that they did not publish my inital (angry and combative) response.

I guess I should clarify that last one. This was during the debate regarding a state constitutional amendment to ban the use of affirmative action in anything and everything. Allow me to make this clear, my position then and now is that although affirmative action is an imperfect tool it is also the best we have until mortality, morbidity, lifetime adjusted earnings, graduation rates, incarceration rates, infant mortality rates, and standards of living are no longer statistically significant between any groups. However, I chose to draw a cartoon trying to lampoon the view I had overheard from privileged white students as to how they regarded African American students being there solely because of affirmative action and not due to their own efforts. Unfortunately, I chose very poor compositional layout and it came out looking like I espoused those views (I don't). It didn't help that this was hot on the heels of a very blunt anti-affirmative action cartoon from another cartoonist.



How to Make a Conservative

This was a quick pencil cartoon** in my current sketchbook. I've been reading about some of the fucktarded highly ignorant things that Republicans and assorted associated conservatives have been saying about the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States. I can't help but notice that the default conservative reaction to anything and everything that does not uphold, support, or confirm their narrow worldview is to hate it; while when one of them says something one of the others like they all gather round for a circle jerk and stroke their egos.

It should probably be noted that I carry water for neither major political party in the U.S.A., but generally find the Democrats to be more sensible.

And then I found this one on my hard drive:


This one was drawn back before the 2008 presidential election when I noted how prominently violent terms and war talk figured into the Republican campaign. As such, it seemed to me that Death itself may well be voting Republican this time round and I drew the above with a quill and inkpot.

Criticism welcome, but ignorant fuckwittitude will be chased down and beaten roundly with squishy rotten fish and putrescine.

*Come to think of it I think I actually never got paid for the last year I cartooned, which isn't a major loss as it would amount to barely enough to buy a sandwich with mayonnaise.
**The father figure in this cartoon came out looking a lot like a character in a recent popular Cartoon Network show. Can anyone name him? The second cartoon is kind of a small clue.

1 comment:

Isabel said...

"I can't help but notice that the default conservative reaction to anything and everything that does not uphold, support, or confirm their narrow worldview is to hate it; while when one of them says something one of the others like they all gather round for a circle jerk and stroke their egos."


Do you REALLY think they are alone in this behavior? As far as I'm concerned you've described the "progressive" liberal types perfectly. In fact you've described my experience in the enlightened blogosphere quite well. When someone says something "different" everyone gathers around and calls them a troll. Then someone says something they vaguely agree with and suddenly they're all congratulating each other for this great insight and other bonding activities and all is right with the world again. It's just more noticeable when the "other" does it.