Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Des Moines

Here's is my cartoon for the January 17, 2008 Mapleton PRESS. This is my original color one that I saved for the web.
And here is the version I FIXED and sent to the PRESS, notice that I changed the singular "legislator" to the plural "legislature" I thought it worked better to blame EVERYBODY than to single out some hypothetical individual.

I don't do state issues very often and never really deal with local stuff. I just thought it was stereotypical of politicians to be too afraid to do anything that could possibly be perceived as raising taxes, even when it would be the right thing to do.

Two issues that only a cartoonist would care about; One is that many of my students don't get my cartoons. I've had a 20-something friend suggest that I try some social or human condition themes once in awhile rather than just politics. That's discouraging, but what can I do? THIS is what my passion is, this is who I am, what provokes me? Maybe this is not a specific, acute problem for me. Maybe this is why political cartooning is a dying art- because so few people "get" them, and even fewer are even interested. It makes me blue. Boo hoo. Can I have some cheese with this whine?

The other is technical. Prominent cartoonists and editors frown on cartoonists who collage like this instead of drawing. I see their point and I'll readily admit that there are times that it's lazy but I think that when it's done right, it can work great. I like this one. I also like the one I did last year where I portrayed Fatah and Hamas as Godzilla vs. King Kong. Done well, it pays homage to the Dada movement of the 1920's when some fantastic and provocative art and "anti-art" was made. Berke Brethed has tucked in bits of pop culture and political imagery into his daily strips, Bloom County and Opus for decades. Of course, in the time I've taken to defend my methodology this week, I probably could've drawn the state capital building by hand. Whatever. I'm especially proud of my inclusion of Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Of course, it is a hopelessly over used icon from art history, so that just makes me more lazy and pathetic, doesn't it? Sigh. I never claimed to be Thomas Nast, just a average, middle aged guy in the middle of the middle-west who's trying to revive a dream of his youth.

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