I’ve always drawn caricatures of people, from my teachers and classmates, as a kid, to Barack and Bashar, now.
And they’re still making people mad.
And, just like back in school, it’s usually not the people I draw who get mad, it’s people indignant on behalf of the people I draw.
This has always struck me as a little condescending–“If the person you’re drawing knew better, he/she’d be really offended, so I’m gonna be offended for him”.
It all started in high school. Okay, I admit it. I was one of those people who draw caricatures at fairs and amusement parks. I drew tiny people, huge people, old people, young people, everybody except for The Forbidden Demographic: Daughters Accompanied by their Moms (DAM). I learned at a young age that almost every mom’s sense of humor ends where her daughter’s nose begins. Moms don’t want caricatures of their little (or big) girls. They want Natalie Portman’s head on their kids’ bodies.
I drew a caricature of my wife. Once. I thought it would be a cheap birthday present. Instead it was the most expensive birthday present ever. I’m still paying for it. I also learned that the appropriate response to “You made me look like a drowned rat” isn’t “No, that’s not the part that I did”.
When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2004, it happened again. Hundreds of Mallard readers complained that I’d “made Hillary ugly”. Never mind that I draw guys (including my all-time hero, William F. Buckley) that ugly all the time. Suddenly, instead of “treat women as equals” it was “you’re pickin’ on a GIRL”.
Yeah. I’m looking forward to 2016…