Caricature….

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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…

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23 thoughts on “Caricature….

  1. Most of your stuff is right on target and I enjoy your Mallard Fillmore cartoon, but did you even read the entire arctic ice article or any of the other reason.com material on global warming? Otherwise, thanks for your great commentary on current events.

  2. There is no reference to a “Trojan Horse” or the destruction of Troy in Homer’s “Iliad”. You may be referring to a tale in Virgil’s “Aeneid”.

  3. Do you have a specific link to your “80,000 raptors” reference? After your artic ice misrepresentation, it would be useful to be able to see if you are making a valid point or not.

  4. Berkeley Breathed did a Bloom County panel that mentioned Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger asked for the original, and Breathed gave it to him.

    Breathed also did a Bloom County panel that featured a portrait of Nancy Reagan in the background. President Reagan called him to ask for the original. Again, Breathed gave it to him.

  5. “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”.”

    Yes, it is a condescension issue. You wouldn’t understand.

  6. In one of your Internet distributors, Comics Kingdom, several comic titles get a few replies, but yours gets dozens each day! You’re attacked, defended, and it looks like a flame war, often with respondents attacking one another and getting way off topic. It looks as though the tolerant, open-minded, enlightened Left wants to rub you out of existence and will use every Saul Alinsky weapon at their disposal to do it.

    We continually see attacks on your art style and your supposed lack of drawing skill. Well damn it, you use comic caricature as so many illustrators do! Let’s say for the sake of argument (!) you had very little drawing skill. Well, the darling of the Left, Gary Trudeau, is so narrow in his range of skill that he can’t draw caricature. Henry Kissinger he’ll have “off camera,” just showing a voice coming from Kissinger’s direction. Dan Quayle he’d simply symbolized with a feather. Donald Trump is shown with his face wrapped in his hair, a dig at The Donald’s fancy hairdo. The closest Trudeau comes to an actual caricature is his stock character, Duke, who’s apparently modeled after Hunter Thompson (and who I think attended Duke University, hence the name).

    Cathy Guisewite had no art training; she simply drew crude cartoons showing life problems, and they became popular. Charles Schultz admitted he couldn’t draw a cat, and so had Snoopy’s neighbor cat “off camera.” And that gem of the Left, Jules Feiffer, would draw the crudest cartoons imaginable. All these artists had the ability to use crude illustration as a vehicle for the richness of their ideas. I say that, at worst, you do much the same. At best, you’re an effective truth detector for the ironies of life and the hypocrisy of our tolerant, open-minded, and enlightened brethren on the Left.

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  13. I used to work for the Bureau of Land Management. I drop by the office once in a while for a wood permit or similar. There was a little slick paper book put out for the masses explaining the history of the BLM and its predecessor, the Govt Land Office. It was an interesting read with a time line from the 13th president, MALLARD Fillmore. Oopsie. I have a hard time understanding how nobody caught that error. It refers to Millard Fillmore in later references. Go figure. How did you ever decide on a duck with the name of MF for your main character? N

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