Cartoon: It's A Tidy System

Cartoon about universal health care

I’m still not certain if I like this caption; if I think of a better one, I might change it.

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14 Responses to Cartoon: It's A Tidy System

  1. 1
    Magniloquence says:

    I really like this one, Amp. The way the characters break the panels gives a great sense of flow, and I really like the way they tie things together. The only details that seemed a little confusing were the way the Senator’s fingers are accepting the money (it looks like she’s trying to shove it back to the Insurance guy. If that was the effect you were going for, great!), and the reflection on the Journalist’s desk (nothing is actually wrong or weird about it, but I was confused about why his hand was hanging there awkwardly before I realized it was resting on a reflective surface instead, heh.). But even with that, it was absolutely great!

    The dialogue is spot on, too.

  2. 2
    Dianne says:

    I like this one. I particularly like the fact that the only people not involved in and benefitting from the system are the “ordinary Americans” who are supporting it the most unconditionally. I agree that the senator’s gesture in taking the money from the insurance company exec is ambiguous, but I kind of like that. To me, it implies that she is both trying to take the money and push it away, either from some lingering edge of a conscience or maybe fear of getting caught. But there was no question in my mind that she’d end up with the money.

  3. 3
    joe says:

    I really doubt that giving the government MORE control of health care will lower the amount of lobbying, or the money associated with it. It will change the players but that would be about it. Pharma companies will have more incentive to buy access. Interest groups will lobby that more money be spent on whatever issue / procedure or demographic they care about. Others will lobby that governments outlaw or mandate this or that in an ffort to improve public health and/or lower costs. When it comes to lobbyists I always try to remember three things

    1. Your black hearted rent seeker is my diligent activist.
    2. It’s one of the few occupations actually protected by the constitution. (first amendment right to seek redress )
    3. It’s human nature. So long as power is concentrated someone will want it to be used for their benefit / how they see fit.

    But aside from the usual mistake of expecting a 4 panel cartoon to capture the nuance associated with a well written paper this is pretty funny. If you ever redo it I’d show try to point out the fact that the apparently middle class white people in panel 4 probably have insurance and thus don’t have a lot of skin in the game.

  4. 4
    Meep says:

    I was talking about this yesterday in class. Basically, the need for universal health care would be reduced if we had a better farm/food bill. Have you SEEN the food bill?!?! awful. That way, we have less ailments in the first place.

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    I can buy into the 1st 3 panels with no problem, but I don’t think that ordinary Americans of any political philosophy are as naive as to think that the MSM and the Dempublican party will always make sure to bring the most important issues of the day into public debate and to their attention. Hell, infrastructure maintenance has been a big issue for over a decade, but it took the I-35 bridge collapse to get the media and the politicians to talk about it.

    Oh, and I see no ambiguity in what direction the money is moving. Maybe it’s just cyncism.

  6. 6
    Magniloquence says:

    Oh, and I see no ambiguity in what direction the money is moving. Maybe it’s just cyncism.

    I suppose I should clarify – I had no questions about which way the money was moving. It was a mostly artistic/anatomical question. When you’re accepting something, particularly something passed to you overhand like the money, your hand is usually below and facing outward, with slightly curving fingers. A hand facing the way it’s drawn would have a hard time holding onto the money because the fingers aren’t curved to hold it; it’s wedged between the pinkie and the thumb with no support under it and no assistance from the other fingers.

    That said, on second look, I like the ambiguity as it is. As Diane pointed out, it looks like she’s both trying to take it and to not take it, or at least hide it… it’s an uneasy (or simply secretive) alliance.

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    The ambiguity in the Senator’s attitude towards the money is an accident, but it’s a reasonably happy accident, so I can live with it. :-)

    Regarding Joe’s comment #3, the left-hand character in the fourth panel was intended to be Black. Did everyone read her as white? If so, I may have to rework the drawing of her a bit.

  8. 8
    joe says:

    Amp, now it looks like a black woman. Don’ t know how I missed that. Doesn’t change the fact that the middle class has some health care now and is fearful that any changes will be worse. (not saying they will be just that the fear is there.)

  9. 9
    Magniloquence says:

    I had to look closely to read her as black, but when I thought about how you would color this, it seemed pretty clear. Mostly, she looks like she could just be a brunette with her hair pulled tightly back. Which, well, I know that you tend not to do that and so could infer that you meant her to have short hair/cornrows, but I still had to think about why it didn’t look like the first option to me.

  10. 10
    acm says:

    sorry, nothing at *all* clues me that you intend that character as black. I recommend some scratching around… (if it’s to be a b/w cartoon, could you try shading her? I mean, given all the other shadings, the absence of any there reinforces the viewer bias, blah blah…)

    also, I could imagine a better caption, but apparently not suggest one. :)

  11. 11
    dhonig says:

    Ampersand, a personal note- have you any interest in posting at Left ‘Toon Lane ( Your stuff is terrific. We’re trying to put together a lefty cartoon collective, a place blogs and independent publications can go to find the deepest and most talented group of lefty cartoonists. I would be delighted and honored if you consider joining. It is not exclusive, so you can post wherever else you like, and link your Lane posts back to your own site.

    Please drop me an email- mine is in the masthead at Left ‘Toon Lane.



  12. 12
    Auguste says:

    I’d show try to point out the fact that the apparently middle class white people in panel 4 probably have insurance and thus don’t have a lot of skin in the game.

    As a fully-insured person with, nevertheless, nearly six figures of medical debt, I’d have to argue with you on that point.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    So I’ve added shading to the character so that people other than me can tell that she’s black. :-) Thanks to everyone for commenting on this.

    Magniloquence, I haven’t responded to you (that I recall) in particular because I haven’t had much to say, but I want you to know that I’ve really enjoyed your comments and hope you keep commenting.

  14. 14
    t says:

    “It’s a healthy system”! Perfect subtitle!