A new cartoon on Spliter today!
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This is definitely a strange month for me! Normally four out of four cartoons I do each month are only published on my social media – here, Patreon, Twitter, Facebook. But this month, as it turns out, three out of four are being published elsewhere! (I have an MLK-related cartoon coming up, which I suppose they’ll post tomorrow.)
This cartoon was published today on Splinter. And, in a first for me, I didn’t pitch the idea to Splinter – instead, Splinter reached out to me and asked if I could do something for something on Trump’s “shithole” comment. It’s not something I ordinarily do – “shithole” is very much a story-of-the-week, and I prefer to do cartoons on more lasting issues – but it was so nice to be asked that I said “yes.”
Aside from Trump’s use of a swear word, what struck me is how much Trump’s statement puts the lie to the frequent Republican claim that they’re in favor of merit and judging people as individuals. Trump said that we shouldn’t be accepting anyone from some nations – basically, from majority Black nations – a view that is the polar opposite of merit and judging people as individuals. So I decided to try and get at that in my cartoon.
Some people might say that this is Trump, not the Republican party. But as far as I’m concerned, Trump IS the Republican party. When you elect someone President, you’re also electing them to be the face of your party; if the GOP had wanted someone else, they would have chosen someone else. And although Trump expresses it crudely, it’s clear that he’s saying nothing about immigration that the Republican base doesn’t agree with.
That’s why I drew a random Republican spokesman here, rather than drawing Trump himself. We don’t want to fall for the illusion that Trump is something radically different from the GOP, rather than the long-existing garbage in a cruder bag.
Artwise, I had to draw this fast – I actually did this in one day. (A long day – I was scheduled to eat dinner at a friend’s house that night, and brought my tablet and finished drawing it at their dining room table! – but still just one day). A strip like “Toxic Masculinity Stew” I spent ages drawing, but you can’t do that when an editor has asked for a cartoon to be delivered fast.
So I chose a single figure standing at a podium – which is just about the easiest thing I could draw. But, having chosen that, I did my best to work hard on the single figure – doing his suit by careful cross-hatching instead of just solid black, trying to make his expressions and hand movements varied and animated, etc. It’s simple, but I can still try to do a good job with it.
Transcript of cartoon:
A middle-aged or older man, handsome in a grandfatherly way, stands behind a podium wearing a brown suit. He looks stern and serious, and raises his left index finger into the air as he speaks.
MAN: Republican Immigration policy is NOT racist! “American first” is not racist! “Merit-based” is not racist!
A close-up of the man, who is now smiling genially, and shrugging.
MAN: The Republican policy isn’t about anything but MERIT! We want immigrants who can contribute to our society and grow our economy! Judging people as individuals is NOT racist!
Final panel. The man makes a fist and is now scowling angrily.
MAN: Oh, and we don’t want anyone from Africa, Haiti or any of those SHITHOLE countires. That’s it. Bye now!