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This cartoon is particularly salient, I think, on the left. I think virtually everyone on the left has had the experience of finding out that someone we admire has done something terrible; has been abusive, in one way or another; has leched at his underlings; or refused to hear “no”; or had a long term relationship with an underage girl; or habitually masturbates in front of surprised and unwilling women. Etcetera, etcetera… the list is depressingly long.
Most of us are very attached to our favorite artists (how could we not be)? It’s genuinely hard to find out that someone who has given me so much pleasure, so much to think about, and in many cases communicated a humane and warm viewpoint, is also someone who has harassed and taken advantage and assaulted and harmed.
It’s a kind of grief. And thinking about that led to this cartoon, mashing the famous “five stages of grief” with finding out that yet another celebrity has turned out to be trash. I can relate to this cartoon, and maybe some of you can as well.
The art in this cartoon is a bit unusual for my work. Inspired by some of my favorite cartoonists – Edward Sorel, Barbara Yelin, Posy Simmonds, and others – I wanted to try drawing a cartoon with a loose, sketchy surface, not hiding my construction lines, and held together by the colors.
To tell you the truth, I chickened out a lot. I left some construction lines in, but I erased many, many more. But it was still at least a bit freeing, and I had a lot of fun doing more modelling of form with linework than I’d usually take the time for. And being able to use light, sketchy lines, rather than feeling obliged to make all the lines crisp and black, made the party scene drawing in panel five come out much better.
I might come back to this style again – it’s good to try and shake things up now and again.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has six panels.
There is nothing in this panel but title lettering. The title lettering is done in large, friendly white lettering, but the letters are casting some gritty-looking shadows.
THE FIVE STAGES OF FINDING OUT YOUR FAVE IS TRASH
This panel shows a woman with black hair yelling angrily at something she’s read on her tablet. She’s holding the tablet in one hand and pointing angrily to something on screen with the other hand.
BLACK HAIRED WOMAN: Unfounded rumors! Jealous attention seekers!
A man sits in front of his laptop. His hair is messy and his eyes are wide, and he looks desperate as he taps taps taps at the keyboard.
MAN (typing): What he did was bad. But not Weinstein or Polanski bad, right? Right?
A person lies in bad, with the bedsheet pulled up high enough so that all of their face is covered. They are, however, holding one hand up, forefinger extended, in a “making a point” gesture. Next to the bed, a somewhat bored-looking friend sits in a chair, her face resting on one of her hands.
PERSON (in a shaky word balloon): I never want to see a movie again. Or read a book. Or look at a picture. Or…
FRIEND: Er… Wanna try hiking?
A cocktail party in an art gallery. We can see people milling about and chatting to each other in the background. In the foreground, a person wearing a bowtie is speaking somewhat self-importantly to a couple of other party goers.
PERSON: I never liked his work.
Two women are in this panel. One, with curly hair, is looking inside a large book of art. Behind her, the black-haired woman from panel one, still holding her tablet, leans towards the curly-haired woman.
CURLY HAIRED WOMAN: Wow, these paintings are amazing!
BLACK HAIRED WOMAN: They are! Too bad the painter’s a creep.