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I posted this cartoon on patreon a little over a month ago, but it resonates differently now, with President Trump sick with Covid. I don’t want Trump to die, but the phrase “you brought this on yourself” very much applies here.
I generally create “evergreen” cartoons – cartoons that are about ongoing, often underlying issues, rather than about a passing news stories. But sometimes I can’t resist doing a cartoon about current events, and this cartoon is one of those times.
(At least, I really hope the need for people to mask will be a passing thing.)
People refusing to mask really infuriates me, because it’s not just about them. All of us are in more danger – and all of us are further away from a return to anything approaching normalcy – because of people refusing to take coronavirus seriously.
It’s unbelievable, but every panel of this cartoon is based on things real anti-maskers have said. For instance, a citizen at a public meeting about covid, in Canyon County, Idaho, said that if God wanted us wearing masks we’d have been born with them. (This was reported by Don Day on Twitter.)
That medical authorities – or “the deep state” – is purposely delaying progress on covid until after the election, in order to hurt President Trump’s re-election chances, is believed by many on the far right, including President Trump himself, because Republicans really, really wanted an delusional narcissistic ignoramus to be the most powerful person in the world.
The “Chinese globalist Bill Gates bioweapon attack” idea comes to us from megapopular far-right pundit Alex Jones.
One of these panels, however, is based on a personal encounter. I needed to go the pharmacy, so I took the bus. Portland buses are usually very good – everyone masks (there are free masks available for anyone without), the seats are marked off for social distancing, and there’s a hand sanitizer dispenser by the door. But this time, a man a couple of seats in front of me was yakking on his cell phone, with his mask pulled down around his neck.
I’m very non-confrontational in person, largely because I have a phobia of being punched in the mouth. But this time, as I was exiting the bus, I turned back to the man (we were at least six feet apart) and reminded him that we’re required to wear masks on the bus. He grinned and said “I AM wearing a mask,” pointing to the mask around his neck. He clearly thought this was very clever.
This cartoon is in one of my favorite formats, which I haven’t done in a while – a different character in each panel, all talking directly to the viewer about the cartoon’s theme. Not having to be consistent from panel to panel, either in character design or in setting, makes these cartoons a lot of fun for me to draw.
I was having trouble drawing the hands in panels four and six, so I took reference photos with my webcam. I tried to imitate the expressions I’d drawn on the characters, but without much success.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has six panels. In each panel, a different white person speaks directly to the viewer. In addition, a seventh, small “kicker” panel is underneath the final panel.
Most of this panel is taken up by a large caption. In big, friendly lettering, it says “Why aren’t you wearing a MASK?”
Below the caption, an older-looking man in a polo shirt and wearing a “MAGA” hat holds up his hand dismissively, an angry expression on his face.
MAN: Why bother? Once Biden wins, they’ll announce a “cure” the next day.
A man with a wide grin, wearing a fleece vest over a long-sleeved shirt, has a mask down around his neck, which he is pointing to with one hand.
MAN: I am wearing a mask! Around my neck IS wearing it!
MAN: Ha-HAH! You’re wiggling in the mighty claws of my invincible logic!
A woman with long blonde hair, wearing a shirt with short, puffy sleeves and a red skirt with a pattern of white dots, stands with her arms folded, looking angry. Behind her is a stone wall, with some trees visible above the top of the wall.
WOMAN: Early on scientists said NOT to wear masks. When scientists change their minds because they’ve learned more, that PROVES they can’t be trusted!
A man with very round wide eyes, and a huge wide grin, holds up a forefinger to point at the sky. There are clouds in the background; coming out of one of the clouds is God’s head, drawn as an older Black woman, looking down at him.
MAN: If God wanted us to wear masks, we’d be born wearing masks, right?
GOD: Nope nope that’s totally wrong.
A hand holds a smart phone. On the phone’s screen, a young man in a plaid shirt over a black tee-shirt speaks with a wide mouth, waving his arms in the air.
MAN: Masks are a CHINESE GLOBALIST BILL GATES BIOWEAPON ATTACK ON OUR FREEDOM! And that’s just SCIENCE!
A balding man, wearing a collared shirt with a necktie and an open vest, speaks angrily, pointing to himself with one of his thumbs.
MAN: A MASK? Do I LOOK like a woman to you?
SMALL KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE COMIC
The “do I look like a woman to you” man, looking a little confused, is speaking to Barry the cartoonist. Barry is wearing a surgical-style mask.
MAN: Toxic mascu-WHAT now?