If you’re enjoying these cartoons, you might also enjoy being on a lush tropical island where friendly locals come up to you with a dish of fresh strawberries, which is for themselves, because they’re not here to serve you and mean sheesh why would you even assume something like that? Anyway, those locals all support my patreon, and maybe if you did they’d give you a strawberry.
The point here is obvious – if vaccinations are a terrible imposition on freedom, then why isn’t forced childbirth? A tiny pinprick is nothing at all compared to forced birth, after all.
I can already hear the right-wing objection – “if forced childbirth is wrong, why isn’t forced vaccination also wrong, you lefty wokescold libtard snowflake cuck?”
And the moment the government begins criminalizing turning down a vaccination and threatening to throw people in prison if they turn down the shot, I’ll be the first to say that’s going too far. But of course, that’s not happening.
It all comes down to not treating women and trans men as fully human with all the rights everyone else gets.
In our society, no one can be forced to give up bodily autonomy to provide another person with body parts or any sort – no one is legally forced to donate blood or a kidney to save another person’s life. Not even if that other person is their child.
Even corpses have the right not to be involuntarily used like that. If I don’t want my body parts to be donated to save lives, then it’s illegal to take the parts, even if I’ve died.
Everyone but pregnant people.
The biggest hitch, creating this cartoon, was that when it was 75% done I suddenly realized that it was very similar to a cartoon from four months ago, “We Must Ban Treating Meningitis In Kids!” Ooooops. This has happened before, and as long as the subject matter and art is different, I don’t mind – I do a lot of these cartoons, and it’s natural that some tropes recur. But usually those “repeats” happen years apart, not just four months!
I thought about throwing this cartoon away, or at least putting it in a folder for a couple of years. I decided not to for two reasons: First, right now is when cartoonists (and everyone else) should be banging the abortion rights drum and banging it often.
And second, I like this cartoon a bit better than I like the meningitis cartoon. The set-up is less strained; it’s at least imaginable that some readers won’t see where the cartoon is going before reading panel four. (Although I’m sure most of you did see where I was going, because y’all are sharp.) Plus, panel two! Drawing panel two was so fun!
I wasn’t sure how to color this cartoon, and I asked folks on Discord for advice, which eventually led to the decision to make the big glove in panel two blue. I had originally colored it red, which I liked because it seemed so threatening. But people pointed out that blue is a more iconic color for medical folks to wear. I liked the red, but less than I like clearer storytelling, so blue gloves won.
After some discussion with supporter Darren Zieger (thanks Darren!), I’ve decided to go back to having a five-day gap between when I post cartoons online and when I post them in public. That’s what it was when the Patreon began, and the reason it shifted to a gap of months isn’t that anyone asked for that, or that I planned it. It just sort of happened that I put off posting in public, and put it off, and put it off, until the gap was months long. (I’m pretty sure it’s an ADHD thing).
I really hope everyone’s okay with that!
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. Each panel features the same character: A white guy with a windbreaker (one of the ones where the sleeves are a different color than the body), open over a t-shirt with a big number “1” on it. He’s talking directly to the reader.
This panel shows the man on a blank background, speaking directly to the viewer, raising his hands for emphasis. He has an aggrieved expression.
MAN: A forced vaccine mandate is a slippery slope to totalitarianism!
The same man, but now he’s holding a shield (painting in an American flag motif), which he’s using to fend off a HUGE vaccination needle being aimed at him by a GIGANTIC hand. The hand is wearing a blue latex glove, of the kind that many nurses and doctors wear. His word balloons are at an askew angle, for drama or something, but also because doing it that way let me fit in the word balloons without blocking off the drawing of the giant needle. Cartooning secrets revealed!
MAN: We can’t allow liberals to steal our right to make our own medical choices, based on our own values and religious beliefs!
MAN: Everyone must stand against tyranny!
The man leans very close to the “camera,” so close that the top of his head and the bottom of his chin are both cut off by panel borders. He now looks angry, and he’s raised his voice. The background has turned red, reflecting his anger.
MAN: Even if the vaccine saves lives, government still doesn’t have a right to deprive individuals of our freedom!
MAN: Never! Never ever EVER!
The main is smiling gently and raising a palm at the reader. The background appears to be a cozy living room; we can see framed pictures on the wall, a comfy couch with a couple of throw pillows on it, a side table and a potted cactus on the floor.
MAN: Unless they’re pregnant, of course.