Pharoah Morsi

Much of the news this weekend is about Egypt’s president, Mohamad Morsi, assuming near dictatorial powers. Many pundits are referring to him as a “pharoah,” so my drawing him as King Tut isn’t much of a stretch for today’s cartoon, but I made him extra short and stupid looking.  This was just such a simple image, and so much fun to draw, and so likely to get reprinted with editorials on the subject, that I couldn’t pass it up.

For those of you who keep asking me to post my rough pencil sketches, here is the sketch for this one.  I don’t clean these up to show here. I’m really working messy and fast, and making mistakes, like how long his staff should be, and the lousy caricature which I hopefully corrected in the line art. I got his neck too fat and his eyes were wrong. Morsi looks cross-eyed to me, and he’s quite an ugly bastard.

MorsiSketch Pharoah Morsi cartoons

Here he is as line art, for the newspapers that print in black and white.  I think it looks best as line art. I trace the rough sketch in pencil on vellum and scan at high contrast so it looks like an ink drawing. I draw on 11″x17″ tab sized paper.

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And here he is in color …

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One thing I hate about the web is that our standard image size is so small – 600 pixels wide, which loses a lot of the details and character of the line.  These usually look better in print because of the fine details.  For example, below are Morsi’s left hand and foot blown up in a detail – it is much more fun when it is big, and you can see the character of the pencil line and my quick, messy, Photoshop color, which appears to be much more carefully done when it is reduced.

MorsiDetail Pharoah Morsi cartoons

I did this one 9 inches wide at 400dpi, in CMYK tiff format, for you wonks. Smart newspaper people will print it in full resolution and the black line will come out clean and crispy.  Many newspapers will convert it to an RGB jpg at a reduced resolution because that is how they get their photographs from the wire services and it requires no thought; then the nice crispy lines will be half-toned and fuzzy, which is a shame, and the cartoon in print will look no better than it does on the web. I’d estimate that about half of the newspapers that print in color make this error – and a lot of them who print in black and white will convert the line art to half tone also, for no reason other than that they don’t think about it.  Very frustrating.

Here’s a nice King Tut Morsi by Taylor Jones

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Here’s Monte Wolverton’s Pharoah Morsi …

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And Oliver Schopf’s Pharoah Morsi …

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