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I’m pleased to announce we’ve added a new cartoonist here at Cagle.com – Nikola Listeš from Croatia – wordless works are charming and funny. See Nikola’s archive here. And here are some favorites. This first one about French President Macron made me laugh.
This cartoon about the European Union’s migrant problem is a delight.
We’ve been receiving a torrent of cartoons from around the world about last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. I’ve been disappointed by most of the cartoons so far, many of which contain graphic pools of blood, depictions of monsters and broken Eiffel Towers. I think the first few days after an event like this are a time to express sympathy, so I went with a weeping Marianne, the French symbol from the Eugene Delacroix painting La Liberté Guidant le People (Liberty Leading the People).
I struggled to think of what I wanted to draw, so I wouldn’t be drawing blood, candles, monsters or Eiffel Towers like the rest of the crowd. I like Marianne as a symbol for France and I like that the French embrace her as their own symbol. It was interesting to see so many of the cartoonists drawing the Statue of Liberty this weekend, the statue was a gift from France but she is a symbol of America.
Marianne has some problems: first, she may not be recognizable enough when she is seen out of the context of the Delacroix painting: second, her face exists only as a profile facing left, which can be a little limiting; third, she has one bare breast (or arguably, two bare breasts) and American editors are reluctant to print bare breasts – even though her bare breast is necessary to define who Marianne is in the cartoon. I suppose it is fitting that I had to struggle with this one.
Below is my rough sketch.
I started out thinking of more cliches, like the candle and the flag at half staff – both bad ideas. I also ruminated about how to draw the drapery in her dress, which seems to be a heavy fabric rather than a normal fabric, along with her emerging toes. Here she is in black and white. (Yes, the flag pole covers up her nipple – I debated about that too.)
Then I colored her in – and I was disappointed with the result.
Editors and readers always like cartoons better when they are in color, even in cases like this, where the color only cheapens the cartoon. One of my readers on Facebook, Rod Underhill, made the excellent suggestion that I limit the color to the flag; that was a great suggestion – and voila, a much better cartoon (shown at the top of the page)! I deleted the previous color version and sent a correction out to the newspaper clients.
Here’s another Marianne cartoon, a double breasted version. This one was popular in France where they find President Francois Hollande rather annoying.
This interesting Marianne comes from my French cartoonist buddy, Pierre Ballouhey, who includes characters surrounding the recent Paris attacks.
Marianne is much easier to deal with in a goofy drawing. Here’s a nice Marianne by Angel Boligan, drawn after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
This bloody Marianne is from my buddy, Martin “Shooty” Sutovec from Slovakia. With no side-boob, and no flowing ties on her sleeveless, fringeless dress, her new style beret and blonde hair in a different doo – I almost missed her, but Shooty got me to take another look.
Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj drew a weeping Marianne with an Eiffel Tower in a pool of blood (perhaps he could have thrown in a couple of candles, terror monsters and the Statue of Liberty to make it complete). Osama obscured Marianne’s profile and bare breast issues, and he lost her beret. hmm. OK.
This Marianne is from Taylor Jones, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Here’s a Charlie Hebdo aftermath Marianne from RJ Matson – looks like this one was a quicky to draw in Photoshop.
Here are my last two cartoons, the first one is French President Francois Hollande shrinking. He is wildly unpopular in France after being elected recently, and our world cartoonists draw him all the time, so I thought I would give it a shot. That is “Liberty” from Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” who is in the Mom role, measuring Hollande’s growth on the door frame – and that’s a clip of the real Liberty at the right.
Jean Plantu, the cartoonist for Le Monde in Paris, likes to chide me about how I can’t draw bare breasts as an editorial cartoonist in America. Of-course, I am my own editor, and I can draw anything I want – the only problem is getting editors to print what I want. This cartoon has a triple whammy: boobs, foreign subject matter and a character (Hollande) who American readers don’t know, and I drew it on a Saturday, the dead day for editorial cartoons.
Who cares?! I can draw what I want even if no one will print it. Here is the messy rough sketch.
There were lots of corrections I made when I traced over this for the final line art, below.
Here is the color version.
Remember you saw it here first, and you may not see it anywhere else.
The previous cartoon is an evergreen for Tax Day, April 15th. It would be better as an evergreen if the IRS Form 1040 didn’t mention the tax year at the top – I’ll have to make that suggestion to them.
For some reason, cartoonists like to put the year into their cartoons, as part of a copyright notice with their signature, which makes their new cartoons look new but makes their old cartoons look old, devaluing them as evergreens for sale online. I’m always telling artists not to put the year into their cartoons – but do they listen? No. That’s the rough sketch at the right.
I downloaded the tax form from the IRS as the backdrop, and clipped some text in Photoshop. That’s how I feel this time of year. The tax form looks pretty gloomy, huh?