A few weeks ago, as the 2018 Midterm Election cycle was just beginning, a comrade of mine referred to the upcoming ~9 months as a “hellride.” I found this term very apt, and thought it conjured up some pretty vivid, meaningful imagery about the weariness and frustration many of us have been feeling since at least November, 2016—even longer for those who live in Congressional districts and states effectively abandoned by the Democratic Party since 2010.
Originally, my plan for this illustration was a more generic depiction of a heavily-bandaged character, barely limping on crutches through a vast, post-apocalyptic landscape, but something about that approach lacked flavor. I also had a problem with the fact that I couldn’t draw the bandaged character facing away from the viewer, towards the horizon without obscuring many of the casts and wrappings which were needed to characterize his injuries, but it also didn’t make sense for him to be facing any other direction.
I made the Mad Max connection while describing the above concept to a person at a local drink and draw event, when I realized the staging in my rough work-in-progress was already nearly identical to the opening shot of Fury Road. I figured it’d be more fun to draw Max’s V-8 Interceptor than the lone character I’d previously planned, and that it would convey more or less the same message, but the detail of the Uber sticker was what finally sold me on this approach.
It seems to put some blame for the apocalypse on modern, “gig-based” Neocapitalism, as well as being pretty funny.
It took a couple of drafts to fine-tune the placement of details and balance the lighting in the black-and-white drawing, since I didn’t want to copy things from the shot exactly—those very familiar with the film will probably notice that the treatment of the sand in the foreground and clouds in the sky are especially different, more clearly emphasizing the vanishing point while still keeping the labels on the two distant landmarks at least somewhat legible.
Fury Road was from a period of big-budget cinema when seemingly every major action movie had an extremely blue-and-orange color palette, either in its advertising, or throughout the movie itself. I didn’t want that in my illustration, so I couldn’t take coloring cues from the original shot, either.
As far as commentary goes, this one’s pretty shallow for me. It was important to keep the landscape as barren as possible, because each additional landmark or recognizable object would reduce its scale. Even the addition of a more explicit physical road to the background made the view feel a bit shorter, though I decided its inclusion was necessary to emphasize the idea of a long journey ahead, as opposed to merely a long distance.
The main point is that this journey, though it must be made, isn’t going to be easy. Simply replacing Republicans with Democrats—“Voting Blue No Matter Who”—won’t by itself solve any of the numerous problems the country currently faces, and indeed has faced for decades.
At best, this strategy merely delays the inevitable, as the election of Donald Trump proved.
At worst, it actually makes things worse in the long run, because it makes it easier to ignore serious problems until they get more out of hand, as the election of Donald Trump also probably proved.
Perhaps no more blunt a lesson could have been taught than the example of Doug Jones, a milquetoast, conservative Democrat so uninspiring, he barely managed to defeat homophobic, racist pedophile and twice–suspended Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore—then went on to vote with Trump nearly 65% of the time, anyway!
He’s up for re-election in 2020. If he isn’t primaried from the left, he’ll most likely be utterly destroyed by his General Election opponent, even if that person is just as or even more repugnant than Roy Moore was.
Conservative (or as they often like to call themselves, “moderate”) elements inside all social, economic, and political blocs must be confronted and excised, or at least credibly threatened by a massive groundswell of populist Progressivism.
Unfortunately, things aren’t off to a great start, at least within the Democratic Party, where leadership continues to back big-money, empty suits, and gimmicks typically reserved for cheap disguises, while actively stymieing more Progressive candidates, including women, minorities, and female minorities.
Who are the “white Bros” that aren’t “WithHer” now, hmmm?