Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain

Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain

“Both the Republicans and the Democrats are puppets of corporations and the wealthy” isn’t exactly a new comment to make during election season (or anytime, really), so I wanted to put a little extra research into this gag before drawing it, which is my excuse for being so late with the darn thing.

Given that one of the effects of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is that any organization can now donate an unlimited amount of cash to a given candidate’s campaign without revealing where the money came from, I thought it would be appropriate to depict the GOP/Dem electoral dichotomy as a traditional Punch & Judy puppet show, since all the puppets in those are usually operated by a single puppeteer, hidden behind a stage. I soon discovered that this metaphor was all the more appropriate for other reasons, such as the fact that the character Punch, who usually has a very long nose, is a brash loudmouth with little respect for the personal space of others, and a habit for wanton violence, whereas his wife Judy tends not to be all that effective at reigning him in–sounds like the Republicans and the Democrats to me!

I put special care towards composition and perspective in this cartoon–if you look closely, you may notice that a lot of elements align in interesting ways. Moreover, my signature and URL were originally on the other side of the artwork, but I felt this unbalanced things, so I ended up blanking them out with corrective fluid and rewriting them on the other side–no digital cheating for me! This way, the overall arrangement of elements forms several triangles, as well as an upward-sweeping arc which I feel helps with the cartoon’s narrative.

Back on the subject of donations: I wanted to once again thank everyone who helped me pay at least in part for the trip to pick up my Sigma Delta Chi award. Money’s still tight, though, so if anybody wants to help me pay my rent next month, it’d be much appreciated. Furthermore, it occurred to me recently that I’ve never really signaled interest in taking commissions from people as well–I’d much rather earn money by drawing something than just get money for no particular reason, after all. If anyone wants to commission me for anything, send an email here.

One last thing I should point out: Some of my cartoons are on display right now at the Olyphant Art Supply store in downtown Olympia, Washington, and should continue to be up at least through election day. Anyone who’s in the area and wants to see my original artwork up close, or buy some prints, or just get nice art supplies from some cool people should check it out.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at 7:22 am and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain”

While most of these decisions take years for the effects to take shape, we’re already seeing shell organizations being used to funnel ad money. That the Democrats are jumping on board with the same tactic the Republicans are using should not be seen as “canceling each other out”.

It will simply raise the stakes in campaign spending which has already exceeded $3 billion this year. One can only guess at how bad the 2012 election will be.

By » Fudge Handsome (November 4th, 2010 at 10:10 pm)

“One can only guess at how bad the 2012 election will be.”

As a pessimist, my guess is going to be “at least ten thousand dead” bad.

This is my favorite cartoon you’ve ever done, hands down. Thanks!

Thanks, Aaron. I actually consider it one of my personal classics, which is part of why I used it for the masthead image in the recent design update for the site.

It’s more timeless than the three or four images for which I’m better known.

Leave a Response