When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear program was announced last Tuesday, the reactions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Republican Party were swift, predictable, and overwhelmingly negative, seemingly expecting the deal to result in the complete opposite of its intentions. Netanyahu called it a “capitulation”, while U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said it was a “bad deal” without even looking at it, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed it, presumably on the grounds that his top priority has always been to “deny President Obama a second term”.

Among Republican candidates for President, GOB JEB Bush called the agreement “dangerous, deeply-flawed, and short-sighted” – again, I’m guessing, without even looking at it – while who cares what Lindsey Graham said, because he has about as serious a shot at the Presidency as Donald Trumpmaybe slightly less.

I, personally, am cautiously optimistic. People have been claiming Iran was anywhere from a few weeks to 15 months away from developing a nuclear weapon for the last 30 years even under the status quo, and since the central premise of the deal is arms reduction, I don’t see those imaginary wolves getting any closer to the proverbial flock as a result of it. Furthermore, I’ve felt since 2010 that even if Iran wanted a nuclear weapon, it’s not exactly fair for the only country in history to use one or more offensively, and a country that won’t admit to the existence of its own nuclear arsenal to tell them they can’t have one.

All that being said, the above cartoon may be a bit too positive or even heroic in its portrayal of Obama than I’m generally comfortable. This art form tends to work best when it’s strongly critical of people and policies, whereas unchecked positivity often comes off as mindless cheerleading, or overly-dismissive of serious caveats and concerns. The gag here definitely requires a positive to contrast with the negative portrayal of the GOP and the Israeli government, and I do like how much of the argument or narrative is implied simply by the juxtaposition of symbols, without being overtly spelled-out, but I did do a similar cartoon in 2012 which I feel was better (if not as well-drawn), because it was much more muted in its support of Obama, essentially saying “his approach is too little, too late towards solving (a problem), but the alternative offered by his opponent will actively make things worse.”

Artistically, this cartoon represents a significant improvement in my coloring of fire and its associated lighting effects. In addition to the above-linked work from 2012, there have been several other instances where I’ve struggled with the color of flames – making them too red, or too yellow, or too orange, and in at least one case, too desaturated – and especially had trouble with their glow, which is difficult (if not impossible) to accurately reproduce in my base medium of waterproof India ink on smooth bristol. It probably helps, in this case, that the background is almost entirely filled-in with black, thereby maximizing the contrast with the glow, and also that I’ve been trying to use bolder, more saturated colors when constructing palettes, lately.

I’d probably be better at it still if I had more experience painting with physical paints, but I’ve found that anything student grade or cheaper is often of such poor quality I just end up fighting with the medium and learning nothing useful from it; while anything of a decent, professional grade is usually far too expensive for me to use in the first place. You could maybe help out with that by donating to me!

This entry was posted on Friday, July 24th, 2015 at 8:01 pm 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.

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