Hangover from all those cliff cartoons
01/06/2013 12:00 AM
10/20/2014 1:35 PM
Watch Jack in action drawing cartoons for The Bee. Video at bottom of this story.
Political cartoonists, as a rule, are professional meme hunters and gatherers. So when the media culture spews out a new meme, they happily leap on board – or off the cliff.
The past few months have given us the "fiscal cliff," which has provided hours of stress-free employment for dozens of our colleagues. Ordinarily, the "some hapless vehicle or Heavily Labeled Person falling or driving off a cliff" drawing is an all-too common metaphor in this business.
Personally, I've avoided drawing them as a general rule – prior to this fall (pun alert); however, with the advent of the official creation of the fiscal cliff, I have been happy to indulge in many fiscal cliff drawings, as if to engage in a kind of purge.
In the future, I promise that I will avoid them if possible, but we should look at some recent cliff renderings in general and fiscal cliffs in particular. In my own case, I draw a very idiosyncratic Southwestern U.S./Wile E. Coyote version of a cliff: larger boulders, more parallel and horizontal than vertical, and with little gravel pockets to amuse myself.
In examining the work of my peers, I see several different aesthetic cliff approaches at work:
Nick Anderson drew what I consider to be the traditional cartoon cliff: regular sized, randomly spaced boulders with a tuft of cartoon grass on top:
Jeff Stahler did an intersecting semi-vertical line cliff with a smaller, flatter grass on top:
Dan Wasserman did a kind of spare-looking, horizontally crosshatched cliff, with some falling rocks (I've done this, to keep the cliff less static-looking):
Chan Lowe did a completely vertical line cliff, with the optional branch sticking out:
Next time, we may examine how cartoonists draw fiscal ceilings (boring).
Watch Jack in action drawing cartoons for The Bee:
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.