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: