"Politicians hide themselves away, They only started the war Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor Time will tell on their power minds, Making war just for fun Treating people just like pawns in chess, Wait 'til their judgement day comes"- Black Sabbath, "War Pigs"
One of my more poignant panels IMHO.
It was inspired specifically by the recent controversy stemming from the publication of a dead soldier by an embedded Associated Press embedded reporter in Iraq. Even the Quitter weighed in, calling it "an evil thing to do" - no passing mention on the morality of the war itself though. Never ceases to amaze me how some folks can simultaneously cheerlead war and then get righteously indignant when the harsh reality is portrayed. I think it's the ultimate injustice to make sure these people are are never acknowledged, and the American public is kept ignorant and sheltered from the truth so it doesn't upset their delicate fucking sensibilities. Sometimes I feel bitter at our community's engagement with the military that looks like it extends about as far as flying the flag and putting a sticker on the truck. When all is said & done cleaning up this whole insane mess, these folks will need a lot of resources and support, not just giving servicemen & women a military discount at local businesses.
I kept flogging this image for several sessions over as many days, trying to keep the implied cropping effect subtle and then overcompensating the opposite by going overkill on the message. As usual, when it's a concept I think works well enough if you get it, then that tends to outweigh the risk in losing a viewer by maybe being a bit obtuse. In other words, don't worry about dumbing it down for the sake of some folks who need to have every issue spelled out for them.
This piece (along with another panel I'll post later in the week) is now in the new issue of the Ester Republic, and I'm very pleased with the successful reproduction: the exact, intended sense of cropping was achieved through judicious blurring out of the background contrasted against the sharp focus of the flowers. A good job by Interior Graphics & Printing!
Here's also a scan from the sketchbook of the original doodle done with ballpoint pen.
"The death of true controversy in this country, or the unwillingness of the cartoonist's forum of expression, the newspaper, to be involved in anything that may cause controversy, has grievously devalued the currency of the cartoon as a vital, once-indispensable editorial weapon.” - Pat Oliphant