Friday, August 7, 2015

Editorial: Ferguson et al

Sat on the sketch for this piece for weeks, tossing around innumerable taglines. Sadly it seemed at the time what with ongoing + growing protests it unfortunately could have been - and still is - just as relevant regardless of when it was published. No line of text seemed to be more effective at imparting a sense of simple solidarity than leaving the image stand alone. That and a gag caption would tend to tilt the panel into something that was a cheap joke at the expense of the issue, which I wanted to avoid at all costs. To imply any mockery of the context, or diminish the potency of the originating gesture would defeat the intent + purpose of the panel.

Regardless of the debatable factual accuracy of the "hands up - don't shoot" (there was conflicting witness testimony on whether Michael Brown was shot with his hands actually up, though official reports afterwards refute that), the symbolism has now been far eclipsed by the appropriation of it by the movement in general, as has "I Can't Breathe." Several cartoonists, among many others making statements in their own ways, took some heat - see here for some examples - for being critical of authority figures and systemic abuse and corruption. And what with current events, it appears to be ratcheting up and there's case after case after case that merits similar attention... something's gotta change, because this is insane.

*Update: Since this panel + post lay fallow for so long it seemed fitting for a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the initial event, which has since then evolved into a nation-wide examination of not just the issue of police tactics but the underlying injustices which bring about unrest.
**Update II: This particular panel was unveiled at a show of editorial cartoons I was invited to exhibit earlier in the year down at the Alaska Robotics gallery in Juneau (hat-tip Inari). Sharing the same space - on a wall and on a page - with Anchorage's Peter Dunap-Shohl was certainly an honor.  Shortly thereafter the original watercolor was purchased from my table at an art event I participated in, so aside from reposting here it's gone, but like many of the instigating incidents we have to remember.

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