Evolution of a cartoon idea

I mentioned in a response to commenter Nathan that I was going to blog about the evolution of the idea behind this past Sunday’s cartoon. And then I forgot for a few days.

But anyway, here was my first take on the topic:

I thought it suffered a little from having two points that were kind of competing for attention — 1) barbarism begins at home, and 2) we have some high-profile anti-Mexican politicians in the state. It also relied a little too heavily on a public school-criticizing straw man. So I moved on. Much like commenter Nathan, the incident made me think about that classic anti-drug PSA from the ’80s:

So I decided to go a little more directly at the “role models” angle:

I still like this cartoon, but I felt like it was a little unfair to just be pointing fingers at Heineman and Janssen. After all, these guys wouldn’t have the clout they do without the votes. So in the eventual cartoon that ran, you saw the target broadened significantly to the general population.

And that is the story of that cartoon.

4 Responses to Evolution of a cartoon idea

  1. Matthew says:

    Good call and interesting post.

    IMHO, social commentary is a much higher art form than political criticism anyway. :)

    neal replied:

    Sorry if this wasn’t a hair worth splitting, but what’s your distinction between social commentary and political criticism? I could see people using the terms interchangeably, but obviously that’s not your intent.

    Matthew replied:

    Insight into humans’ bizarre and often contradictory views and behaviors, versus criticizing public officials. Not that you should never do the latter — political officials should obviously be criticized — but I think the former is more valuable and definitely more interesting (as well as more difficult).

  2. theotherneill says:

    I like the middle cartoon better, but that’s just me.

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