This was the third cartoon I sketched out concerning the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing's end. At first, I wanted to address the idea that if Kavanaugh had not been confirmed, false allegations against men would run rampant. It reminded me of the rhetoric during the women's suffrage movement. You can still find political cartoons, fliers and posters of grumpy, seemingly ill-equipped men forced to take care of children whilst their wives are off doing whatever it is a voting woman does. It was and is ridiculous of course, but the fear was that men would be at a great loss if such political action were taken. So, in the spirit of those days, I sketched up a composition I had hoped to render in a more historic style - something with a text banner reading, "What if it were your son?" That meant I would have had to do the cartoon likely by hand on a large scale and the clock was ticking, so I scrapped that one.
Then I decided to go back to my own style, keep the catchphrase and just have Kavanaugh and Ford facing one another calmly while the Democratic Donkey and the Republican Pachyderm go nose to nose about it. I got so far as finishing the line work before I decided the panel wasn't terribly compelling. More so, I felt I could make something not quite so angry, which would say more with less.
And that's what we have in the final product. It's more about us as the American people than it is about the separate parties themselves. I used another customized brush to randomize the pile of "Kavanaugh" and "Ford" burying Lady Liberty. Again, some historical photos served as reference while I worked on the torch and the hand. Luckily, I happened to have access to a good number of photos with perched bald eagles from our family camping trips. I tried a few other things on this one as well. Though it doesn't show up as clearly in the black and white of the hard copy, I edited the line work so it would blend in as part of the object. I found this was necessary for contrast between the words and the objects. I had to do something similar with the background so the eagle would be easily seen (it's no good if no one can perceive the point of your cartoon). A quick gradient in the sky helped the white of the eagle's head pop - an idea for which I owe my dad and his eagle spotting tips along the Mississippi River. The clouds broke up the sky a bit and made it considerably less bleak, which added to the tone and message even more.
I wish I had taken progress shots for a process animation but, after three sketches, I was feeling behind. This cartoon on it's own took between two and three hours to finish.