It's not a new topic, but it is one that's coming back around again. Not only was there recent discussion locally about flooding and Iowa's contribution of nitrates to the Gulf Dead Zone, but the hearing for a case spawned from the East Loch Estates development proposal is coming up Tuesday. From my perspective, it's the all too common battle between money and health. The words from those opposed to the development make one think they're concerned about the impact to East Lake Okoboji. The words from the landowner make one think he's concerned the local economy will take a dive if more development is stalled.
It's not truly a local issue, but the Iowa Great Lakes act as a small scale example of the worldwide issue. It's something we've failed to fully address since we began realizing industry's affect on the environment and ourselves (see the London fog). And, in the East Loch Estates case, the sides have become a bit embittered and embedded in their positions. Hence the lawsuit, I suppose. Neither side of the issue has shown their most flattering side in all of this.
I had actually intended to put the fox and the badger in a sort of yin-yang formation and label them with the party's in the upcoming lawsuit. But, like I said above, it's an issue larger than the Iowa Great Lakes...or even Iowa. That said, it is an issue we deal with locally. So I put the chain of lakes between the two, which seemed appropriate in some ways as it broke up the yin-yang. In the animation, you'll see a quick blip on the badger as I changed the positioning. The fox's position was much easier, by comparison. That said, the badger's coloring also had to be lightened a bit to keep the viewer's eye moving between the two, rather than resting on the dark spot too long. There was a chance that I was going to turn the composition vertical at some point to keep the words from ducking out of the frame, but I decided to just shrink the entire work a bit to fit the horizontal format. I think the visual diagonal of the words works better this way, and a horizontal composition suggests a more equal struggle than a vertical one would have. The element which took the longest to work out was the actual lakes, roads, buildings and fields. There was a bit of a fine line to walk. If I got too detailed, it would be too strong a contrast with the animals and their clearly cartoon line work. If I didn't put in enough detail, it would seem too lazy and would actually detract from the entire cartoon - and it's message by extension. Then, on top of it, I thought I was finished but a fresh glance made me realize the blue of the lake and the scatterbrush background were too similar, so I had to adjust the color mix to make the foreground stand out.
All told, the cartoon was split over two days. It took me between three and four hours to complete.
Thanks for reading.