It's ridiculous, but the forecast calls for snow and ice this week – and quite a bit of it if predictions hold. I knew I broke out my spring jacket too soon. Even if the approaching system ends up dropping rain on Dickinson County, that's still going to add to the flooding issues expected, since the local chain of lakes froze at a rather high levels this winter. I'm personally a bit anxious about it. I'm becoming more and more convinced mother nature is simply going to return northwest Iowa to the swamps and prairie potholes it once was, regardless of how the local population tries to stop her from doing so. What's more, if the high water should stunt the tourist trade, the local economy will feel a drain while wishing the lake levels would do the same. It may well be that, in a few generations, folks in the Lakes Area won't have the funds to repair the damage in their finished basements.
As I've said before, it's always best if editorial cartoons can be tied to some current cultural reference. It doubles up on the joke. I'm literally the only person in our newsroom bullpen who doesn't watch HBO's Game of Thrones, but I'm familiar enough with the show's high points to make the reference. I originally decided to slip in the green gradient as a minimal nod to our current weather, but it ended up being more than that. I tried something new, and used more transparent colors for the main figure. Mixed with the green, it achieved a visual sense that something is wrong – much like the Wachowski siblings did for The Matrix. So it stayed. I let the ink work be a little heavier and a little more free on this one too, in order for a unified visual overall. The figure's proportions were also left askew for that reason. The hand placement is mostly accurate to Sean Bean's famous pose from Game of Thrones, but the shoulder position is disproportionate. Fortunately, I found it both works as a reference to Bean's staging and reads as a heavy down winter coat – specifically the one I will likely be grabbing from the hall closet soon. I considered adding some initial snow flakes at the top, but found the off-center arch to be much more effective without them.
In total, this panel took around two hours to complete. Not bad for a late bit of inspiration.
Thanks for reading.