One of the Lakes Area's state representatives has been elected as the Iowa House's new majority whip. As of the new session, the responsibility of rounding up votes and keeping party votes homogeneous in Des Moines will fall to Spirit Lake's John Wills. I, like many, had to look into what exactly a majority whip does before I took on the task of completing this panel. Aside from the typical definitions and duties, I found a source which said the term originated from hunting parties. In the early 1900s, one member of a hunting party was apparently assigned the task of "whipping in" the hunting dogs to keep them from scattering. Truth be told, I'm not sure how I feel about the political process being likened to a hunting party but, in today's atmosphere, the last-century term seems accurate. Happy hunting, northwest Iowa.
You'll see a few things when viewing the process animation below. First, I originally had a more angled composition and was going to include cattle branded with the word "aye" being whipped forward. I scrapped that idea for another centered composition, which I liked much better. I slowed the animation down some in the beginning so you can see the change. I was able to use the sketch of Wills himself in the second composition, which was good. You'll also see a few slight changes to the background, especially the clouds, as I worked to further a scatter-brush technique. It may become a staple of my outdoor depictions. We'll see. Lastly, a full field of corn (yes, I know harvest is pretty much over) is a pain to draw in detail, but a few shortcuts made for a convincing depth of field (no pun intended). I reused the line work from either side to create the opposite second row, before essentially sketching in color with a blurred brush behind that row. It's a particularly effective method, especially when the viewer is looking at the center of the panel. Toward the end, you'll also notice I switched up the wording in the text box. Words can get clanky, and cartoons are supposed to be quick, rapier sharp things. While it doesn't actually say the word "elected" I think it works just as well. The final changes were Wills' hair and chin. It's not uncommon for me to step back from my work and feel I can do better. Wills has just the right shade of hair that it can look blonde in some light and brown in another, so I put it closer to the middle. And, while I was fixing the hair, I decided to narrow the chin a bit too, which I think makes a more accurate caricature. Split over an Thursday afternoon and a Friday morning, this panel took about four hours to create, and I'm confident it's the first cartoon to feature Rep. Wills.
Wills aims to expand role as majority whip - Nov. 20, 2018