I'm taking a risk on this one. It's pretty much assumed at this point President Trump will sign the deal to keep the government open until September, but one never knows. I'd find it pretty out of the ordinary for him to pull a U-turn at this point, but he's far from ordinary. There was a certain twinge of irony with the shutdown date coming on the heels of Valentine's Day. Of course, that probably had more to do with the fact Feb. 15 fell on a Friday this year, and shutdowns are almost always something that happens as the weekend rolls in (the more you know).
So, there was an irresistible concept of cooperation and harmony coming to Capitol Hill for the candy-laden holiday. I won't say it will last, but neither does Valentine's Day candy.
Frankly, I feel like this one could have been a Roy Lichtenstein parody.
The first thing you'll notice about the progress animation is the fact that the composition flips horizontally at a certain point. I got pretty far along before I realized none of my text ideas worked from left to right, which is sort of key to a north American audience. Other than that, you'll see the rendering of the silhouettes in what might seem to be a subtractive method at first, but it was actually an additive process using white on top of black. There were also several gradients working in several layers to do the sunset, the reflection and eventually one to blur out the bottom of the sun itself. I even considered giving the black of the silhouettes a bit of a gradient treatment, but decided against it. Then, of course, there's the clouds, which I love to do. I don't think I've done a D.C. scene without any clouds. They're too much fun.
As for other options, I had a sketch of the opposite view worked out (even an idea to just do something snarky with a written Valentine or conversation hearts, since those aren't around anymore). The viewer would be looking at Trump and Pelosi's faces with the monumental feet of Abraham Lincoln behind them. I thought it would be a bit fitting for two sides coming together to keep the country going, but that got a bit mixed. Rather, I took inspiration from the idea of Valentine's Day and plopped the Washington Monument's innuendo between the two. I think it works on several levels. I will point out, however, Pelosi's line doesn't accept the invite.
The final panel here was made over the course of two afternoons and totaled about three and a half hours or so.
Thanks for reading.