I've been noticing a problem perpetuating itself for a number of years now. We often say we believe in equality and fairness, likely because we know we're supposed to believe such. However, more and more I'm finding it's more the case that we advocate for fairness and equality when it is advantageous to us and our own group, sect or breakfast club.
So much so that when we get right down to it, we're sometimes arguing with each other because of a shared value, rather than a divisive issue. To that end, I was recently thinking about the current impeachment hearings and the efforts on both sides of the aisle to either forward them or halt them. On the Republican side, a main talking point is that the Democrats are attempting to effectively reverse the results of the most recent presidential election by removing President Trump from office. Opposite that, the Democrats have pointed out Republican lawmakers have been part of the process thus far – even during the closed-door hearings.
You need not look far to find a comment or a post of some kind saying the results of the political process known as the electoral college needs to be respected. And I would argue the same applies to the impeachment process. In both cases, one could argue the reasoning, effectiveness and actual representative nature of the process, but it's the process laid out by the founding fathers nonetheless. This places both sides in a bit of pickle, because to demand fairness in many ways also requires those making said demand to extend the same to their opposition. That's not something we're often willing to do, but it should be.
After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Frankly, the most difficult part of this cartoon was the dialogue (a somewhat ironic term in this case). I went through about eight different variations on paper and two more on the computer before settling on the wording for this panel. Fortunately, that element could wait until the end, so it didn't distract me from the rest of the line work and color.
The mirrored composition was a necessity in order to really drive home the point that we're all in want of something similar deep down. An earlier sketch had the two figures with fists aimed at each other, but that sent a more aggressive message than I intended. So I changed it to some strained shouting and a couple items in hand. The boxes were originally a sort of allusion to calendar boxes, since one day I realized the election results and the public portions of the impeachment hearings were pretty much three years apart – November to November. But I decided to add another layer to things and color the boxes with red and blue to juxtapose the division with the unity. That morphed into a division of the flag into its primary colors, which I found worked well. The two aspects are meant to be one item. But in this panel, they are not only divided, but backwards to a degree.
Similarly, I chose to use a muted blue and red for the shirts, so neither side was missing the flag's color scheme, but the choice to mute the pallet kept that idea subtle. For most of the process, the figures also had the same color of hair, but I opted to change that later. I found if the figures were too similar, the cartoon could be interpreted as the same person flip-flopping from one party to the other and arguing with themselves. That was a interpretation I didn't want to leave open for the viewer.
Lastly, I couldn't leave the panel entirely blank in its peripheral, so I added a quick gradient tone to the top and bottom to provide a hint of depth, which was already there to a degree with the drop shadows I included.
Split between two days, I think this one took me around four or five hours.
Thank you for reading.