Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This Week's Toon: Start Spreading the News

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Jun 29, 2011

Good news is always hard to draw a cartoon about. Someone slipping on a banana peel on the sidewalk is funny. Someone finding a dollar on the sidewalk is not.

Such was the case with this week's cartoon, following the late-night passage of marriage equality in the state of New York. The obvious cartoon ideas were quickly taken by non-cartoonists: parade goers at New York City's gay pride parade sang all the New York songs, and numerous Facebook users changed their profile picture to the iconic "I (heart) NY" graphic.

So naturally, I was thrilled to come up with an idea well into Sunday evening that would require drawing a big crowd with a cityscape in the background. (As an added challenge, I had mislaid my smooth finish bristol board and had to use some vellum finish board I had once bought by mistake; vellum finish is fine for pencil and charcoal, but not the best surface for quill pen and ink.)

Drawing people is fun, although making them all look like they belong in the same picture can be a challenge -- especially if they're hoisting someone on their shoulders, walking arm in arm, etc. Drawing buildings, however, is flat-out boring. You have to draw lots and lots of identical windows (in perspective), straight lines, flat shading, and maybe even some molding, but not include so much detail that it all overwhelms the foreground.

It shows that it was after midnight when I finished inking all those people and turned my attention to the background. I finally put my pen down around 1:00 a.m., then went to bed and slept like crap for the next five hours, and spent the next day working very hard at not being mean and crabby to people. (I've suffered for my craft; now it's your turn.)

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