Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day

I chose not to draw this week's cartoon about World AIDS Day today. After 30 years, I'm not sure what new things there are to say about the disease.

And yet, after 30 years, I'm unsettled as to what image to use to symbolize AIDS. Ten years ago, I used a skeletal death figure, even though many people living with AIDS have reason to object to that as a characterization. (And, in my very limited personal experience, I count among my friends about as many living with AIDS as have died from it.)

In October, 1985, I was asked to draw an illustration to go along with an article about AIDS by Kari Dixon for the student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside. For that illustration, I chose to illustrate the pariah effect the disease had in those days, when it was new to the public consciousness and there was no treatment.

(You have heard of Nathaniel Hawthorne, I hope. I certainly expected that a college readership would have.)

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