Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crazy Eyes Cryin' in the Rain

With Michele Bachmann's announcement yesterday that she would not run for reelection to Congress in 2014, America loses one of its most colorful and loony legislators. She announced her retirement on YouTube -- looking straight into the camera this time -- speaking over a looping recording of a simulated orchestra and choir.

Wouldn't you like to have a soundtrack to your life?

My only cartoons of Ms. Bachmann were drawn during her flash-in-the-pan run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. In the first (above right), I relied too heavily on the model set by Minneapolis Star Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack, who draws her with a tall, thin, figure-8 face. It works for him, but did not work for me. (See Sack's brilliant retrospective of Bachmann's career at the Strib's site, here.)
I was much more pleased with the cartoon at left, drawn a month or so later. In the first place, she appears larger and not crowded in by a row of other caricatures. Upon further review, I found her face more rectangular than Steve Sack does. By completely disregarding proportionality, I was able to convey her "Crazy Eyes" by drawing the irises so that they extend out beyond the confines of the rest of the eye.

I made sure to include this cartoon on my drawing board for my Facebook page cover photo.

My last Bachmann cartoon was prompted by her claim on the Today Show that someone told her that the vaccine against human papillomavirus causes mental retardation: "I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the [previous night's Republican presidential] debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. It can have very dangerous side effects. … This is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusions."

The medical and pharmaceutical community loudly protested that there was no connection between the HPV vaccine and mental retardation, so I suggested that Bachmann could find some other side effect closer to her heart.

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