hillary clinton Political Cartoons
…Sniff…Sniff. Hey, what’s that smell? Ugh, looks like the Speaker of the House has really stepped in it! Oy — and such expensive shoes! And now she’s leaving a circle of foul footprints in the Capitol Rotunda. So, just how much did Nancy Pelosi know about waterboarding, and when did she know it?
“MADAME SPEAKER! Point of inquiry. Why don’t you get a stick, sit on the Capitol steps, and clean off your shoe like the rest of us have to do?”
But what really gets me about Nancy Pelosi are those gargantuan eyes. Or, more specifically, the way they blink. I call it “contact-blink,” suffered by people who’ve never really adjusted to wearing contact lenses. People with contact-blink have eyes that constantly alternate between a startled and sleepy look, punctuated by forceful blinks that resemble neurological facial tics. Saturday Night Live comedian Kristin Wiig has incorporated these ticks in her fine impressions of Ms. Pelosi. The Speaker’s giant brown eyes only serve to exaggerate this trait. But I can’t complain — what’s good for the impressionist is usually good for the caricaturist.
Most people who wear contact lenses don’t suffer from contact-blink. Hillary Clinton, for instance. As anyone who has seen photos of Hillary as a college student knows, Ms. Clinton is extremely nearsighted. Imagine if her big blues were blinking like a crazy person’s? Former SNL castmember Amy Poehler would have to deliver even more caffeinated impressions to capture Hillary’s essence.
But back to the Speaker. I don’t find Nancy Pelosi Pelosi as easy to caricature as Hillary Clinton. Like Angelina Jolie, of whom I wrote about in an earlier blog, the Speaker has extreme facial features. To exaggerate them further, in caricature, means having to perform a balancing act. The dragonfly eyes and Lucille Ball smile dominate her face. The caricaturist has to be careful not to distort them to the point where she would be unrecognizable. Further complicating matters are Pelosi’s smallish, finely sculpted nose (by Mother Nature, not plastic surgeons). Make it too small in comparison to Pelosi’s eyes, and, again, you run into problems with proportion.
Still, bland she ain’t. So I wish Madame Speaker well — at least in the perverse way I think something being “well.” That, whatever Pelosi knew and whenever she new it, she’ll stick around and step in other stinky substances for editorial cartoonists and caricaturists to savor.
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I’m usually a bit slow on the uptake regarding celebrity scandals, unless those “celebrities” are politicians. However, the recent, alleged assault of Rihanna by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, presented a second opportunity for me to caricature the songstress. She is a superb piece of human sculpture, whose features are also easy to exaggerate. Her olive-green eyes help give her an unusual glow, as well. And, EYES, as I’ve mentioned before, are what caricature is really all about.
Aside from that, I’m really not interested in Rihanna’s troubled love life — though clearly Mr. Brown may have committed a serious crime here. As Rihanna has agreed to testify against him in any upcoming trial, he could well be looking at well-deserved jail time.
For me, though, such scandals can be a welcome break from politics — especially if they involve glamorous women. It’s a pleasant change from sitting around in my studio, day after day, caricaturing a zillion male politicians — plus Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. It’s an additional reason why editorial cartoonists and caricaturists were enamored of Sarah Palin. (Wow! Look at her — and she’s EASY TO DRAW!!!)
…Really, you think I’m the only guy cartoonist who felt this way about…Sarah? But don’t get me wrong, Ms. Clinton is quite attractive, at age 61, and Nancy Pelosi was probably a knockout as a younger woman — if you could look past the giant, praying mantis eyes!
But back to celebrities. Recently, I read that another glamorous couple was having a bout of marital strife, with hints of pushing and shoving. Actually, let me qualify that — a HALF-glamorous couple: Jennifer Lopez and salsa balladeer Marc Anthony. The latter bears some resemblance to a Puerto Rican coqui, a species of tiny treefrog — the males of which loudly repeat their name as a mating call.
Marc Anthony is almost TOO easy to caricature. Yet, what saves him is that he’s not a walking caricature, a la Jay Leno, whose face leaves nothing to the imagination. Jennifer Lopez, however, is another story. I’ve caricatured her numerous times, and she’s always a challenge. While her posterior is an obvious target, almost to the point of cliche (Is it REALLY that large? I’ve seen larger), her facial features are so smooth and symmetrical that they leave little for the caricatuist to grab hold of and mangle. So, most of my caricatures of Lopez have been somewhat middling. And even when they’ve worked, there’s just nothing inspiring or funny about her modestly lovely face. I’m just happy to have captured her likeness. The one exception — don’t know if you’ll agree — is a caricature I drew of Ms. Lopez some years back, in which she is smiling broadly. I’ve cropped her face for posting here. Let me know what you think. Thumbs up, thumbs down, a thumb in the eye — whatever.
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