Political Animals!

This is how politics makes me feel.

This is how politics makes me feel.

First of all, I am beyond excited about the composition above. It is hugely epic, and not something that I would have been able to draw say, a year ago.

I’ve avoided talking a whole lot about Presidential politics in this forum, mostly because it seems outside my scope. Free Speech is connected to artists, writers and English teachers, and the politics of California Education are of course, important to me, and the content here. Living in Los Angeles, I also feel strongly about Equity in Marriage and Equity of all kinds for diverse Americans…so I tend to speak bout those things. They reflect the day to day experiences of my friends, students, and colleagues.

But Presidential politics…less so. It just doesn’t really touch me in as direct a way, and I find it less something that I’m concerned with over time. Education is a State level issue, with State legislation and control. Other things like Free Speech tend to be Supreme Court issues…so there is a fair amount of distance between Presidents and my day to day operations. To a degree, it makes me wonder exactly what Arne Duncan does, since Education isn’t under Federal control. Except the massive grants, of course.

I was talking with close friends the other day, though, talking about the Presidency. Specifically, talking about the daily trainwreck that is Donald Trump’s public persona. I mentioned that in the morning, I Google “Trump”, hit the “news” button, and sit back for the Day’s Crazy. Sometimes it’s a Tweet with images of Nazis in it, sometimes he’s taking a Cheap Shot at Veterans. The fact is, I just DON’T KNOW what kind of lunacy I will find there, and at least early in the game, that’s entertaining. It’s terrifying me that he has the press and popularity that he does, because the fact is…it’s good comedy, but I don’t think he’d make a good President at all.

I asserted then that perhaps the whole Trump Campaign was like a “Quantum Leap” episode. Scott Bakula needs to ruin Trump’s chances of becoming President, for the good of the future…and perhaps maybe, the next leap will be the leap home. Certainly that puts some of the bat @#$% crazy stuff to come out of his mouth in context.

What should probably terrify most Americans is that I find Trump on the scary, erratic side. That’s not because I’m scary or erratic, but instead because of my favorite Presidents in the first place. I’m a big fan of Nixon and Reagan, not because of their views per se, but because of their effectiveness in office. They were the people that needed to be in office at the time, in order to handle certain events. Both played fast and loose with the powers of the office, sure…but I think that’s part of what makes them interesting to me. There was abuse of power for the “greater good,” but the idea was exactly that…it was for some greater good.

Trump just comes off as bat @#$% crazy, and intolerant of huge groups of people that he would actually have to steward the general welfare of. I don’t think I like that at all, in any way. At no point have I heard anything like a policy that I could get behind, either, which is a big deal.

Hence where the art comes from. My friend advised that Trump is the punch line for a strip, and there’s merit to that. I’ll be doing that, almost without a doubt. But when I sat down to draw how I felt about politics, it made sense to have jumpsuit clad Lion-Men pursuing the protagonist and Pony through a Valley of Past Presidents, complete with some kind of Arc d’ Triumph and huge busts of Presidents Past. I considered calling it “Battle in the Valley of the Nixon Heads” except that sure there’s Nixon, but also JFK is right there in the foreground of the setting, not just a bunch of Nixons.

Sure, our hero should be able to take on a bunch of Lion Men. With their animal powers, they can bench like maybe 5 to 10 tons. She can chuck things directly into the sun, and has been shown to throw cars at things with ease. It seems like no contest, but those guys would be a big @#$%ing hassle. Dealing with each one individually would take a bit, and they would be sort of an unruly, rabid mob. This is often how I feel when I have to discuss politics with any unknown group…they seem to band together with weak ideas, or worse, rabidly defend a plethora of weird ones. Even being nigh invulnerable, you’d hoof it pretty fast through the Nixon Heads to some kind of quiet.

About running…it is hard to draw running. You have to as a comic artist, but it involves a bunch of foreshortening, and angles that we don’t consider consciously, but look Right or Wrong when we see them. I’m very happy with the way the running came out, and the leaping Lion Person. Really dynamic, with a feeling of Kirbyesque motion.

As you read this, I invite you to Google the word “Trump” and hit the “News” button. Then, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes, because you certainly have gotten the attention of some of the Lion Men.

Tomorrow: Saturday Morning Revisited!

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