President Barack Obama won the 2012 Elections. I am speechless. I’d rather let this caricature be what you want it to be. You are welcome to add your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
It’s time for Americans to choose their new President.
I’ve followed the three Presidential and one Vice-Presidential Debates closely; I’ve seen the Aggressive Romney of the first debate turn somewhat docile over the past one month. I believe that Romney has the expertise to put the house in order. I am not sure of his foreign policy though. I’ve been thinking of creating a caricature of Romney for a very long time (truth be told, I already have a digital one ready, but that was created when I hadn’t watched Romney talk…at least I hadn’t seen him talk long enough to really understand how his features worked together to create various expressions.) Now, after all these debates, I feel that I need to make another caricature of his. I am working on it, I assure you.
In the meantime, let me show you all the Obama Caricatures that I’ve published on this blog in the past three years.
Obama Care – Cynically yours (2012)
The Debt Burden (2011)
A Worried President Obama after being elected as President – (Early 2009)
(I know you can’t read the text – but I was just beginning :))
I will be back with Mitt Romney’s Caricature…soon Until then…stay happy!
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the sparkling new French President Francois Hollande recently made big news by reaching an agreement that is expected to rejuvenate the economies of the region, especially those of Italy and Spain. Yet, whether the €120 billion growth pact will indeed bring about the momentum needed to pull the Euro-zone out of crisis, is a moot point. In fact, not many are willing to believe that this would work.
Here’s my take on the “monstrous” Euro-zone Crisis and the two leaders on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of reviving the Euro-zone’s finances.
When Francois Hollande flew to Berlin, to meet Angela Merkel, the world watched it with a lot of interest. The reason was simple. The chemistry between Angela Merkel and Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was fantastic. Perhaps it was because Sarkozy’s personality is Merkel’s opposite. Sarkozy’s quick wit and humor would make Merkel smile, and they appeared to enjoy each other’s company. However, when Sarkozy lost the Presidential crown to Mr. Hollande earlier this year, this happy political relationship came to an abrupt end.
Merkel’s first meeting with Hollande was dubbed drab by the media. Hollande and Merkel didn’t warm up to each other, the way people had hoped they would. So, when the time came for Merkel to visit Hollande in Paris, everyone was even more worried than before. When they met, however, they shared their thoughts and talked about Growth vs. Austerity.
The recently concluded Brussels Summit apparently brought some good news for the Euro-zone but after the initial euphoria has died down, we can now hear the experts say that the package is good, but not good enough. What may be good enough for rest of the Europe, however, isn’t good enough for Merkel as Germans won’t be happy footing a bill that’s not theirs, and the unhappiness of Germans can jettison Merkel out of the Chancellor’s chair in the 2013 Bundestag elections.
If you are interested in a metaphorical story that explains the genesis of the Euro zone crisis, read “The Euro-Zone Crisis.“
Click here to view President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)
Thursday, June 28, 2012 was an important day in the History of the USA. On this day, America took a giant step towards assassinating free will.
This, of course, is the opinion of a caricaturist. Caricaturists are infamous for exaggerating stuff, but in this case, I think I am reporting it exactly the way I see it. It’s Mr. Obama’s way of gaining political mileage by ensuring that about 30 Million votes come his way.
About the Health Care Law and its Long-Term Ramifications:
The US Health Care Law a.k.a. the Obamacare Law has been upheld by the American Supreme court with a majority of 5:4! 5:4? Yes. The bill that passed the house with a 219:214 majority and which was voted down not just by all Republicans but also by 34 democrats. If it’s a panacea of all medical evils, then why almost half of these intellectuals voted against it? Who is to say, which half is the smarter lot?
I’ll leave that discussion to those who know more about law than I do. I’ll just sit here and wonder, why does Mr. Barack Obama think that this is going to really help America and the American people? While I am still to read a convincing argument how it’s one of the smartest things ever done, here’s why I think it’s one of the dumbest.
If I work hard to earn what I do, I’d like to decide what “charity” I’d like to give my money to. You can’t hold a gun to my temple and expect me to put my money into charity, and then feel good about it too. Fine, fine. You say it’s not charity. You say, I “might” end up using some of it too. Right. But I might not. I think that I should be able to decide whether or not I want to even use a hospital at all.
I see “red” when I read or hear about the Health Care bill. It smacks of communism. I see the beacon of freedom fading. I see America marching towards a future that will make people question the value of hard work and merit.
In fact, I do see some people dancing about and making merry now that the healthcare bill’s got the Supreme Court’s nod. These are the medical practitioners, the Insurance companies, and of course, those who wanted health insurance but couldn’t pay for it. Those who couldn’t pay for it, would’ve earlier tried to work to pay for it, but I hear about subsidies being given to them now (so, the young who don’t need insurance – except in the rare instance of their being in an accident, and the rich who don’t want insurance, or even the upper-middle-class who’d earlier rather fly to a cheaper medical treatment destination instead of paying the premiums, will all now pay for the 30 Million or so uninsured among which you’d have the children of the illegal immigrants too. Great idea!)
Earlier Obama’s team vehemently denied the “fact” that they accepted in the court, which was that the penalty would be a sort of tax. So in principle, US has accepted that it’s fine to impose additional tax on those who work hard to earn an honest living, because they didn’t want to buy “insurance” that they believed they didn’t need, to help provide insurance for those who wanted to buy insurance but didn’t or couldn’t work to earn it. It makes me believe that Ayn Rand had predicted this a long time ago, when she had written Atlas Shrugged. Mr. Obama has opened a Pandora’s box that will continue to spew newer schemes to make it shameful to work hard. The healthcare bill may well be a soft beginning with a delicate touch. Anyone who stands up against it would be called heartless and inhuman, and suffering will be sold in the garb of equality and affordability.
There might be a time, not in a very distant future, when Americans will look at one-another with suspicion. Distrust will grow, as will Xenophobia. The seeds have been sowed already. And while it’s been presented as an innocuous, do-good policy, yet in the years to come it’s going to spawn many more of its kind. In time, with repeated exposure to the evil of Need over Merit, Americans will lose their edge, which comes from their individualism. They’d become a collective whole – the good never aiming at greatness, and the bad never needing to leave their badness. Unless, of course, the other half that voted against it, stands up against it. Unfortunately, populist measures aren’t easy to rollback, so whatever Mr. Romney may be saying now, he might find it really difficult to actually uproot it completely.
It’s funny that I should feel so strongly about it. In my country, health insurance is a personal choice, and for more than 90 percent of its population, it doesn’t exist. I think it would be safe to assume that a large majority of the population doesn’t even know what health insurance is. Whether you get medical attention or not is determined by whether or not you or the ones who love you have earned it or not. For instance, if something really terrible happens to me, I’ll die swift and quick, because I really didn’t earn my right to health care by being able to buy a policy. What’s so wrong with it? It’s completely moral. Anytime when death comes visiting, I’ll die happy, knowing that I lived a life that I wanted to live. I understand how it’s hard on people who care about you, but it’s just one of those things that we accept and it doesn’t make a ton of difference to the population in general.
I think I am concerned because for me the US has been a lighthouse in the darkness of a world that I don’t understand. I’ve always understood the value-system of America. I’ve admired the freedom that the country gives to every individual so that he may write his own destiny. This is the freedom that leads to other freedoms – the freedom of speech, of doing business, of making money, of keeping money, and to help others make money. It’s this freedom that has made America the greatest nation in this world. What America does, others emulate, yet this once, I find myself hoping that others don’t follow suit.
But as I said earlier, this is the opinion of a caricaturist – and caricaturists exaggerate. Go home, sleep well, and forget all about it.
Presenting the caricature of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.
Here’s his biography – short and concise
Karzai’s Biography – Childhood and Youth
Hamid Karzai who is the current President of Afghanistan, was born on December 24, 1957. Recently, his unwillingness to let the NATO forces leave (despite their having trained the Afghani security forces well,) has been making news. Why, you might ask. Well, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Taliban worry him no end. But let us first talk about Karzai’s childhood and youth. He was born in Kandahar (yes, the Gandhara of the past, but the capital of Afghanistan today.) He comes from an influential political family (as I interpret from his father’s profession, who was the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament when Karzai was a toddler.)
Young Hamid completed his graduation in Kandahar, but believe it or not, he completed his post-graduation from India. However, before you misguide yourself into believing that he found his sweetheart in India, I should tell you that he must’ve been a studious sort of guy. He met Zeenat who he later married, in Pakistan, not in India.
Karzai’s Rise to Power
When US backed the Mujaheddin during the soviet war in Afghanistan, Karzai worked as a contact for CIA. Presumably this was how his political journey began – with the mujaheddin who took power after Najibullah (who was publicly hanged by the Taliban).
Initially, Karzai felt good about the Taliban and thought of them as the saviors of the nation, but he refused to represent them. This possibly angered the Taliban, who killed Karzai’s father. This changed Karzai’s view of the Taliban. He began an anti-Taliban movement and joined the Northern front. The Northern Front along with US Special forces overthrew the Taliban. It was in 2002 that for the first time Karzai came into power. Unfortunately, his sphere of power was limited to Kabul (the media promptly dubbed him the “Mayor of Kabul”).
Ever since Karzai came into power he’s been trying to hold talks with the Taliban (the same Taliban who killed his father and angered him, earlier in the story.)
Controversies that surround Hamid Karzai
Karzai was first elected the President in 2004. Next, when elections were held in 2009, they were mired in controversies and it was insinuated that his opponent’s withdrawal from the election may not have been entirely voluntary.
While Karzai has been trying for a cordial relationship with countries such as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Japan; he’s also been criticized for being too soft on the Taliban.
Karzai’s been into the poppy production controversy (he refused to kill the poppy in the fields.) He’s also been accused of shielding his brother who was “allegedly” involved in drug trade.
His brothers and sisters are settled in the land of opportunity (read: The US.) They are all into the hospitality business. Karzai has only one son (and one wife, who is a Doctor.) He’s got no property to call his own and his bank-balance is really abysmally low. But that’s one of the things that makes him a darling of the masses – because despite all allegations of electoral fraud, he won them fair and square.
The Story behind the Caricature
In 2014, the NATO forces will have completely pulled out of Afghanistan (US being the last to leave). Afghanistan and US are currently in the process of drafting an agreement, which will ensure that in some ways US will continue to help Afghanistan tide over the issues that it would face after the withdrawal of the troops. However, Karzai is perhaps not comfortable with mere promises. He has recently said,
“They are providing us with money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down.”
Dear readers, what’s your opinion?
- After having spent 12 years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, should the NATO forces leave when the Afghan security forces don’t appear to be in control? (Read about one of the security breaches here.)
- Also, is Karzai being a tad over-optimistic when he says that he needs a promise of a couple of Billion Dollars a year, and he’d be able to control the situation?
Presenting the Caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Defiant President of Iran. In this image, he is seen challenging the world with Iran’s nuclear program (that he has supported all through these years as the one directed towards peaceful nuclear energy, but has recently begun to use for issuing threats of retaliation – especially to Israel,) with Russia and China as his friends.
Ahmadinejad’s Brief Profile
He was born in the family of a blacksmith, in the year 1956. He was a good student who became a civil engineer, worked as a Professor, and then became the Mayor of Tehran. However, this wasn’t the end of Ahmadinejad’s achievements.
Iran has a political system that’s quite different from the systems followed across the world. Iran has two leaders. The first and the more powerful leader is the Divine Leader (also called the supreme leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who isn’t elected, and who remains the supreme leader all his life. The Supreme leader controls the Military, the Media, and the Judiciary. On the other hand, the Democratic leader is elected by people and doesn’t have as many rights and powers as the Divine leader. From 1997 to 2005, the democratic President of Iran was Mohamed Khatami, who had differences with Khameni, and Khameni wanted him replaced. This is how Ahmadinejad became the president.
Ahmadinejad’s winning Formula
Ahmadinejad always tries to be like the people that he represents, and perhaps this is why he got elected in the first place. He shuns luxury, and he even dresses up like a common man (note the missing tie).
Iran, Ahmadinejad, and the World – the Thought behind this caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran has recently been making news by asserting its right to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. US has imposed sanctions and has stopped importing oil from Iran, later EU followed suit. However, there are some countries that continue to support Iran. The most important of them are China and Russia (that also explains the shield in this caricature.) Ahmadinejad also made news by saying that if the sanctions were effected then the Strait of Hormuz that have the highest traffic of oil from the oil exporting countries, shall be blocked.
Click here to view the caricature of President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)
I often wonder how tough it must be to carry the burden of the mistakes made by a whole lot of other people…and then I also wonder how much tougher it must be to zip up and not blame anyone for it, because “officially” you are the one responsible for the mess and also for the cleanup!
A few months ago when the US Congress debated whether the debt ceiling should be raised, and when Standard & Poor’s slashed the credit-rating of the US from AAA to AA+, this is exactly what went through my mind…and so, when my client sent me a requirement for a caricature/cartoon around the concept, the following caricature of a harassed Barack Obama happened
I have a lot more to share…
Will be back soon:)
About the Upcoming Caricatures:
In what order would you like to see the following three personalities appear on your favorite caricature blog?
- Edward Norton the Hollywood Actor
- Ozzy Osbourne of the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath
- David Cameron the current British Prime Minister
Please write the order of your preference in the comments section – popular demand will lead the way:)
About the Storytelling Carnival:
And yes, while you are here…do visit the “Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival.“
(Do you know that most writers are discovered by chance? Take your chance now – and rediscover yourself.)
About the Caricature Drawing Tutorial Book:
and yes, learn how you can DRAW TO SMILE!
Caricatures show us what isn’t obvious, by using visual and/or verbal exaggeration. Thus, they wake us up from our peaceful slumber by poking us with a funny wand.
Check out Edward Sorel’s caricature of the “Clods.”
Did you read the Newspaper this morning? If you didn’t, I recommend that you find it now, and go through it page by page. Don’t read anything. Just look. Do you see those pictures? Now classify them as photographs and illustrations. What’s the ratio of the two in your newspaper? I did the same exercise and discovered that the ratio was 42 to 3 or 14 to 1! Among the three illustrations, there was one “tree”, one “cartoon”, and only one “caricature.”
Now time-track back about a century and a half! Close your eyes and try to see the newspaper? What do you see? You see a lot of illustrations, cartoons, and caricatures. You see meanings being loaded into the faces and the bodies of the politicians – suddenly, you find yourself viewing an interpretation of an event – and not its snapshot! A caricature is not just the picture formed on your retina, it is the picture understood by the mind – and the newspapers in those days were full of caricatures and cartoons…hilarious, sarcastic, witty, biting, caustic, romantic…the newspapers then were more alive!
So meet President Bush and President Clinton in this caricature by Gary Varvel, and wonder how a photograph could’ve caught this caustic humor.
But this is my opinion…and I am a caricaturist! You form yours. If you are in or around Durham, NC, and you are inclined towards the visual arts, you’d be interested in the exhibition “Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature”, which is currently on at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. It began on February 04, and will continue to May 16, 2010.
Even if you aren’t in the vicinity, do visit: http://www.nasher.duke.edu/exhibitions_caricature.php to initiate a new line of thought, and wonder whether we need to review the function of caricatures in the newspapers of today.
After all, all of us have our own reasons for everything, as this caricature of President Bush and an Iraq War Veteran by Rob Rogers, illustrates.
With this I rest my case for MORE CARICATURES in the newspapers!
Important Note: The three images used in this post have been used with explicit permission from the Nasher Museum. If you’d like to use them, please contact the Nasher Museum for permissions. Thanks.
(PS: To Tweet this post, you may want to use the short url: http://wp.me/pJgyP-5t)
David Levine‘s Caricatures are a phenomenon. Levine’s caricatures used to regularly appear in The New York Review of Books. As a child he dreamed of becoming a painter, but to sustain himself, he turned illustrator. he continued to illustrate until the 1960s, when he became a caricaturist for The Review. In addition to The Review, His works appeared in “Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Nation, Playboy,” etc. Wow! Isn’t that something? (Source: Wikipedia.)
View some of his caricatures here (at The New York Review of Books Gallery of Levine’s Caricatures.):
In 2006 (Three years before his death about a month ago,) he was diagnosed with an eye disease that leads to blindness. I don’t think that there’s anything that can make an artist feel worse than a disability that could interfere with his ability to draw.
This post is a tribute to this prolific caricaturist and his art. His caricatures and his confident line-work will continue to inspire us.
Morten Morland is the political cartoonist for The Times (London) since 2002. His characters portray excellent body language – they look tensed, limp, worried, anxious, angry, scared…not just through their expressions but also through their gestures and postures.
If you are international politics savvy, you should definitely check out his blog http://poldraw.wordpress.com/
I’ll post my next caricature (an attempt to bridge the gap of about 50,000 years in perceptions) tomorrow. Do visit:)