Caricature/Cartoon – Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula – The Vampire who couldn’t find his Bride!

In my grandmother’s house there was room full of books. It wasn’t a library. The books weren’t organized. They just lay there in heaps. Kids in our family were discouraged from reading novels, because they could distract us from studies, and so that room remained out of bounds for me for a long time, but then one summer afternoon, when my grandmother was away visiting her brother’s house for their usual card-game, I sneaked in.

 What I found was a treasure chest of books…some belonged to my grandfather, some to my grandmother, and some…to my father. In fact, I found my father’s English Reader from the time when he studied at Delhi’s Saint Columba’s and I laughed when I saw that he had made drawings (including a sketch of his English teacher) to cover every inch of blank space that was in it – something that I was always admonished for.

It was then, in that room, that I discovered Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I took the book to my room, and read it under the covers…and sometimes, even in the bathroom. I completed the book without getting caught – a rare feat, especially under the eagle-eye surveillance of my grandmother.

I can’t say that I am crazy about blood-sucking, foul-breathed, anachronistic vampires; but when I saw “Dracula: Dead and Loving it” I became a lot more patient towards them. If there were indeed a clumsy oaf of a vampire, so completely out of sync with the times of today; and if he really were as lovable as Leslie Nielsen was in this movie, I might consider inviting him to my Birthday party. (Did I go too far with that one?)

Here’s my rendition of Leslie Nielsen as the funniest Dracula the world has ever seen.

A Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch of Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula in the Movie Dracula Dead and Loving it.

Oh, it's a mirror. I thought this is what I actually look like! 300 years in a coffin can really play havoc with your smile!!

I am at a crossroads. Should I take you through the biography of Dracula or of the charming Naked Gun Leslie Nielsen?

A bit of both, perhaps?

Count Dracula – In Fiction and In History

There indeed was a Count Dracula. Sometime during the 15th century, there lived a man so evil that he came to symbolize the ultimate in cruelty. His name was Vlad, and he became known as Vlad III the Impaler. The image that’s exploded in front of your eyes is a snapshot from the past. Vlad’s favorite form of punishment was impaling. I will spare you the gory details of the process, and also the personal history of this historical maniac – but if you are interested, you can find all about it here.

As Vlad’s family name was Dracul, he became known as the Count Dracula. The blood-sucking bits of Dracula’s story might be fiction, but it’s known that Vlad would feast in the jungle of the impaled, where he’d sit near those impaled at his orders, and enjoy a perfect meal – gloating upon the pain and misery that he had inflicted upon others. (I know…I know – he did it to those who were responsible for his father’s downfall – but I refuse to feel pity for Mr. Vlad Yikes!)

Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in the early 20th century. It’s obvious that he drew inspiration from Vlad the Sicko and the folklore of the region. His Dracula was a more colorful guy with three brides (who could be his brides or his daughters…it isn’t made clear by Mr. Stoker,) and his tendency to stick a straw in any human neck that he chances upon.

Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen was a Hollywood actor and comedian. He acted in numerous parody movies (movies that parody other movies) but he is best known for his Naked Gun series in which he played the part of Frank Drebin, the man who unknowingly leaves a trail of disaster behind him.

According to Wikipedia here,

“Nielsen appeared in over one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.”

You know how marriages and affairs interest the Caricaturist. (She could’ve been a divorce lawyer, if she weren’t a caricaturist) So, she is dying to tell you that Nielsen was an extremely well-married man who had married four times. He tied his final love-knot when he was a youthful 74, and that marriage lasted until his death, ! I hope all singles who are 74 or younger are tuned in 🙂

As a final note to this post, I recommend that people who are afraid of the dark because they expect canine-baring, blood-sucking vampires to appear out of nowhere; should watch “Dracula – Dead and Loving it!” I promise that you’ll experience a transformation – your fear will be replaced by laughter!

Caricature of Matt Mullenweg – The Founding Developer of WordPress – The Caricaturist Strikes Again!

Of course, you know Matt Mullenweg.

He is the founding developer of WordPress, the blog service without which I wouldn’t be blogging. He is 27, unlucky in cards (wonder if it matters to him?), loves to play music, and he has made it to the Caricaturist’s hit list!

Yesterday I received this email from Jane Wells, which said that I should try out the new improved WordPress dashboard, and make a post…and well…that there might be a teeny-weeny chance of my blog appearing you know where.

The problem however was, the contest (if I may call it that) is for the writers. So I, the humble caricaturist had to think logically. If you’ve known Van Gogh and Modigliani, you must know that an artist never counts logic among his strong points.

After a lot of deliberation, I finally concluded that I should draw Matt Mullenweg’s caricature. Before you read the rest of this post, here it is.

Caricature Cartoon of Matt Mullenweg pulling out WordPress from his Cowboy hat

...anddd....here's WordPress!

Why did I draw Matt Mullenweg?

Well. Here are some of my reasons.

  • He looks rather cute in his cowboy attire – not at all like a future programmer!
  • He is the reason I am blogging and dreaming about getting Freshly Pressed (though the dream faces the risk of going stale soon.)
  • He has recently received another one of those zillion awards that he really doesn’t know what to do with.
  • He has a blog (powered by…WordPress. What were you thinking?) And so who knows he might be busy writing a post using the new avatar of WordPress’s text editor, hoping that his blog might feature on Freshly Pressed!
  • Who knows…Matt might be passing by Jane’s desk (do they live and work in the same city?) and he might see her reviewing my blog-post, and he just might think that it’s a good idea to get a printout for his grass-board!

I could go on and on with the reasons, but they won’t help, because Jane Wells will fall asleep half-way through my rant, and I’ll lose my golden opportunity.

So…Adios!
See you later…in the Nineteenth Century Transylvania!

The Caricaturist writes from the Center of the Earth

…and should return by the weekend.

You must’ve surmised that the Caricaturist must be on an errand of great importance – only then would she disappear so completely. Imagine. A whole week without a new post. You know that your dear caricaturist would never ever let you down, unless she was called away for a greater purpose – OR unless an unexpected, uncontrollable event took place.

I have to report that it was the latter.

It happened on the 8th of May, 2011. After publishing Gaddafi’s Caricature, I felt extremely tired – It was quite a job scavenging all that information on him, and I didn’t have the US Intelligence working for me. So I decided to make myself a hot cup of tea. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had run out of tea-leaves – an organized, methodical person like me, who uses innumerable diaries, post-its, and other data-capture devices to keep a tab on everything that has a tendency to vanish. I remembered making a note of the task, “Buy Tea-leaves/Tea-bags”, and adding a red circle with VERY IMP. scribbled in red across it – but I missed it completely. I guess it was because I didn’t open that particular diary for a week, and I didn’t open it because I didn’t remember which diary it was!

Any way, before I confuse you completely, let me finish the story.

When I discovered that I had exhausted the supply of tea-leaves/tea-bags, I rushed out to the unfriendly neighborhood grocer to buy some. In my hurry, I didn’t see the open manhole, and before I realized it, I was tumbling through a dark vertical shaft. I tried to look around, but I was falling at a great speed, and the shaft was pitch-dark, so I couldn’t really make out the texture of walls. Worse, I expected to hit the bottom anytime…in other words, I knew that death was imminent.

I closed my eyes and thought about my sweetheart, my parents, my brother, my dog, and my new-found American friend (and her dogs and her favorite dog’s dad…), my other friends, my office, my co-workers, my landlord, my landlord’s sons and daughter-in-laws, my neighbor’s black cat, the squirrels on the terrace, the birds…the list went on…the prime-minister, the US president, the president’s wife, the Queen, Lady Gaga…and the list continued to grow…the Chinese Premier, Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, my MOTHER-in-LAW!!!!!

That shocked me! I must’ve reached the end of my list, but there was no end to my free-fall. In fact, it was at that point that I fainted.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a straw-mat in a cave. Two cavemen, three cave-women, and about a dozen cave-kids were gathered around me. I tried asking them where I was. The good news was that those cave-kids were smart, so one of them picked up what appeared be a fruit of some sort. He used a stone-knife to cut it into two halves, and pointed to the center. So that was it. I had reached the Center of the Earth!

After a lot of cajoling, the kids gave me a laptop that they had recovered from the stuff that kept coming through the man-hole, and I have managed to contact my family. They’ve contacted the Indian Government, and the Indian Government has contacted the Chilean Government – requesting them to send the rescue team that worked on rescuing the Chilean miners, to…well, pull me back to the terra firma.

I should return soon…until then, pray for the Caricaturist’s well-being.

(Credits: Message posted using the Laptop that the cavekids so kindly shared with me. This post wouldn’t have reached you, if it hadn’t been for those cave-kids and their dream of starting a WordPress Blog.)

Caricature/Cartoon – Muammar Gaddafi – The Dictator of Libya.

Updated: October 20, 2011:

Colonel Gaddafi was killed by the Libyan Rebel Forces (now known as the Transitional Authorities) in his Hometown Sirte, on October 20, 2011. Now it’s time for Libya to prove that they can establish and maintain a democracy.

Mahatma Gandhi said,

The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.

When the first step towards democracy is soaked in blood, a change of heart isn’t easy to come by. Democracy requires a belief in peace and in non-violence, the primary reason why India has been more successful with democracy despite being the most populated of all the nations that gained their independence in the twentieth century, and despite having been born in a sea of blood. What is the belief of those who are now strapping themselves in the driver’s seat for these reborn nations? We will know in a few years. Right now it appears to be a time to celebrate.

————————————Original post follows————————————–

Presenting the self-proclaimed “King of the Kings”, the nutty dictator of Libya – Muammar Gaddafi, who’s had Libya in his claws for 40 long years – and who isn’t yet willing to loosen his grip…come blood, gore, deaths, or even international opposition!

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Portrait of Moammar Gaddafi, the Dictator of Libya!

I’ll martyr Libya. (What did I say? Oh…I meant I’ll die a martyr for Libya!)

The Highlights of Gadhafi’s Life – As seen by the Caricaturist who suffers from Tunnel Vision coupled with Multiple Blind Spots!

Muammar Al-Gaddafi, the 70-year old Libyan leader who doesn’t let go of his 40-year long hold on Libya, was born in a tent in the desert, near Sirt, a city of Libya. He received his elementary education in a madarsa. When he grew up, he joined the military academy of Libya and graduated in 1966. He became the dictator of Libya in 1969 after overthrowing King Idris and ridding Libya of the “oily-rich” monarchy. Others who helped him overthrow the monarchy became subservient to him – thus began the reign of Gaddafi.

A full political biography of Gaddafi isn’t something that I really want to suffocate my readers with, so I will stick to presenting only the essential details, which… pertain to his children. (You think there’s more to life than children? Ask any parent.) Gaddafi has eight children – 7 male! I won’t even try to write down the details of all his sons, but it’s difficult for me not to mention his fourth son, aptly called Hannibal M. Gaddafi.

The Ridiculously Important Stuff!

  1. Even with Kadafi (yes…another spelling,) Libya has one of the  highest per capita GDP in Africa – all thanks to Oil.
  2. Gaddafi worked really hard to get weapons of mass destruction from China, Pakistan, and India – and then when he saw what happened to Saddam, he did an about-turn and allowed for inspection and destruction of his own arsenal (Why? Don’t ask me – ask a Gaddafi-expert.)
  3. In 2008, Gaddafi got bestowed upon himself the title of King of the Kings of Africa, and called for the creation of the United States of Africa (which thankfully didn’t happen – or we’d be wondering where to fit the abbreviation “USA”!)
  4. Believe it or not, he was involved in at least 25 assassinations internationally, and yet…he gets to meet all the top world leaders. (Why can’t I, a law-abiding citizen of a democracy, meet them instead – I ask you.)
  5. On one hand, Gaddafi is considered an “almost terrorist” who brought Libya to a level where the US once declared it a “rogue state”; on the other hand, he has been involved in many public utility projects within Libya.
  6. In 2010, during his trip to Italy, Gaddafi asked the European women to convert to Islam (I think he’d have got a better response from men… but then I am ignorant of the finer threads of Gaddafi’s thought process.)
  7. In 2009, he  addressed the UN General Assembly, in which he called Barack Obama, “the son of Africa.” (I don’t know if the White House issued an official denial, but it did make life difficult for the US President, ultimately forcing him to produce his birth certificate to show that he was “the son of America”!)
  8. Gaddafi often contradicts himself in his speeches (all politicians do, but then unlike Gaddafi, most of them make an attempt to appear sensible.)
  9. He imposed Sharia law in Libya, in the year 1973. Accordingly, alcohol was outlawed. (Now, are you wondering how he got those bags under his eyes?)

The Present Civil Unrest in Libya

It began in February 2011 (Inspired by the Tunisian protests…as it happened elsewhere in the middle-east.) Despite the continuing battle between the Army and the Civilians, and despite the intervention of the international community, Muammar Gaddafi has refused to let go of Libya.

For more details, watch CNN.

Gaddafi’s Plastic Surgery

Moammar Gaddafi’s Quotes

It is the Libyan people’s responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad.
—Gaddafi

“There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe–without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.” —Gaddafi

I really don’t know if the Gaddafi Quotes here are real or not…but they sure make you wonder whether the man actually has a left side to his brain.

Gaddafi’s Female Body-guards

No post on Gaddafi can be complete without a mention of his “virgin” body-guards. (Ever wonder what the interview process for recruitment of his body-guards must include?)
For a colorful collection of pictures that show his many body-guards, the various spellings of his name as a list of tags  – click this link here 🙂

And finally…

Watch the Crazy Gadhafi slideshow here, and … design a Gaddafi Costume for your next Halloween party!

The Caricaturist recounts her experiences.

Some of you would remember that on the 29th of April, I had to rush to Westminster Abbey, in my pajamas, because the courier carrying my invitation to the royal wedding was delayed as he was waylaid by the Taliban.

I would have told you all about the wedding, how the paparazzi went nuts the moment they realized that The Caricaturist was at the wedding, and how I had to tell them that it was William and Kate’s day, and that they should train their lenses on them; I would’ve told you all, had Bin Laden not been killed on the morning of May 1, 2011.

On my journey home, my plane was right over Abbottabad when Operation Geronimo was taking place. My plane “The Caricaturist One” was fitted with radar jammers and so I could fly over Pakistan, undetected. (To silence those who must be wondering if it was a royal waste of money to name a plane after me, I should make it clear that the plane is now going to be called, “The Sheen One” in honor of Charlie Sheen. It’s a reusable, rename-able plane, you see!)

Anyway, when I landed, I came to know about President Obama’s announcement, and I was driven to draw Geronimo who was EKIA, and release the only official “Osama bin Laden Dead Picture” on my blog. What I hadn’t expected was the deluge of visitors from every little nook, cranny, street, road, colony, town, city, and country of the world. I never realized that this guy was a bigger crowd-puller than even William and Kate!

All this kept me on my toes, and I really couldn’t tell you anything about any of the following.
1.    The April Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival – nothing happened – so there’s nothing to report. I think that the Blog Carnival really needs to go.
2.    The upcoming caricature of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.(Caricature published on: May 08, 2011)
3.    The Facebook group “Emotional Art” that needs your attention.

Anyway, now that the dust (oops, the water) has settled over Osama Bin Laden’s earthly remains, and now that it has become clear from his will that he wanted only other people’s children to join Al Qaeda and not his own…I think it’s time for the world to move on.

See you soon, with another caricature.

Caricature/Cartoon – Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Military in Pakistan – Justice has been Done!

Osama bin Laden, the dreaded Al-Qaeda terrorist carrying a reward of US $25 Million on his turbaned head, a close cousin of Achmed the dead terrorist, but infinitely more difficult to kill, is finally dead! He was shot by the US Military in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 1, 2011.

In the past, whenever I thought of caricaturing Bin Laden, I had set the task aside for that historical day when I would hear the news of his capture or death. Today, an hour ago, when President Obama announced Osama’s death, I sprung into action, and drew this caricature. I believe that this is my fastest caricature ever…and I also think that it has captured the essence of my thoughts.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing of Osama Bin Laden, the Dreaded Terrorist of Al Qaeda - shot dead by the US Military.

They “kill” me!

Feel free to use the above picture on your blog/website (FREE for as-is non-commercial use.)

Here’s a Short Biography of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden was born in a rich Saudi Family on March 10, 1957. Osama was the only son of his father’s 10th(?) wife. Osama possibly enrolled for an engineering degree in Saudi Arabia, but he didn’t complete it. However, he was extremely devoted to Islam and spent time in interpreting Quran and Jihad. Osama married four times and fathered 2 dozen children. (Note that he denounced the Americans as people who indulged in “fornication,” among other things!)

Well…one thing must’ve led to another, and Osama ended up becoming a Jihadi. His family connections and wealth helped him gain importance and start the organization that we now know as Al-Qaeda.

What used to go on in Osama’s Mind?

  • Nobody knows as he spoke little. But his actions told us that he was anti-democracy, anti-socialism and pro-taliban, pro-jihad!
  • He believed that it was okay to target women and children for the purpose of Jihad.
  • He was against music (on religious grounds!!!)

Osama is known to have spawned Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

(Read more about Bin Laden at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden)

After the attack on the twin towers, USA declared war on Al-Qaeda. One of the important missions of this war was to “capture or kill” Bin Laden. Bin Laden was earlier working from Afghanistan, but then there were reports that he had moved to Pakistan. Pakistan however continued to deny it.

How the US Military killed Osama Bin Laden?

The American Intelligence discovered that Osama bin Laden was staying in a mansion at Abbottabad, which is 60 miles from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The compound around the mansion was almost 8-times the size of the compounds around the neighboring houses. Abbottabad is a town where many retired government and military officials live. The compound where Osama bin Laden was found and shot dead, is situated quite close to the Pakistani military academy.

The attack was carried out by American Assault Team consisting of special forces including the US Navy Seals. It was a 40-minute operation, which involved fire-fighting, which lead of the deaths of three men (Osama included) and one woman. The reason why the woman got killed was because she was being used as a human shield by Osama and his associates. One of the helicopters crashed due to a mechanical failure, but all the American personnel involved in the operation are safe.

His body/remains are now with the US.

Read the details at the Los Angeles Times website here.

All this of course raises a lot of questions. Especially as Pakistan has always been in denial that Osama was staying there (leave alone the fact that he was living there in “style” and “comfort” unlike Saddam Hussein who was imitating a mouse.) That Osama was staying in such close proximity of the military academy and in such a posh area, is something that makes you wonder how deep the roots of Al-Qaeda go?