Mixed Messages: the Vote

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Launch Date November 2000

Background With all the furor about vote recounts, there seems to be little attention paid to the number of votes that aren't being counted at all, and I found it strange that commentators took great pains to express how "close this election was" and how "never again will people be able to say that one vote doesn't matter." Obviously, as the hoopla proves, the only votes that matter are the ones that we say matter. Keep in mind that 49% of the people voted for nobody--which is more than either of the winners got. But that's fodder for another cartoon.

Original Sketch

Mixed #3 started as a doodle. My original intention was to try to make the panels show the two parts to the story in a vertical fashion, but I couldn't quite figure out how to break the panels and make it clear that the garbage can was under the table, so I opted for making it a "Mixed Message" and what you see in the final cartoon

Again I thought of several layers of information that I wanted to put in the cartoon, but I finally opted for simplicity. However, as this next image shows, I do think that it would have been fun to line up the arrows as follows:

In case you can't read it, the first (left) arrow reads "VOTE HERE" and the second arrow reads "VOTE HERE (Blacks, Jews, Overseas Military)." I think it makes a stronger point, but I wanted to keep it simple--and it would be hard to include everyone who was disenfranchised.

I also thought about making the shadow under the table look like the United States--with emphasis on Florida, but I decided it didn't really add much to the picture.

Image I was trying for a real "sketchy" look for this cartoon, but a lot of it got lost in the inking. Jo really hates all the lines that I put into my images, but I just enjoy making scratchy images--and I've done several "clean" cartoons in the last few attempts, so I deserved a little. I did keep it toned down a lot.

Out of laziness (I guess), I opted for using one-point perspective or maybe an isometric view. I think it makes the images look a little off--they aren't quite cartoony enough, but neither are they realistic.

I really flubbed on the panels. When I drew the panels outlines in blue line, I accidentally made one smaller than the other. I corrected it, but I didn't erase the mistake (there's no need to with blue line). But when I drew the pictures and put down the inks, I used the wrong line to make the panel--as a result, the right hand panel is smaller than the left, and the gutter (the space between the panels) is bigger than it should be. It's not a major problem, but it is annoying.

Lettering Once again, the "Mixed Messages" title is a re-used graphic. I think it's time to re-do it, but I still have several copies left, so I may be lazy and just keep using them until I run out.

The scratchy lettering on the box and can was close to what I was trying for. I would have rather made it lighter, since most of those cans/boxes (I actually think the boxes are called "cans") have lettering that was put on them in the 50's (you know--back when they made the "modern" voting machines), so it tends to be a little faded. I'm not real sure about the main text, it's a little straighter than usual, but I'm still not sure about the placement. I thought about putting it at the top, but as I mentioned, I kinda screwed up the panels, and text at the top would have just been too cluttered. I took a look at Tom Toles' cartoons, and he puts his text inside the panel. So I may try that next time around.