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Launch Date July 2001
Background Okay, so maybe two comics about National Missile Defense in as many months may seem like a lot, but this is the ArmzRace.
Ever since Bush and company have decided to push Star Wars again, I've been amazed at the number of details that seem to be working against the idea---amazed, because Bush continues to press on regardless. I have no problem with a strong national defense, but what these guys are doing seems to border on the criminal. I have no doubt that ripping up the ABM treaty is just a first step; weapons in space will be upon us soon.
Plus, Rumsfeld is just too spooky not to do a comic on him.
Original Sketch This comic was obviously going to be text-heavy, so the trick was to make it simple and straightforward.
I wanted Rumsfeld to have an evil scientist look to him. Eventually, he wound up looking half simian, half mad scientist, which worked for me.
The lower image is a pretty close match for the man.
Originally, this was titled "Meet the Cabinet" because I had grand visions of taking on all the Bush team...don't hold your breath....
Layout I used some scrap paper to make sure that I put everything in the right place and then just dove in. I wanted to try to do this one quickly. Sometimes that gets me into trouble, but often when I take my time I overdo the art with too many little lines and shading. Here, I deliberately went for strong black and white contrasts, and even as it is, there are probably too many little details (the feathering on the top of Donald's shoulder, the overemphasis on the lapels, etc.).
Inking As much as possible, I tried to use a brush for everything. A brush tends to support a cartoony style for some reason. Even though (or maybe, because) this cartoon is serious, I thought that it was important to simplify the pictoral elements.
Lettering Except for the "Donald Rumsfeld" lettering, I largely freehanded most of the text. Again, I did this partly to go for a looser feel for the whole image. I probably should have left off the "war is peace" reference, but I thought that invoking Orwell was appropriate in this comic.
Ultimately I guess if you haven't heard of the ABM treaty--or Bush's plan to scrap it--this cartoon will largely escape you. I'm a little worried that there is far too much text, but overall, this one came out close to the way I envisioned it.
What People are Saying About Meet the Bush Team: Ari Fleischer
Rumsfeld looks scary great.
Hahaha! I hope 'Meet the Bush Team' becomes a series, but I don't know how you are going to top yourself after playing the Dr. Strangelove card so soon!