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BorgBlog
Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder


Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sausage Factory Episode 396


So I had this notion to do a cartoon about the "Clinton surrogates", those anonymous lackeys who spread lies and rumors on behalf of Hillary, smearing her opponents. They plant the rumor that Obama is Muslim. They bring up old stories about his drug use as a kid. The Clintons claim innocence and outrage, but their ends are served. Anyone who has watched Bill and Hill all these years knows they orchestrate every move in this campaign.

The image of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz occurred to me. That's them in my coded scrawl above.


I got this far in inking the cartoon when my inner tuning fork started vibrating. Something felt wrong. The flying monkeys were still right, but calling Hillary the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't my point and it was threatening to overwhelm the subject.

Believe me, if I ever feel Hillary is a witch I'll draw her that way. But that's not how I feel, and it's way too strong of an image to toss off casually. I like a lot of what she says and I'm pulling for her as a woman, I just hate this machiavellian aspect of how the Clintons operate. The witch image had to go or somehow be minimized.

(The scanner didn't pick up the pencilwork on this drawing, so I've approximated some elements I hadn't inked yet -- Obama trapped in the crystal ball, an hourglass, and the monkeys approaching the window. Man, those monkeys inhabited most of my childhood nightmares!)

Then it struck me as funnier to have Bill and Hill in a normal strategy meeting releasing the flying monkeys. I flipped the paper over and we were back on track.



Before the swiftboaters scream, yes, I looked up the old Oliphant cartoon from the early '80s when I was about halfway through to make sure I wasn't skimming his composition or characters. I was pleased to see we had entirely different orientations, but I did like the way he drew the legs of the monkeys hanging down in flight in the distance, so I used that. I gave them all monkey tails. Did they have tails in the movie? I couldn't remember.


32 Comments:

at 1/16/08, 10:46 AM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

Love it! Thanks for the explanation too -- very interesting.

 
at 1/16/08, 10:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

if this whole election is about race, this country will only pick up (downward) where bush left off (not a pretty sight)

 
at 1/16/08, 10:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

...feeding bush's anti-democracy campaign...

 
at 1/16/08, 11:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

she won't win in Ohio because the polls are rigged to vote only republican

 
at 1/16/08, 11:23 AM Blogger Wettengel said...

Thanks for sharing your thought process. Very interesting. It is a shame you could not leave in the "My pretties" line.

Is there anyway to think "My pretties" without having the voice in your head sound like the witch from the Wizard of Oz?

 
at 1/16/08, 11:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you just see 'Wicked' here in town?

 
at 1/16/08, 11:51 AM Blogger Haystacks Calhoun said...

Great insight, Jim!! The finished product is better without her in costume...though we may disagree on the "witch" thing.

 
at 1/16/08, 12:57 PM Blogger Matthew Hansel said...

Jim:

I think it works better with Hillary dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West.

Why?

If she is engaged in the tactics in ANY way, she ought to be held accountable for it. I don't believe that this would overwhelm (or even just whelm) or overpower the 'toon.

Just my two cents.

MPH

 
at 1/16/08, 12:59 PM Blogger Matthew Hansel said...

AND--Jim--have you ever considered scanning your ruffs/images/etc as greyscale and not line-art? It would allow the pencil work to show through when you want it to.

MPH

 
at 1/16/08, 1:21 PM Anonymous Dan said...

A fascinating post. I like seeing how you bring together the ideas.

No costume was necessary on Billary. The flying monkey reference told the whole world whose role she was playing, even in her fancy fitted suits.

Yes, the monkeys did have tails in the movie.

 
at 1/16/08, 1:48 PM Blogger cookkenusa said...

I like the cartoon...and I like a "Clinton-Clinton" '08 ticket.
"Oh Glenda, do dreams ever come true?"

 
at 1/16/08, 2:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great 'toon. No matter which candidate, I'm really sick of all this backhandedness in politics.

 
at 1/16/08, 2:30 PM Anonymous mr squidknuckles said...

I notice in the unfinished cartoon that you already signed it. Do you pre-sign a bunch of them beforehand?

I really liked the final cartoon and the explanation on how you arrived at it. Hillary's face in the unfinished one was dead on. Bill's face in the final is hilarious.

msk

 
at 1/16/08, 2:55 PM Anonymous Cartoon Fan said...

The flying monkeys are another cliche in editorial cartoons. They've been used many times:

Karl Rove's flying monkeys

Steve Breen's Pulitzer Prize-winning flying monkeys cartoon

Tom Toles' flying monkey cartoon

Scott Stantis flying monkey cartoon

Do you usually have another cartoonist's book open while you're drawing your cartoons? Ever skim something like a car or something hard to draw from someone else's cartoon?

And yes ... the flying monkeys had tails.

 
at 1/16/08, 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary found bush's weapons of mass destruction

 
at 1/16/08, 4:49 PM Anonymous Weekly Cartoonist said...

"Cartoon Fan" is correct about the use of flying monkeys (Mike Peters had Hillary sending them off 12 days ago, too) but way off base in his snide comments. All those cartoons mentioned are by the top tier of editorial artists. Similiar ideas always happen. (I made a pun last week: "Putin on the Fritz" and was pleased with it. I looked it up on Google. Of course it was there.)

 
at 1/16/08, 5:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The flying monkeys will go over very well in Cincinnati. It is Carl Rove at his finest.

 
at 1/16/08, 8:29 PM Blogger EOCostello said...

Frankly, if you are taking from a common, well-known element of popular culture, especially one that resonates like "The Wizard of Oz," it is not surprising that you are going to have any number of cartoonists "quoting," as it were, the image.

The nature of the editorial cartoon is that you use a certain image to quickly convey an idea. In this particular case, the image of Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West sending flying monkeys after Dorothy is used as a short-hand for any individual using surrogates to attack someone innocent (or relatively so).

True, there are many cartoonists that have used this image, as other commenters have pointed out. But this is the nature of the genre, where you have other stock characters (Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, et alia). And a widely known popular culture reference can be quoted by many.

In short, I don't think I'd sweat it, Mr. Borgman.

 
at 1/17/08, 9:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the swiftboaters told the truth,Jim...read the book.

 
at 1/17/08, 9:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

where's malcolm X?

 
at 1/17/08, 10:24 AM Anonymous wg said...

So...you're pulling for Hillary "as a woman", IN SPITE of the KIND of woman she is...

wow.

 
at 1/17/08, 12:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now one of my all-time favorite cartoons! I actually laughed aloud when I saw it in the paper - something I rarely do - and I really enjoyed the glimpse into the creative process.

Thanks.

 
at 1/17/08, 4:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about another memorial for another murdered-by-parents Ohio child?

 
at 1/17/08, 4:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers for Mason family

The community is invited to a prayer service at 7 tonight at St. Susanna Church on Reading Road in Mason for the mother and her four children who were killed last week. A news team will be updating this story.

the "church" in Cincy is strangely silent...

 
at 1/17/08, 5:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

we need a vietnam wall for all the babies murdered in Ohio this year (will it be long enough to keep in Ohio???????????)

 
at 1/17/08, 5:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

and molested, too

 
at 1/17/08, 9:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surgeon General: Ohio, you're a hazard to your kids' lives

 
at 1/17/08, 9:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

obama is all sweetness and smiles, quite the opposite of bush, but can he get the homeless vote? the single mothers working 2 jobs? the vets who can't walk to the polls?

 
at 1/18/08, 8:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohio needs to start smoking again

 
at 1/20/08, 1:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohio is mean-spirited

 
at 1/20/08, 3:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.radiovineyard.com/

 
at 1/24/08, 10:14 AM Blogger DanThoms said...

Wow, these are some of the meanest blogger commenters that I have ever seen. Can't you kids play nice. Please, stay away from my blog until you apologize to each other and make up.

 
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