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Caricature Assassination
A couple of weeks ago, I did a caricature of Donald Trump as Jabba the Hutt. I confess that I didn’t have any sharp political point to make with the cartoon; it was simply an excuse to draw him in the least flattering way possible. It was a cheap shot, in other words. I felt a little guilty about it for that reason, although I still had plenty of fun likening him to that loathsome monster.

Last week I had another Trump cartoon on my board. He wasn’t so ugly in this one, but I had done my best to convey a soul constricted by mendacity and greed. In the end, I spiked that cartoon and drew another one. The new one addressed the looming threat of the Zika virus and made no reference at all to the presumptive Republican nominee.

I’m not sure why I junked that Trump ‘toon. Maybe it didn’t measure up to my own standards of good satire. Maybe I wasn’t satisfied with the drawing or the contents of the word balloon. Maybe it was a guilt hangover from the Hutt cartoon. I don’t know, but when I tossed it and moved on to something meaningful, something not related to the latest Trump outrage, I felt a distinct endorphin rush. There was sense of release, too…as if I had passed some kind of psychic kidney stone.

I now believe that this might have been a turning point.

The whole ugly circus has finally gotten to me. It’s all just so stupid. I’m tired of the press not reporting plain truth. I’m tired of the breast-beating outrage on the left. I’m tired of the carefully qualified condemnations on the right. I’m tired of people who can’t smell the bullshit when there’s an enormous pile right under their noses. And I’m way, way tired of Donald Trump. So tired, in fact, that I’m not going to draw caricatures of him anymore.

This will not be an easy vow to keep. Barring a surge of righteousness in the Republican Party, he will be their nominee. He will be a central character in the biggest news story of the year. He will no doubt continue to engage in satire-worthy behavior. I will have to deal with him somehow. But no caricatures.

I should also point out that not only do I enjoy doing caricatures, but also that a Trump likeness is ridiculously easy to draw. The hair, the lips, the bloating, the orangeness, the inherent two-dimensionality — anyone can do it. Perhaps it is the easiness of doing it that has led me to this point. Just as reporters have simply reported his outrages and called that news, I have been cranking out unflattering caricatures and calling it satire.

It’s just not good enough. I am failing at my job. Not only that, by reproducing the toxic, hateful characteristics I find so repulsive in Trump, I might be running the risk of imprinting those same traits on my own character. I worry that the more Jabbas I draw, the more Huttish I will become.

So…no more bad hairdos, no more pouty lips, no more tiny hands, and no more using the blunt object of caricature assassination. I will be needing a sharper tool to carve up this fat Jabba.

Please Note: Tim Eagan will read your comments but he is currently not publishing them.

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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee