Thursday, May 23, 2013

There's been a bit of a gap in comics for lately.  Two weeks, to be precise.

There's a reason for that, but it's not very interesting.  So let's get right to this week's comic: It's about the stock market.  More specifically, it's about Ben Bernanke and the stock market.  And even more specifically, it's about Ben Bernanke's speech to the Senate yesterday morning and the effect that's had on the market.

I was asked to draw Ben Bernanke giving his speech with a washing machine in the background.  Within the washing machine I was to draw the bear and the bull.  The washing machine represents the turmoil created in the markets whenever Chairman Bernanke makes a speech.

Now, since I hadn't drawn one of these in two weeks, I figured I would be a bit rusty.  I figured right.  Even though I've been drawing all sorts of other things during the comic hiatus, there's still a certain rhythm and mentality to drawing a comic in a day.  Combined with the fact that there were some logistical problems (how do I show a bear and a bull inside a washing machine?) this made for a challenging comic.

In a way, it was nice to have this comic feature Ben Bernanke, who's face is familiar enough at this point that he feels like an old friend.  But it can also be challenging to create a good illustration if I've already drawn someone or something dozens of times.  What can I bring to this particular version that will make it fresh and interesting?

Ultimately, time was of the essence and I didn't have enough of it to ruminate on whether or not this would add anything to the Ben Bernanke illustration canon.  I've said it before, but sometimes being under the deadline gun is nice because I don't have time to navel gaze or be self-conscious.  That comes a day later in a long, rambling blog post.

Here's the sketch:

It's not my best of Bernanke.  However, if you're wondering how the bear and the bull fit inside the washing machine, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation: It's Doctor Who's washing machine.  Much bigger on the inside.  He can wash like five loads of laundry at once.

Here's the final:

Again, not my best work.  But not bad for a rusty re-introduction to the comics.  It probably won't make the portfolio, but that's ok.  I figure it'll all come out in the wash.


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