Sunday, March 1, 2015

Three of a kind

Good day to you.

Here's the latest comic for This week's subject deals with markets hitting record highs in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, partially fueled by low-interest rates.

The team at asked me to draw Angela Merkel, the Queen of England and Janet Yellen (sounds like the opening to a cliche joke) ringing the opening bell for the stock market and toasting each other with beers. I was also asked to include the flags from the three countries from which these esteemed women hail. I was excited to draw the Queen, as I've never before had the pleasure. And new territory is always interesting.

Here's the sketch:

Remember how I've been talking about my renewed efforts to consider composition, posing, action, weight, etc.? Well, that went right out the bloody window with this comic. Three characters and a relatively complex environment pretty much meant this comic was going to be 99% labor and very little thought, unfortunately. One might argue (maybe rightly so) that things like composition are hardly niceties or extras, but fundamental to the success of every illustration. And I fully agree. However, when you're staring down the barrel of an end of the day deadline, an illustration like this is mostly execution and not much thought. It happens. You deal.

Here's the outline. Usually, the drawing doesn't change at all between the sketch and outline phases, but in this case I made small alterations to Merkel's face, since it just didn't look right:

And here's the whole enchilada:

A few thoughts: Merkel gave me trouble from start to finish, for some reason. Usually she's fun and easy to draw, but this week just gave me a hard time. I started the sketch by drawing Yellen, which took me way longer than it should have. I realized after I began that I hadn't drawn a caricature in a couple of weeks and I was rusty. Her sketch felt stiff and forced, somehow. But by the time I was sketching the Queen, that feeling had pretty much dissipated.

Overall, I think this is a decent comic. Given more time, I might have done any number of things differently. But I'm going to give myself a pass this week. I did the best I could in the time I had, and, at least this week, that's good enough for me.


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