By Hal Brown
One of my favorite illustrations is below. I showed Trump during his hour long outside time in prison playing golf with his little putter. Since I doubt he'd be in the general population I assume he'd be in a segregated cell but he'd still be allowed outside once a day for exercise.
It took longer to find the perfect photo of a prison yard which actually had a fenced in area with some grass in it than it did for me to find a picture of Trump putting and add it. I could have tried to put him in prison orange pants but as you can see in the second picture that didn't come out very well.
When I was a kid too old to really read the articles in The New Yorker, which we subscribed to, I always looked forward to each issue to look at the cartoons. Charles Addams was my favorite. This probably says a lot about my personality. I aspired to be a cartoonist when I grow up, but alas I couldn't draw well enough. I remember drawing a cartoon of a severed head floating down a river singing "I ain't got no body."
It was only when easily to learn inexpensive photo manipulation software became available that I was able to put hopefully better ideas into illustrations. Before I was banned from posting on Daily Kos I was the only one who regularly posted their own illustrations for stories they pit on the website.
Frequently when I end up writing on a political topic I think of an illustration to create to use before I give much thought to what I'm going to write.
I enjoy writing but there is an element of work in this since I have to not only try to come up with an original perspective on an issue in the news, but compose grammatical and coherent sentences and also try to be clever and snarky. Making the illustrations is pure enjoyment. It may take as many as 10 steps to put together an illustration but it never feels like work.
In addition to the simple things I can do on my laptop screen I use two inexpensive programs, InPixio and BeFunky. I don't use Photoshop itself. Years ago Kleenex became cleanex and referred to any facial tissue.Google used to mean any Internet search and now it's a verb, to google. Photoshop is still a product but "photoshop" is often used lower case to mean any image manipulation.
I used InPixio to add a football to a photoshop somebody else made:
|Click to enlarge
In yesterday's blog story I also used someone else's image to make my own. I took this image...
and using both BeFunky and InPixio created this one:
Because that story was about Judge Cannon as well as Trump I made this image of her to go with this caption:
Judge Cannon's reputation among what appears to be the vast majority of legal scholars seems to be in ruins. Does she care? My impression is that she couldn't care less even though she is in dire need of the legal version of a visit to the emergency room.
I often post my images on Twitter:
A caricaturist who calls himself DonkeyHotey (to be pronounced Don Quixote) allows anyone to use his pictures with credit. I often use them, for example the numerous caricatures of Trump which I used to make this one adding the playing cards:
I used BeFunky to change Trump's face and InPixio to add the vomit to this image:
Sometimes I just make an image to post as a comment to an article on RawStory since they allow pictures in the comments section. I used this in an article about Marjorie Taylor Greene. I used BeFunky to turn a color photo of her into the black and white version below, and InPixio to put her in front of an old time KKK rally.
Here's how I turned a Trump frown upside down and a Judge Cannon smile into a frown:
I found the secret stamps online and a stack of file folders and added them to the photo of Mr. Spock. It takes an extra step to copy just his fingers so they seem to be holding the documents.
I added the hot air to this and put the caricature of Musk into space next to his Tesla.
I used these in one blog story:
Even if I could draw I'd be hard pressed to be as creative as the most well-known political cartoonists. For example, Ann Telnaes is a political cartoonist for The Washington Post who creates some of the best in the genre. You can see some of them if you don't subscribe on Twitter. Here's a recent one, click below to animate it.