Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Abercrombie's Mind Trick

I decided to put up an illustration of Neil Abercrombie today since I just heard about the first few legal same-sex Civil Unions being performed after the stroke of midnight on December 31st, 2011.  Since Abercrombie is the one who signed the bill that allowed that to happen into law, I felt it was appropriate.  
I also felt it was appropriate since the writer for whom I did this illustration had been following the Abercrombie-Hannemann campaigns as they prepared to face-off in the democratic primary of 2010, and had been particularly interested in gay rights and which candidate was more willing to make that a priority in the campaign
So here's to Abercrombie for doing the right thing, here's to the couples who can now, finally, be legally recognized in Hawaii as couples, and here's too another step along the path to actual equality in America, or at least in Hawaii.
Civil Rights - 1, Ignorance and Prejudice - 0

So why the hell is Abercrombie in a Jedi robe?
Interestingly, this illustration didn't have anything to do with the Democratic Primary or Gay Rights and was created after Abercrombie had already been elected. It was originally created to accompany an article that former Ka Leo Opinions Editor Christopher Mikesell wrote back before the Birthers (thankfully) fell away into the abyss known as "Who-gives-a-shit?" 
The Birthers, by the way, have a hilariously bad attempt at a comic up on their homepage now. It claims to make fun of Obama, but I think it does a better job pointing out  the decline in the quality of published comics, thanks, in large part, to MS Paint, the Internet and Rob Liefeld (I'm sure he's to blame somehow).
His article was about a proposed piece of legislation from February of last year that would have let the Hawaii State Department of Health not only release President Obama's birth certificate, but at a price of $100 a copy.  He focused more on the "isn't it funny that we can make money of off people who are too ignorant and prejudiced to see that Obama is clearly a citizen" side of it, and less on (what I saw as more important) how useless a piece of legislation that was. 
What  Birther would pay money for Obama's certificate? Yeah, it's a funny idea, and one I wish I'd made into an editorial cartoon instead of making this illustration, but it won't actually make them go away or make the state any money, so why waste precious time proposing it in the legislature? I'm all for jokes, senators and reps, but not while you're in session! It's inappropriate.  
Anyway, I realize none of that explained why Chris wanted Abercrombie dressed as a Jedi for the illustration that would accompany his piece, but that's because it probably shouldn't have. 
Chris mentions in his article that Abercrombie would need to pull off a "jedi-mind trick" to convince the Birthers of the authenticity of the certificate, and from that one line, he pulled this idea. Since his story was really about the proposed legislation though, and not about Abercrombie needing to convince the Birthers of anything, I think I could have thought of a better image if I'd had the story in front of me, instead of simply Chris's idea. 
And that's why, generally, I don't ask writers what they want to have illustrated anymore. I instead ask them what their story is about and then I come up with a proposal for them based on the summary.
I'm currently working on Dear Leader, Part 2 and aim to have that up sometime this weekend as it won't be appearing in Ka Leo until Wednesday of next week.

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