Sunday, December 31, 2017

31 December, part 2

This drawing began as a way to address the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend edition---i.e., one paper covering two days’ worth of news---and naturally became a way to address the entire year, partly from the very local, Australian perspective of the Herald (that "Stadium Inc." sign will not make sense to many people outside of Sydney), and partly from my own experiences with the news all year (a.k.a., our more generalized, global angst). And man, what a fucking clusterfuck this year has been. I will admit that filling up the “loathed” side of this drawing was way easier than filling up the “loved” side. That seems about right for 2017. It also seems right that a fair portion (half?) of the "loved" side is made up of references to artists and musicians. I know that for me it felt like the only oasis of reason and sanity left in the world some days was the realm of Art.

Rounding out both sides required fragments of text and image from many pages in the edition, not just the front. This tactic might be slightly outside the rules established for this project, but established rules are being tossed aside everywhere on our troubled globe, so this move, I believe, is in keeping with the year's overarching themes.

Please also note that this is not an attempt to sum up the entire year in a single drawing---that would be a fool's errand. The last day of the year is a time to look back on all that has transpired over the previous 364 days, but it is also a day of its own and should be allowed to be just that, even if that means devoting the central third of your drawing to representations of fireworks.

Finally, for anyone interested in who/what everybody is in this drawing, I'll put together a key and post it in the first week of 2018. Until then, here's a quick, partial list: Prince Philip, Emmanuel Macron, Australian senator Dean Smith, who championed the legalization of gay marriage here, American jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, Australian painter Gareth Sansom, the Go Betweens, the late Annabelle Falkholt, Julian Assange, Kim Jong-Un, Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Scaramucci, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Donald Trump.

I have one other final drawing to execute for 2017, the Los Angeles Times front page for 31 December. I'd love to be the rockstar artist who completes this other final drawing and posts it with insightful commentary before the ball drops in the Pacific Standard time zone, but in reality it might be more of a Jan 2nd post. We'll see. Also, based on my initial perusal of the LA cover page, expect a lot of walls.

See you all on the other side.

31 December 2017, part 1

Alright, we’re about ready to wrap this thing up for the year! Here’s your sneak peek of the second panel of The Sydney Morning Herald Weekend Edition drawing. Tomorrow I’ll post the whole drawing, plus the final Los Angeles times drawing. And then I have to get on a plane so you won’t hear from me for a bit. Enjoy your New Year's Eve shenanigans, but be safe when you're out there shenaniganing.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

30 December 2017

Good news! The last two drawings of the year are going to be, combined, a bigger-than-usual, two panel thing. Today you get a sneak peek at one side of the panel, and tomorrow, the last day of the year, a peek at the other side. Then I’ll post the whole thing on Jan 1st, 2018, i.e., the future. This was all brought on by the fact that the Australian paper I've been drawing published a weekend edition for the 30th and 31st, meaning no new paper tomorrow (hey, reporters and editors have to rest, too). Also, I am hoping to do one last Los Angeles Times front page on the 1st here in Australia, which will be the 31st  still in LA, because time is crazy. Until tomorrow then. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

29 December 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald's front page was filled with rich people today---rich people racing yachts, rich people getting property tax breaks, rich people fighting with other rich people about swanky high rises they're all trying to build for yet other rich people--which is maybe explained better by an article that shows up on page 7, titled, "The very rich keep getting richer, adding $1.3 trillion." And there you have it: 2017 was clearly the Year of the Rich Fuck.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

28 December 2017

In America we’re currently living under the thumb of the most corrupt, morally rudderless executive branch in living memory, so it’s of particular interest to me to see how other countries deal with the criminal element in their political class. Mind you, I don’t know about every instance of corruption dealt with in Australia, but if today’s story  about the Obeid family is any indication, at least they actually deal with it. The Obeid family sounds in some ways like the Trump family---a wealthy, thoroughly corrupt clan who uses political position solely as a means of enriching themselves. The big difference is that a few of the Obeids are already in jail, whereas we're still waiting for indictments. Let's hope that the American political and media systems can be as effective as the Australians.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

27 December 2017

 I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned the other day about learning a lot about yachting from reading The Sydney Morning Herald. Man, these folks love their yacht races. I haven’t read this much about sailing since I read Moby Dick in college. Unlike Melville’s gripping tale of monomaniacal revenge, much of today’s story about the Sydney to Hobart yacht race is going straight over my head. I did, however, pick up a few interesting tidbits. For instance, the race isn’t officially over until the competitors clear Customs—-Customs in this case being Hobart’s Customs House pub, where the sailors have their first drink after finishing the race. That first drink is typically a rum and Coke, which seems like a pretty trashy cocktail to reach for when you saunter off of your 90+ million dollar yacht, but hey, whatever it takes to keep it real, I guess. I think this race, which began on Boxing Day (so many new customs to absorb!), is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, so there might be a yacht triptych in the works here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

26 December 2017

It's Boxing Day here in Australia (and, i guess, throughout the former British colonies), a day that began as a combination of Christmas and trickle-down economics and has since morphed into the Australian version of Black Friday. I participated by going out and buying a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald, the paper that will be the focus of this project for the remainder of this trip (and this project). Today it taught me much about yachting, among other things.