Earlier this year I received a phone call that led to one of the more interesting cartooning assignments of my career. The set designer for the upcoming George Clooney-directed film “The Ides of March” was looking for background ephemera—newspaper clippings, photos, political cartoons—that might be taped, say, to the back of a seat in a campaign bus.
The movie takes place in Cincinnati, during a pivotal Ohio presidential primary. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Paul Zara, a veteran political advisor to a John Edwards-like liberal Democrat played by George Clooney.
After a number of conversations, we decided that I would draw six political cartoons for the movie. They would be printed on newsprint and placed on the set as described above.
I read the script and tried to imagine what criticisms a political cartoonist might have about the two rival candidates (Morris vs. Pullman) in the race as well as other facets of the Ohio primary that might be of interest. Of course, these candidates were imaginary. It was weird, and very fun.
I was a little worried my cartoons would wind up, like many fine performances by actors, on the cutting-room floor. So I didn’t tell anyone about it. But I was lucky. Two of them are right there, in the second scene (and later on in the film as well). You can even read them if you see them in a theater with a sharply focused screen.
The best thing about drawing cartoons about imaginary politicians is that no one gets angry at you.
Here are all of the cartoons in full color, the way God intended them to be seen. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them.