OCTOBER 5, 2010
Matt Taibbi has been on a tear and has written two searing articles in the past two issues of ROLLING STONE.  One was on the prospects of BP becoming the next AIG for Wall Street http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/204277; the other, now on your newsstands with President Obama on the cover, concerns the co-opting of the Tea Party by corporate interests and Republican insiders.  I was particularly floored by Matt’s reporting on the Tea Party and considered it one of his best pieces from a series of strong articles.  It was so good in fact that it had me somewhat stuck for images that pulled together all the overlapping themes and characters and measured up to the writing.  Karl Rove came to play a significant role in this story and I originally thought of focusing the ideas on how he’s managed to corral, control and manipulate the white anger that is the predominant force behind the movement.  As always, it comes down to the reality of money talking.  After a brief flirting with the notion of Rove as some sort of Pied Piper, I began seeing Rove as Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer and the Tea Partiers as the mad dogs rolled on their backs getting their bellies rubbed with cash.  Editorial wanted to shift the emphasis to more of a Frankenstein monster being put together with parts of various factions of the Tea Bag movement by Rove- and on further consideration the cadaverous Senator Mitch McConnell.  We hit paydirt with the initial sketch and the tweakings made the image pull together before going to finish.  Rove’s always fun to do and it seems I press the swinishness of his appearance with each new illustration.  This was my first Mitch McConnell and his flabby, pasty features posed an interesting challenge.  On their own merits their features are already caricatures enough; exaggeration has to be done with clarity of intent.  Both of these reprehensible figures lend themselves to contortion in drawings and yet it’s easy to be carried away and lose the psychological essence for the purpose of distortion. As always, a pleasure to work with Steven Charny, AD and honchos Eric Bates and Will Dana.
Pied Piper. Too unfocused. The Tea Bagger in his rear pocket is more of a distraction.

The danger here was that it would be a bit difficult to read that Rove is rubbing bellies with money. However I realized that I had scored on my impression of his mug.

Even gnawing on dollar bones seemed to complicated.

An oil rig morphed into a floating Wall Street trading floor, the pigs/rats jumping the sinking rig.