Friday, March 24, 2017

Advice to New Political Cartoonists:

I’ve been asked for advice by at least a dozen young cartoonists who are interested in doing what I’m doing. So instead of answering them individually like I have been doing, here’s an essay that might be helpful to all my fellow artists:

TO NOVICE EDITORIAL CARTOONISTS: SOME ADVICE

Let me preface this by reminding everyone that we are in the midst of a sea change in editorial cartooning. During the golden age of newspapers, there were nearly 2,000 cartoonists employed at newspapers across the country and some of them were paid exceptionally well. Many were superstars of their day. They enjoyed a wide audience since radio and TV didn’t yet exist.

Now there are only around 30 paid editorial cartoonists remaining at the major metros in this country and that number continues to dwindle as circulation declines. Newspapers are dinosaurs and only a step away from stumbling into their inky graves.

Some might say that editorial cartoons have lost their relevance during this great transitional upheaval. I disagree. We now have the Internet and that means any cartoonist can have a voice. It may be difficult to hear that voice at first due to the massive visual noise that accompanies the Web, but at least the cartoonist no longer must deal with hectoring editorial page editors and daily deadlines. The Internet is always there and the cartoonist can produce work whenever it aligns to his schedule.

Today's Internet cartoonist has complete freedom and their work can potentially reach well beyond one city. It can be seen around the world in an instant. I recently drew a cartoon that garnered 500,000 views in one day. That’s as much or more than many major metros, and the cartoons have more staying power, while cartoons in newspapers are seen for only a day or so. Then the paper becomes so much fish wrap. Those cartoons are soon forgotten until the artist comes up with a book collection or ‘best of’ page to be run just before a new year. 

The more popular cartoons could possibly appear in history books or ‘best of’ cartooning books, but the mass audience will have long since departed. Again, as a potential cartoonist, you have a great opportunity by self-publishing on the Internet.

Opportunities are not without risk. Here’s what you may face if you decide to get serious about producing political cartoons and publishing them on the Internet:

1.     If you’re not well known, you will most likely have to deal with trolls. Especially if your cartoons are seen as being effective. If your work is over the target, you’ll catch flak. I’m not talking about mail from people telling you how your cartoon failed for various reasons. That comes with the territory. I’m referring to the anonymous trolls who will ignore your copyright and change your work into racist or anti-Semitic hatred--and they make sure they leave your name on it. They will encourage troll armies to go after you if you complain. You will be swamped by hate mail. If you are employed, they will go after your employer and try to get you fired. They will harass friends, family and landlords if they can. The trolls cannot stand someone getting some limelight and will try to smear you because you got ‘uppity.’ They are losers and can’t stand to see others succeed. There’s not much you can do about the trolling, either. The only solution I found was to outshout and outpost them. It took a lot of work on social media for me to regain my own voice. If possible, it’s best to be self-employed before you start drawing political cartoons. If you want to avoid such harassment altogether, then you might want to consider drawing them anonymously. There aren’t many female editorial cartoonists and those currently penning them are nearly all ‘progressives.’ If you’re a woman cartoonist and conservative, you will quickly gain popularity because you will be quite a rarity, but you will probably also face an avalanche of trolling—especially from the SJW crowd.

2.     Follow your own vision. Observe what other cartoonists are doing, but draw in whatever style feels most comfortable for you. It could be done completely digitally. Maybe it’s vector art or done in Photoshop. For me, I like the old-fashioned approach of India ink on illustration paper. Rather than copy another cartoonist’s style I recommend you become who you are. It’s more interesting to hike on your own trail.

3.     The idea for the cartoon is, of course, of paramount importance. How do you come up with them? Just the fact that you want to draw editorial cartoons means you must have an opinion. You probably follow the news and do a lot of reading. If you’re a bland centrist and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, you should consider sticking to some other endeavor. The best ideas come like a bolt from the blue. Others require a lot of thought and tinkering to make them work. I suggest you start with recognizable metaphors that are easy for readers to figure out at a glance. There are plenty of analogies, clich├ęs and idioms, and your job is to make them compelling and fresh. For example, the Pied Piper has been drawn by countless times. So has Pinocchio—his nose is a symbol of lying. If you can make those come across as original and fresh ideas, then that’s fine, but there are endless possibilities and other combinations out there waiting to be penned.

4.     Every artist, musician and writer faces something I call ‘inertia.’ Inertia consists of whatever keeps you from realizing your artistic goal. Inertia keeps you from drawing, practicing or writing. Inertia is insidious and it will do whatever it can to stop you from doing what you really want to do in life. It’s negative thinking at its finest. It will tell you there’s plenty of time—do it tomorrow. No. Do it now! Inertia exists in your own brain and it will invent endless reasons to stop you. Friends, family and complete strangers who don’t like your work might also tell you you’re wasting your time. That feeds the inertia and stops you from getting better. I’ve had people tell me to my face that I’m a crummy artist. Some have even tried to get me fired. But all too often the cruelest critic is the one inside you. It’s the internal critic and he doesn’t want you to succeed. He will fill your head with negativity and despair. I know—that happened to me when I was in my mid 30s. I hit a wall and I knew I wasn’t getting better. In fact, I was getting worse. Why? Because I believed the critics, both internal and external. I tried very hard—too hard—and I still failed. This is a very bad situation for artists because when our life’s dream is on the ropes we want to escape and that usually means booze or whatever other destructive means necessary to blot out the quandary. I’m here to tell you there are ways to deal with that cul-de-sac. It requires a change in thinking. I explain that next.

5.     Why do you want to be an artist? More specifically, why do you want to become an editorial cartoonist? Fame and popularity? Wrong answer. Money? Wrong answer. To win a Pulitzer Prize and awards to prove your worthiness? Wrong answer. Email applause from strangers? Wrong answer. The correct answer is this: You see wrongs and corruption being committed and you see it as your civic duty to raise public awareness to right those wrongs. But first, you must accept yourself for who you are. Be grateful for the talent you have. Stop comparing yourself with others. There will always be someone better. You’re not a genius and you’ll never be the best as judged by others. Even if you are for a time, it's fleeting. So be happy with what you can do and also be happy that you have a sound mind that can figure out right and wrong. And if you find yourself mistaken and in the wrong, apologize and move on to what's right. It's OK to change your position on things in the face of reason, evidence and logic. Try to remain humble. I’ve known quite a few paid political cartoonists and they never got better because they believed it when everyone told them they were great. Since they thought they had already arrived, there was no reason for them to further their skills. Additionally, most cartoonists adhere to the progressive, socialist agenda. They draw cartoons that are pro-big government and taxes. They want guns taken away. They serve the Illuminati system. Their ideas mostly consist of ad hominem and straw man attacks. A weak idea is not saved much by great drawing. A great idea will still work even if the drawing could be better. Regardless, that pesky old inertia may tell you to give up because everything has already been done before. That’s an insidious lie. There are endless possibilities. Even if it has been done before, it has yet to be done by YOU. When you’re doing any kind of artwork, whether it be painting or cartooning, maintain a positive attitude while doing it. The great German amateur painter, Bill Alexander, recommended this highly. He was the original happy painter before Bob Ross came along and stole his show. There’s always time after you’re finished to critique your results, but while drawing make sure you maintain a confident and happy attitude. After all, editorial cartooning can also be fun! Art, music and writing are fun. Even without fame, fortune and awards, we will be doing them regardless. That’s the mindset I recommend. 

6.     Special advice to young people: Editorial cartooning is in a flux. Forget about getting a well-paid job at a newspaper. Those jobs have always been very difficult to get. That’s why the cartoonists who got them stayed with it until they got old and retired. When they retire, they’re not being replaced. Messy and expensive newsprint is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The trouble is, it’s extremely difficult to make a living as a cartoonist on the Internet. I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. So it’s better for you to have another job until you can gain traction. I also realize that your generation grew up with video games. That habit sets up expectations that problems can be quickly solved and you can easily move up to higher levels. That’s not how life works. Even if you get up to higher levels, life can easily knock you down back to the beginning. That’s happened to me, too. Your generation grew up with computers, but an endless array of distractions came with it. Cell phones in particular. You must have the discipline to put those down and start drawing. We need new cartoonists who have a fresh perspective and understanding of new and changing realities. Good luck and happy cartooning!

—Ben Garrison

Thursday, March 23, 2017

LOCK HER UP!

I somehow forgot to post this one, so here it is. We've been getting some hate mail from progressives over my depiction of Hillary. That's good! Hillary is an arch criminal who continues to elude justice, whereas they throw the book at people such as Kristian Saucier, whose transgression pales by comparison.

LOCK HER UP!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Book is Now on Amazon:

http://grrrgraphics.com/bengarrisonbook.html





https://www.amazon.com/2016-Presidential-Election-Collection-Cartoons/dp/0692857966/

Also on CreateSpace

https://www.createspace.com/6984381

Click below to get a signed book:


Since I'm self-published, the book is expensive because of all the color plates inside. It just couldn't be helped. But the book itself is about the same cost as one of my signed prints.

There are over 100 color cartoons in the book. They all pertain to the 2016 presidential election.

--Ben Garrison


David Rockefeller and the New Hell Order:



“You can’t take it with you.” That’s what they say about wealthy people who are facing death. In the case of David Rockefeller who died at age 101, I thought about what might happen if he could take it with him? He’d no doubt do what he did on Earth—fund and control agendas as well as manipulate events and people who are on ‘his’ planet. It’s not about being comfortable, it’s about power.

Tyrants tend to be reluctant when it comes to relinquishing power. Stalin in his old age was still carrying out purges. He was even planning on another war in Europe. After Stalin suffered what would be his fatal stroke, Khrushchev and others were reluctant to rush medical aid to him. They knew there were probably on one of his lists. Castro lived as long as he could and only reluctantly relinquished power to his brother. Chairman Mao wasn’t afraid of dying in his old age, but he resented dying mightily because he was terrified of losing his power. He loved it more than anything. All these men wanted to live forever, but nobody gets out alive.

Similar to George Soros (another billionaire who refuses to die), Rockefeller was part of the Illuminati who operated behind the scenes. He funded a vast array of globalist initiatives that would often bring about conflict and tyranny. He was about tearing down western civilization and replacing it with something he owned and controlled. Again, just like Soros. He was a quintessential ‘new world order’ operative. He and his family bankrolled an alphabet soup of globalism including the UN, CFR, NAFTA, CAFTA TPP, WTO, IMF…on and on. Then there’s the Bilderbergers and Trilateral Commission and, of course, eugenics. He was eager to reduce the world’s population. Now it’s up to Bill Gates to do it for him. 

Do not rest in peace, David Rockefeller. You don’t deserve it.

—Ben Garrison

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Tribute to Geert Wilders:



I drew this cartoon earlier this week in the anticipation that Geert Wilders might win the Dutch election. Wilders stood for halting the rising tide of Islam in the Netherlands as well as Europe. He was also for stemming the EU’s globalist hegemony and returning power to the people. Naturally, the EU loves endless Muslim immigration because it weakens nationalism and allows globalism to tighten its grip.

We also heard the cries of “Nazi” from such leaders as Erdogan, who himself is much more akin to Hitler than anyone protesting Islam. After all, the Turkish tyrant wants Islam to conquer Europe and he hopes to control that new ‘caliphate.’ He told his fellow Turks at home and in Europe that “You are the future of Europe.” He continues to threaten a dump of millions more Muslim ‘immigrants’ into Europe while calling for a holy war, or jihad. This will mean even more crime and terrorism committed by Muslim immigrants throughout Europe.

Wilders and LePen are at least trying to create some momentum to stop that invasion. They’re not only trying to protect their own countries, but they’re also raising awareness that western civilization itself is at stake. Do we really want to see Europe fall to Sharia Law? There will be honor killings and child marriages (like the one their leader Mohammed himself had—he married a nine year-old). Do we really want to see gays prosecuted? Stoning and beheadings? There will be rise in female sexual mutilations as well as the general oppression of women. Christians and Jews will be attacked. This is how Islam spreads—by force. I too once bought the malarky that Islam is a religion of peace. No, it has always spread by violence. Lebanon used to be a Christian country. Now it’s Muslim. Afghanistan used to be Buddhist. Now it’s Muslim. Pakistan used to be a Hindu country. Now Muslim by force.

My friend Enrique from Spain told me that we shouldn’t give up just yet. Wilders gained seats. Le Pen may not win either, but awareness is being raised. So I decided to publish this cartoon anyway.

It’s time to get over the Political Correctness hurdle and start trying to save western civilization while there’s still time.

— Ben Garrison

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The 2016 Presidential Election Collection:


I finally got my second book sent to the printer. It should be available on Amazon.com in about a week. It's currently available on CreateSpace.

For the price of one color print, you get 113 full-color cartoons as well as a narrative of the events that took place during the election.

If you're a Hillary supporter, this book is probably not for you. If you supported Trump, this book will be a must-have.

--Ben Garrison

https://www.createspace.com/6984381

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Diversity Statue:



Last month, Penn State issued a call to artists to submit designs for a statue should reflect Penn State’s principle of increasing 'diversity and inclusion.’ My submission is in cartoon form.

I’ve worked as an independent commercial artist for nearly 20 years and I’ve dealt with many large corporations and their HR departments. As part of their company culture, ALL of them use the words ‘diversity and inclusion.’ There’s nothing wrong with that, but they also want strict adherence to company culture and that means a squelch on freedom of speech. Say something slightly misaligned from the two words ‘diversity and inclusion’ and one could easily be fired. There is no tolerance for those who even question whether or not a candidate for employment should be based on merit and qualifications. These days the white male is passed over in order to hire diversity. After all, it’s about ‘inclusion.’ 

It’s the same on college campuses. Rather than discuss ideas in a forum conducive to healthy debate, universities have abandoned logic, reason and evidence in favor of preserving the feelings of their diverse students. Instead of higher learning, we have a narrower channel of free speech. Certain words must not be used. Adherence to the politically correct narrative must be followed. It’s cultural Marxism at its worst. Fifty years ago, there were far more conservative professors at universities. Now, the vast majority of them are far far left purveyors of Cultural Marxism. It’s no wonder that they allow conservatives to be driven off campus or physically assaulted. The free speech movement began at Berkeley and it also died there.

Meanwhile, universities are charging students an absurd amount of money. Too many are enslaved by the resulting debt and it follows them for the rest of their lives. White males are passed over for women and minorities when it comes to the well-paying jobs. Many of students are forced to live with their parents.

It’s time for young people to revolt and STOP going to college. There are ways for you to succeed on your own without participating in the university debt machine that results in impoverishment and mind control. Build your own statue—maybe it could be a fist that's flipping a stiff mid digit toward those higher institutions of learning that teach political correctness and obeisance to Big Brother.

—Ben Garrison

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Vault 7:


Wikileaks released ‘Vault 7,’ containing thousands of documents that detail the CIA’s spying and hacking activities, which may surpass even what Snowden revealed. 

Information is power, and we have allowed the CIA and the deep state to have way too much of it. Instead of “We The People,” it has become “We The CIA.” The latter now decides how it’s going to be. Not us. Benjamin Franklin once said, “We have a Republic if you can keep it.” We haven’t kept it. The Deep State is not only able to illegally spy on just about anyone with a computer or ‘smart’ device, but they can also plant evidence to frame people. They’re attempting to do that with the 'Russian hacking’ fabrication.

The Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion. Where did the money go? Probably to fund and grow the pernicious Shadow Government. We’re funding a cancer that continues to lie to us while eating at our freedom and liberties. We’re paying for our own enslavement. People are finally waking up to what’s really going on and that’s the good news.

The Deep State collects data from all of us. It can be used against us in the future if need be. It’s all being stored on their supercomputers. Or they can simply make up and plant evidence. Our ‘smart’ TVs, computers and phones are data collection devices controlled by the Deep State. Even cars can be controlled to assassinate people such as Michael Hastings.

Barack Obama’s grandfather was in the CIA. Barry was probably groomed by the CIA to be president. It didn’t matter to the mainstream media that his birth certificate was faked and that he had a stolen social security number. It didn’t matter that he didn’t have the money or that his grades were poor. He somehow got into Harvard anyway. Some entity paid his way through life. The CIA-influenced MSM were eager to tout their arranged candidate. We got a our first black President and probably our first gay and Muslim president as well. He helped usher in even more cultural Marxism, globalism, and secrecy. He also helped increase the power of the Shadow Government.

It could all unravel with the revelations revealed in Vault 7. We know Obama has remained in the Beltway in order to bring down President Trump. What he is doing borders on sedition, but if it is proven he wiretapped Trump, it will be worse than Watergate. Obama should be locked up along with Hillary, Podesta and all the other pedophiles and traitors. 

—Ben Garrison

Saturday, March 04, 2017

What About Obama?


George W. Bush rarely criticized his successor to the presidency, Obama. Barack is not about to follow that precedent, unfortunately. He is driving very hard to the hoop to destroy Trump. He may have even wiretapped Trump Towers. What Barack is doing amounts to sedition.

Like the Clintons before him, Obama got wealthy in office. He’s also aligned with the billionaire, George Soros, who is eager to help fund Barack’s mischief. Utilizing big money and connections, Obama will try to guide America back on the road toward globalism. Unlike Obama, Trump does not want to be president of the world. He wants to help America first and Obama can’t stand that.

We’ve had enough of Obama. He did his best to destroy America during his two terms. Now he’s directing his energy toward destroying President Trump. Similar to the main character in the film, ‘What About Bob?’ Obama simply won’t go away. Like the Clintons, he can’t give up his addiction to power. 

So get ready to endure Obama and Hillary ad nauseam. They refuse to go away. They both deserve to have the America’s door slammed in their smug and entitled faces. What About Obama? Lock him up--along with Hillary.

—Ben Garrison

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The NEW Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:



Here’s my reasoning behind my latest cartoon: Let’s start with the climate change hoax, er horse. I showed Al “Pay Me" Gore on a politically correct rocking horse because climate change is not the catastrophic event they claim it to be. Al Gore predicted the ice cap would be melted by 2015. Nope, still there. Climate change is about globalism and collectivism. It’s also about fear. They want to distract us from other more pressing issues such as losing our liberty. Besides, pay a scientist enough money and reward him with acclaim and peer approval and he will produce the required data to confirm any agenda. Sure, the climate changes, but they leave out one important factor in their data: The sun. They’d rather blame man for breathing and make him pay a carbon tax for the guilt of soiling the elite’s property: “Their” Earth.

The most dangerous horse is Fukushima. And in fact, all nuclear energy is dangerous. It’s a hell of a way to boil water, and some geniuses built a shoddy nuke plant right on the sea and in an earthquake zone. Of course, nobody went to jail for it. Now there’s a huge meltdown and the core is ready to go into the aquifer. The Pacific will continue to be polluted with radioactivity and it’s all cumulative. We’re also a flood, EMP strike, or big earthquake away from this happening elsewhere at a nuclear power plant. Shut them down. Shut them all down. It’s fooling with something that could lead to an extinction-level event. Of course, the elite running the show will be safe in their underground bunkers if that happens. They love death—as long as it happens to us and not them.

The middle horse features ‘them.’ Who is them? The show runners, of course. The globalist elite. The Bilderberg types. The CFR and illuminati. The Bill Gates megalomaniacs. They’re the ones who are into eugenics and force GMO foods, poisonous vaccinations, fluoride and chemtrails on people in order to dumb us down and send us to an early grave. Soros is using mass muslim immigration as a means to destroy western civilization. Why? Because he considers himself a god. He wants to see civilization destroyed, then rebuilt into something he likes and controls. These people are a big threat to humanity. They want humans culled. Arrest Soros and confiscate his wealth.

As for the last horse, some might say Islam is in and of itself ‘radical.’ They might be correct. For a long time I believed the palaver that Islam is a ‘peaceful religion.’ Not so. It’s a religion of force that has spread through violence and intolerance. They believe in Sharia law, not things outside of their Quran—such as our Constitution. The most virulent form of Islam, Wahhabism, is funded and spread by Saudi Arabia, which is run by a violent and repressive royal regime. Religious police whip and assault those committing minor offenses such as playing music in the park. Dissidents are tortured and beheaded. The fact that they are an ally of the the US is disgraceful. Of course, it’s all about the oil. Islam taking over the world will lead to a new dark ages. It’s up to muslims themselves to reform and stop the death cult. There are a few heroic muslims who want to achieve this, but they are too few and far between. The pussyhat protestors should be out in the streets screaming about what’s happening to women in middle eastern countries. Many treat their women abysmally.

Ben Garrison