The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for January, 2013

Dirt-y Politics

Commenters on another site where this cartoon appeared accused me of “playing the race card” with this one. I have to try very hard to put myself in the mindset of someone who thinks the Republicans’ sudden interest in changing the way electoral votes are apportioned in certain swing states has absolutely nothing to do with race. This post by Jamelle Bouie in The American Prospect gives a nice rundown of the problem. As Bouie points out, the end result is a gross distortion of the popular vote that privileges the land:

In addition to disenfranchising voters in dense areas, this would end the principle of “one person, one vote.” If Ohio operated under this scheme, for example, Obama would have received just 22 percent of the electoral votes, despite winning 52 percent of the popular vote in the state.

Fortunately, it looks like that plan may be fizzling in my old home state of Virginia.


Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Comic

Ever wonder what Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” would look like as a one-page comic? For the novel’s 200th anniversary, NPR Books asked me to create such a thing.

panel-5

A technical aside: this was the first time I’ve ever had to lay out a comic specifically with mobile device readers in mind. Apparently NPR gets huge amounts of mobile traffic, so they split the comic up into individual panels that rearrange themselves depending on platform/screen size. Pretty interesting, and something Jane Austen likely never imagined would happen to her novel as she wrote it two centuries ago. (For a truly meta experience, check out this Storify of a Twitter conversation about making comics “responsive” between two news design people and myself.)

As a creator of complex female characters, of course, Austen was very much ahead of her time. Two hundred years ago, she was more highly advanced than most Hollywood screenwriters are today.


What’s Up With This Site?

I find myself in the curious position of being “in between websites” at the moment. Rather than wait to unveil my new site (this one) in all its perfect, finished glory, I’m going to be polishing it up publicly. Of course, I intended to do this a couple weeks ago, but found myself suddenly slammed with freelance work. So if you’re looking for anything beyond my current strips and blog posts right now, please visit slowpokecomics.com. And one of these days, I’ll get things fixed up around here.


Lance’s Harsh Landing

I highly doubt that Lance Armstrong will need to apply for demoralizing low-wage work to make ends meet. Dude could live quite handsomely off the value of his real estate holdings alone. I actually find the whole thing more fascinating than a source of schadenfreude. What really bothers me about Armstrong is not so much the doping, since pretty much everyone seems to have been doing that, but rather the way he made life hell for people who told the truth about him. To be so aggressive against people who inevitably start to talk… well, I just don’t know how he slept at night. Lots of exercise, I guess!

My pet theory before his confession was that he had doped earlier in his career, but kept returning to the Tour de France to show he could do it without doping a certain number of times. Guess I got that wrong.

While doing this strip, I noticed that drawing Lance is oddly like drawing his fellow Texan George W. Bush.


Bright Ideas from Wayne LaPierre

This is neither here nor there, but while drawing Wayne LaPierre, it occurred to me that he has slightly weird hair. It swirls over his brow in a sometimes-bulbous arc that, for me, evokes shades of Jimmy Swaggart. You’d think a guy who gets paid around a million bucks a year by the NRA could afford a better stylist!


Trend Forecast 2013

Not about fiscal cliffery, as I had an early deadline for the holiday. But you’re sick of that nonsense, right?

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I noticed a mini-flurry of authors of books about presidents on the Daily Show and Colbert Report. Apparently books (and movies) about presidents are hot now. Especially Lincoln. He is the bacon of presidents.


Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

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