Slugger Self Portraits – a “visual mugging”

Bumping into Mick the other night at an event he jumped back asking, rhetorically I’m sure and with a gasp, if I was going to cartoon him. I said I wasn’t. And I genuinely wasn’t – I had turned up at the event to hear what was to be said by an interesting panel on a shared future.

But as the event unfolded I gazed upon Mick and remarked to myself how exceptionally cartoonable he is. And so as I left the event bemuddled about a shared future I carried my notepad with a solid first draft of my latest subject half committed to producing a full piece.

However I wasn’t sure what to do: wondering should I keep it for my own pleasure or present it to the wider community for others to enjoy?

Then I watched briefly some of yesterday’s #DigitalLunch and thought it had to be done, and so I put pen to ink and put some flowing lines together.

Us cartoonists are guided by the Mickey Mouse Protocol: a principle of cartooning that says you want to distil a subject into a series of symbols or marks – just as Mickey Mouse has been reduced down to 3 black circles.

So when I was doing Mick I realised Mick was very distillable: he has a neat mouth, surrounded by a tidy goatee and an abundance of cheek flesh. Atop of these marked features lies both figuratively and literally his crowning distinction: a joyous mop of flicked back and oft-scrunched hair.

Putting these symbols together, the lines on paper look, I hope, instantly recognisable. People may say it’s stupid but I didn’t even feel drawing the eyes and glasses necessary.

Martin Rowson, esteemed editorial cartoonist of the Guardian, describes the practice of cartooning the people in power rather beautifully: as a form of “visual mugging”.

I suppose this cartoon could be considered as a visual mugging of Mick, or even as some sort of self-inflicted beating seeing Mick is the ultimate overseer in the slugger world. But I hope this is received in the good tone that I had intended!

  • Drumlins Rock

    Brain, good likeness 🙂
    I got who it was in about 3 seconds, I think its the hair that stands out!

  • babyface finlayson

    Does the lack of eyes indicate impartiality, like blind Lady Justice?
    Also to be pedantic, not really a self portrait; unless you and Mick Fealty are one entity.

  • Alias

    There is a subtle difference between minimalist and unfinished. That just looks unfinished.

  • For what it’s worth I think you’re onto something here;if you can reproduce politicos like so with the same degree of recognisability then you’ve struck gold.

    To me that portrait says, (sorry Mr Fealty)

    What I say is completely disconnected with what I believe, think, practise,

    In the vernacular “Don’t trust the bastards” “Read my lips!”

  • Brian,

    Have you unconsciosly conflated Mick with “people in power”? Has Slugger become part of the establishment already? 😉

  • For what it’s worth 2

    Just riffing, this works for quite a few politicos eg Adams, McGuiness, Paisley, (I think spectacles are a permissable intrusion into the white space); some you would have to accessorise eg Robinson could have Iris on his shoulder much like Zaphod Beeblebrox, Allister could have his wig, Kelly his leather overcoat and peaked cap etc and female politicos are of course a doddle or should that be doodle.

    I’d volunteer to do the punchlines but on recent experience you’d have to follow each punchline with an explanatory essay.Such are the travails of a half wit.