It was a long, long road to finish the feature story of MC&S. I hope some people out there enjoyed it. There are two more stories in the comic which I don’t plan to post online, “Invasion of the Bozobots,” which had been self-published in a slightly different version as a separate 16-page color comic, and “Conversation with a Chimera,” a chapter from an illustrated short novel which dates back to the eighties.
In the meantime, I’m plugging ahead with my new project, Pause & Reflect Comics. I’ve got about 32 pages of a full-color draft. But it still needs a lot of tweaking and I’ll post updates as the comic “unfolds,” so to speak.
I usually don’t do political satire. Politics is already too absurd to satirize –especially current politics. I had originally planned for the collision between the mutated fridge and Fritz, the haywire robot butler to create a really exceptionally goofy artificial intelligence. But somehow I couldn’t get our present POTUS out of my head. I didn’t want to do another Trump caricature -there are so many already out there! Somehow “Grater Man” popped up. I can’t really explain it.
In my view, our current President is a hatemonger, a bigot, a sexist, a liar. All of us unawakened human beings are subject to some degree to greed, hatred, and delusion. But Donald Trump seems to revel in these qualities. I feel he has poisoned our democracy. But I do understand there are people out there who honestly feel differently, who aren’t consumed with greed, hatred, and delusion. I don’t want to merely be reactive and exchange hate for hate. It’s difficult for me to take a wider, wiser perspective on this issue. The best I could do at the time was to treat the situation with silliness, which, like it or not, seems to be an intrinsic aspect of my cartoons.
To suggest a wiser approach, involving real heartfelt compassion, I’d like to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thanks to Cameron, who used this quote in a dharma talk she gave recently at the Springboard Meditation Sangha in Mt. Airy. This is from November 17, 1957:
Love Your Enemies
There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does for the individual hated or the individuals hated or the group hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things.
You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case. For the person who hates, you can stand up and see a person and that person can be beautiful, and you will call them ugly.
For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.
This is not about pity. Pity, as Buddhists say, is the “near-enemy” of true compassion. In pity the ego gets in there and compares one’s self and the other. May Mr. Donald Trump gain wisdom and clear comprehension and open his own heart to the truth that we are not the separate beings we think we are, that our fates are all linked.