Someone once did a study of political cartoons and made two depressing discoveries:
1. People looked at cartoons for about three seconds.
2. The majority of people interpreted the cartoons incorrectly.
When I heard about the study it pushed me further down the road I was already traveling; making my cartoons simple and understandable. A great drawing doesn’t matter if people don’t get what you’re saying.
And that brings us to clichés.
There are unimaginative people who think the use of clichés is bad because someone else without imagination once told them so, but I think it depends on what you do with them. If you heard the Beatles perform “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would you complain that it was a cliché because they had already used two guitars, a bass and drums on their last song?
It’s not the tools you use; it’s what you do with them.
The upside of clichés is that people are familiar with them, so it’s up to the cartoonist to figure out a new twist on a familiar image and in this one I added something to the “See no, hear no, speak no evil” visual.
This cartoon came to me when I was thinking about the Republicans holding a hearing without witnesses and not wanting to hear any new evidence and combined that with predictions about what the final vote would be.
In my version of reality, it was 3-0.