The blog of Richard Thompson, caricaturist, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving 2005, or, I Cover the White House Part 2

So, feeling over-dressed, I opened the door and stepped into the White House Press Room. I think that's what it's called; it's the place you always see on TV with the podium, the blue curtain, and the blue oval White House sign with the Press Secretary talking in front of it, and all the reporters in front of him. And jeez, what a dump. I've heard it's been cleaned up, but it was like stepping onto a bus full of junior high kids on a long trip, with crap (cameras mostly) piled everywhere and people sprawled all over the place. It was at least half an hour before we'd be led over to the OEB for the Pardoning, and this was a novelty event, not exactly newsworthy, so there weren't any particular big names in journalism to be found. I'd guess they were mostly wire guys, network and cable guys, and some foreign press and most of them were cameramen. I sat down and became invisible, and pulled out a little dinky sketchbook I'd brought along.

I don't sketch much in public and although I've got like a dozen little Moleskin sketchbooks they're mostly full of phone numbers and lists of things. But I figured, here I am being a cartoon journalist, like Steve Brodner or Feliks Topolski, and I'd better for godsake draw something. So I drew the guy sitting in front of me, who had his feet propped up and a newspaper open. On the newspaper page was a photo of a green lizard with a bright pink tongue. 

Presently an attractive blonde woman came out from backstage and began answering questions to an invisible audience. It was Dana Perino doing an interview with no one I could see, but she smiled and gestured and repeated certain lines often enough I understood them to be talking points. I think the questions had to do with the Iraq war, because most of the answers did. Nobody corporeal paid any attention to her. She finished, smiled and left.

There were a few big happy guys laden with cameras on my right, leaning on the wall between the arched windows and laughing about something.

I sat there long enough that I drew them twice.

The combination of tedium and tension was slightly nerve-wracking, and the thought of the two turkeys pent up in a pickup truck somewhere on the White House grounds awaiting their fate (what if the Pardon doesn't come through?) made me kind of hungry.

More TK.


paul bowman said...

Ah, a cliffhanger!

Kid Shay said...

Those sketches are rad, man! Seriously, though. Do you find it difficult to draw people without having them notice you? I try to do that in airports but I always feel a little creepy for staring.

angryparsnip said...

I love more to come !
Can't wait till the next installment