Victor Juhasz
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August 2009
What A Horse's Ass
It seemed like a good idea to get a little warm up practice doing on the spot drawing again as I would be on assignment for the United States Air Force Art Program at Pope AFB/Fort Bragg the first week of September drawing military training. My time has been quite constricted of late but I managed to squeeze a few hours in of live drawing at the Washington County Fair up here in New York State. It seemed like a great place to go. Ironically, I found myself not concentrating on the people- but rather the animals. It was probably a political decision as well. The most interesting people at the fair were definitely not the ones to be amused by my drawing them. There were body shapes that I couldn't make up in my imagination and, God knows, there were a lot of them up here. But the animals were great. Horses are magnificent creatures to look at any time, but Clydesdales are in a class all their own. They’re monsters, gorgeous, muscular monsters. And these country fairs have plenty to look at as there are so many competitions for best horse, ox, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, etc. I did what I could with the limited time I had to spare at the fair. Some drawings turned out kind of nice. It didn’t take long to realize how much time could be spent expanding out from the main focus in the drawing to get all that was around. But that will have to wait till next year. Just loving the paper quality that moleskin pads afford. There’s no sense of resistance to the flow of the pencil line, and subtleties in tone seem to be realized better than on most other paper I’ve been working with of late. It’s just too bad that they don’t make 11x14 inch or 14x17 inch pads. Even so, I suspect that they will play a major part down at the military base. See you folks in a week.
Never really realized how much the hips sway on a horse when it shifts its weight to another leg. Almost looked funny.
So many split seconds action poses. Good practice, not always good results. This caught some of the energy of a resisting cow.
Livestock judge. Very intense character. Took his job seriously.
A country singer who accompanied her husband. From Tennessee. They were okay, but not enough to buy one of their home made CDs.
Robert Novak- RIP- FU

The “Prince of Darkness”.


 “The troll under the bridge of American journalism.” As described by fellow ass-wipe conservative pundit, Morton Kondrake from “The McLaughllin Group”.


A regular comic, he once complained that his Thanksgiving dinner had been ruined by seeing so many homeless people on television.


He was a Jew who hedged his bets and converted to Catholicism, in 1998.  Senator Patrick Moynihan of New York, who attended the event remarked, “Well, we’ve now made Bob a Catholic. The question is, Can we make him a Christian?” 


Oh, and remember that thing about ratting out a CIA officer?


I have no brilliant visual pun to offer here, a la the Master, Steve Brodner.  I never had a chance to draw Novak for print- came close a couple times over the years but the ideas got dropped- so all I have is a drawing I did tonight while taking a break from a private commission.   He had the visual ugliness, an ugliness that reflected his soul, that is a caricaturist’s dream come true.

The Healthcare Mess-RS Rx

I was going to wait until this Friday, when the next issue of ROLLING STONE is coming out,  to post this illustration, but as it appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show last night during her interview with the writer, Matt Taibbi, discussing his latest journalistic tour de force,  I guess it’s okay to blog about it now. 


ROLLING STONE has been on a tear for quite a while now, featuring some of the best journalism and investigative reporting that you’d ever want to get depressed by.   I mean that.  I love reading the pieces- they possess that urgent sense of outrage walking in synch with the facts.  They connect the dots.  They follow the money.  They make it clear how incredibly broken the system is.  The depressing part comes with realizing how entrenched and willfully, systemically, self-destructive the system insists on remaining. 


The upcoming Healthcare piece was interesting because of how sideswiped I felt reading the original draft.  One would assume reactionary Republicans to play the designated bad guys.  But not so, at least not in this draft.   Taibbi’s contempt was being dished out in heaps upon the Democrats, with characters like Max Baucus and Nancy Pelosi demonstrating once again why the Democrats show far greater talent at self-destruction than meaningful, beneficial, legislation.  Even with a majority now in Congress, the Democrats appear terribly uninterested and unwilling to shake up a failed system of government and are every inch as deep in lobbyist money as the designated ‘bad guys’. 

Fuck them as well.  After I illustrated the Goldman Sachs piece for RS I sold my Goldman shares in my retirement account.  After reading this piece I promised never to donate another dime to the DNCC.


My initial sketches tried to draw attention to the collective atrocity in the works, and, in one of them, it was from the patient’s point of view from the operating table.  The other sketch was an attempt to utilize Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson” to get a laugh.  Editorial felt that the Rembrandt might be too obscure and that readers wouldn’t recognize a lot of politicians from the operation scene.  It was decided to keep Pelosi and Ted Kennedy in an operating room scene along with Obama and the ever-handy elephant to represent the Republicans.  The layout size was changed and I went for something a bit more obvious and slapsticky.  For whatever reason, my pen and ink chops weren’t working and I switched to pencils and watercolor to get the dramatic effect I was hoping for.  It’s interesting.  There are times when drawing with a nice Prismacolor allows me the variety of lines and subtleties that seem to escape me with pen and ink. 

It behooves all of you to read this article when it hits the stands Friday.

I am noticing that, as time goes on, my Obama is looking less in control and more a victim of circumstance- maybe in a little over his head considering the animals he has to deal with in D.C..
As this idea was killed pretty early on I didn't go for a bloodbath image revise. I would have also taken the jackass and elephant out and replaced them with a couple more douchebag members of Congress.
It was also decided that Pelosi without her hair didn't read quick enough. The fact that I didn't really have a good Pelosi caricature here didn't hELP either. So the surgical hair-net came off.
Things I LearnedThis Weekend
The picture doesn't do justice to the incredible crimson in the stung ear.
This posting really has nothing to do with illustration per say, except to act as a warning to anyone thinking of taking a break from the drawing table to do something besides an assignment. God watches.
The unaffected left hand.
The money maker- probably no more than two bites.
1)   No matter how careful you try to be, when you live in the country and work on your property, you will inevitably stir up a hornet's nest.  Therefore, know where your nearest ER is located.

2) Contrary to what you may logically, reasonably,  think about immune response building up resistance through continued hornet bites, the exact opposite happens.  With every attack the body's response becomes more crazy.  In other words, it gets worse.  Last year I stirred up an underground nest and sustained 25-30 bites all over my arms and chest.  While I felt I was on fire and only took a first dose of Benedryl a good twenty minutes later, the body reaction was nothing compared to the four or five bites this time where I soon found my right hand looking and feeling like a catcher's mit and my  left ear, easily twice the size of the right, hanging on my head like a weird, heavy, B-sci-fi movie prosthesis. Wild also was the sensation of hot jelly being injected and flowing under the skin as the reaction progressed and the swelling spread.  It's also a good thing if your throat doesn't close up within the first hour or at least before you get to the ER.

3) You can get a pretty good idea where your lymphatic system is located in your body by the way they welt up through your skin in a fiery way as the reaction progresses.

4) Benedryl taken within the first 5 minutes (this time we had it in the house) is a very smart thing to do.  However, the stomach is the second greatest producer of histamine and pepcid is also beneficial to have around as it suppresses stomach activity.

5)  Exofficio insect repellent shirts, while pretty damn expensive, are worth their weight in gold.  They're like Kryptonite to mosquitos and horse flies but I was stunned by how well they worked against the hornets.  They just couldn't hang on.  It probably was the single reason I didn't suffer more bites.

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