Sunday, August 30, 2009

Goodbye, Nickelsville

The following half dozen cartoons are featured in a 128 page book proposal entitled Welcome To Nickelsville, a collection of Seattle-centric cartoons selected from over two hundred and thirty installments of my weekly A Drawn Perspective feature, which, until earlier this month, was featured in six community newspapers in the Seattle area. The strip, which ended earlier this month, another victim of the disappearing world of print journalism, ran nearly every week since its inception in November of 2004.
Focusing regularly on the political machinations of Greg Nickels, Seattle’s two-term mayor, who was defeated in the city primaries on Aug. 21st, A Drawn Perspective ended only five days before the mayor’s concession, denying me the opportunity to comment on that noteworthy, but not overly surprising outcome. It was the stepping down of a man whom I hardly treated warmly over the past four-plus years, finding his style of self-congratulatory leadership to be tiresome, if not downright negligent, a tenure full of large, mostly-empty promises, careless acts of public arithmetic, opportunistic bedding-down with deeply-entrenched private interests, moral grandstanding, and, perhaps above all, an acute, seemingly-obsessive focus on his personal legacy, a trait that appeared all too-evident as he choked back tears on Aug. 21, wearing the look of a man caught in his pajamas, facing an oncoming train.
It would be comforting to claim the two challengers who survived Nickels in the primaries to be individuals with experience and impressive credentials in public governance, but it just isn’t so. One rides in on a horse called “Business”, ready to roll up his corporate sleeves and run the city like some moneyed investment, the other appears more benign, but just as vague on the practicalities of his platform, if not his general understanding of the everyday demands of such stewardship. Come next year, the citizens of Seattle may well be looking back and missing the days of Nickel’s blowhard, fist-thumping reign.
In order to draw a conclusion to that era, I put together Welcome To Nickelsville earlier this year and shopped it to the only local publisher who I thought might have had an interest in publishing it. That interest not having materialized, I now put it out for all to see, viewable in its entirety as a slideshow by clicking here. Also, for a wider look at the four-year run of A Drawn Perspective, click here.
Of course, if there is someone out there who might still like to offer this to the world as a printed edition, please feel free to contact me. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it, for what it is, perhaps the last such chronicle of its kind that this city will ever see, the editorial voice of local print journalism fading into the digital noise.