Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Pardon me


Bonil, August 11, 2014.
In the final frame the customer is asking:
- Pardon me, are you working in the government?


The linework of the drawing above is dainty, almost fragile of character, embodying the vulnerability of the protagonist. We feel his predicament of being beaten at the very moment he is defining if his sight proves him right. Only to be told that he is lying; he is seeing wrong. To which he is unfazed asking a direct question, cutting through all that has gone before.

Simple as the drawing may seem, style and content are in utter symbiosis. In each frame the outlines of their bodies follows their actions. The slamming arm of the optometrist makes for a perfect circle, while the now visibly impaired customer is all leaning forward while reaching for his glasses. We feel the frailty in his wrist in its continuous reaching for the glasses on the floor before the realization sets in. This time in a perfect oval. Ultimately he is all edges when no longer afraid, openly confronting the one before him.



Bonil, June 11, 2015.
- Why are you taking them away? What was the crime?
- They saw the king naked



We have an ideal of the child in The Emperor's New Clothes dissolving all pretense by speaking up, telling the truth. Once disclosed the charade can no longer go on. But, really?

Bonil is the first at pointing out the likely outcome. How could a transition even take place? It would rather be a matter of a prompt reaction from the security grabbing the very ones, who spoke up, clearing away the problem. The security are all edges before us; each section of their bodies making a 90 degrees bend to the next. Even within the torso of the guard at the front left.



Bonil, February 23, 2015.



There is no reason to use subjunctives. There is no "would"; it is. The customer was immediately accused of lying, and "lying" and "lies" form the constant of the Ecuadorean President Correa's lashing out to his critics.

Still, the customer spoke his mind, just as the cartoonist does. As vulnerable as he is, a tiny physical being against the magnitude of the presidential institution, he does it anyway. The oversized pencil has been Bonil's trademark since being marked out as an aggressor; he has been sanctioned and told to "correct" one of his drawings, not to mention being summoned to a hearing - there is an air of inquisition about it as it has been so aptly put.

And yet the might of the pen is that he draws the presidential finger. The outcome is not a given as with the child, but a constant struggle for the one, who turns the pointing finger back at the powerful.



The cartoons shown are courtesy of Bonil and must not be reproduced without his permission.


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