The world’s political cartoonists have complained that the outcome of the Russian Presidential election has left them completely at a loss for a way in which they might convey the relationship between the outgoing President Putin and his chosen successor.
‘Everyone is describing this new guy as a puppet of Putin…’ said Garland of the Daily Telegraph. ‘What on Earth are we supposed to do with that? They are saying that Putin will still be pulling all the strings, and will be the puppet master of this new puppet government. I mean I just have no idea how I could possibly illustrate such a thing.’
All around the world, political cartoonists came up against the same impossible brick wall. ‘I could draw great big dinosaurs, with the heads of Putin and Medvedev on their bodies’ suggested Brookes to his editor at The Times. ‘Hmmm, but that might sort of suggest that they are both political dinosaurs…’
‘Oh yeah I see what you mean. How about I draw them playing Monopoly?’
‘That would be good if we were looking to express their monopoly on power…’
The cartoonists’ job has been made even more difficult than usual due to the distinct lack of any animal that is traditionally associated with Russia. ‘I was toying with the great Russian kangaroo,’ said Garland, ‘but my editor said that made him think more of Australia. In the end I decided to abandon the whole puppet government thing and go for the ‘Death of Infant Democracy’ angle. So I drew the Grim Reaper pointing his finger to a small cot with ‘Democracy’ written on the side. I might write ‘Death’ on the back of the Grim Reaper, just to make it extra clear. Clever huh?’