I had a hard time coming up with a cartoon for Hugo Chavez's death. I knew I wanted to, both because it's big news and because I have a special connection with South America. But when I sat down to think, I realized it was kind of hard to come up with something.
Chavez was a self-proclaimed enemy of the United States. But he wasn't an enemy in the same way that Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were. So I didn't want to lump him together with those guys, or draw a cartoon of him at the gates of hell being welcomed by Satan. But I also didn't want to draw him at the Pearly Gates, and imply that I think he was a saint. I don't think I would draw him entering the Pearly Gates, but just drawing him surrounded by clouds and halos and talking to St. Peter would probably not portray the idea that I intended.
Another idea I thought of was to draw President Obama saying something like, "On my watch, we got rid of both Osama bin Laden and Hugo Chavez!" And someone commenting and saying, "Wow, he really is more confident in his second term." I might still draw that one later, but I wanted to actually draw Hugo Chavez himself (and, again, I wanted to avoid equating Chavez with bin Laden).
So then I was thinking about Hugo Chavez's connections with Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara, and how it's somewhat ironic that Castro has survived both of them. And that's what led me to this idea, replacing Satan or St. Peter with the Grim Reaper:
In today's Daily Iowan.