Drawing Rudy

| Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the Republican presidential race yesterday, having been soundly trounced in every primary or caucus to date. Not to be too churlish about it, but I say, Good riddance!

Rudy hasn't exactly been a regular in editorial cartoons, mostly showing up when Pat Robertson endorsed him (Pat Robertson!!!!), when he started taking cell-phone calls from his wife during speeches, and again today commemorating his withdrawal. It's not a wonder: while the other candidates were rushing from state to state, Rudy spent almost all of his time in Florida where, he thought, he would pick up a big win that would give him an overwhelming burst of momentum going into next weeks Tsunami Tuesday, as some are calling it. It didn't work. The longer he stayed in the race and the more he campaigned, the lower he fell in the polls. Probably too many of those ex-New Yorkers in Florida that Rudy was counting on remember him as mayor on September 10th rather than the hero of September 11th.

Rudy has got a face only a mother and a caricaturist could love. The symmetry and proportion that makes faces attractive is missing, as is most of his hair (not that some of us are entitled to cast any stones about that). On his website, he strikes a sober pose, befitting someone who wants to style himself as an all-business, no-nonsense, heroic leader. But when he appears in public, speaks volubly and animatedly, often with strange contortions of his face.

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy as portrayed on
Rudy Giuliani drawn by Tom Toles
Tom Toles' Rudy
human skull
Human skull
Rudy in Florida
Rudy on the campaign trail in Florida

Tom Toles draws Rudy like a light bulb with big ears, emphasizing the bulbous head and narrow chin. He also picks up on two other salient features, his narrow eyes and his teeth. Note that he draws the mouth almost "upside-down," with the sides of the upper-lip pulled down to expose the upper teeth. In essence, Toles draws Rudy as a skull.

Signe Wilkinson, Pat Oliphant, and Stuart Carlson also draw Rudy's head as a variation on the lightbulb theme.

Signe Wilkinson's Rudy Giuliani
Signe Wilkinson's Rudy
Stuart Carlson's Rudy Giuliani
Stuart Carlson's Rudy
Pat Oliphant's Rudy Giuliani
Pat Oliphant's Rudy

Wilkinson and Carlson both give his head a fairly smooth outline, also emphasizing the narrow beady eyes and beaver teeth. Oliphant, on the other hand, gives Rudy's head a rougher look, full of crags and gulleys. He also gives Rudy Groucho Marx eyebrows, a feature not emphasized in the other caricatures.

Nick Anderson's Rudy
Nick Anderson's Rudy
Chip Bok
Chip Bok's Rudy
Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich's Rudy

Nick Anderson exaggerates everything about Rudy's face — bulbous head, narrow eyes, broad jaw, narrow chin — making him look like a peanut with beaver teeth and Spock ears. His eyes are reduced to black dots, and there are no eyeglasses.

Note also that Rudy is given a very scrawny neck (Carlson, Oliphant, Anderson) or no neck at all (Wilkinson).

On the other hand, Chip Bok and Mike Luckovich give Rudy a more rectangular head, although Bok pinches it in a bit at the eye-line. As in the other drawings, the ears are big and the chin juts out aggressively. Luckovich captures the twisted mouth (the two sides of Giuliani's often face seem to work independently) but gives him almost normal teeth. The rest of Rudy's face, however, is remarkably flat, especially when compared to the other drawings.

Giuliani had only one song to sing, the Nine-Eleven Waltz, and it was only a matter of time before people realized that he really had nothing else to offer. His views on social issues certainly did not endear him to the Evangelicals, and his bellicosity scared the bejeezus out of the rest of us. Say good night, Rudy.


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Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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