A few weeks ago, Tokyo's new English-language magazine, M2, asked me to create a number of editorial illustrations. So I did. I mean, how could anyone say "no" to the chance of drawing fat sumo wrestlers? Though before you accuse me of being a typical 外人 who thinks that Japanese culture is all about sushi, sumo, and inappropriate tentacles, I must explain.
The wrestler represents Japan's new Keynesian-inspired economic plan dubbed "Abenomics" by the media--after the country's current PM, a large portion of which comprises a government stimulus. Naturally, this token image seemed like an instantly accessible visual analogy to the usage of "pork" to refer to similar bailouts in the English-speaking world. At least that's how I justified my gross insensitivity to myself! But my cute, little, and colorful wrestling fatty jumping on a price chart and experiencing a gradient-mesh overdose was, evidently, too "mainstream". So I had to kill him off and replace him by a fatter, meaner, old-school, pen-and-ink sumo man, gorging on some yen-in-a-bowl takeout and simultaneously CRUSHING OLD JAPANESE PEOPLE. After all, increasing the money supply will erode their savings, some predict, and that's a lot more real than a cute line graph.