Rogers Zoomed in from his home studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and gave students an inside scoop on how he creates his cartoons. All of Rogers’ work is hand-drawn and shaded before it is colored and finalized on the computer. As part of the National Agenda Zoom reunion, Rogers showed how he sketches political figures such as President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama. “When I draw Trump, I usually start with the hair and the eyes...with [Obama] I would start with the eyebrows. Obama had those great eyebrows.” Political cartoons are intended to be playful and humorous, but still relevant to current events. Rogers notes, “You need to be careful not to over exaggerate things. A careful play of features is fine, but you can only touch on making fun of it.”
One alumnus asked Rogers if he had made any cartoon plans for the upcoming presidential elections. Rogers has made many cartoons recently revolving around current events such as the coronavirus and the director of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. However, regarding the election he says, “All my cartoons are done based on the news. I will draw something once something comes up. There has been little activity with this primary race lately.”
Students recounted their favorite National Agenda speakers from over the years, such as Appalachia author David Joy, whose contrasting mountain lifestyle and political standpoint surprised students and allowed them to question their own interpretations of political stereotypes. Another popular speaker was UD alumnus and Democratic primary front-runner Joe Biden, who joined the National Agenda stage in October 2017. One student pleasantly recounted asking the former VP the first question of the event.