With the death of Hugo Chavez, one of the most enduring tropes of my profession will be yet again revived, so to speak.
I'm talking about the obit cartoon.
Obit cartoons are very tricky, and they tend to stick to a familiar format: (Late public figure) at gates of Heaven, with St. Peter, while saying (insert relevant punchline) or (performing task public figure is well-known for). God, never pictured, may add his own from behind-a-cloud comment with the attendant streaming golden light.
I try not to do these, but I certainly have, depending on how interested I am in the character. My favorite one of my own was George Steinbrenner at the gate, greeted by Red Sox uniform-wearing angels, frowning.
Honestly, since a famous person dies virtually every day, one could do a fairly steady stream of these things, which are highly controversial in the profession.
The caveat is, the person who has departed has to be elderly in order for this metaphor to work without issues of taste. If the celebrity is young or went tragically, cartoonists will tend to shift to a more tasteful portrayal or tribute.
In Chavez' case, I doubt I will have a specific comment about him, mostly because I fear the very real social approbation of my peers. Many major cartoonists just groan when they even hear the phrase "obit cartoon," knowing it is a formula for the hackneyed.
I think most readers kind of like the obit cartoon, and they don't seem to care that they've seen the same metaphor over and over, drifting toward them in a blinding white light, surrounded by other loved-one metaphors, like the couple sitting watching television and the Iwo Jima flag-raising.
Today, I'm looking at the sequester.
If I don't get an idea, I may see a blinding white light myself.