I was commissioned by Alphabet Zoo to design the cover for a zine. the concept of the book and artworks is "GOODCOPSBADCOPS". They specifically asked me to design the front cover around the idea of a "good cop".
I centered my concept around a police dog.The dog is believed to be a loyal companion to its human counterpart. In South Africa, there have been many stories of corruption in our police system. Every bad cop starts off as a good cop. The only officer I felt is uncorruptable is the police dog. It is trained to serve and obey its master. It is a good police officer as it only does what it is told and does the work it has been trained for. Whether it be bomb detection or drug trafficking.
The dog is wearing a South African Task Force uniform. They are also known as "amaberrete" (berrets) because of the hats they wear, which "regular" officers dont wear. They are a unit in the police force that is trained by the army. They are [in]famous for being quite ruthless and violent when they are called to handle a situation.
German Shepards are the most commonly used breed of dog in the police system. This is due to their alertness and hightened sense of smell and lifespan in the force. The German sheperd has also negative connotations attached to it in terms of its role in history. Images from Apartheid, American Civil rights movement as well as Nazi Germany, depict scenes of people being attacked by German sheperds under the control of human police officers.
The irony in this piece is that the only cop I trust is a dog. the dog who is man's bestfriend. Yet under the control of humans, the dog can be ordered to be corrupt, even though it may not be in its nature. The playfulness in the dog's eyes reminds us of its innonece as a puppy. I chose that specific expression as its almost human-like. the dog is trained through play. Thus when its in a real criminal situation, it is under the impression that it is still playing.