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Controversial Steve Jobs Obit Cartoon

This Steve Jobs obituary cartoon by Dutch cartoonist Hajo de Reijger divided readers, who thought it was both tasteless and funny. What do you think?

Readers were divided about this Steve Jobs cartoon by Dutch cartoonist Hajo de Reijger. Some of you thought it was funny, even poignant. But most thought it was tasteless and unnecessary.

“I didn’t know Steve personally,” Hajo emailed me.  “I know his products, and they’re great!  But for me Steve Jobs is a human being that died. He was not the Messiah. His image did not appear on my toast this morning.”

We received a lot of feedback about it, and here are just a sampling of your comments:

Steve Jobs iPod iPad iPhone iDied RIP Apple
(Click to purchase for your home or publication)

Raul: I don’t like it. It shows a poor taste. However, is easy to see the irony on it. I think Jobs deserves a clever attempt to mock him.

Joann Betschart: iDisgusted.

Scott Bolderson: iGiggled. Life’ll kill ya’. Can’t take it.

Dennis Jasinski: Death is a fact of life….one that Steve Jobs himself faced with humor and tenacity. My favorite comment on his death was iSad.

John Tyrrell: iLOLed.

Nina Maya Cording: I think it’s reducing Steve Jobs to mainly those 3 devices he made popular in the last few years although it was so much more.

Nicola Stratford: Oh, come on. Our culture is so PC these days. If the cartoon has read igone or ipassed or some other euphemism, I’ll bet there’d be no debate. idead is the truth using the word that means just that; it’s not disrespect.

Judy Masterson Blandino: Thumbs down…deserved more creativity than that.

Dee Dee Merritt: If your living you are going to die, dont take it to seriously, I like it.

Clvex: It’s neither fair nor foul because there’s no real joke there. It’s not harsh, it just fails to find a punch line in that final panel. It’s a non sequitur.

Jennifer Bourne: I thought it was funny and poignant at the same time: he pioneered wonderful inventions and now he’s gone.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

149 replies on “Controversial Steve Jobs Obit Cartoon”

The only thing that might save this cartoon is that it is almost Halloween. But that cartoon is colder than Jobs.

Do the Dutch have an odd sense of humor or does this Dutch cartoonist have an odd sense of humor not shared by most of the Dutch?

Tasteless, crude, and insensitive.  But, when has that ever concerned a cartoonist?  Any cartoonist.  I suppose it’s as good as any.

Distasteful or tasteless?  It certainly got a reaction… Isn’t that what a political cartoonist is intent on doing?  Hajo’s comment that Mr. Job was not the Messiah probably says more about the intent of the cartoon than the image itself.  No, Jobs was not the Messiah, but he did change the world.  Although I think I’d better check my toast this morning.

I thought it pointed out the futility of the mentality of “who ever dies with the most toys wins,” because you still die. What you should live for is not things or even creating things.

Dee Dee needs an app for grammar: for the thousandth time, it’s “you’re” when you mean “you are,” and “your” if it’s possessive. Also, it’s “don’t,” not “dont”. Jobs has spell check on his phones for a reason, people!

It is not the cartoon as much as it is the word that was chosen. Perhaps iMissed would be less offensive to some. As it stands it is “final” but not particulary creative.

Just toured the Alabama Institute of the Deaf and Blind yesterday and thought of Steve Jobs the entire time. There is a special place in heaven for this man who has made a big difference in the lives of the deaf and blind with his technology. The cartoon is not only disgusting, its wrong. Steve Jobs lives forever in the work that he has done to make the world a better place

And you are just as demented as your belief that the cartoon is funny, creative, and refreshingly blunt. It shows disrespect for the dead.
I wonder how the family feels if they should pick up the paper and see that…after all this moron is syndicated.

And you are just as demented as your belief that the cartoon is funny, creative, and refreshingly blunt. It shows disrespect for the dead.
I wonder how the family feels if they should pick up the paper and see that…after all this moron is syndicated.

I am ever so glad you can communicate with the dead that way…Can you communicate with Jesus Christ so that we know when the end of the world is?

I am ever so glad you can communicate with the dead that way…Can you communicate with Jesus Christ so that we know when the end of the world is?

It was not funny or clever.  I agree that he deserved more creativity than that.  A poor attempt at a tribute.

Interesting as a European perspective but I think if you heard Jobs speak at Stanford in 2005, you wouldn’t reduce the man to what finally seems cynical.

Bad taste. He deserves to be honored for how much he changed the way we compute, listen to music and so much more.

My complaint isn’t with this cartoon so much but all of them,. To those who aren’t adherents to the Apple religion Steve Jobs wasn’t just a purveyor of ultimate tech goodness – I see him more as a purveyor of lurking evil. – All those pretty iObjects are fitted with hidden slave manacles that tie their owners and their wallets directly and permanently to Apple and to him. That old ‘Big Brother’ Mac advert they’ve been playing here is a perfect irony given that in later years Steve Jobs has almost become a kind of big brother.
 So creative genius and tech-angel yes but also messianic cult leader and the worlds greatest snake oil salesmen.

I love the cartoons portraying him standing before the angel on the way into heaven but its so sad that the cartoonists dont appreciate the huge irony. – As the leader of his own religious cult Steve Jobs will really be wanting the big desk himself.   

Steve Jobs is gone, it does not matter to him.  Steve’s family is still here.  Do you think they will laugh?

Jobs was bright enough to steal others’ ideas and put them into production. His “itoys” aren’t worth it.
Maybe someday we’ll hear about the real Steve.

I agree that it lacks creativity, and considering the quality of many politcal cartoons on Cagle Post these days, it is rather low on the wit scale. I also agree with the line that there really isn’t much of a punch line. Finding a cartoon dull or non sequiter is not representative of a PC culture. Some people just prefer quality work.

Lame. Sure, comparing the headstone to the Apple personal electronics is perfectly reasonable. But “iDead”? a) It is not a parallel construction, and b) it is totally and gratuitously tasteless.

Ah, but Dennis Jasinski’s “iSad” – that’s at least echoing “iPad”. It’s far more clever and far more appropriate than Hajo de Reijger’s tasteless and leaden offering.

Maybe a horde of fans, holding up their iParaphernalia — like lighters at concert — headed “iSad”? That might work …

Absolutely, totally tasteless and offensive!  Jobs was too great a man to render into a juvenile cartoon.

Given that he was a committed Buddhist I’m sure that Steve would appreciate the point being made that his life, like all things, follows the rule that all things which have a beginning must end.

Given that he was a committed Buddhist I’m sure that Steve would appreciate the point being made that his life, like all things, follows the rule that all things which have a beginning must end.

Please explain how I am being disgraceful to the dead. I was commenting on the cartoon, what are you talking about?

My reaction upon seeing it, was full of onomatopoeia: *Whiff*! “WHOA!”, *SSssss*….. *Pffffff*

Dismissive and disrespectful…the dignity which this human being displayed at the end of this life was worthy of more.  Some suggests “ISad”…surely better at least.

very poor taste. I like Nash Pareth’s version much more suitable, using the words iRest instead of iDead at the end.

I think it was in poor taste. Paresh Nath’s version, showing all the i products and ending it with iRest instead of iDead, is much more complimentary. (Paresh Nath is the chief cartoonist for India’s
National Herald, and his cartoons are syndicated in the United States
by Cagle Cartoons.)

not overly funny but it’s just a comic and anyone upset needs something to do with their life.

It’s in poor taste.  But the cartoonist got the publicity he wanted.  That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

This was one of two different cartoons with the same theme, the othere included “iMac.”  I think both say best what has happened to Mr. Jobs.  He’s dead.  Which is life’s final expectation.  Rest in Peace, Mr. Jobs.

@Anita—Punch line?  As if his life were a joke?  Somehow, I think “punch Line” less PC than “IDead.”

I hate when cartoonists take the easy way out and go for the joke that requires no effort at all. Not funny.

Controversial ?   Why ?  Is it because of the  ” i Dead ” portion ?  Well, it is grammatically incorrect, because it should read, ” i Am Dead “, but it iis being kept in the same context as the rest of the pictured items that feature the letter ” i “, even a simpleton would agree on the issue.  These people are just as bad,  as the Obama ” complainers “, hahahaha !

we live in a country that yawns when we murder half a million Iraqi’s, drop bombs and drones on women and children ( by accident of course) in afghanistan,but we keep doing it,all the time depleting our national treasure for senseless wars while thousands here are without homes,jobs and everything else. But one cartoon about a dead millionaire is ”shocking”,”disrespectful”,”bad taste” etc etc. We live in the madhouse of the universe.

iSad 2  Tasteless cartoon.  May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to his beloved family, friends, everyone at Apple and his legions of devoted customers.  He represented the best of us by making the most of his gifts, opportunities and time on earth.  It is now up to his followers to learn from his example, keep his spirit alive and never settle for less than perfection!

iSad 2  Tasteless cartoon.  May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to his beloved family, friends, everyone at Apple and his legions of devoted customers.  He represented the best of us by making the most of his gifts, opportunities and time on earth.  It is now up to his followers to learn from his example, keep his spirit alive and never settle for less than perfection!

Tasteless is right!   No he was not the messiah, but he sure did a hell of a lot more for the world/ to improve the lives of millions than Hajo ever could do and Jobs deserves respect for it!

It’s not funny.  Clever enough play on words, but where does the punchline take us?  It’s a cheap shot.

There are better ways to say it.  I know that editorial cartoonists have a duty to offend when needed, but this wasn’t needed.  Have some respect. I think I saw another cartoon with the same theme that ended “iRest”. That seems better to me.  Steve fought so hard.

tasteless cartoon…..why is it when someone dies this kind of crap comes up!  Steve Jobs did so much good for everyone with his talents and brains, leave the tasteless crap out and let the man die with dignity.

I didn’t see the humor in it for once. I’m usually the one telling people to chill out, but I honestly don’t think it’s funny. It’s not very nice, but it’s also not particularly horrible, it just falls flat for me when it comes to the attempt at humor. Funny, I usually like gallows humor. This was just more ho-hum than anything.

I don’t believe that Steve Jobs was as much about the most toys as about doing good to others in the only way he knew, by making their lives better. I am not for censoring what the cartoonists delineate and write, but I am for respect of all persons, living and dead (as we all will be someday). The knowledge that we will all meet the same fate, whether rich or poor, old or young, doesn’t mean that we and our families don’t deserve respect at and during that time.

Death is not really a thing to laugh with. One of his quotes was something to the extent of “I’d rather be an innovator than being the richest person in the cemetary”. An innovator he was and we all benifited from him thinking outside the box. I’m sure he left enough ideas with his engineers and dreamers so that we will be seeing products that had a Steve Job’s planted the seed for.

i dont know this “supposed to be funny dutch cartoonist “,but i know he is a piece of nothing.
when people dont see that you are not to joke with people that died and that by the way were not
just simple human beeings but like Steve Jobs just a very rare Super Human Beeing…
somebody to explain him what the word respect means….

He deserves a more dignified send off than this.  On the other hand, with his sense of humor, this might have made him smile. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

I think this cartoon is cruel and inhumane. I would have just had “Steve Jobs R.I.P on the iPad in the final panel.

Typical European humour? What’s that? There’s kinda a vast gulf between German slapstick and English sarcasm…

Not funny at all!  What happened to the concept of respect for the deceased and their family? Steve Jobs accomplished so much during his lifetime and suffered a very painful death from pancreatic cancer….there is no justification for this totally inappropriate “cartoon”.

neither fair nor foul- simply not funny
i always thought that the role of the cartoonist was to get a message across, or make us (at least some of us) smile
i’m hard pressed to see that this moron does either- can’t imagine the audience that finds humor in it

iSnorted. Yes, tasteless, but there were three other cartoons with EXACTLY the same theme, and there were few negative comments on those, simply because of their choice of words. Jeez, lighten up, people!

Very poor taste with what he contributed to our world you’ve gone over board with this one….I’m disappointed in you.

Saying that this cartoon is disrespectful to the memory of Mr. Jobs is an understatement.  To say that it is crude, crass and in poor taste only reinforces what should be obvious to anyone who sees it.  It seems that the cartoonist has some self-image issues and a general sense of personal inadequacy, and decided to take-out his disillusionment with is own life on the life’s work and memory of Jobs.  If I had the opportunity to ask the cartoonist one question, it would be, “Jealous much?”

the stupidity and sheer lunacy of wasting billions we need here on a corrupt gov that grows and supplies the worlds heroin says all you need to know about our priorities,our morals,our values and our pigheadedness. Some people say you deserve what you get in life,it’s hard not to believe that true in this case. Madness.

the stupidity and sheer lunacy of wasting billions we need here on a corrupt gov that grows and supplies the worlds heroin says all you need to know about our priorities,our morals,our values and our pigheadedness. Some people say you deserve what you get in life,it’s hard not to believe that true in this case. Madness.

And how do you know Jobs is in heaven. Pretty heavy statement. Personally, from what I understand about heaven and the way to it, I seriously doubt he made the cut.

Tasteless. Disrespectful. Unnecessary. I thought the one that was similar and had iRest instead was much better and much more in keeping with respecting the death of a human being.

I felt it was morbid statement of fact and perhaps a sad tribute, but I would not catagorice it as l foul.

It sounds flippant and distasteful. Passing everything off as PC gives people
license to be rude and vulgar. i sad was a whole olot more human than this. Words have connotations and it is not whether or not we all die or even euphemisms, the tome On this is “who cares.” Disrespedctful to anyone.

yes,what we used to call civil is now called PC by those who have no clue as to what civil and respectful of others even means.

yes,what we used to call civil is now called PC by those who have no clue as to what civil and respectful of others even means.

Can’t speak for Steve, who knows, he might have liked it.  I don’t.  Seems disrespectful.
Thumbs down (make it two).

At first I was taken aback by it because I thought of his wife and family.   However, reflecting upon the man, I am certain he would have laughed.  After all, he was an intelligent man with a good sense of humor and an unnerving depth of understanding the reality of his own mortality.  I think he would have liked it very much.  

This is Great and funny as hell, come on ppl. we all are going to die and Steve was a corporation. He didn’t give a damn about any of you all he wanted was our money and he got it. So let’s find the bright side in this and laugh our asses off on this great cartoon. 

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