The Dead Crowd

I’ve been drawing crowds of dead people lately. Like most cartoonists, I hate drawing crowd scenes. Back when I was a cartoon illustrator I drew lots of crowd scenes; art directors seem to love crowd scenes – readers do too.  Readers often send me ideas for cartoons, and the typical idea involves drawing a crowd, or opposing armies, or a “sky filled with helicopters” or something similarly painful to draw.

But, if you kill everyone in the crowd, crowds are much easier to draw. There are no expressions, or body language. When I spend too much time drawing a dead crowd, I find myself thinking about the dead crowd cartoons again and again – maybe that’s unhealthy. In January I drew this cartoon about the Marines who peed on dead Taliban fighters. 

This week I drew this one on Bashar Assad …

Now I’m plagued by thinking of “standing in the middle of a dead crowd” cartoons.  Like this one …

Now I want to draw President Obama in the middle of the dead crowd saying, “Things seem to have quietened down now, after my apology.”  Maybe I will.

I know I’m going to keep thinking about this.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the publisher of and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc, which which is a major distributor of editorial cartoons and columns to newspapers and digital publishers. See Daryl's blog at:, see his site at: get permission to reprint his cartoons at: