Cartoon Yahtzee: Empty Debate Chairs

Ever since Clint Eastward wandered onto the stage of the Republican National Convention with an empty chair, cartoonists have co-opted the visual imagery as a tool in their election cartoons. So it comes as no surprise that after last week’s Presidential debate, the empty chair would rear it’s ugly head again to represent President Obama, this time as an aloof participant in a debate performance with his challenger, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

RELATED: More example of Cartoon Yahtzees

So when five or more cartoonists draw the same gag, we refer to it as a “Cartoon Yahtzee,” and as always, there is a basic rule of thumb to go by: if one other guy drew it, he’s a plagiarist; if five other guys drew it, they’re hacks; if a dozen other guys drew it, they are honoring a tradition.

John Darkow / Columbia Daily Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Darkow)
Gary Varvel / Indianapolis Star (click to view more cartoons by Varvel)
Michael Ramirez / Investors Business Daily (click to view more cartoons by Ramirez)
Bob Gorrell (click to view more cartoons by Gorrell)

The final cartoon isn’t a political cartoon per se – it comes from the cover of The New Yorker and is drawn by illustrator Barry Blitt. But as Blitt often uses ideas and concepts that stem from the world of political cartooning, it’s included here:

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: