I’m a big supporter of French cartoonist Jean Plantu’s Cartooning for Peace organization. It sounds a little silly, because all of the cartoonists are in favor of peace, and the nature of cartoons seems to be frivolous, while peace is a serious topic.
That said, Cartooning for Peace does a lot of great stuff; they organize meetings of editorial cartoonists and hold impressive exhibitions all over the world. I’ve made a lot of worldly, cartoonist friends through Cartooning for Peace. Plantu is the star cartoonist of France – that’s him at the right, with his trademark mouse that appears in the corner of every Plantu cartoon.
One of Plantu’s recent projects is a weekly page in his newspaper, Le Monde, with cartoons from around the world about a topic in the news. Plantu does a great job with it, soliciting the newest cartoons from member cartoonists every week. I have pasted some pages below. They look great and show the power of editorial cartoons at their best.
We syndicate a bunch of international cartoonists to about 850 newspapers, and they tend to be less popular than our American cartoonists. Americans aren’t much interested in events outside of the United States, unless we’re at war or threaten to be at war with someone. Passionate cartoons about water issues or the European Union don’t generate much reader passion in the USA.
On the topics that penetrate our borders and generate interest here, collections of international cartoons are a wonderful way to show a variety of world opinions at a glance. My local newspaper, the Santa Barbara News-Press does an international week in review with world cartoonists regularly. I would urge more editors to consider doing it.
The page below is “Egypt: an explosive cocktail”. It includes the Adam and Eve cartoon by Doaa El Adl, that has led to her prosecution by Islamist authorities. I’d love to see newspapers all around the world reprint Doaa’s cartoon.
Gay marriage has recently been a hot topic in France.
Here is the most recent one, on International Womens Day.