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Cartoons

Bush Red Ink

Bush Red Ink Color © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Blood on his hands,red ink,budget deficit,president George W. Bush,war,Iraq,Afghanistan,military,army

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Columns

Lunch and Fired

I had lunch with superstar Canadian cartoonist, Cam Cardow yesterday. Here we are. I’m the wide one, he’s the thin one. It was actually the first time I have met Cam, who is famously reclusive. I had a huge plate of Mexican food and Cam had a tiny bowl of soup, which goes a long way to explaining the wide and thin thing.

Dave Astor of E&P is reporting that Stuart Carlson, the long time cartoonist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, has been forced out of his job. Carlson, whose work appeared on our site some years ago, has worked for the Journal-Sentinal for 25 years. He was recently asked to draw more local cartoons and said his ratio of local to national cartoons had soared to 70%/30%. Cartoonists often say that the secret to keeping an editorial cartooning job is to draw more local cartoons – that didn’t seem to work here.

At one time the Journal-Sentinal was noteworthy for having two editorial cartoonists on staff, until they laid off cartoonist Gary Markstein, who continues to draw without a newspaper, as Carlson will do – that seems to be what happens when cartoonists are laid off, they keep drawing anyway.

I enjoyed the panel at Comic Con. I had arch-conservative Michael Ramirez speak immediately after arch-liberal Mr. Fish – it amused me to see them adjacent to each other. We had a nice crowd of probably 275 people, which is impressive considering that the people could have chosen to be in another room hearing about the exciting, upcoming season of Stargate Atlantis.

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Columns

Cagle at Comic-Con

I’ll be moderating a panel of top editorial cartoonists at the San Diego Comic Con this Friday, July 25th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm in room 5AB. We have an impressive, all-star group of cartoonists that will each give short presentations, Mike Peters, Signe Wilkinson, Steve Breen, Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth), Bill Schorr and Michael Ramirez.

Another Job Loss

It was announced that Dick Adair, the cartoonist for the Honolulu Advertiser, will lose his job.

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Columns

Two More Editorial Cartoonist Job Losses

Dwayne Powell of the Raleigh News & Observer resigned today. He had been laid off and offered a part-time job of drawing three local cartoons a week for the newspaper, but he decided to turn that down. Dwayne, who had been employed at the newspaper for close to thirty years, will continue to draw national cartoons in syndication and his cartoons will continue to appear on our site.

Don Wright, the Pulitzer winning cartoonist for the Palm Beach Post took a buyout today. There is no news yet on whether he will continue to draw only for syndication.

Categories
Columns

New Yorker Cover Corrections

Some of our cartoonists have offered helpful suggestions for how the new Yorker cover could be made to work. These are from Mr. Fish, Justin Bilicki, Tab, Stephff, Simanca Lalo Alcaraz and RJ Matson.

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Cartoons

New Yorker Cover Fear

New Yorker Cover Fear © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,New Yorker,donkey,elephant,magazine,campaign 2008, Barack Obama,Michelle Obama

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Columns

Why The New Yorker’s Obama Cover is a Lousy Cartoon

Cable news channels and bloggers are buzzing about The New Yorker magazine cover featuring Barack Obama dressed in Muslim garb and Michelle Obama with an afro and machine gun, doing a “terrorist fist bump” in the Oval Office, while an American flag burns in the fireplace. The cartoon by Barry Blitt drew immediate condemnation from the Obama and McCain camps.

In an interview on the Huffington Post Web site, New Yorker Editor David Remnick argues, “Obviously I wouldn’t have run a cover just to get attention — I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about both Obamas’ it combines a number of images that have been propagated, not by everyone on the right but by some, about Obama’s supposed ‘lack of patriotism’ or his being ‘soft on terrorism’ or the idiotic notion that somehow Michelle Obama is the second coming of the Weathermen or most violent Black Panthers. That somehow all this is going to come to the Oval Office. “The idea that we would publish a cover saying these things literally, I think, is just not in the vocabulary of what we do and who we are… We’ve run many many satirical political covers. Ask the Bush administration how many.”

Cartoonist Barry Blitt defends the cover by saying, “It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is.” So the cover cartoon is simply an exaggeration of the allegations against the Obamas.

There are rules to political cartoons that allow cartoonists to draw in an elegant, simple, shorthand that readers understand. Exaggeration is a well worn tool of political cartoonists; we use it all the time. I’ve drawn President Bush as the King of England, to exaggerate his autocratic tendencies. I’ve drawn the president as a dog, peeing all over the globe to mark his territory. I exaggerate every day, and I don’t expect my readers to take my exaggerations seriously — but when I draw an absurdly exaggerated political cartoon, I’m looking for some truth to exaggerate to make my point. A typical stand-up comedian will tell jokes about things the audience already knows or agrees with, “it’s funny because it’s true,” or true as the comedian sees it. It is the same for cartoonists — our readers know that we’re exaggerating to make a point we believe in.

Cartoonists have a great advantage over journalists in that we can draw whatever we want. We can put words into the mouths of politicians that the politicians never said. Cartoons can be outrageous in their exaggeration; we draw things that never happened, and never could happen — but we have a contract with the readers who understand that we’re drawing crazy things that convey our own views. The New Yorker’s Obama cover fails to keep that contract with readers. Cartoonists don’t exaggerate anything just because we have the freedom to do so; we exaggerate to communicate in a way that our readers understand.

There is no frame of reference in The New Yorker’s cover to put the scene into perspective. Following the rules of political cartoons, I could fix it. I would have Obama think in a thought balloon, “I must be in the nightmare of some conservative.” With that, the scene is shown to be in the mind of someone the cartoonist disagrees with and we have defined the target of the cartoon as crazy conservatives with their crazy dreams.

Since readers expect cartoonists to convey some truth as we see it, depicting someone else’s point of view in a cartoon has to be shown to be someone else’s point of view, otherwise it is reasonable for readers to see the cartoon as somehow being the cartoonist’s point of view, no matter how absurd the cartoon is. That is where The New Yorker’s cover cartoon fails.

I reserve the right to be as offensive as I want in my cartoons, and to exaggerate however I please — but I want my cartoons to work, to be good cartoons. A cartoon that fails to communicate its message in a way that readers understand is nothing more than a bad cartoon.

Categories
Cartoons

Obama New Yorker Cover

Obama New Yorker Cover © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Barack Obama,Michelle Obama,The New Yorker,Magazine cover,muslim,radical,flag burning

Categories
Columns

Why The New Yorker’s Obama Cover is a Lousy Cartoon

Why The New Yorker’s Obama Cover is a Lousy Cartoon

Cable news channels and bloggers are buzzing about The New Yorker magazine cover featuring Barack Obama dressed in Muslim garb and Michelle Obama with an afro and machine gun, doing a “terrorist fist bump” in the Oval Office, while an American flag burns in the fireplace. The cartoon by Barry Blitt drew immediate condemnation from the Obama and McCain camps.

In an interview on the Huffington Post Web site, New Yorker Editor David Remnick argues, “Obviously I wouldn’t have run a cover just to get attention — I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about … both Obamas’ … it combines a number of images that have been propagated, not by everyone on the right but by some, about Obama’s supposed ‘lack of patriotism’ or his being ‘soft on terrorism’ or the idiotic notion that somehow Michelle Obama is the second coming of the Weathermen or most violent Black Panthers. That somehow all this is going to come to the Oval Office.

“The idea that we would publish a cover saying these things literally, I think, is just not in the vocabulary of what we do and who we are… We’ve run many many satirical political covers. Ask the Bush administration how many.”

Cartoonist Barry Blitt defends the cover by saying, “It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is.” So the cover cartoon is simply an exaggeration of the allegations against the Obamas.

There are rules to political cartoons that allow cartoonists to draw in an elegant, simple, shorthand that readers understand. Exaggeration is a well worn tool of political cartoonists; we use it all the time. I’ve drawn President Bush as the King of England, to exaggerate his autocratic tendencies. I’ve drawn the president as a dog, peeing all over the globe to mark his territory. I exaggerate every day, and I don’t expect my readers to take my exaggerations seriously — but when I draw an absurdly exaggerated political cartoon, I’m looking for some truth to exaggerate to make my point. A typical stand-up comedian will tell jokes about things the audience already knows or agrees with, “it’s funny because it’s true,” or true as the comedian sees it. It is the same for cartoonists — our readers know that we’re exaggerating to make a point we believe in.

Cartoonists have a great advantage over journalists in that we can draw whatever we want. We can put words into the mouths of politicians that the politicians never said. Cartoons can be outrageous in their exaggeration; we draw things that never happened, and never could happen — but we have a contract with the readers who understand that we’re drawing crazy things that convey our own views. The New Yorker’s Obama cover fails to keep that contract with readers. Cartoonists don’t exaggerate anything just because we have the freedom to do so; we exaggerate to communicate in a way that our readers understand.

There is no frame of reference in The New Yorker’s cover to put the scene into perspective. Following the rules of political cartoons, I could fix it. I would have Obama think in a thought balloon, “I must be in the nightmare of some conservative.” With that, the scene is shown to be in the mind of someone the cartoonist disagrees with and we have defined the target of the cartoon as crazy conservatives with their crazy dreams.

Since readers expect cartoonists to convey some truth as we see it, depicting someone else’s point of view in a cartoon has to be shown to be someone else’s point of view, otherwise it is reasonable for readers to see the cartoon as somehow being the cartoonist’s point of view, no matter how absurd the cartoon is. That is where The New Yorker’s cover cartoon fails.

I reserve the right to be as offensive as I want in my cartoons, and to exaggerate however I please — but I want my cartoons to work, to be good cartoons. A cartoon that fails to communicate its message in a way that readers understand is nothing more than a bad cartoon.

Daryl Cagle is a political cartoonist and blogger for MSNBC.com; he is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society and his cartoons are syndicated to more than 850 newspapers, including the paper you are reading. Daryl runs the most popular cartoon site on the Web at Cagle.msnbc.com. His book “The Best Political Cartoons of the Year, 2008 Edition,” is available in bookstores now, and he has a new book coming out this fall, “The BIG Book of Campaign 2008 Cartoons.” See Daryl’s cartoons and columns at www.caglepost.com.

Categories
Columns

The Long, Agonizing Death of Newspapers Can be Funny!

Recently the Tribune Company announced that they were reviewing the productivity of reporters at their various newspapers, with an eye toward making sure that reporters generate 600 pages of text per year. Some newspapers, like the Orlando Sentinel, have reporters who generate lots of pages of text, and some, like the Los Angeles Times, have reporters who generate relatively few pages per year. This struck me funny, and I drew the cartoon below with Tribune Company CEO, Sam Zell, implementing his policy with ten thousand monkeys at typewriters. The cartoon created a stir at the LA Times newsroom, where some reporters printed it out in a large size and posted it in the newsroom for all to enjoy.

Tribune also announced cuts in their news coverage and number of pages, declaring that their newspapers would soon consist of 50% advertising (not counting the classified section and advertising inserts which would, of-course, make the newspapers well more than 50% advertising). Many editorial cartoonists face the argument that editorial cartoons must be cut, because cartoons “generate no income” ­ that is, with no ad attached to the cartoon, it is hard to say how much profit the cartoon generates. Our own Bob Englehart, cartoonist for the Tribune Company’s Hartford Courant newspaper, responded to Tribune’s announcement by circulating the gag cartoon below. Bob included the caption: “As of June 22, Englehart cartoons will be 50% advertising.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so true. I scanned the Dilbert cartoon (right) from my local Santa Barbara News-Press. A casual reader might read the last panel of the cartoon as the gag (the “awful thing” that is happening to the character is that terrible AM 1290 Santa Barbara News-Press Radio! ARRGH!) But no, it is just Dilbert, proving that he pulls his own weight by generating ad revenue in one of the panels.

Now, how do I go about getting some product placement in my cartoons? Editorial cartoons would be a great place for unpopular companies to advertise – maybe handgun manufacturers and tobacco companies need a little more support in editorial cartoons.

I’ll get my people on it.

Categories
Cartoons

Obama Patriotism

Obama Patriotism Color © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Barack Obama,Michelle Obama,flag,flag pin,lapel,patriotism,wrap himself in the flag,senator,president,presidential campaign,democrat

Categories
Columns

Six New Cartoonists!

We’ve just added six new cartoonists to the site!

1) The first one is Dave Granlund, a freelance cartoonist who was recently in the news as his job was eliminated at the MetroWest Daily News. We may all be freelancers soon as all the jobs disappear. Dave does excellent work and I wish him luck in his freelance career. See Dave’s archive here. E-mail Dave.

 

2) Victor Ndula draws for the Nairobi Star in Kenya. Victor writes:

Kenya has recently been in the headlines all for the wrong reasons , a botched election cost the lives of an estimated 1500 innocent Kenyan’s and 500,000 are now living in internally displaced peoples camps. The former UN secretary general brokered a peace deal a that was sealed with a cabinet swearing of a coalition government … though back from the brink, we are not out of the woods yet and it will be a long painful journey to normalcy. As cartoonists we had the un-enviable task of telling the uncomfortable truth, interestingly, our brothers in Zimbabwe are going through an almost similar situation …

I’m happy to welcome Victor to the site. See Victor’s archive. E-mail Victor.

3) I met Jianping Fan on my recent trip to China. He hails from Guangzhou (formerly Canton) in steamy Southern China. The cartoonists in Guangzhou seem to have more freedom than cartoonists in other parts of China, because they live near Hong Kong where the Chinese are used to seeing much more of the news on TV than elsewhere in China – I think Jianping’s work shows that freedom and is pretty worldly-wise. Take a look at his archive.

4) Sergey Elkin works from Moscow and his cartoons appear in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. As Sergei puts it: “Mostly I draw Putin.”

See Sergey’s archive. E-mail Sergey.

5) I remember seeing Randy Jones‘ work for many years. His work sits on the borderline between political cartoons and illustrations, which, to my eye, makes them more sophisticated.

Randy is part of a group of cartoonists that self syndicate their work to newspapers from Inx.com. They are an impressive, entrepreneurial bunch. See Randy’s archiveE-mail Randy.

6) Martin Kozlowski is the ringleader of the Inx.com group. He also draws in an editorial cartoon/illustration crossover style, but Martin has a comic book flair to his work.  E-mail Martin. See Martin’s archive.