first presidential debate is going to be held at the University
of Mississippi, which hired me to do an illustration for the
event – here it is on their current "Ole Miss"
magazine cover. They will be using it for other stuff associated
with the debate too, probably the programs or a poster or something.
It would be fun if they would blow it up big as a backdrop (somehow
I doubt that they’ll do that, but thanks, Ole Miss!)
My book publisher (Que/Pearson Education)
liked it too, and it will also be the cover of our upcoming BIG
Book of Campaign 2008 Cartoons, which is slated to be in stores
in a month. Today, my loyal assistant, Stacey, and I did an urgent, last
minute edit to fit more Palin cartoons into the book.
Republicans operatives are screaming that
Sarah Palin’s family is off limits and the media should lay off; even Barack Obama agrees. What they don’t seem to realize
is that by saying that, they are only encouraging the cartoonists
to draw more. We just put up a Palin’s pregnant daughter collection; we’ll
keep updating it as new cartoons flood in. Here are some of my
favorites, by Peter Nicholson, Nate Beeler, Mr. Fish and Pat Bagley.
The editorial cartoonist community is buzzing
with the news that Jim Borgman will be retiring from editorial
cartooning at the end of the month. Borgman draws the comic
strip "Zits" with Jerry Scott; it looks like a lot
of work to hold down both jobs, so the decision doesn’t seem
surprising. Borgman took a buyout from the shrinking Enquirer
and will draw a new, local weekly cartoon for the newspaper as
We have comments in the blog now and quite
a spirited discussion on my pregnant Bristol Palin
cartoon below. It is fascinating to see the outrage from
the conservatives over my choice to depict the pregnant teen
in a cartoon. I would remind the righties that it was Sarah Palin
who chose to put her family in front of the camera and who has
been so vocal in her opposition to birth control and sex education
in schools; the abstinence-only sex education that she supports
doesn’t work, and the pregnant teenage daughter she chose to
have stand behind her on stage illustrates the point.
I’ve been getting an interesting response from editors to my cartoon that features Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter. Conservative editors write to me in disgust, saying that I was "over the line" by drawing the girl; liberal editors are writing to me to say "right on!" and "finally! Great cartoon!"
I can’t remember getting a response like this from editors before, so I thought I would post the cartoon here for comment. Click here to comment on the cartoon.
Of-course, the cartoon isn’t about the daughter, it is about the Palin’s opposition to birth control and sex education in schools, and her "abstinence only" stance. Social conservatives like to make the point that "abstinence" as birth control "always works," but realists can see that "abstinence-only" sex education works only as well as it did with Palin’s daughter.
I’m pleased to announce that we have added
a new cartoonist to our newspaper syndication package, David Fitzsimmons
of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. I’ve been a fan of David’s
work for a long time on our site. He draws the gag cartoons that
editors prefer (David is a stand-up comedian) and his cartoons
have a real, toothy bite! Some samples are below. See David’s archive on our site here.
The quality of my local Los Angeles Times has sunk so low that I’ve switched to reading the competing Los Angeles Daily News, which employs a full time cartoonist (Patrick O’Connor) and runs great editorial cartoons every day of the week. The LA Times now goes without any editorial cartoon three days a week, prints only one cartoon three days a week, and no longer employs a cartoonist. The Times even dropped their Sunday opinion section and runs Editorials and Op-Ed in the back of the front section on Sundays, like they do on weekdays.
On Sundays, the LA Times runs three cartoons and a little blurb by cartoonist Joel Pett describing the cartoons. The Times calls it "Toon-Op." The competing Daily News has copied the "Toon Op" format and runs the same thing, in the same format, with a similar blurb by Patrick O’Connor describing his three cartoon picks. The Daily News‘ "Toon Op" ran at the top of the page today, and the Pett "Toon Op" ran at the bottom of the page.
Both run the cartoons too small, and both apply a halftone screen to cartoons that are delivered in perfectly good, crisp, line art, degrading the print quality of the cartoons. (Newspapers often do this because they give the layout work to careless, low-paid, graphic-grunts who treat all images as though they were photographs from wire services.)
Which is better? Patrick’s choices today included three Cagle Cartoonists (Fairrington, Cardow and Beeler) while Pett’s included only one Cagle Cartoonist (Beeler) – so I’ll go with the Daily News – yet another reason not to read the LA Times.
Patrick O’Connor’s "Toon-Op" in the LA Daily News:
Joel Pett’s "Toon-Op" in the LA Times: