Here’s my conversation with the brilliant Nate Beeler, the staff cartoonist for the Washington Examiner whose work we syndicate.
Here’s a conversation I had with Jeff Stahler, the editorial cartoonist for the Columbus Dispatch and USA Today. See more of Jeff’s work in his archive here.
I’m excited to announce that our second iPhone app, the FREE msnbc.com Obama Cartoons application, is now available to download in the iTunes App Store.
This new app focuses on cartoons chronicling the presidency of Barack Obama. Now you can follow as cartoonists from both sides of the political aisle weigh in on the decisions and policies, pitfalls and gaffes of our 44th president.
The app has the same great social networking features that helped make msnbc.com Cartoons a hit, including the ability to share cartoons from your Twitter or Facebook pages without ever having to leave the app! E-mailing a cartoon to your friends or political enemies is simple, and you can easily save any cartoons to your device’s camera roll library, sync it with iTunes or put cartoons on your desktop!
Here are some screenshots:
A decade is a long time –and this is Â a lot of cartoons! Â See my selections of the decade here with more than 80 of my cartoons marking the significant issues of the decade starting off with Bush vs. Gore.
I drew the cartoon below when the Supreme Court selected George W. Bush as president. Â I “defaced” the justices who voted for Bush and my newspaper at the time, the Honolulu Advertiser, refused to run the cartoon. Â Ah … memories.
The cartoon at the right gave me some trouble. Â I drew it on the second anniversary of 9/11, which seems to have been too soon, as it drew some very angry reaction.
The cartoon below also garnered some angry reaction, with readers screaming that it was terrible for me to compare our nation’s president with that evil murderer, Osama Bin Ladin.
Another cartoon below drew some furious reaction from Republicans who wanted to argue with every little fact in the mind of Republicans – not to say that I was wrong, but to point out all the things they disliked about Democrats. Click to see them all.
It’s nearly the end of the year, which means everyone will be posting their “year in review” pieces, and here at Cagle Cartoons, we’re no exception (make sure you check out Will Durst’s hilarious Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2009 column).
(Click on the cartoon to view the slideshow)
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians still looms large in cartoons around the world, with an endless flow of cartoons from Arab countries showing monster-Israel assaulting, eating, crushing or somehow decimating the poor Palestinians. The dove of peace has been killed by Israel in every imaginable cartoon – crushed, squeezed, stabbed, burned, eaten. Poor bird.
The conflict goes on forever, long after every original cartoon idea has been exhausted. Americans don’t see much of these cartoons because they would be regarded here as anti-Semitic at worst, or as the same thing over and over, at best.
After Algeria, my Middle East speaking tour took me to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories. At my first event in Cairo I spoke to a group of Egyptian journalists who brought a newspaper up to me, proudly pointing out that in Egypt, editorial cartoons are often printed big and in color on the front page of the newspaper. The cartoon they showed me would make an American editor choke; it showed a spitting snake, in the shape of a Star of David; inside the snake/star was a peace dove, behind bars, and above the snake, in Arabic, were the words, “It’s not about the bird flu, it’s about the swine flu.”
I explained that in America this cartoon would be regarded as anti-Semitic, and it would never be printed. The Egyptian journalists were emphatic, explaining to me that the cartoon was about Israel, not about Jews – an important distinction to them.
“Israel isn’t mentioned anywhere in the cartoon,” I said.
“But we all know the Jewish star is the symbol of Israel,” they responded.
I said, “It is a religious symbol. It is the same as if I took the star and crescent off of the flag of Pakistan and drew a similar cartoon, saying it was about Pakistan.” They didn’t respond to me, my comment was such nonsense. I continued, “The cartoon seems to say that Jews are like snakes and pigs.”
“No, no! We have lots of symbols for Israel that we all know, like the Jew with black clothes and a big hooked nose!” one of the Egyptian journalists insisted with some passion. “We like Jews, we just don’t like Israel!”
The newspaper with the cartoon disappeared when I mentioned that I would like to scan the cartoon for a column about our spirited conversation. The Egyptian journalists all continued to insist that I misunderstood what the cartoon meant.
I had an opportunity to meet with a group of Palestinian editorial cartoonists in Gaza by teleconference. I sympathize with their plight; the poor cartoonists had almost no outlets to print their cartoons. One of the Gaza cartoonists showed me a cartoon he was proud of, showing an alligator eating a dove. I told him I didn’t understand the cartoon, and he explained that the alligator was blue, “which everyone understands to be Israel” and the dove had green wings, “which everyone understands to be Palestine.”
I tried to come up with some advice for the Gaza cartoonists on how to get their work published. I suggested that they could submit their work to international publications, but that it would be tough if every cartoon was another Israel/monster cartoon. The cartoonists responded to say that in Gaza, they are under siege, and they don’t care to draw anything else.
I suggested that the Gaza cartoonists need to coax Western editors into printing their cartoons, and they would do well to consider some other angles, for example, drawing about their personal experiences and day-to-day difficulties. Palestinian cartoons criticizing Hamas and Fatah are rarely seen and would get reprinted. I spoke with one West Bank Palestinian cartoonist, Amer Shomali, who lost his gig with his newspaper because he insisted on drawing cartoons critical of Fatah; he was so frustrated that he rented a billboard to post a Fatah cartoon that his newspaper refused to publish. The billboard was swiftly taken down.
I explained to the Gaza cartoonists that when the Israel/Palestine conflict is big in the news, and we post cartoons about the topic on our site, our www.cagle.msnbc.com traffic goes down. Americans are not very interested in events that happen outside of America, especially when it is the same news story, year after year. I told them that the most popular topic ever on our site was Janet Jackson’s boob, and that our readers really like cartoons about cute puppies. Hearing this, the Gaza cartoonists stared at me blankly, and then urged me to organize an international exhibition of cartoons that highlight their plight at the hands of Israel.
Not all Palestinian cartoonists fit the same Israel/monster mold. I met two interesting West Bank cartoonists in Ramallah. The cartoon below is by Khalil Abu Arafeh, who has a nice style and range; he draws for the Al Quds, the big newspaper in the West Bank. This cartoon is about the United Nations Goldstone report, when they were looking for witnesses to testify about Israeli war crimes in the recent Gaza incursion, a lady stands out from the crowd saying, “We are all witnesses.”
Another interesting Palestinian cartoonist in Ramallah is Ramzy Taweel, who draws about everyday life in the West Bank, and posts his cartoons on Facebook here. I regret that they are all in Arabic, and incomprehensible to most of our American audience, but the cartoons are quite nice. Â Befriend Ramzy and take a look at his cartoons. It would be good if we could send a few new Facebook friends Ra
After meeting with the Egyptian journalists and Palestinian cartoonists, I spoke in Israel to close to three hundred students in a crowded auditorium at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design and to a Journalism class at Hebrew University. I also spoke to a journalism class in the West Bank, at Birzeit University. The students were all great fun.
Thanks again to the U.S. State Department for arranging the trip and the speaking engagements.
Ramzy Taweel just sent me these interesting cartoons to post here. Â Be sure to friend Ramzi on Facebook to see more cartoons.
It amuses me to reuse old cartoons; I don’t find much opportunity to do it, but when I do, I chuckle to myself and take an extra hour for lunch. Â Today’s deja-toon is the stinky White House fish, which is “Crazy Spending” taking attention away from the Obama Administration’s health care planning.
Back in January of 2007 the fish was the Iraq War, stinking up george W. Bush’s White House when he wanted everyone to think that things smelled fine.
What I find most interesting about my bi-annual parade of dead White House fish, is that no one has ever noticed. Â I haven’t even gotten a friendly email from a fan or editor saying, “Haven’t I seen that fish before, Daryl?” Â No one remembers the fish. Â It is entirely forgettable, which, I suppose, makes the point. Â The White House never seems to notice the fish either.
Readers seem to like it when I post my rough sketches, so here we go again, with my sketches for my last couple of cartoons. Â The first one is the Obama Healthcare Caduceus. Â I do the rough sketch in hard pencil on slick paper, so I’m not tempted to do details and render.
Then I trace over the sketch on drafting vellum, with a hard pencil that I scan to look like ink and save as a bitmap file for black and white printing. Â The image below is what most readers see in the newspaper.
Then I add the color in Photoshop. Â I use rather unsophisticated colors because newspaper printing is lousy, and if I use anything that isn’t pastel and bright I get complaints from editors.
Here’s the sketch for another health care cartoon. Â Same thing here, hard pencil on slick paper.
I did the same thing with the pencil on vellum, but this time I just added a bit of gray tone to the drawing because I wasn’t quite inspired to color this one.
My good friend, Ottawa Citizen cartoonist Cam Cardow. Cam recently won Canada’s highest award in journalism, the National Newspaper Award (NNA), which is their equivalent to our Pulitzer Prize.
Here are his winning cartoons (view more of Cam’s fantastic cartoons here), along with a video Cam made about receiving the award:
Check back for more videos from this year’s American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) convention!
Walking around the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) annual convention here in Seattle, and I came across my buddy Steve Kelley, the staff cartoonist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and one of the funniest cartoonists working today.
Here’s our conversation:
And here are some of his recent cartoons (View more of Steve’s cartoons here):