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Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Updated Pandemic Comparison

UPDATED 8/4/20: I thought I would re-write this as a syndicated newspaper column, so that’s what you see below, followed by the original blog post. – Daryl

Comparing Pandemics in a Cartoon

I’m an editorial cartoonist. Back in March I drew a cartoon infographic, comparing the size of major pandemics through recorded history. March seems like a long time ago. Lots of readers emailed me suggesting that I should update the cartoon to reflect the growing COVID-19 death count – so I did that.

I got angry mail, in response to the cartoon, from liberal readers who thought I was making the Trump administration’s arguments, minimizing the tiny COVID-19 monster as a “small” concern, like “the flu.” That wasn’t my intent. I was just interested in how the pandemics actually compared.

I’ve thought about drawing another cartoon comparing COVID19 with the most common causes of death in the world. The most recent stats I can find are from the World Health Organization in 2016 where COVID-19 would come in just behind malaria, suicide and HIV/AIDS, and would have double the death total of homicide and malnutrition – but it would still be a tiny speck compared to cardiovascular disease and cancer, so it isn’t easy to draw. Also, there are no easy, round, spikey monsters that represent suicide, malnutrition, homicide and heart disease.

Some readers thought I didn’t minimize COVID19 enough; they point out that a more important measurement is the percentage of the world’s population that died in each pandemic. The population of the world has grown exponentially in past centuries, making the Bubonic Plague tower over all the other pandemics with an estimated 200 million dead in a world that had close to 400 million in total population during the 1300’s.

Small Pox killed an estimated 56 million in the 1500’s, out of a total population estimated between 425 million and 550 million.

The Spanish Flu killed an estimated 40 to 50 million around 1918 and 1919 when the world population was between 1.8 and 2 billion.

The United Nations estimates the current world population 7.8 billion. If I adjusted the sizes of the spikey, round monsters in the cartoon to account for the estimated world population, the biggest pandemic monsters would be even bigger, and the smallest monsters would be even tinier specks. It would be impossible to draw that cartoon.

It is tough being a cartoonist in a pandemic.  – Daryl Cagle


Here’s the original blog post.

Back in March I drew a cartoon infographic, comparing the size of pandemics in history. March seems like a long time ago now, and some readers have emailed me suggesting that I should update the cartoon to reflect the most recent COVID-19 death count –so I did that. Here’s the updated cartoon.

I added a tiny 8/3/20 date under my signature, anticipating that as deaths skyrocket, I may be updating the cartoon a few more times with a growing COVID-19 monster. Since the cartoon can’t be reprinted until at least tomorrow, I added in the most recent daily rate and rounded off. I suppose I’ll release a new, updated version of the cartoon every month, as COVID-19 becomes more of a menace compared to his predecessors.

Here is the first version from March.

As the world continues to spin further into the pandemic apocalypse every month, I may make this into an animated gif to show the COVID-19 monster growing.

I got some angry mail in response to this cartoon, from liberal readers who thought I was making the Trump administration’s argument, minimizing COVID-19 as a “small” concern, like “the flu.” That wasn’t my intent. I’ve thought about drawing another cartoon comparing the most common causes of death in the world. The most recent stats I can find are from the World Health Organization in 2016 where COVID-19 would come in just behind malaria, suicide and HIV/AIDS, and would have double the death total of homicide and malnutrition –but it would still be a tiny speck compared to cardiovascular disease and cancer, so it isn’t easy to draw.

I’m still thinking about it.


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Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Pandemics Compared

My new coronavirus cartoon is something of an infographic, comparing the sizes of all of the world’s great pandemics. Each virus monster is sized to approximate the number of deaths in each pandemic.

I know this isn’t what editors want to see from editorial cartoons. Editors like funny jokes –but I love infographics. I drew a syndicated comic called TRUE! in the 1990’s, inspired by the cute infographics in USA Today.

(I kept flashing back to my Muppet days when I drew this, and kept wanting to put the ping-pong ball eyes on the tops of the “heads”.)

Lots of people ask me to post my roughs online. I hate doing that, but you want it, so I do it. Here’s the sketch.

I’m posting these first on Instagram (@daryl.cagle). I don’t have a lot of followers on Instagram. Come follow me and you’ll see some early, exclusive stuff, like my terrible, messy sketches! Here’s a detail …

The editor at the Albuquerque Journal and a professor at George Washington University spotted an error in my cartoon and I issued a correction. This is the original, incorrect cartoon is below, the corrected version is above. Can you spot the error and correction? (answer below).


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Don’t miss my other Coronavirus posts:
School and COVID-19
Broken Quarantine
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 23rd, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Pandemic through May 4th
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 1
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 2
Dr Fauci PART 2
Dr Fauci PART 1
Trump and Disinfectant PART 2
Trump and Disinfectant PART 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)
Forgotten Biden – Part 2
Forgotten Biden – Part 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
Blame China! Part Three
Blame China! Part Two

Blame China! Part One
Most popular Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
Planet COVID-19, Part 4

Planet COVID-19, Part 3
Planet COVID-19, Part 2
Planet COVID-19, Part 1
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
Toilet Paper Part Two
Toilet Paper Part One
Trump and the Easter Bunny
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
Tsunami Coming
Pandemics Compared
See, Hear Speak No Virus
The Best Coronavirus Sports Cartoons
New Coronavirus Favorites
The Most Popular Coronavirus Cartoons (as of May 4th, 2020)
My Corona Virus Cartoons
Corona Virus Quarantine Blues in China


What I got wrong …

The error was that I left our a decimal point on Ebola – the deaths were 11.3K, not 113K – ten times less!

Some good news for a change.

 


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Blog Syndicate

Andy Singer’s Panel Cartoons in the Editorial Cartoon Spot

Editorial page editors typically reject anything new and different from editorial cartoonists. Unusual styles and formats are just not what editors want to see. Editors like cartoons that look like what they think editorial cartoons should look like – which leads to lots of cartoons that look much the same.

I’ve been a big fan of Andy Singer’s self-syndicated, altie “No Exit” panel for years, and I’ve been encouraging Andy to try his hand at more traditional editorial cartooning. Andy’s panel has content that is socially conscious, like an editorial cartoon, but it is not the right shape, and it is wordy, and it doesn’t have caricatures of politicians and the panel format with a title is simply not something editorial page editors will consider putting in their daily editorial cartoon hole.

What to do? Andy wanted to be on the editorial pages but was committed to continuing the “No Exit” panel. Then he gave me a new pitch, saying, “Daryl, you know, when I put two of my panels next to each other it becomes the shape of an editorial cartoon, and if I do two panels that are on the same topic, and color them, it looks like one big editorial cartoon.” The idea looked interesting to me. The result is rather stylistically different than what editors are used to but Andy’s new editorial cartoon format looks like wordy, multi panel editorial cartoons, and editors seem to be accepting them. The connection between the two panels might be a stretch, but no one seems to notice. So far, so good.

A number of comic strip cartoonists, Like Dan Piraro and Wiley Miller, have been doing their cartoons in both strip and panel format for years. Andy’s work has some format advantages over most magazine gag cartoonists’ work; Andy’s panels are topically editorial cartoons to start with, and he doesn’t have a classic gag cartoon style with a caption at the bottom, which would be more difficult to reformat. Still, it may be that some other socially conscious panel or gag cartoonists could develop a new market by finding a procedure to reformat their ongoing work as editorial cartoons. Andy Singer is the trailblazer.

One of Andy’s new, combined format cartoons for the editorial pages. With the same characters and consistent color and format, it looks right as a single editorial cartoon and is proving popular so far.

Here are a couple more new editorial cartoons from Andy. Follow Andy’s work on Cagle.com here.

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Cartoons

Vultures in Haiti

Vultures in Haiti Color © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,television, cable news, Haiti, earthquake, disaster, rubble, victim, press, vulture, vultures, birds, deaths, suffering, media