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Turkey – So Angry About Cartoons

There’s another cartoon controversy that is causing friction for France. This time it is Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is outraged by a cartoon that he claims he hasn’t seen, that graces the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s current edition. Turkey has been outraged recently by French president Macron’s defense of offensive cartoons as “freedom of expression” in the wake of the murder of a French school teacher who showed Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his class as part of a civics lesson.

The cartoon that offends Erdogan shows him in his underwear, lifting the skirt of a traditionally dressed Muslim woman, exposing her bare bottom, with Erdogan exclaiming, “OOH! THE PROPHET!” Both figures appear to be drinking beverages containing alcohol, a taboo for observant Muslims. The cartoon is signed “Alice,” a cartoonist who I don’t know, who my French cartoonist friends don’t know, and who is not credited in any news reports that I’ve seen.

“Insulting the president” is a crime in Turkey and Erdogan has a history of retaliating against people who insult him; more than 36,000 people faced criminal investigation and thousands have been imprisoned for insulting Erdogan in 2019, according to a report from the Stockholm Center for Freedom.

Erdogan’s lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Charlie Hebdo’s management with Ankara’s prosecutor stating that the Charlie Hebdo cover cartoon amounted to “criminal libel” that is “not covered by freedom of expression,” according to state news agency Anadolu. Turkey is now promoting a boycott of French products. Protests against Charlie Hebdo cartoons are again springing up in a number of Muslim countries, focusing their ire on French President Emmanual Macron and demanding that cartoons criticizing the Prophet Muhammad should be banned in Europe.  Here’s a good article from Britain’s Daily Mail.

Erdogan has overseen the mass imprisonment and suppression of journalists who are critical of his regime.  Lately, he seems to be picking a variety of fights with many countries about different issues.

Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart recently spent a year and a half in jail for his drawings. Kart famously drew a cartoon depicting Erdogan as an orange cat that landed him in prison on an earlier occasion. Cartoonists around the world drew cartoons in support of Kart; here’s one that I drew in support of Kart when he was in prison.

I did a quick search and I found that we have 715 cartoons about Erdogan on PoliticalCartoons.com. It is no surprise that Erdogan’s short fuse and suppression of the press has made him a favorite target for cartoonists around the world. Here’s a recent one by our Dutch cartoonist Bart van Leeuwen.

Freedom of expression is often brought up in defense of offensive cartoons, especially against tyrants who seek to ban speech that offends them. That said, freedom of expression is not a reason to publish offensive cartoons. Cartoonists have the freedom to be asses, but we should choose not to be asses.

I would have killed the cartoon on the cover of the current Charlie Hebdo issue if it had been submitted to me – but it is a top story in the news today, so here it is in our blog. It is the crazy reaction to the cartoon that makes the cartoon newsworthy.

Here is a nice selection from our vast, Erdogan cartoon archive.

Robert Rousso, France

 

Christo Komarnitsky, Bulgaria

 

Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands

 

Marian Kamensky, Austria

 

Tchavdar Nicolov, Bulgaria

 

Arend van Dam, The Netherlands


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!

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Cagle Cartoonists in France!

I just got back from our big convention at the editorial cartooning festival in the little village of St Just le Martel, France.

The French call editorial cartoons “press cartoons” and editorial cartoonists are “dessinateurs de presse.”  It was a struggle to get our dessinateurs de presse together for a group Cagle photo this year! Here’s one attempt.

CagleCartoonists above, standing from left to right are Iranian exile and new Cagle.com cartoonist, Hasan Kareimsdeh, Pierre Ballouhey from France, Manny Francisco from the Philippines, Gatis Sluka from Latvia, on top of the cow in the red hat is Cristina Sampaio from Portugal, standing below her is David Fitzsimmons, Ed Wexler, Steve Sack, Adam Zyglis and Pat Bagley. Kneeling or sitting from left to right are Christo Komarnitsky from Bulgaria, Jeff Koterba, me (Daryl Cagle), Emad Hajjaj from Jordan and Gary McCoy.

And here’s another attempt about fifteen minutes later with two new French CagleCartoonists added on the left, Robert Rousso and Jean-Michel Renault. Others wandered off. We missed seven or eight of our CagleCartoonists who were in St Just and didn’t show up for either photo. The cats just won’t stay in one place, and they don’t come when called.

This short video shows about half of our CagleCartoons Trump vs. Iran exhibit at St Just. We also participated in two other exhibits there, one bashing The New York Times for dropping editorial cartoons, and another, of memorial cartoons for the festival’s beloved founder, Gerard Vandenbroucke, who passed away in the last year.

My charming and generous St. Just family, Greg and Geraldine Decoster, who hosted us, in the cartoon museum with me and my cartoonist/musician son, Michael.

I’ve been coming to St Just for seven or eight years now and it has grown into an effective Cagle Cartoons convention for us. There is no other festival for editorial cartoons in the world that is anything like it. All the folks in the little village turn out to welcome the cartoonists, who they host in their homes. The cartoonists bond with their local host families and stay with the same family year after year. The charming and generous St. Just family, Greg and Geraldine Decoster, who hosted me and my cartoonist/musician son Michael, are shown in the photo at the right, in the cartoon museum.

The town’s teenagers are waiters at the huge, impressive dinners for the many editorial cartoonists from around the world. The video below was created by our CagleCartoonist, David Fitzsimmons, which shows the dinner scene, along with showing the cool editorial cartoon museum, the cute little town, St Just’s medieval church, the presentation of the cow to the cartoonist of the year (Swiss cartoonist, Thierry Barrigue) and more. (See my son, Michael drawing on the table at dinnertime in the video.)

 

Here are a bunch of Americans drinking and carousing at the home of Steve Sack‘s lovely St Just family (who prefers to remain anonymous).

Who are we?  From the bottom going clockwise: in the red shirt there’s Jeff Koterba, in the lower left is my cartoonist/musician son, Michael, moving up and around the table, there’s Ed Wexler, Gary McCoy, Steve Sack‘s son and daughter-in-law Adam and Mandy, Dave Fitzsimmons, Ed Wexler‘s daughter Sarah, Adam Zyglis, Dave’s wife Ellen, Pat Bagley‘s girlfriend Kate and Pat, Steve Sack, and Ed Wexler‘s wife Toni. I’m missing from the photo. (Maybe I’m taking the picture, holding that mysterious glass of red wine.)

The festival (or “salon” as they call it) is growing and this was their biggest year out of nearly 40 years in existence, and they are taking on an increasingly important role for our troubled profession. St Just le Martel is much appreciated!  Thanks everyone!

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More New York Times Blowback

The New York Times’ stupid decision to stop publishing editorial cartoons is generating more articles around the world, and the world’s cartoonists are responding with lots of cartoons on the topic – some of the cartoons are more offensive than Antonio Antunes’ cartoon, and I won’t show them here, but I’ve posted some new ones here.

Courrier International, the great French news magazine that reprints lots of editorial cartoons by international cartoonists, asked me a bunch of questions for an upcoming article; I thought I would post my responses here.

1) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what do you think of the incriminated cartoon by Antonio Moreira Antunes?

This is the famous, offending cartoon by Antonio Antunes.

I would have killed the cartoon if it came in to us. I can also see how the cartoon could have slipped through, without notice, since the cartoon didn’t feature an obvious, anti-Semitic, Der Stürmer cliché like depicting a Jew as a rat or spider.

The Antonio cartoon illustrates the trope that Jews manipulate the world’s non-Jews, with yarmulke-wearing Trump blindly following Jews, which are broadly indicated by the Star of David the Netanyahu-dog wears on his collar, rather than having the dog wear an Israeli flag which would indicate that Trump is led by Israel. When cartoonists mix anti-Israel and anti-Jewish metaphors, the cartoons should be killed. It isn’t about the dog, although the choice of a German Dachshund is provocative; the most common anti-Semitic cartoons depict Jews as Nazis.

This cartoon is by French cartoonist, Pierre Ballouhey. “Teckel” is French for Dachshund.

When we get an anti-Semitic cartoon from one of our cartoonists, I email the cartoonist letting him know why we killed his cartoon, and usually the cartoonist will say, “OK, I get it.” Over time, our cartoonists have learned where we draw the red lines and it is less of a problem for us. Anti-Semitic cartoons are so common around the world that the cartoonists are usually unaware that their cartoons are offensive.

2) Did the decision made by the NYT surprise you (that is : did you see it coming?)? What’s your reaction?

The Times doesn’t run editorial cartoons in their USA edition and has a long history of being cartoon-unfriendly, so their decision to stop running cartoons in their international edition didn’t surprise me.

Cartoon by Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune.

I was mostly surprised that the Times suddenly cut off their relationship with their partner, Cartoonarts International Syndicate, because of the poor decision of a Times editor. Cartoonarts is a family business that has worked with the Times for nearly twenty years, with the Times handling all of Cartoonarts’ sales and online delivery services, which were suddenly cut off. The announcement that the Times would “stop using syndicated cartoons” didn’t describe how brutal their reaction was to a small business that relied on their long-running partnership and support from the Times.

Cartoon by Milt Priggee.

3) Many cartoonists (Chapatte and Kroll, among others) reacted to the NYT’s decision saying : it is a bad time for cartoons, caricature, humor and derision. Do you agree with this appreciation?

Yes, jobs with newspapers are mostly a thing of the past for editorial cartoonists. Outrage is easy to express on the internet and often takes the form of demands for revenge on the publication and the cartoonist who offended the reader. Newspapers are responsive to organized online outrage and shy away from controversy. Cartoons draw more response from readers than words, and responses are usually negative as people who agree with the cartoons are not motivated to email the newspaper.

Cartoon by Hassan Bleibel from Lebanon.

When did things begin to turn ugly, and why?

Editorial cartoonists are in the same, sinking boat as all journalists. Things turned ugly when the internet took the advertising revenue away from print.

Is there a US specificity in this context, especially since Donald Trump was elected president?

Not regarding Donald Trump. I’ve drawn Trump as a dog, and I’ve drawn Netanyahu as a dog. Cartoonists love to draw politicians as dogs. Anti-Semitic cartoons are common around the world but are not common in the USA where editors do a good job of recognizing and killing offensive cartoons.

Cartoon by Neils Bo Bojesen from Denmark.

4) Why is it important to defend cartoonists and press cartoons, according to you? (or: do you think a world without cartoons and caricature has become a serious eventuality? Can you imagine such a world?) What should be done to defend this form of journalistic expression?
5) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what would you say about the role played by social medias? Do you see them rather as a useful tool or a threat to a good and sound public debate? Or somewhere in between?

It is troubling that so many people get their news through social media. Social media has taken the advertising revenue away from traditional news media – both online and in print – so journalism is being starved. Editorial cartoonists are no different than other journalists; we’re underpaid freelancers now; we draw for love rather than because of any good business sense.

Cartoon by Arcadio Esquivel from Costa Rica.

I run an editorial cartoons site for readers at Cagle.com, and we stopped running advertising on the site. We rely on donations from readers to support Cagle.com. Other publications are going non-profit and relying on donations to support their journalism – I’m impressed with Pro-Publica and the Texas Tribune. The Guardian has been successful with support from their readers.

Cartoon fans who worry about our profession can support us by going to Cagle.com/Heroes and making a small contribution. We really appreciate everyone’s support!

 

Cartoon by Dale Cummings from Canada.

 

Cartoon by Nikola Listes from Croatia.

 

Want to see more of my posts about the New York Times’ ugly, recent history with editorial cartoons?

Visit:

2012, The New York Times Cartoon Kerfuffle, Part 1

2012, The New York Times Cartoon Kerfuffle, Part 2

2007, The New York Times and Cartoons

2015, The New York Times, a Student Contest and Editorial Cartoons

 

 

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Memorial Cartoons for Gérard

Updated 2/19/19 with new cartoons – Daryl

Cartoonists around the world are drawing memorial tribute cartoons for our dear, departed friend Gérard Vandenbroucke, the founder and president of the Salon at St Just le Martel and long time champion of our editorial cartooning profession. Read my obit here.  I’ll post new cartoons as they come in.

Gérard was also a politician who rose from being the mayor of the tiny village of St Just le Martel to being the president of the Limousin region of France, famous for their brown cows that are an icon of the cartoon museum – that’s why there are so many cows in the cartoons.

This one is by Christo Komarnitsky from Bulgaria

 

This one by Bob Englehart may require some explanation. Gérard was the mayor of St Just le Martel and he championed the cartoon museum and Salon in the tiny village.  St Just le Martel translates to “Saint Just the Hammer.” As the story goes, God told Saint Just to throw his hammer and build a church where it landed; Bob’s cartoon puts Gérard in the St Just role, throwing his hammer to decide where to build the cartoon museum/festival.

 

This one is by Osmani Simanca from Brazil

 

This one is from Gary McCoy

 

Here is my own cartoon.

 

This one is by Ed Wexler!

 

This one is by Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

 

This cartoon is by Marilena Nardi from Italy

 

This one is by Jeff Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

 

By Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune.

 

This is by Firuz Kutal of Norway.

 

 

This one is by Tchavdar Nicolov from Bulgaria’s Prass Press.

 

This one is by my buddy, Robert Rousso, who is the dean of the French cartoonists.

This linoleum block print is by Randy Enos.

 

This one is by Danish cartoonist Neils Bo Bojesen.

 

 

This one is by my buddy, Batti Manfruelli from Corsica.

 

Pierre Ballouhey drew Gérard on the left, resuming a conversation with his two deceased pals on a cloud. In the middle is the priest of the lovely, little, medieval church of St Just le Martel. At the right is the late, chain-smoking, French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Loup, a talented cartoonist who curated the exhibitions at the museum for many years.

Here’s another by Pierre, the Limousin cows paint themselves black with grief.

 

This charming cartoon is by the charming French cartoonist, Placide. The village of St Just le Martel is behind the statue of Gérard, with the cartoon museum in the middle and the medieval church on the right.

 

This cartoon is by Romanian cartoonist Pavel Constantin.

 

This one is by Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle.

 

By Oguz Gurel from Turkey

 

This one is by Cristina Sampaio from Portugal.

 

This Gérard tribute is from Brazilian cartoonist and animator, CAó Cruz Alves

From the French cartoonist, my buddy Noder

 

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Our Friend Gérard Passes Away

I was saddened to learn that our dear friend, Gérard Vandenbroucke passed away today. Gérard was a tireless proponent of our cartooning profession.
Gérard started the Salon at St Just le Martel, France, more than 40 years ago with a group of teenagers in the village, who continue to run the Salon. They decided to make a festival for “Press Cartoons” (editorial cartoons) and they invited prominent French political cartoonists to attend. A handful came at first, and the Salon has grown steadily ever since into the worldwide editorial cartoonists convention that CagleCartoonists attend every year.
 
Gérard supported the Salon, along with fund raising and construction of St Just’s lovely cartoon museum, as he rose through the French political ranks, starting as mayor of St Just le Martel, then as president of the Limoges region and then the Limousin region. He has continued to be the president of the Salon all this time, and more recently he was the force behind the founding of the Cartooning Global Forum last year at UNESCO in Paris.
 
It is a sad day for our profession. Gérard was our hero; he was beloved by the cartoonists he loved. He is already missed.

That’s Gerard in the chair next to me, backed by CagleCartoonists.
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Listeš is NEW!

I’m pleased to announce we’ve added a new cartoonist here at Cagle.com – Nikola Listeš from Croatia – wordless works are charming and funny. See Nikola’s archive here. And here are some favorites. This first one about French President Macron made me laugh.

This cartoon about the European Union’s migrant problem is a delight.

This American border wall cartoon is a charmer.

Great work Nikola!

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Marie Antoinette

The riots in France have been fascinating to watch. The “Giletes Jaunes” (Yellow Vest) protests were triggered by increases in gasoline taxes that French President Emmanuel Macron implemented to discourage people from driving, as part of his battle against Climate Change. The protest movement sees Macron, a rich, former investment banker, as an aloof elite. Those yellow vesters can go “eat cake.”

I love those crazy, historic, giant French hair-doos with depictions of ships and birds and crazy, coiffed, exotic stuff.

Poor and rural “Gilets Jaunes” who must drive to work, donned the yellow vests that they are required by law to keep in their cars for roadside emergencies, as a theme for their protests against Macron and the rich elite that they see as out of touch with their reality.  Here’s a class warfare cartoon by my buddy Robert Rousso, the dean of the French cartoonists (“jaune” or yellow, rhymes with “Jones” in French.)

Marie Antoinette is a great cartoon cliché. Here’s a “TRUE!” cartoon I drew back in 1995. This really is true.

Here’s Marie Antoinette as a cow, in a poster I drew for the Press Cartoon Festival in St Just le Martel, France, side by side with a cow sculpture that festival organizer, Blanche Vandenbroucke, dressed to match my poster. I think Blanche did an impressive job!

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TRUE Crazy Stuff 4!

Here’s a new batch of my old TRUE cartoons. This first one is a self-portrait of younger me, sitting on the toilet, talking on my land-line rotary phone. Looking at the old True cartoons makes me feel young again, until I notice details that make me feel old.

 

 

 

 

 

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TRUE Health Statistics 2!

Here’s another batch of my syndicated TRUE cartoons about Health Statistics!

 

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The G7 Piggy Bank

I drew a pro-Trump cartoon again – I know how my readers hate that! Trump is getting hammered in the press today for testy comments following a testy G7 summit in Canada, with Trump saying, “We’re like the piggy bank that everyone is robbing.”

I think “suckling” is a better fit than “robbing”. Trump ran his campaign on toughening up trade relationships, which is something I like. Trump also complained about our allies not paying enough for  their defense, and depending on the US military subsidizing them. I also liked that Trump promised to get us out of foreign wars. I’d like to see Trump do more to keep these promises, especially the one about keeping out of wars. Trump seems to want to meddle around the globe poking every bee hive, at least as much every other president –better that he meddles with tariffs than wars.

My readers, who strongly object when I draw something that veers out of my liberal slot, will have plenty to complain about with this cartoon.

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CagleCartoonists Meet in France

Every year, CagleCartoonists get together at the big editorial cartoons (they call them “Press Cartoons”) convention in St Just le Martel, France. The small village has dedicated itself to our art form, building a grand cartoon museum and hosting a great party for us. The museum is run by local volunteers; the townsfolk put most of the cartoonists up in their homes and they cook for us, and give us an open bar, and the teenagers in town are our waiters! I can’t imagine anything like that happening in the USA.

It is a delight to visit St Just and see our profession held in such high esteem.  Because of the generosity and support of the village, it is actually cheaper for the cartoonists to come to the convention in St Just than to go to our own, American cartoonist conventions.

This year we had 17 CagleCartoonists from around the world at St Just –you can see 14 of them in the group photo above. That’s our bovine Statue of Liberty looking us over, in the cartoon museum, at our “Trump: Nine Months Later” exhibit.

Our own Angel Boligan went home with the cow –the big annual prize in St Just. Congratulations to Angel!

The CagleCartoonists above are, from left to right: Manny Francisco (Singapore), Angel Boligan (Mexico), Christina Sampaio (Portugal), Pierre Balouhey (France), Pat Bagley (Utah), Gatis Šļūka (Latvia), Steve Sack (Minnesota), Osmani Simanca (Brazil), Monte Wolverton (Washington), Bill Schorr (California); Ed Wexler (California); Jeff Koterba (Nebraska) and Emad Hajjaj (Jordan). I’m seated in the front. Missing from our group photo (and probably hiding in the museum’s bathroom) are Rainer Hachfeld (Germany), Jos Colignon (Holland), and Christo Komarnitski (Bulgaria).

 

 

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Today’s E-mail Interview with a Turkish Newspaper

When I take the time to write responses to a questions from reporters, I think I’ll post them here. This one is from a Turkish newspaper today.

Hi Daryl,

Thanks so much. Here’s a few questions. I’m really interested in your views and opinions:

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?
 
Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks?

Many thanks


DPlantu france belgiumear …,

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

I think Plantu draws exactly what he means to draw.

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?

 

France Belgium Turkey flag cartoonCartoonists want readers to correctly understand their cartoons. Cartoons that are misunderstood are ineffective cartoons. Cartoonists are in the business of communicating their ideas. There is nothing we can do to insure that readers correctly interpret our cartoons, except to strive to draw good cartoons. I don’t think of “flags” as something to interpret, except that I generally understand that American readers don’t recognize the flags of other countries. Worldwide cartoonists typically use flags to represent countries more often than American cartoonists

Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc. 

I’m aware of the French flags in the profile pictures on Facebook in response to the attacks in France; the Facebook users intended to make an expression of solidarity with the French in response to the terror attacks. I haven’t followed other instances of flags in Facebook profile pictures.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc. – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks? 

Terror attacks in countries that have frequent terror attacks are not as newsworthy as attacks in countries where these events are a new trend. I suppose this can be argued to be a double standard in the respect that human life should have the same value everywhere.

President Obama reportedly argues that deaths from “slipping in bathtubs” accounts for more lives lost than terrorism. Surely more people die from bathtub falls in China than anywhere else, simply because there are more people in China; by that measure, the news should always be dominated by bathtub deaths in China rather than terrorism. It is the role of editors to decide what news is most important; I don’t consider these editorial decisions to be a “double standard.” I’m more interested in news on the Brussels attacks than I am in news about still more carnage in Chad.

I don’t know the origin of the altered Plantu cartoon that you sent to me, including the Turkish flag character. I’m guessing it wasn’t drawn by Plantu, but rather by a copyright-infringing reader who wanted to make a different point, that Turkey has suffered more terrorist attacks than France and Belgium.

Please send me a copy when you come out with your article.
Best,

Daryl