Our friends at the charming, editorial cartoon museum in St Just le Martel, France, are in the last push of a national competition to host a new, national “House” of Editorial Cartoons – something that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. They have asked their cartoonist friends to submit cartoons in support of their bid. Here’s mine.
To explain my cartoon, the story goes that God told little St Just to throw his hammer, which landed in a spot that turned into a spring, where water squirted up, and God instructed St Just to build a church for him on that spot, which became the little town of St Just le Martel (St Just the hammer). I know, its complex, but our French friends will get it.
The competition is tough, two spots in Paris, one in Strasbourg and the French National Library also submitted bids – still, St Just should win and I wish them all the luck. Any other cartoonist friends of St Just are encouraged to pitch in with cartoons now (contact the museum). A decision is expected soon.
Here’s a cartoon supporting St Just’s bid from my French cartoonist pal, Pierre Ballouhey – this one needs explaining too. St Just is in cow country, and they use brown cows as their mascot. That’s Pierre getting kissed by the top cow, and that’s the museum at the bottom.
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.
Here is my newest coronavirus cartoon followed by a new batch of my COVID-19 favorites.
I’ve been getting requests to show my messy rough sketches, so here you go. This one is scribbled on the back of a page of CagleCartoons letterhead.
I enjoyed this cartoon from Gary McCoy. We’ve been getting a lot of COVID-19 cartoon with the virus as an alien. This is funnier.
This one is by our Greek cartoonist, Michael Kountouris. We’re seeing quite a few cartoons with Adam and God from the Sistine Chapel for some reason.
Here’s another nice Sistine Chapel cartoon by Ed Wexler.
This one is by Adam Zyglis. Editors typically prefer cartoons that are funny and that don’t criticize President Trump, so this one won’t get reprinted as much as the cartoons above. I’m working on a Trump virus cartoon now that probably won’t get much ink.
This one by Rick McKee doesn’t really speak to the coronavirus, unless you got it from your own butt, after someone coughed on your butt –still, it makes me laugh. Cartoonists love cartoons about butts, even when there isn’t really a reason for a butt.
As a last thing –when I do blog posts I choose keywords to help in a search. I thought the keywords for this post were particularly funny. Here are the keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, President Trump, pandemic, empty shelves, Sistine Chapel, God, Adam, creation, aliens, Jack and the Beanstalk, health, medicine
The keywords make me laugh.
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This weekend I went to the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Nashville, Tennessee, my hometown. I’m an editorial cartoonist; I sit at home drawing and I rarely go to big conventions. The only thing I have to compare the NRA to is the San Diego Comic-Con, and I thought the NRA convention stacked up pretty well to Comic-Con.
The NRA convention is half the size of Comic-Con. The crowd was certainly different, with the NRA sporting more beer bellies and gray hair than Comic-Con. Both the NRA and Comic-Con are mostly male, and both are full of fervent fans. It is a lot easier to park and get a hotel room at the NRA convention, and it is much cheaper and easier to get into the NRA than Comic-Con, which costs well more than ten times the $25 it costs to join the NRA and attend the NRA convention. Comic-Con sells out months in advance; anyone can go to the NRA at the last minute – like me.
There isn’t much religion at Comic-Con, although it isn’t unusual to hear people exclaim, “Oh my God” when they see the length of the line to meet the cast members of “The Big Bang Theory.”
There’s lots of religion at NRA conventions. The Saturday morning NRA annual meeting began with everyone in the audience holding hands and bowing their heads as someone on the stage prayed about how God has chosen the NRA to lead the fight against the “enemies of freedom” who, we were later told, are President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, in that order.
There are enemies at Comic-Con too; scattered through the crowd are assorted Darth Vaders, storm-troopers, super-villains and monsters. Years ago there were Klingons everywhere, but the Klingons have dwindled in recent years, and now they are rare. My effort to build up my Klingon vocabulary has clearly been a waste of time. “Ghay’cha’!”
There was an anti-gun protest group, in town for the NRA convention, that had trouble making a dinner reservation. I’m told they were unwelcome at nearby restaurants, and their group had to drive thirty minutes out of Nashville, to Murfreesboro, for dinner. It is also difficult to make a dinner reservation at Comic-Con.
The exhibit floors at the NRA and Comic-Con are fascinating. One NRA exhibit I enjoyed featured videos of cool stuff getting shot, including row after row of watermelons, which made impressive explosions. Rows of televisions being shot were much less interesting than the watermelons. The legislature in Tennessee is debating allowing exploding targets. Tennessee already allows for the sale of fantastic fireworks – the aerial kind that would start forest fires if they were allowed in flammable California – but in Tennessee, fireworks are wholesome fun. Explosions are popular at Comic-Con too (the Death Star comes to mind). Alas, real, legal explosions in California are just the stuff of dreams.
Tennessee’s Republican legislature has been pandering to the NRA in the weeks leading up to the convention; they are close to passing a “Guns in Parks” bill that would prohibit cities from banning guns in their municipal parks. Most of the prospective Republican presidential candidates gave speeches at the NRA convention on the first day. At the annual meeting, many mentions of vile Democrats were met with hisses from the enthusiastic, Republican crowd, who were equally angry about Islamic extremists, defending the border with Mexico, and President Obama as they were about threats of gun control. The NRA convention is about much more than guns; it is about a broad agenda that is Republican, conservative, and Christian.
The same mission-creep is apparent at Comic-Con, which should be about comic books, but has grown to be about anything entertainment related, which may have nothing to do with comics. Any TV show. Any movie. Whatever. Are there some TV stars from a detective, procedural show doing a panel? Yes? Let’s go stand in line! My God, the line is so long.
Here are my latest three cartoons – hot off the drawing board and Wacom tablet!
The Supreme Court heard two gay rights cases this week, California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The pundits seem to agree that these cases will likely be decided by 5 to 4 votes, so I drew the four, ugly conservatives on the court angrily brandishing their gavels at the cowering gay couple on the cake. Fortunately, the ugly conservatives on the court are also the easiest justices to caricature! Here is my rough sketch.
Drawing caricatures like this is so much easier now than it was years ago! All I have to do is type some public figure’s name into Google Images and I get a page full of great thumbnails. In the old days I had to cut photos out of newspapers and magazines and save them in a “morgue” in case I ever needed to draw a caricature. Technology is grand.
Here is the black and white version of the cartoon, which most people will see in newspapers that still print in black and white.
I draw everything at about 11″ x 17″ on vellum in pencil, and I scan at high contrast so it looks like ink. Then I color it in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet. Here is the color version.
Next I drew a Republican elephant flogging himself as his intolerant views about gay rights do nothing but give him a sore back. Here is the rough sketch.
And here is the finished drawing, in pencil on 11″ x 17″ vellum, with the gray tones added in Photoshop.
It is better if a drawing holds up as just line art with no gray tones – but sometimes I have to resort to gray. This one needed a little tonal substance. Here is the color version.
The most recent cartoon is another riff on an art masterpiece – these seem to be the most popular cartoons I draw. This one is based on a famous 19th century print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, titled the Great Wave off Kanagawa (pictured on the right).
This image made for a popular Yahtzee, in editorial cartoons, after the Japanese tsunami. One thing that is interesting about Japanese prints is that the Japanese read from right to left, so the boats in the Hokusai print are sailing from calmer seas into the big bad waves. Of-course, editorial cartoons must read from left to right, with the set-up on the left and the gag on the right.
I printed out the Hokusai image and sketched a little GOP elephant to the right for my rough sketch.
I drew it up like this, then I noticed that the elephant was too big – he needed to be smaller for the wave to look more threatening. Here is the finished line drawing with a smaller elephant.