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Happy Birthday Twitter

Happy Birthday Twitter! Yesterday marked the social networking Web site’s 5th anniversary. That’s right, it was only back in 2006 that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey purchased Simon Oxley’s stock art Twitterbird image and launched what would become a global network where celebrities bicker, athletes vent and revolutionaries band together.

At Cagle Cartoons, we’re big fans of Twitter (you can follow me @dcagle), so I thought we’d mark the occasion by presenting some of the best cartoons about twitter to come through our Web site.

John Cole’s cartoon of the iconic twitterbird showcases the importance of Twitter following the disputed Iranian presidential elections back in 2009. Twitter become Iran’s lifeline to the outside, a way for Iranians to tell the world what was happening on the streets of Tehran in real time, as well as communicate among themselves.

Twitter Iran
John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune (click to share)

Twitter was instrumental in helping spread the footage of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, who become iconic in the struggle of Iranian protesters against the disputed election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzimmons captures the symbol that Neda became for the Iranian people in his cartoon…

Twitter Neda Agha-Soltan Iran
David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star (click to share)

John Cole captures the lighter side of Twitter, as journalists accustomed to daily deadlines have quickly had to adapt a changing world of instant news 140 characters at a time.

Twitter Pulitzer
John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune (click to share)

Recently, Twitter has helped organizers gather large crowds in the Middle East and overthrow dictators who held power for years. Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams captures this force in his cartoon…

Joep Bertrams / The Netherlands (click to share)

Meanwhile, Denver Post cartoonist Mike Keefe shows the implications of the growth of “social media” and Twitter…

Twitter Social Networking
Mike Keefe / Denver Post (click to share)

Keefe also sees Twitter as a de-evolution of human communication…

Twitter
Mike Keeve / Denver Post (click to share)
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Blog

My Japanese Tsunami Cartoons

When a natural disaster occurs with as much force and power as the earthquake and tsunami that recent struck Japan, a cartoonist is often faced with the challenge of tying to be thoughtful without abandoning his or her own originality.  I wanted to avoid Japanese flags, Godzilla and references to World War II (see my post about Japanese cartoon “Yahtzees”).

With my first cartoon about the tsunami, I wanted to use a simple image to express sorrow for the Japanese people …

When I was a kid, in the 1960’s, Reddy Kilowatt was the face of modern, nuclear energy …

Here are a couple of guys who always make me laugh …

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Video: Interview with Iranian Cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani

I met Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani (view Kianoush’s blog here) at the recent RIDEP editorial cartooning festival in Carquefou, France.

Kianoush drew cartoons supporting the anti-dictatorship Green Movement in Iran, and regularly criticized the Iranian leadership. The government began cracking down on intellectuals, journalists and bloggers, and after seeing many of his close friends incarcerated, Kianoush made the decision to flee Iran; he was given asylum in France, where he is able to speak about the importance of cartoons and the media environment inside of Iran.

“(In Iran) all the newspapers belong to the government, directly or indirectly, he says. “All are afraid of the power of cartoons. Publishing cartoons is an impossible thing inside of Iran.”

Check out my full interview with Kianoush below:

Here are some of Kianoush’s cartoons:

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Iranian Pinocchio Cartoons Win Yahtzee

Pinocchio’s nose is one the most common editorial cartoon metaphors, and with the news that Iran launched a missile capable of striking Israel while claiming their nuclear program will only be used for “peaceful” purposes, it’s no surprise that we suddenly have noses growing out the wazoo.

When five or more cartoonists draw the game gag, we refer to it as a ‘Cartoon Yahtzee.Here’s a brief explanation behind them, but there is a basic rule of thumb to go by, “if one other guy drew it, he’s a plagiarist; if five other guys drew it, they’re hacks; if a dozen other guys drew it, they are honoring a tradition”.

Vote at the bottom which cartoon included in this yahtzee is the best:

Jimmy Margulies - The Record (New Jersey)
Jimmy Margulies - The Record, New Jersey
Nate Beeler - The Washington Examiner
Nate Beeler - The Washington Examiner
Pat Bagley - The Salt Lake Tribune
Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune
Hajo de Reijger - The Netherlands
Hajo de Reijger - The Netherlands
Olle Johansson - Sweden
Olle Johansson - Sweden
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Cartoons

Whacking Hope in Iran

Whacking Hope in Iran COLOR © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, cartoon, editorial cartoon, election, iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mohammad Khatami, Whack-a-mole, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

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Iran Cartoons from Mana

Here are three recent cartoons from Mana Neyestani, the Iranian cartoonist who was jailed by the government for his cartoons, and who fled Iran to Malaysia.  Read more about Mana here and see the cartoon that landed him in jail.  (Thanks to Nik Kowsar.)

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Cartoons and Reports from Iran

I just had an interesting telephone conversation with my friend, Nik Kowsar. Nik was a top editorial cartoonist in Iran until his cartoons became too much of an irritant to the regime and he was thrown into the notorious Evin Prison. Nik left Iran for Canada where he now lives and he works for Radio Zamaneh, based in Holland. A selection of Nik’s recent cartoons about the election turmoil in Iran is posted below.

Cartoons by Iranian cartoonist, Nik Kowsar.
Cartoons by Iranian cartoonist, Nik Kowsar.

Nik tells me he is not optimistic about prospects in Iran in the short term. He’s been working with a group of Iranian ex-pats to confirm information that is pouring out of Iran now that the government is cracking down on protestors. Nik’s group will be putting up a new web site in the next few days, with the latest, vetted news from sources in Iran.

Nik has been keeping in close touch with many Iranian bloggers, who are drying up as sources as they are “detained” by the regime. Popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in Iran. My cagle.msnbc.com site has long been blocked in Iran. However, the Internet is still available in Iran and people are finding ways to get their e-mail out to the rest of the world.

Nik tells me that vetting the reports is often difficult. He gave me an example of a photograph of a baby that had been shot in the back that came to him from multiple sources, reportedly shot by Iranian government “goon squads.” In fact, the photo was from Gaza. When information is passed around on the web, it can take on a life of it’s own ““ making Nik’s job a tough one.

Nik also gave me an update on Mana Neyestani, the Iranian cartoonist that I reported on a couple of years ago, here in my blog. Mana drew a cartoon of a bug that was interpreted to be an ethnic slur, and he was thrown in prison. Mana escaped Iran but found it difficult to get political asylum; he is currently fine, and attending college on a student visa in Malaysia. Nik will soon be sending along some recent cartoons from Mana for the blog.

See an archive of Nik Kowsar’s cartoons here.

Cartoons by Iranian cartoonist, Nik Kowsar.
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Cartoons

Missile Argument

Missile Argument © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,president bush, mahmoud ahmadinejad, ahmedinejad, iran, kim il sung, song, north korea, missile, nucelar, weapon, argument, fight, conflict, attention, Mideast, Middle East