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Why does The New York Times keep breaking my heart?

This post is by my buddy, Jeff Koterba –Daryl


By now, even many who don’t normally pay attention to inside-journalism stories, have taken notice of the recent decision by The New York Times to cut all editorial cartoons from their international edition. In recent weeks, friends and strangers have messaged, and have even stopped me at coffee shops in Omaha, the city where I draw cartoons for The Omaha World-Herald, to express their frustration at the news.

The fact that readers, even in the Midwest, are vexed about what’s going into the pages of an international newspaper is somehow heartening. But angst, alone, won’t bring back cartoons to countless readers abroad.

Not all that long before this latest unfortunate news, the U.S. edition of the Times would run a weekly roundup of editorial cartoons in their Sunday Review section. In the years before my work was picked up for syndication, I would submit to The Times my latest work. Much of my excitement came in anticipation of going to a local convenient mart to pick up the Sunday Times. But, of course, nothing compared to the exhilaration I felt on those rare occasions when I would open the paper and discover that the editors had chosen one of my drawings. I felt validated, but more so, I felt connected to something bigger…to the “Great Conversation,” as a friend of mine likes to say about weighing in on current events.

The weekly roundup would eventually go away, replaced by a long-form editorial comic. It broke my heart to know that I would never again see my work reprinted in the Times. But I moved on and eventually moved—to Austria. It was during a nearly two year stay in Innsbruck, while drawing remotely for my newspaper in Omaha—that I fell deeply, madly, in love with The International New York Times. Founded in the late 1880’s as The Paris Herald, the newspaper changed owners and names several times before settling on its current moniker in October of 2013. A few months later I found myself drawing from the Alps, a guy from Omaha who had never lived elsewhere and knew almost no German.

The International New York Times allowed me to once again feel connected to something greater than myself. As I took trains throughout Europe, I always—ALWAYS—made sure I had that wonderful friend along for the ride, with its broadsheets like a large bird’s wings, it’s news from around the world, and yes, with its own editorial cartoons.

What a joy to visit an old-fashioned newsstand in Paris and find that beautiful, familiar, New York Times logo peeking out beyond all the French-language publications! Or to linger over her pages at a café in Rome, sipping espresso. And again, to read those cartoons.

Those cartoons were my dessert. And I savored every inked line.

Back stateside this past spring, I was on an early flight from Tucson to Phoenix. Before taking off I’d already spread open that day’s New York Times. Next to me, a young lady began laughing and pointing at my newspaper. I studied the page facing her trying to figure out which article she found to be so funny. Perplexed, I finally asked.

“That,” she said, motioning to indicate the entire newspaper. “You’re reading one of those.”

The young lady in question was smart and well-spoken. When I asked if she reads newspapers, she again laughed and said, “Never.”

“Have you ever even held a newspaper?” I asked.

“Nope.”

“Would you like to try?”

I handed her a section of the newspaper, and after she fumbled around, trying to figure out exactly how to fold the pages to make it more convenient to read, she fell silent. For a moment I thought perhaps she’d fallen asleep. Instead, she was deeply immersed in…reading. I almost told her that I was a cartoonist, but didn’t. I did, however, imagine her one day traveling abroad, perhaps stopping by a newsstand at a train station in Berlin, and noticing The International New York Times. Maybe she would pick up a copy, and just maybe she would read an editorial cartoon and feel connected to something greater.



Jeffrey Koterba’s
award-winning cartoons are distributed by Cagle Cartoons. In 2010, two of his original drawings flew aboard space shuttle Discovery. In his TEDx talk Jeff discusses the link between Tourette Syndrome, vulnerability, and creativity.  E-mail Jeff.


Please support us to keep Cagle.com free and keep the endangered editorial cartoons coming! Visit Cagle.com/Heroes!  We need your support!

 

 

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Newsletter Syndicate

Notre Dame Fire

4/16/19 A bunch of new Notre Dame Fire cartoon favorites are added below. –Daryl

It was such a horror, watching the fire consume Notre Dame. I drew a cartoon as fast as I could –a teardrop cartoon. It was the best I could come up with on short notice. The editorial cartoonists think teardrop cartoons are trite, but we all do them. Readers love the teardrop cartoons at tragic times. I went with the Charles Laughton hunchback. So sad to see this unfold.

Here are some new favorites, from the day after, 4/16/19 …

This one is by my friend, French cartoonist Robert Rousso

 

This one is by Sean Delonas.

 

This is by Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle.

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

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

 

The first Notre Dame cartoon that came in to us was from my buddy, Randy Enos.

This one is by RJ Matson.

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Blog Syndicate

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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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

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Blog Columns Syndicate

How to Fight ISIS? With Cartoons

Pundits like to complain that there are few voices from the Islamic world that condemn terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists. I run a small business that distributes editorial cartoons from around the world. With every major attack, including the recent attacks in Paris, I see a chorus of cartoons from Arab countries condemning the terror. The pundits must not be looking at the cartoons.

sack-cartoon
Cartoon by Steve Sack.

Editorial cartoonists are typically the most influential voices in newspapers throughout the Middle East, reflecting the views of their readers. Newspapers remain important in everyday life in the Middle East. Editorial cartoons grace the front pages throughout the Middle East. Arabic language cartoonists are typically anti-American and anti-Semitic, but on issues of terrorism they are largely voices of reason.

I often hear politicians complain about how the war with Islamic extremists is a battle for hearts and minds and we need to step up our role in an information war that we are losing. Editorial cartoons could be a weapon on the
front lines of that battle. By now Americans should see how powerful cartoons can be; clearly the terrorists see this, as cartoonists are among their primary targets. It is difficult for Americans to comprehend that editorial cartoons are important and effective in the Middle East because we view cartoons as trivial jokes, leading us to miss many opportunities.

Until recently, the US State Department had programs that brought American cartoonists on speaking tours to the Middle East to meet their colleagues, and had reciprocal programs to bring Arabic language editorial cartoonists to America. The programs sought to spread common values to countries where persecuted and influential cartoonists typically are barred from drawing their own presidents. These effective State Department speaking programs for editorial cartoonists were dropped at the time of the “sequester” budget cuts. USAID supported journalism education initiatives in the Middle East ignore and exclude cartoonists.

As international respect for America has plummeted, respect for many of our institutions still runs high. American cartoonists are respected around the world, like American jazz musicians and basketball players. Middle Eastern cartoonists are eager to have their work appreciated by American readers and by the star American cartoonists who they respect and emulate. The Arab cartoonists push back against the press restrictions imposed by their regimes and envy America’s press freedoms.

Every act of terror brings new recruits to the Islamic extremists in ISIS; they seek glory, selling an image of bravery, striking back against the arrogant infidels in the West. Brandishing a gun demands a kind of respect. Fighting for religious values, no matter how twisted, demands a kind of respect. ISIS craves respect; what they can’t bear is ridicule. Islamic extremists who are widely seen as the butts of jokes won’t find many eager converts.

priggee-cartoons
Cartoon by Milt Priggee.

Cartoonists are masters of disrespect and are a continuing threat to the Islamic extremists. It is no surprise that editorial cartoonists are prime targets for terror. Along with other web sites around the world, my own editorial cartoon Web site, Cagle.com, is suffering hacker attacks that appear to originate with terrorists and despotic regimes who fear cartoons. Terrorists and despots have a weakness in common; they can’t take a joke.

America needs to wake up, deploy and support the world’s best soldiers in the modern information war, American cartoonists.

This weekend President Obama claimed that he is already doing most of the things that his political opponents demand in the war with ISIS; he called on his critics to contribute new and constructive ideas on what should be done. My recommendation is inexpensive and powerful: bring back and greatly expand the State Department’s shuttered editorial cartoon programs around the world.

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France Weeps

We’ve been receiving a torrent of cartoons from around the world about last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. I’ve been disappointed by most of the cartoons so far, many of which contain graphic pools of blood, depictions of monsters and broken Eiffel Towers. I think the first few days after an event like this are a time to express sympathy, so I went with a weeping Marianne, the French symbol from the Eugene Delacroix painting La Liberté Guidant le People (Liberty Leading the People). 

Marianne2
Delacroix’s Marianne.

I struggled to think of what I wanted to draw, so I wouldn’t be drawing blood, candles, monsters or Eiffel Towers like the rest of the crowd. I like Marianne as a symbol for France and I like that the French embrace her as their own symbol. It was interesting to see so many of the cartoonists drawing the Statue of Liberty this weekend, the statue was a gift from France but she is a symbol of America.

Marianne has some problems: first, she may not be recognizable enough when she is seen out of the context of the Delacroix painting: second, her face exists only as a profile facing left, which can be a little limiting; third, she has one bare breast (or arguably, two bare breasts) and American editors are reluctant to print bare breasts – even though her bare breast is necessary to define who Marianne is in the cartoon. I suppose it is fitting that I had to struggle with this one.

Below is my rough sketch.

FranceLibertySketch700

I started out thinking of more cliches, like the candle and the flag at half staff – both bad ideas. I also ruminated about how to draw the drapery in her dress, which seems to be a heavy fabric rather than a normal fabric, along with her emerging toes. Here she is in black and white. (Yes, the flag pole covers up her nipple – I debated about that too.)

Then I colored her in – and I was disappointed with the result.

france-weeps-cagle-COLOR

Editors and readers always like cartoons better when they are in color, even in cases like this, where the color only cheapens the cartoon. One of my readers on Facebook, Rod Underhill, made the excellent suggestion that I limit the color to the flag; that was a great suggestion – and voila, a much better cartoon (shown at the top of the page)! I deleted the previous color version and sent a correction out to the newspaper clients.

Here’s another Marianne cartoon, a double breasted version. This one was popular in France where they find President Francois Hollande rather annoying.

This interesting Marianne comes from my French cartoonist buddy, Pierre Ballouhey, who includes characters surrounding the recent Paris attacks.

2015-11ballouhey-700

Marianne is much easier to deal with in a goofy drawing. Here’s a nice Marianne by Angel Boligan, drawn after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

This bloody Marianne is from my buddy, Martin “Shooty” Sutovec from Slovakia. With no side-boob, and no flowing ties on her sleeveless, fringeless dress, her new style beret and blonde hair in a different doo – I almost missed her, but Shooty got me to take another look.

shooty-marianne

Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj drew a weeping Marianne with an Eiffel Tower in a pool of blood (perhaps he could have thrown in a couple of candles, terror monsters and the Statue of Liberty to make it complete). Osama obscured Marianne’s profile and bare breast issues, and he lost her beret. hmm. OK.

This Marianne is from Taylor Jones, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Here’s a Charlie Hebdo aftermath Marianne from RJ Matson – looks like this one was a quicky to draw in Photoshop.

Visit our big collection of cartoons drawn in response to the Paris attacks.

 

 

 

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My Charlie Hebdo Week Rant

I usually don’t draw such wordy cartoons, but I thought this would get around better than if I wrote the same points in a column.

To explain this one, reading from left to right, the wart-hogs become progressively more disturbing. On the less disturbing left is The Los Angeles Times, which ran a blank, editorial cartoon shaped spot that wasn’t really blank, but contained a line of words, telling readers that this is what the world would look like if there were no editorial cartoons, with an attribution to the write who wrote those words. Ironically, The Los Angeles Times runs no cartoons three days a week or so – they could run that line three times a week with no blank spot. Cartoonists are at their best when times are tough and feelings run high. Editors are most cartoon averse when times are tough and feelings run high. (That said, the LA Times runs three or four of our cartoons a month – we usually love you, LA Times.)

The second wart-hog represents “Web pirates”, who are a problem for cartoonists most of the time, although now they have their heart in the right place with Charlie Hebdo tribute cartoons, and I can’t be too angry at them this week. I’m more angry with the big Web sites like The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post that are stealing cartoons and not paying the cartoonists right now. Even The New York Daily News is non-paying pirate now. Come on people – you should pay the cartoonists. Cartoons are cheap. You can see how important editorial cartoons are around the world now. Pay the cartoonists.

The third wart-hog is The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which just laid-off their nationally syndicated cartoonist, Chan Lowe, at a time that couldn’t be more awkward. The Sun-Sentinel just dropped the most important part of their newspaper.

CharlieHebdoCoverMore on word-people who don’t get it – The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, neither of which has an editorial cartoonist. My New York Times wart-hog says, “We can write about dead editorial cartoonists; we don’t need to hire any editorial cartoonists.” My faux quote is inspired by The New York Times‘ famous statement that they don’t need to show the Danish Muhammad cartoons because they can describe the cartoons with words – of-course, they can’t. And The New York Times has been making similar statements recently about not showing the Charlie Hebdo cover.

There are a couple of quotes from The New York Times that I have no attribution for, just cartoonist gossip, but they both ring true. The times is quoted saying, “We would never hire an editorial cartoonist because we would never give so much power to one man.” and the second quote: “We would never hire an editorial cartoonist because you can’t edit art like you can edit words.” At least they are honest, bone-headed word-people. Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal run cartoon illustrations, where they give an assignment to a illustrator, rather hiring a real editorial cartoonist who draws what he thinks, like a columnist writes what he thinks – no, not that.

President Obama is on the right. Instead of going to Paris with the other world leaders, Obama met with the N.B.A. Champion San Antonio Spurs. Looks like the White House is run by The New York Times.

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American Response to the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy

American Response to the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy © Daryl Cagle,CagleCartoons.com,Charlie Hebdo, terrorism, killing, France, Paris, cartoonists, cartoon, Stéphane Charbonnier, Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, media, television, TV, news, cartoonist, pundits, fox news, can, msnbc, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Ft Lauderdale, Obama, president, community colleges, st louis spurs, basketball, sports

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American Response to the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy

American Response to the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy © Daryl Cagle,CagleCartoons.com,Charlie Hebdo,terrorism,killing,France,Paris,cartoonists,cartoon,Stéphane Charbonnier,Charb,Cabu,Wolinski,Tignous,media,television,TV,news,cartoonist,pundits,fox news,can,msnbc,Los Angeles Times,Wall Street Journal,New York Times,Florida Sun-Sentinel,Fort Lauderdale,Ft Lauderdale,Obama,president,community colleges, st louis spurs,basketball,sports

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Freedom of Expression

158580 600 Freedom of Expression cartoons

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Charlie Hebdo TV Pundits

158510 600 Charlie Hebdo TV Pundits cartoons

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The Media and Red Lines

158487 600 The Media and Red Lines cartoons