The story about President Trump’s awkward condolence call to the widow of a fallen soldier has dragged on for more than a week. I wasn’t going to draw about it, but as the story droned on and on, with more awkward false tweets and statements from the White House, it looks like I can’t avoid this one.
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.
President Obama took another military step in Syria, authorizing American special forces to conduct combat operations, despite his promise to have “no boots on the ground” in Syria. I suppose my now we shouldn’t take these promises too seriously.
There have been a whole lot of quagmire cartoons about Syria. I noticed this similar, recent one by my buddy Steve Sack after I sent mine out – Steve’s is better.
Here’s an Afghanistan quagmire from Chinese cartoonist, Loujie.
Here’s a nice quagmire from Australian cartoonist, Paul Zanetti.
Here’s an Iraq quagmire from Dave Granlund …
… and an Obamacare quagmire from my buddy, conservative cartoonist Eric Allie …
Quagmires are a cartoon standard.
Here’s my quagmire cartoon in USA Today today. It has been a long time since I worked for MSNBC.com, but it is a never ending quest to get people to change my attribution. (Does it help that they call it “Toon Talk”?)
There’s been a a lot in the news about how Iraqi troops cut and run when they face off with ISIS. The US Army trained Iraqi troops for years, but it doesn’t seem to stick. Now President Obama is re-doubling the training efforts, but I’m guessing that won’t make any difference.
I had in mind that there would be a caption to this cartoon, “Training Iraqi Troops,” and as I looked at it, it seems better without a caption, although it isn’t really clear that it is about training Iraqi troops, still, no caption is better.
Here’s my newest cartoon – another cliche cartoon about the military guy showing off and explaining his medals, regarding the recent sexual assault and harassment issues in the military.
My buddy, Milt Priggee did one of these today also, on the same topic, but Milt’s was a bit harsh and I don’t think it will get reprinted much.
Here’s one I did recently when the military finally allowed for equal treatment of women in combat.
I did this one when the military struck down “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Here’s one from when Hillary Clinton was running for president, arguing that she would be a great commander-in-chief.
I did this one with the General Petraeus scandal.
Here’s another nice medals cartoon by John Darkow, about the Petraeus scandal.
Cartoonists are so crazy-motivated to get awards, I think the cartooning awards should all come in the form of medals the cartoonists can wear to show off how much better they are then each other – kind of like peacocks flaunting their plumage. it would make our conventions more fun.
Here are my most recent cartoons and the sketches that, for some reason, you like to see. The first one is on Obama’s apparent transformation into a more liberal Obama in his second term. First the pencil sketch.
Then I trace the sketch for line art on vellum. This is what most people see in the newspapers that still print in black and white.
… and here it is in color.
Obama also seems to be getting more of a spine. Here is the previous cartoon, on Hillary’s testimony in congress.
That’s really Hillary’s testimony in the small type in her speech balloon, and that’s what she was really thinking in the thought balloon. Hillary is fun to draw, and the glasses are great.
At the right is my most recent cartoon about Defense Secretary Panetta’s announcement that all areas of the military, that had previously been closed to women, will now be open to qualified women – a change that is long overdue.