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I pitched the idea to Gannett of running collections of favorite cartoons of the decade every day in December, the last month of the decade, with a selection by a different cartoonist each day. We, along with USA Today, selected the CagleCartoonists we would invite to participate and we asked them each to choose their favorite cartoons from the past ten years. I submitted twenty-nine batches of cartoons, selected by each of twenty-nine of our CagleCartoonists. USA Today plans on showcasing their own Gannett employee cartoonists, Thompson, Marlette, Murphy and Archer, through Thursday, with our CagleCartoonists finishing out the month, starting this Friday with Pat Bagley.
USA Today started off their daily, decade slideshows today with their talented cartoonist, Mike Thompson, who also did the work of laying all of these collections out for The USA Today Network sites (that includes the individual Web sites for all of Gannett’s 100+ daily newspapers). Visit USA Today’s Opinion page online to see these every day this month. Click on each cartoon in each slideshow to see a full-screen, high-resolution version of each cartoon, which is very nice.
It is very difficult to select a small batch of cartoons to represent an entire decade!!
Getting twenty-nine CagleCartoonists to each select a decade of favorites was challenging. Obama certainly got shorted as many cartoonists are obsessed with Trump now. A couple of cartoonists selected only Trump-bashing cartoons, which made for a poor representation of the decade –but hey, the fact that the cartoonists chose their own favorites made this project interesting. Some cartoonists, who have been with us for less than ten years, had to dig into their personal archives to cover the whole decade, so some of the cartoons haven’t been seen on Cagle.com. New Yorker/Mad Magazine/graphic-novelist Peter Kuper joined CagleCartoons.com just a couple of months ago and had to dig up his whole collection from his magazine gag cartoon archives. Dave Whamond and Ed Wexler, who joined us more recently, reached into their vaults for some of their early-decade cartoons; Ed selected some from when he was regularly drawing for US News & World Report magazine. Mike Keefe and Bill Schorr came out of their recent retirements to contribute their selections of favorites.
I wouldn’t call these selections the “best” of the decade, they are just the artists’ choices. I also can’t say that they represent the decade well (but what the heck).
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I visited my alma mater last week in Chicago, the American Academy of Art. Man, has it changed. When I went there from 1964 to 1966, it was a small commercial art school dedicated to the practical side of art (that is, how to make money). It offered a two or three year course and a frame-able certificate upon completion. It was on the corner of Wabash and Adams streets in the Loop. The first year was about teaching fundamentals and the second and third year was about specialties: illustration, oil painting, watercolor, layout, design and so on and was geared to industry demand for artists. It had no cartoon course, so in the middle of my second year when I decided I wanted to become a cartoonist, my fundamentals teacher, Mr. Staake, designed a course for me. He had me drawing greeting cards and anything he could think of that might sharpen my skills as a budding cartoonist. One of my assignments was to draw a political cartoon. I drew it in the style of Bill Mauldin who was my favorite political cartoonist at the time.
The greeting card assignment led to work as a freelance greeting card cartoonist that paid for my first house and my second one, too. The political cartoon became a sample I used to get a job in the art department of The Chicago Herald American. It also inspired me to draw my first political cartoon for the paper shortly after it changed its name to Chicago Today.
The story: a KKK cell was discovered in the Chicago Police Department. The art director of the paper had given me permission to publish an occasional political cartoon on Mondays when the regular political cartoonists, Vaughn Shoemaker and Wayne Stayskal were off. I was walking across the Michigan Avenue Bridge when a gust of wind blew a woman’s skirt and the idea popped in to my brain.
I’m happy to say the academy still delivers a practical education in art. I won’t tell you what the tuition was back in 1964 because it would break your heart. Today, the tuition is comparable to a four-year private college, which is what most art schools are. The academy is now on Michigan Ave. It has student housing and offers nine bachelors of fine arts degrees in traditional areas of art such as painting and drawing but also in 3-D modeling, digital illustration, art direction and more.
A number of famous and successful alumni are making a nice living in comic books, posters, painting, sculpture, design, advertising and graphic arts but the most famous is Kanye West. I talked to Kanye’s teacher and he said Kanye was a talented artist. The teacher told him he could have a fine career as an artist, but Kanye said he had this music thing he wanted to try.
Sept. 19, 1975, I was hunched over my drawing board in my office at the Journal Herald in Dayton, Ohio, trying to come up with an idea for a political cartoon on a slow news day when Managing Editor Bill Worth charged into my office and said, “Glatt’s been shot. They’re going to arraign him in a few minutes at the Federal Building. Get over there and draw the shooter when they bring him into the courtroom.” Who? Oh, right, Dr. Charles A. Glatt Dayton’s federally appointed desegregation manager.
I was at the paper less than a month, my first full-time job as a political cartoonist. I barely knew where the bathroom was. Everything was new to me, the paper, the newsroom, the city and busing. Dayton was under a court order to desegregate its schools and busing was the federal plan. My family was in the process of moving from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, to Centerville, a suburb south of Dayton. Neither the city of Ft. Wayne, nor Centerville was busing school children. This was all new to America and almost every white person I knew hated it.
“Right,” I said. “Where’s the Federal Building?”
“Next door,” said Worth.
I grabbed my sketchpad and a black Prismacolor pencil and followed the reporters. It took only minutes to get there.
The courtroom was dimly lit and empty except for the press and the judge. The shooting had just happened down the hall in Glatt’s office. The door opened and the murderer entered, flanked by several marshals and a lawyer. My heart was racing. I’ve never seen a murderer in the flesh before. I had only seconds to get his likeness. I’ve never even been in a courtroom before and now – it was “look, see, draw.” I had maybe four seconds from when I saw the defendant in profile to when he turned his back to me to face the judge. His image is stamped on my brain. I captured his likeness in an instant and the next morning, my drawing was on the front page.
The guy turned out to be serial killer, Neal Bradley Long, a filling station attendant. He shot Glatt four times with a handgun and later was found guilty of killing Glatt and four black people in the area over the past few years. The hubbub surrounding busing in Dayton quieted down after that. A new desegregation manager was appointed, busing continued, magnet schools were organized and the community schools were integrated. Long was tried, convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms while white people fled to the suburbs. Dayton ended the busing program 25 years later.
Most of my forty years in the newspaper business were filled with habitual rituals, creative challenges, daily deadlines and plenty of laughs. They tend to run together in a very long timeline, but some days stand out, like Sept. 19, 1975, the first of many more to come.
It was a warm October day in 1962. I was a sophomore at South Side High School in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, excelling in art class, in other subjects, not so much. I was on the staff of the school newspaper as a cartoonist and illustrator. My goals in life were to be an illustrator like Norman Rockwell, or have my own commercial art studio in my hometown, or to be an advertising agency art director and make $10,000 a year. This was 1962. Ten grand was big money.
I would get married, buy a house, have two children and a beautiful wife, drive a new car and, with any luck, be a millionaire by the time I was forty. Everything was going my way. Then, President John F. Kennedy told the nation that Russia had put nuclear armed ballistic missiles in Cuba and we’d have a nuclear war if they didn’t remove them. What?
I was completely blindsided. My parents subscribed to two newspapers, the Democratic morning one and the evening Republican. I read them both, but I only read the comics page and the sports page. I wasn’t even sure of the name of the Russian leader. Nikita who? The only Russians I knew of were Boris and Natasha on “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Suddenly, my world went up in a ball of radioactive fire.
I was glued to TV news and the newspapers and when I wasn’t, I was painting apocalyptic paintings of skeletons running through a burning landscape of mushroom clouds. All my hopes and dreams were going up in radioactive smoke. A ship was steaming to Cuba loaded with more missiles. Kennedy told Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev to turn around or they would be blown out of the water. The Russians were not backing down and were making threats. I was frantic. My school had been having air raid drills since I was in Kindergarten. There was a huge air raid siren behind my house that went off every Wednesday at noon, so loud it shook the floor. This is what we’d been training for –this crisis.
Then, on the thirteenth day of the confrontation, the ships turned around and headed back to Russia, after Kennedy made a secret deal, but from that day forward I vowed never to be blindsided again. I started reading the news pages. I learned the names of the leaders at home and abroad. I learned the countries, the issues and the threats. I read the political cartoons, mostly those by Bill Mauldin, who I understood. Herblock and a local cartoonist were regulars in the papers but they didn’t inspire me. Their cartoons were too serious and preachy. Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” made more sense to me than most of the art on the editorial page. Then, when I was in art school, Pat Oliphant came along and made political cartooning look fun.
I saw a way that I could do my very small part to defeat the Communist Soviet Union threat and be paid for my effort. I started drawing freelance political cartoons for the morning paper, found a job as a full-time political cartoonist in Dayton, Ohio and after five years there, moved to Hartford, Connecticut and The Courant.
In November of 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed. I told the president of the L. A. Times News Service that I’d accomplished my goal, that Russia had been defeated and that I was going to leave political cartooning. He talked me out of it, saying there will be more demons to vanquish. He was right, of course. All I have to do is read today’s news, but I’d accomplished what I wanted in the beginning. Everything since then is a bonus.
This was a crazy, viral, pirate weekend for cartoonist Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant. We syndicate Bob’s cartoons.
We found out about the crazy-popular pirated cartoon when we started getting media inquiries about the viral image with about 200,000 shares on Facebook. CBS’s Face the Nation and ABC’s Good Morning America wanted permission to run the cartoon. We told everyone “no.” CNN wouldn’t take “no” for an answer; after we refused their request, they went to our automated Politicalcartoons.com site and purchased the original cartoon, then showed it on Sunday morning along with the pirate version.
Read my posts from Facebook about the crazy viral weekend, and see the two versions of the cartoon below (the pirate version is at the bottom of the page.)
My first Facebook post on this:
Shame on you, SPLC.
I’m usually a fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but they are lawyers and they should know better than to steal and alter copyrighted works.
This cartoon is stolen from cartoonist Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant, who we represent at CagleCartoons.com andPoliticalcartoons.com. Bob’s signature and attribution have been crudely removed from the third panel, and the last two panels with the rainbow flag were added by SPLC or another copyright pirate.
Interestingly, the “CAGLECARTOONS.COM” URL at the bottom left was also added and didn’t exist in the original cartoon, which can be seen here:http://tinyurl.com/obfjh7y – where the SPLC could have purchased permission to post the cartoon for $20.00.
If they had asked nicely, we probably would have allowed the SPLC to run the cartoon for free, without alteration. Or they could have posted this John Darkow cartoon with the same message as the altered/pirated Englehart image: http://tinyurl.com/qxqz35g
I’ve reported the copyright infringement to Facebook. The cartoon should be removed from the SPLC page and over 180,000 Facebook sites that have shared the altered/pirated cartoon.
Now, I’m back to my drawing board where I’m working on my own cartoons celebrating the Marriage Equality ruling and the renewed opposition to the Confederate Battle Flag.
Your hearts are usually in the right place, SPLC – but artists’ work should be respected.
My second Facebook post:
The SPLC posted the statement below on their Facebook page, along with the original Bob Englehart cartoon. Bob and the Hartford Courant are graciously not asking that over 190,000 shares be removed.
That said, perhaps I am nit-picking, but I find the SPLC’s description of “the problem” to be troubling. The SPLC writes,”The problem? Well, we got the credit wrong. And the cartoon was modified from its original form.” They did more than get the credit wrong, they took a cartoon they found on Twitter and posted it without attribution or permission, making no effort to figure out who the artist was.
This is the attitude I see everywhere on the Web, where little respect is given to artists. I see lots of accolades posted on the SPLC page for making their correction, but I think the correction falls short. Perhaps I’m not as gracious and Bob, Bob’s editors at the Hartford Courant, and all the commenters on the SPLC page.
This is all everyday stuff for editorial cartoonists – what makes this case interesting is the stunning 190,000+ shares. In most cases where editorial cartoons are altered without permission, the changed cartoon is made into hate speech, or at least an opinion opposed to the original cartoon, and the altered cartoon is seen by few people. Removing Bob’s signature and attribution shows the intent of the pirate that the creator of the original work not be recognized (recognition of the original creator is a requirement for a “transformative” work to qualify as “fair use.”)
Here, the changed cartoon reflects a point of view that Bob agrees with, and the SPLC is a respectable group. I suppose that makes this easier for Bob and his editors to swallow. I withdrew my own demand that Bob’s cartoon be removed from Facebook at Bob’s editor’s request.
And Bob is, in fact, quite a gracious guy. As is his editor.
On Friday, we posted a cartoon that seemed to perfectly encapsulate a tremendously emotional week. Five panels depicting the Confederate battle flag going down a flag pole, representing the political conversation following the horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina, and a rainbow (LGBT pride) flag going up in its place, representing the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land.
And did it resonate. At this moment, the post has nearly 260,000 Likes and over 190,000 shares.
The problem? Well, we got the credit wrong. And the cartoon was modified from its original form.
On Sunday we learned that the first three panels of the Confederate flag going down was the work of Hartford Courant editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart, who originally posted it on June 22nd (see here:http://sp.lc/OXaHP).
Someone had added the last two panels of the rainbow flag being raised. In doing so, they removed the original caption “Going…going…gone” and, even worse, deleted Mr. Engelhart’s signature, which also included the date and the Hartford Courant copyright.
We screwed up. We found the image on Twitter and credited the editorial cartoon syndicate Cagle Cartoons, which appeared in the doctored cartoon.
Thankfully for us, an editor at the Hartford Courant generously asked that we only correct the record here, which we were eager to do.
In sum: We apologize to Mr. Englehart and his colleagues at the Hartford Courant. Everyone here who liked that post should go over and check out his work. If that cartoon resonated, you’ll be pleased to know Mr. Englehart publishes multiple times a week. http://www.courant.com/opinion/cartoons/
The “Salon de St. Just, ” in its 32nd year, draws cartoonists from around the world to a tiny town near Limoges. The townspeople have adopted the cartoonists and hold a party that stretches over two weekends, in a grand cartoon museum they built in the middle of cow country. Most of the cartoonists stay in the homes of volunteer villagers – the entire event is put together by townpeople Cartoonists usually come for only one weekend of the festival, splitting the crowd between what becomes two different weekend groups of roughly 120 cartoonists each.
This was my second “Salon,” last year I went with our knuckle-dragging, conservative, “Tea Party” cartoonist, Eric Allie, who was a strange beast to the French. This year I went with three liberal cartoonists, Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune, Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant for three days of open bar and schmoozing with our international colleagues.
Here I am with my Cagle Cartoons colleagues, dubbed “Cagle Cowboys”, from left, Josette, Pat Bagley, Me, Bob Englehart and Steve Sack below.
My festival friends tell me that a cow is usually a placid animal, but sometimes the cow will get annoyed and give a swift, painful kick as a surprise to an unlucky bystander; this contributes to the idea that the cow is a little sneaky, nasty and unpredictable. The “Prix de l’humor Vache,” the grand prize they gave me, is described as an award for “caustic humor.” “Humor Vache” (funny cow) rhymes with “Amour Vache” (love cow, or more accurately “rough love”) a French idiom for a love affair that is nasty, consisting of harsh words and arguments. In France, to refer to someone as a “vache” (cow) is a little bit nasty. In contrast, on the first Saturday of the Salon, they give out the “Humor Tendre” (Tender Humor) award, which is a sheep, given to a sweet cartoonist such as a children’s book illustrator.
The Limoges area is proud of their cows, which are raised for beef and are all a warm brown color. The cow is the symbol and mascot of the Salon. Every year, the “Prix de l’humor Vache” cow is named “Josette” and is actually given to the winning cartoonist. At the ceremony, the mayor of St. Just, Gerard Vandenbroucke, awarded Limoges porcelain cows to my three American compatriots, dubbing them “Cagle’s cowboys.” Bob, Pat and Steve, who can also claim to have won cows (although, not real cows) took their little cows around to all the other cartoonists at the Salon to sign; it was charming.
Typically, the winning cartoonist is expected to take a cash award (I still don’t know how much) in lieu of actually taking delivery of the real Josette, who would be difficult to check on a plane and would likely be an unpleasant roommate in my tiny, Nashville apartment. But, they make it clear that the cartoonist really won a cow and could actually take the cow if he or she chooses to, and there are stories of cartoonists in past years choosing to take the cow. I’m told that are some amusing movies of a past winner taking his cow to Paris, trying to bring the cow on the Metro, and taking the cow up the Eiffel Tower. If anyone can find these movies online, I’d love to take a look.
Part of winning the grand prize cow is the obligation to do the art for the poster for the next Salon. The poster this year featured a lovely Degas-like ballerina cow. The festival people then dress a cow sculpture, in the entry to the museum, to match the cow on the poster. My plan is to give the cow on next year’s poster a very elaborate costume that will be a unique challenge for a St. Just volunteer to create for the cow statue. Right now, I’m thinking of doing the poster cow as Marie Antoinette with a huge, elaborate, flowing gown.
Here’s Bob Englehart with the cow statue at the entrance to the exhibition. The cow is dressed to match the poster which is a ballerina this year. Next year I’ll be doing the poster and I plan to put the cow in a very elaborate costume that will be a challenge for St. Just’s volunteer seamstresses.
The whole event in St. Just is a lovely boost for our beleaguered editorial cartooning profession which is suffering in France as it is here and around the world with newspapers declining everywhere. I’d love to see some of the great French attitude about the value of editorial cartooning rub off on other parts of the world, like America, which treats cartooning as a second class art form. I can’t imagine a whole town in the USA choosing to build a municipal cartoon museum, opening their homes, and pitching together to cook dinner for hundreds of editorial cartoonists – and, of-course, a nine day open bar would be unthinkable in America.
From left to right, Bob Englehart, Stave Sack, St. Just’s Mayor Gerard Vandenbroucke in the red shirt, me holding my “Prix de l’humor Vache” porcelain statue, Josette, and Pat Bagley in the lower right corner.
I’m impressed with the NCS Southeast Chapter, they put on an ambitious gathering and have a lot of cartooning luminaries in their ranks. I’m looking forward to it.
Next week I’m going to the big, international, editorial cartooning convention in St. Just le Martel, France. This is a little town that has decided that they love editorial cartoons – they built an impressive cartoon museum and the whole town comes out in wholehearted support of our troubled art form. They also love cows; this is French cow country, down by Limoges.
So, if there are any editorial cartooning fans in France who want to visit with some obscure, American editorial cartoonists, the four of us will be hanging with all the other world cartoonists at the cartoon museum the second weekend of the Salon, October 4th, 5th and 6th.
Mitt Romney’s comments following the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans has been referred to as a “Bungle… utter disaster…not ready for prime time… not presidential… Lehman moment.” And that was just from Republicans!
Our very own talented cartoonist, Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant, has been suspended for a week without pay over a cartoon and blog post he filed criticizing Connecticut’s plans for inner city schools.
In a blog post accompanying the cartoon to the right, Englehart’s target was Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s school-reform drive, which he gave good marks overall, but questioned how much help any government can offer if parents aren’t doing a good job raising their kids.
“Inner-city poor and minority-filled schools aren’t going to change until we can somehow change the pervasive core of the problem: dysfunctional inner-city poor minority families,” Englehart wrote in a blog post. “Sure, we hear of an occasional winner come out of the ghetto. Movie stars, athletes, business people, we know their stories, but they are the very rare exception. For the most part, losers raise losers. Somehow we’ve got to get to these families and teach them how to respect education. Till then, nothing will change.”
It was the “losers raise losers” line that caught the eye of New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, who saw the blog post prior to it being removed by the Hartford Courant.
“I don’t think it was inner city schools, I think it was particularly kids of color, quite honestly, that he was focusing on, you know, let’s be honest about it, that’s what he was doing and again, I say that only in the sense of it sounded like to me like a not particularly well thought out remark,” said DeStefano.
Englehart issued an apology for the post. Many have come to his defense, including Courant columnist Colin McEnroe, who agrees with the sentiment of what Englehart wrote, just not his choice of words.
“Kids in Simsbury and Wilton are born on second base, and they spend their school years rounding third and barreling for home as their parents pace the sidelines with stopwatches,” McEnroe wrote. “So slapping on a bright coat of of the trendiest education reforms or pumping in a modest amount of extra money — while not terrible ideas — are not going to fix the problem. And suggesting, as Malloy seemed to do, that education could be considered separately from its context seems equally wrong. I mean there’s a reason why the 20 to 25 worst schools are all in cities.”
McEnroe also criticized the Courant for pulling down Englehart’s cartoon and blog post.
“Newspapers are all about the examined record. We scream loudly when somebody else tries to obliterate a record. We spend our careers chasing down stuff that somebody wanted to take back or wipe away.. Newspapers should never, never, never get into the business of squelching.”
Here’s a news report from WTNH News 8 about the incident: