Veterans Day Cartoons to Warm an Editor’s Cold Heart

Veterans Day Cartoons to Warm an Editor’s Cold Heart

I run a syndicate,, that distributes political cartoons to newspapers, and every year at this time we hear from editors complaining that there are few or no Veterans Day cartoons.

Some editors think of editorial cartoons as nothing more than little, topical jokes — this is troubling to political cartoonists who want to draw cartoons about solemn topics and bring a tear to the reader’s eye.

Unfortunately, editors for some of the biggest, most influential publications treat editorial cartoons as trivial jokes; a good example is Newsweek magazine, which likes to reprint cartoons that are like Jay Leno jokes, about a topic in the news but conveying no opinion that anyone would disagree with. Jay Leno jokes about the news all the time, and I have no idea what his personal opinions are.

Another wretched publication that diminishes editorial cartoons is The New York Times, which prints a weekly round-up of insipid cartoons under the title “Laugh Lines.” Don’t expect to see any thoughtful Veterans Day cartoons under the title “Laugh Lines.”

So, if a cartoonist wants to get his cartoons reprinted in The New York Times, Newsweek or some other big, national publication that likes funny, trivial jokes, he won’t be drawing any Veterans Day cartoons.

I have gathered a batch of some of my favorite Veterans Day cartoons from cartoonists who don’t care what New York Times and Newsweek editors think. These cartoons will bring a patriotic glow to even the dimmest editor as the cartoonists express their appreciation to our veterans.

Daryl Cagle is a political cartoonist and blogger for; he is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society and his cartoons are syndicated to more than 850 newspapers, including the paper you are reading. Daryl’s books “The BIG Book of Campaign 2008 Political Cartoons” and “The Best Political Cartoons of the Year, 2010 Edition” are available in bookstores now.


What’s In One Name?

What’s in One Name?

I’ve often thought that it would be great to have only one name, like cowboy gunslingers Paladin and Shane. Rock singers can be such superstars that they only require one name, like Madonna, Cher, Sting or Bono. One name is cool. My personal heroes are Lassie, Flipper, Shamu, Snoopy and Spartacus.

Great artists and composers are referred to by one name. Most people would be hard pressed to think of the full names of Michelangelo, Raphael, Monet, Degas, Rembrandt, Brahms, Bach or Beethoven – we think of them all by one name.

To be known by only one name implies success or infamy. We talk about “Hitler” more often than “Adolph Hitler.” “Walt Disney” became only “Disney.” After a slow start with “Mickey Mouse,” Disney went on to name more than 90 percent of his characters with a single name, from each of the seven dwarfs to Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Simba, Ariel and Aladdin. One name is so cool.

It’s not just the cartoon characters; the cartoonists themselves often go by single names. The top three editorial cartoonists in Canada are Cameron Cardow (“Cam” of the Ottawa Citizen), Thomas Boldt (“Tab” of the Calgary Sun) and Terry Mosher (“Aislin” of the Montreal Gazette). Around the globe cartoonists are expected to choose a single name. Usually the single name is the cartoonist’s last name; sometimes it is a combination of the artist’s names, like Mexico’s Antonio Neril Licon (“Nerilicon”). Thailand’s Stephane Peray is “Stephff.” Cuba’s top cartoonist is Aristedes Esteban Hernandez Guerrero, but his pen name is simply “Ares,” which is much easier to digest. Other top international cartoonists go by their first names only: Antonio, Pancho, Arcadio, Christo, Dario, Tayo, Petar, Olle – the list goes on and on.

Single names are less common among American cartoonists. The late, great Virgil Partch was known as “Vip.” Kevin Kallaugher, the former cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun, is “Kal.” Many American cartoonists sign their cartoons with their last name only, but we don’t call each other by our last names and we would expect attributions with our cartoons to list our full names. Many cartoonists, like me, put both their first name and last name into their signatures on their cartoons.

Going by one name is not always a matter of choice for a cartoonist. Newsweek magazine is known as a showcase for editorial cartoonists, and it is their policy never to mention a cartoonist’s first name. Newsweek takes the cartoonist’s signature out of his cartoon and prints the cartoonist’s last name in tiny type under the cartoon. In Newsweek, political cartoonists Larry Wright, Dick Wright and Don Wright would each be called, “Wright.” Editorial cartoonists Kirk Anderson and Nick Anderson are both “Anderson.”

Going by one name is cool, when it is a nickname, or when it is a name that someone chooses for himself. When somebody else chooses to call me by one name it shows disrespect, much in the way that a drill sergeant talks down to his troops in boot camp. I can’t imagine Newsweek referring to George Will’s column as being written by “Will.” Photographers and illustrators also get two names in Newsweek credits; only lowly cartoonists are limited to one name by Newsweek’s longstanding policy.

I suppose it is the nature of the profession for cartoonists. One name will have to suffice. We get no respect. (But what we do is cool.)

Daryl Cagle is a political cartoonist and blogger for He is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society and his cartoons are syndicated to more than 800 newspapers, including the paper you are reading. His books “The BIG Book of Bush Cartoons” and “The Best Political Cartoons of the Year, 2006 Edition,” are available in bookstores now. Copyright 2006 Cagle Cartoons Inc. Please contact Sales at [email protected] for reproduction rights.