On Friday the Senate is expected to vote on whether to call witnesses for the impeachment trial. As of now, it is possible that four Republicans can be found to vote for witnesses, in particular, John Bolton –but it is likely there will not be four Republicans who vote for witnesses. Here’s my cartoon …
I was reminded that people like to see my rough sketches, so here you go.
You can see I fiddled with making the elephant’s butt bigger and moving his head forward, and whether or not to put the tie in front of his shoe. This is an odd angle to draw, but it is the best angle for effective mooning –I’ve done it before. Here’s one that I drew over 20 years ago, during the Florida recount in the Bush vs. Gore election.
My biggest regret from my career as an editorial cartoonist is that I supported the run-up to the war in Iraq, and I believed The New York Times‘ bogus stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. (I won’t make the mistake of trusting The New York Times again.) Here’s one of my run-up to war in Iraq cartoons, about Saddam obstructing the weapons inspectors in Iraq –we later learned that what Saddam was hiding was his fragile ego, since he had no such weapons.
I think it is a general rule for editorial cartoonists that whenever there is a good excuse to draw a butt, a dog or a Statue of Liberty, you gotta grab it and run.
I’m back from our annual CagleCartoons trip to France! I’ll post about that soon. Sorry for the time away from the blog!
While I was gone, President Trump betrayed the Kurds and invited Turkey to invade Syria, setting up a chain of events that essentially hand all of Syria to Russia and Iran. Right when I should have been at the drawing board, I was away, and then bogged down in doing the quarterly artists royalties. Arrgh! Here’s my “Kurds Screwed” cartoon.
A lot of cartoonists drew the Kurds being stabbed in the back. I liked this one by Adam Zyglis …
Afghanistan would seem like it should be a big issue, but judging by the news coverage, and the number of editorial cartoons drawn on the subject, it is not. I had to go back in time quite a ways to find my favorites. This one is by RJ Matson …
It seems that we get news of editorial cartoonists being laid off from newspaper jobs every couple of weeks, but it is unusual to hear of a cartoonist resigning from a rare newspaper job.
This week, our own Stephane Peray resigned from his job as the editorial cartoonist for the “Arab News” newspaper – a major daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia. Here is his letter of resignation, along with some of his cartoons that could not or would not run in Saudi Arabia. Some samples of Stephff’s cartoons about Saudi Arabia are below
I’ve been very happy to work for the past 10 years with the Arab News, the leading daily English language newspaper in Saudi Arabia. Today I made a decision to resign with the newspaper because, since the Khashoggi scandal, I have a problem with the moral issues involved with the cartoons that are allowed to reprinted in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, my editors at the Arab News are not responsible for the war in Yemen, or for the assassination of a Saudi dissident journalist, still I face a difficult dilemma in deciding if I should continue to work with any media in Saudi Arabia.
For the past months, for obvious reasons, the Arab News couldn’t use any of my cartoons that were relevant to the Khashoggi affair and couldn’t publish any of my cartoons that relate to the war in Yemen – a war that killed thousands of innocent Yemeni children. In recent days, the Arab News cannot use any of my cartoons about the Saudi teenage girl, Rahaf, who escaped from Saudi Arabia and asked for asylum in Australia.
Sometimes I draw cartoons about my French government that has no problem with selling weapons to the Saudi government, exposing the double standard of western countries when it comes to choosing between human rights and lucrative defense contracts. If I keep publishing cartoons in a Saudi newspaper that will never publish any controversial cartoons, am I not guilty of hypocrisy myself?
I am just a cartoonist. I do not earn much money and taking the decision to resign from the Arab News was painful because I need the income, but I firmly believe that I must resign.
So I tender my immediate resignation from my collaboration with Arab News and ask my editors to please accept my apologies for any inconvenience I am causing to them by my abrupt departure. Please understand this has nothing to do with editors at the Arab News.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I spent some extra time on this cartoon which was more complicated to draw than usual. I always complain about the cartoon ideas that enthusiastic readers suggest I draw because the readers think in words rather than images, and I get pitches like, “have one army on the left clashing with another army coming in from the right while the sky is filled with helicopters.” I’m much too lazy for that.
So, here I’m drawing a crowd of refugees crashing down on, and running through Europe. I’m too lazy for that, but, well … at least the sky isn’t filled with helicopters.
I laid it out in pencil first …
And here’s a close-up view of the little refugees …
This is much bigger than my actual drawing and it looks pretty messy when it is blown up – rather disturbing – makes me want to go back in and clean it up a bit. I have to be realistic here; like the European Union, there’s a limit to how much of my resources I can free up for refugees.