Cartooning for Peace

PLANTU 2010 texte 6cfc6mug Cartooning for Peace cartoons

Le Monde’s editorial cartoonist, Jean Plantu, and his trademark mouse.

I’m a big supporter of French cartoonist Jean Plantu’s Cartooning for Peace organization. It sounds a little silly, because all of the cartoonists are in favor of peace, and the nature of cartoons seems to be frivolous, while peace is a serious topic.

That said, Cartooning for Peace does a lot of great stuff; they organize meetings of editorial cartoonists and hold impressive exhibitions all over the world. I’ve made a lot of worldly, cartoonist friends through Cartooning for Peace. Plantu is the star cartoonist of France – that’s him at the right, with his trademark mouse that appears in the corner of every Plantu cartoon.

One of Plantu’s recent projects is a weekly page in his newspaper, Le Monde, with cartoons from around the world about a topic in the news. Plantu does a great job with it, soliciting the newest cartoons from member cartoonists every week.  I have pasted some pages below.  They look great and show the power of editorial cartoons at their best.

We syndicate a bunch of international cartoonists to about 850 newspapers, and they tend to be less popular than our American cartoonists. Americans aren’t much interested in events outside of the United States, unless we’re at war or threaten to be at war with someone. Passionate cartoons about water issues or the European Union don’t generate much reader passion in the USA.

On the topics that penetrate our borders and generate interest here, collections of international cartoons are a wonderful way to show a variety of world opinions at a glance. My local newspaper, the Santa Barbara News-Press does an international week in review with world cartoonists regularly. I would urge more editors to consider doing it.

The page below is “Egypt: an explosive cocktail”. It includes the Adam and Eve cartoon by Doaa El Adl, that has led to her prosecution by Islamist authorities. I’d love to see newspapers all around the world reprint Doaa’s cartoon.

Egypt Cartooning for Peace cartoons

Gay marriage has recently been a hot topic in France.

GayMarriage Cartooning for Peace cartoons

Here is the most recent one, on International Womens Day.

IntlWomensDay Cartooning for Peace cartoons




International Women’s Day Cartoons

Amid all the talk about birth control and female reproductive rights, you might have forgotten that today is International Women’s Day. Countries around the world are celebrating the gains made by women in business, politics and education.

It’s sad that we don’t have many female editorial cartoonists working today that can express themselves on a topic like this. Maybe that itself is a sign of how far women’s right still have to go. Or maybe it means women just don’t like to draw cartoons.

Check out our International Women’s Day cartoon collection, and share it with a friend!

Chris Slane / (click to view cartoon collection)