The most recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas was interesting for the contrast with the Parkland, Florida shooting where student survivors rose up to lead protests, making eloquent arguments for gun control. In deep red Texas the response is standard, Republican “thoughts and prayers.” I’m sick of “thoughts and prayers” so this is my cartoon:
There are lots of cartoonists who feel the same way. Here are some of my “thoughts and prayers” favorites …
The politicians who oppose restrictions on gun sales, and who support sales of America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, the assault rifles that is used in so many of these mass shootings, like to say that their “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims. I’m sick of “thoughts and prayers” from these murder enablers.
Today’s cartoon comes from a thoughtful fan on Facebook, commenting on my last cartoon, which was also about the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Many thanks to Jerry Moore!
I was troubled to see a cartoon by our own Taylor Jones, on the front page of FoxNews.com in what seems to be a screenshot of the congressional baseball game shooter’s Facebook page, along with the headline: “HISTORY OF HATE.” I thought it was unfair of Fox News to put Taylor in that spot.
Steve Sack, the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune commented, “It could have been any cartoonist’s work there. They’re using a deranged moron’s actions to stifle satire. I’ve seen attacks on TV comedians today as well. Hang in there, Taylor.”
Steve is correct about the right focusing their ire on satire. Conservatives thrive on talk radio where liberals haven’t been able to find an audience because the nature of liberal discourse is different – morning zoo radio and late night comedians are where liberals commune. We would rather laugh at Colbert or Saturday Night Live than listen to hours of Rush Limbaugh preaching reassuringly to his choir. Liberals can laugh at themselves, while conservatives laugh at liberals. This is something we see in totalitarian states around the world, as over half of the world’s population lives in a nation that doesn’t allow cartoonists to draw their nation’s leader. Conservatives and despots both have trouble laughing at themselves. This is a worry to me when Trump talks about limiting press freedoms, and when the media picks up the right’s criticism of satire. I suspect we’ll see more examples of conservative media lumping cartoonists together with monsters.
I’m told that CNN has been repeatedly showing Taylor’s cartoon from the gunman’s Facebook page this morning. Taylor sent me these comments …
• The fact that the alleged assailant had posted his comment, that Trump is a “mean and disgusting” person, right above my cartoon … Well, that’s the pointI’vebeen trying to make about Donald Trump all along. I’m less bothered by Trump’s somewhat quixotic policies, than with the impression I have that our president is a thoroughly repugnant individual. I think it’s possible that Hodgkinson might have posted numerous cartoons of mine, and others who’ve been very personal in their depictions of Trump, because of that recurrent theme.
• If any cartoonists, or perhaps all of us, and even more so Stephen Colbert or Rachel Maddow, helped propel Hodgkinson to his final, violent act, however minor our actual influence, it might be because Trump has personalized the presidency more than any president in our lifetime. (Perhaps Andrew Jackson, Trump’s new political hero, was on that par). Trump’s truly making these current moments of American history…all about him. And that has made reactions to Trump, whether from cartoonists or comedians, coalminers or violent madmen, all the more personal.
The recent police shootings and the murders of policemen in Dallas are a horror. I think these police shooting horrors have been going on in probably the same or lesser proportion in the past, but now we see them on phone videos. More of a horror are the statistics for how disproportionately more blacks are in prison. My solution is to get rid of the racist laws that disproportionately punish blacks for drug crimes. We should see by now that the war on drugs is unfair and is more costly to society than the cost in lives and suffering of having no war on drugs at all.
I should apologize for taking such a long break from the last cartoon. I’ve been moving back to California. We sold the ranch in Tennessee and we’re back in California, hopefully for good.
I think the police/Black Lives Matter issue will be with us for quite some time and I should come up with some more cartoon ideas on this. I have to admit that this isn’t an easy topic. It is much easier to draw “Trump as a monster” cartoons. I like the black and white line art version of this one, so I didn’t do a grayscale on this one. Unfortunately, most newspapers take the color image and grayscale it rather than using line art when I post line art as the black and white version. Frustrating. Line art is more elegant.
Here’s an oldie on the same topic that I drew last year. This one has been getting more ink recently as it has been more appropriate for the week’s focus.
And here’s another one …
In the video below you can see me drawing the target cartoon in real time.
In the next video see me coloring the cartoon in Photoshop.
Standing in a crowed of bloody, murder victims while saying something ironic or hypocritical is a cartoon cliche that every cartoonist has drawn many times. Here’s a similar cartoon that my buddy Pat Bagley drew recently in response to San Bernardino …
Here’s another one of my dead field of victims cartoons about Bashar Assar – as fresh today as it was when I drew it some time ago.
Here’s another one where I used the same victims. I traced the same dead crowd, and changed their clothes to Taliban duds. There was a story at the time criticizing American servicemen for peeing on the corpses of Taliban fighters they had just killed in battle. I got a lot of angry reader response to this cartoon.
This also isn’t the first time I’ve drawn the NRA as a pig. Here is a Cagle classic NRA pig cartoon …
Pigs are a wonderful cartoon standard; they are a symbol of greed. Here’s a standard Cagle piggy oldie …
Pigs and standing among fields of the dead are two of my favorite things! (Maybe that’s another reason why those Islamic extremists don’t like cartoonists.)
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.
This is my cartoon on the Tennessee shooting tragedy. I didn’t think I could do anything more than the flowers and flags I’m seeing on the news, so I went with flags at half mast. This is probably a local cartoon, since many readers around the country won’t know the Tennessee flag, still, it is a local tragedy deserving of a local cartoon.
This reminds us that Tennessee is part of a big, ugly world.
Here’s my newest cartoon on the police shootings protests. Just pick one, from 1 to 4, then turn your computer over to read the answers. I don’t think that will work if you’re looking at this on your cell phone or tablet, because the screen will pop to right side up if you turn your computer over. I’m an old, desktop computer guy so it works for me. Heavy, though.