Blog Syndicate

Andy Singer’s Panel Cartoons in the Editorial Cartoon Spot

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.

One of Andy’s new, combined format cartoons for the editorial pages. With the same characters and consistent color and format, it looks right as a single editorial cartoon and is proving popular so far.

Here are a couple more new editorial cartoons from Andy. Follow Andy’s work on here.

Blog Columns

France, Cartoonists and Murder

I woke up this morning to the news of the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo Magazine office in Paris. Twelve people were killed and eleven wounded, including two of my French cartoonist friends, Tignous and Wolinski. Cartoonists around the world are grieving.

Americans treat editorial cartoons as a trivial daily joke in the newspaper – in France, editorial cartoons and loved and respected. The Louvre has a branch museum devoted to cartoons; imagine if the Smithsonian had a cartoon museum, that’s the way cartoons are revered in France.

My new editor.


“Charlie Hebdo” is a silly name; it is a weekly magazine filled with editorial cartoons, easily found on news stands everywhere in France. “Hebdo” means “weekly” in French, and “Charlie” comes from France’s love for the comic strip “Peanuts” and Charlie Brown – therefore “Charlie Hebdo.” The top cartoonists in France vie to be on the pages of Charlie Hebdo.

There are cartoon festivals all over France – the best one for political cartoonists is in the small town of St Just le Martel; I’ve been attending for years, along with other cartoonists I syndicate. The townspeople pitch in to throw a festival for the editorial cartoonists every year; villagers put cartoonists up in their homes, and they award a live cow to the “Humor Vache” cartoonist of the year. One greatly respected winner of the cow was Georges Wolinski, a brilliant cartoonist with a masterful loose, swishy, wordy style, highly respected by the French. We were fellow cow winners, having a beer together last October; it is hard to imagine that he is gone.

The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are a diverse group of charming characters; they are the heart of the French cartooning community. There are not a lot of editorial cartoonists. We get to know each other; the murders are a blow that strikes close to all of us.
The Charlie Hebdo artists were energized and incensed by the Danish Muhammad cartoon fracas a few years ago. French cartoonists have a macho attitude, seeing themselves on the front lines of a free speech debate. One Charlie Hebdo issue, touted as “edited by the Profit Muhammad” had all blank pages. One Charlie Hebdo cover featured a drawing, by French cartoonist “Luz” of the magazine’s publisher/cartoonist “Charb” having a sloppy kiss with a Muslim Man, under the headline “L’Amour plus for que la haine” or “love is stronger than hate.” Charb was among those killed in the terror attack.

Terrorists have no sense of humor. Cartoons loom large in the Arab world, typically on the front pages of Arab language newspapers. It is no wonder that our cartoons seem to bother the terrorists more than our words. Sitting behind a beer with Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the talk often turns to Islamic extremeists and their assaults on press freedoms. No one can doubt that editorial cartoonists are leading the fight for press freedoms now.

Today we are are grieving, but as we move forward, I hope that our cartoons won’t be chilled by these murders and that the cartooning community will step up to this challenge with even more brilliant and insightful work – I’m sure the French cartoonists will do that; they are my heroes.


Muslims Condemn FtHood Violence

Muslims Condemn Ft. Hood Violence COLOR © Daryl Cagle,,Muslims, Moslems, press, Ft. Hood, Fort Hood, violence, shootings, army base, military


My Muslims Condemning Violence Cartoon

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Here’s my new cartoon about the press interviewing Muslims about the Fort Hood shootings.  I’m sure it will make some readers angry, as all the other cartoons are still grief cartoons.  I’m just making the point that the press often act like jerks in their persistent hunt for hints of support for the violence in the Muslim community.

OK.  Now you can get mad.


Those Terrible Virginia Tech Cartoons

When a lunatic killed 32 people at Virginia Tech University earlier this week I knew what to expect from political cartoonists, who don’t react well to tragedy. Some of the cartoons seemed insensitive, as today’s generation of jokesters struggled to respond to a story with no lighter side.

I have some sympathy for the editorial cartoonists who have a daily deadline and must respond to the headline of the day. The first cartoons were predictable: Uncle Sam or the Virginia Tech mascot, with bowed heads and flags or the school pennant at half-mast. There were lots of riffs on the school logo (the letters “VT”), including one depicting the school logo in dead bodies. Some cartoonists launched immediately into gun control cartoons – “how terrible it is that guns are so widely available” and “what a shame it is that none of the victims were toting firearms to protect themselves.”

I run a syndicate that distributes editorial cartoons to newspapers, and our editors were not happy. The day after the tragedy one editor from Georgia wrote: “As a Cagle subscriber, I have to tell you the cartoons sent today about the Virginia Tech shootings showed a deplorable lack of sensitivity and taste. Can’t you find (someone) who isn’t so quick to try to be funny or cute at innocent people’s expense?”

As bad as this week was for cartoonists, it was worse for television. An army of aggressive TV reporters descended on little Blacksburg, Va., asking everyone they could find, “How do you feel?” and “Did you know him?” The television coverage reached new heights of ugliness when NBC released the killer’s “Multimedia Manifesto” and all we could see on cable news was 24 hours of “non-stop nut-case.” It took a day for the wallpaper killer coverage to devolve into finger pointing among the media about whether they were doing the right thing in publicizing the killer’s message.

When I first heard about the massacre, I wrote in my blog that I would not be drawing any cartoons about it. But after only two days the story had matured into something I wanted to draw cartoons about because there was something for me to criticize. I drew two cartoons bashing NBC; one showed the NBC peacock dressed up as the network of gun-brandishing Seung-Hui Cho. I drew another showing two kids dressed like Cho, because “He’s the only guy we see on TV now.” I drew another one generally bashing people who didn’t see that Cho was a psychopath, with Cho painting the giant words “STOP ME” on the ground while two oblivious college professors walk by saying, “How can we know something like this is going to happen?”

Political cartooning is a negative art form. Cartoonists and columnists work best when bashing hypocrites or speaking to issues where opinion is divided. I am fortunate to have no daily deadline. When I don’t want to draw on a subject, I don’t have to; that was a luxury for me with the Virginia Tech story. Unfortunately, the deadlines of the 24-hour news cycle demand that most cartoonists, reporters and commentators chime in right away.

Sometimes it pays to take a step back and hold your breath without writing, drawing or reporting anything for a couple of days – until there is something constructive to say.

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, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Editions,” are available in bookstores now.