Britains new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is a terror for Britain but a delight for cartoonists! With a wild week in parliament, the cartoonists are having a great time with Boris. Here’s my cartoon …
Here are some recent favorites from our other cartoonists. This is a great one by Canadian Dave Whamond.
This one is by Kap, our cartoonist from Barcelona, who draw the Palace of Westminster as easily as Boris flattens it.
The New York Times’ stupid decision to stop publishing editorial cartoons is generating more articles around the world, and the world’s cartoonists are responding with lots of cartoons on the topic – some of the cartoons are more offensive than Antonio Antunes’ cartoon, and I won’t show them here, but I’ve posted some new ones here.
Courrier International, the great French news magazine that reprints lots of editorial cartoons by international cartoonists, asked me a bunch of questions for an upcoming article; I thought I would post my responses here.
1) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what do you think of the incriminated cartoon by Antonio Moreira Antunes?
I would have killed the cartoon if it came in to us. I can also see how the cartoon could have slipped through, without notice, since the cartoon didn’t feature an obvious, anti-Semitic, Der Stürmer cliché like depicting a Jew as a rat or spider.
The Antonio cartoon illustrates the trope that Jews manipulate the world’s non-Jews, with yarmulke-wearing Trump blindly following Jews, which are broadly indicated by the Star of David the Netanyahu-dog wears on his collar, rather than having the dog wear an Israeli flag which would indicate that Trump is led by Israel. When cartoonists mix anti-Israel and anti-Jewish metaphors, the cartoons should be killed. It isn’t about the dog, although the choice of a German Dachshund is provocative; the most common anti-Semitic cartoons depict Jews as Nazis.
When we get an anti-Semitic cartoon from one of our cartoonists, I email the cartoonist letting him know why we killed his cartoon, and usually the cartoonist will say, “OK, I get it.” Over time, our cartoonists have learned where we draw the red lines and it is less of a problem for us. Anti-Semitic cartoons are so common around the world that the cartoonists are usually unaware that their cartoons are offensive.
2) Did the decision made by the NYT surprise you (that is : did you see it coming?)? What’s your reaction?
The Times doesn’t run editorial cartoons in their USA edition and has a long history of being cartoon-unfriendly, so their decision to stop running cartoons in their international edition didn’t surprise me.
I was mostly surprised that the Times suddenly cut off their relationship with their partner, Cartoonarts International Syndicate, because of the poor decision of a Times editor. Cartoonarts is a family business that has worked with the Times for nearly twenty years, with the Times handling all of Cartoonarts’ sales and online delivery services, which were suddenly cut off. The announcement that the Times would “stop using syndicated cartoons” didn’t describe how brutal their reaction was to a small business that relied on their long-running partnership and support from the Times.
3) Many cartoonists (Chapatte and Kroll, among others) reacted to the NYT’s decision saying : it is a bad time for cartoons, caricature, humor and derision. Do you agree with this appreciation?
Yes, jobs with newspapers are mostly a thing of the past for editorial cartoonists. Outrage is easy to express on the internet and often takes the form of demands for revenge on the publication and the cartoonist who offended the reader. Newspapers are responsive to organized online outrage and shy away from controversy. Cartoons draw more response from readers than words, and responses are usually negative as people who agree with the cartoons are not motivated to email the newspaper.
When did things begin to turn ugly, and why?
Editorial cartoonists are in the same, sinking boat as all journalists. Things turned ugly when the internet took the advertising revenue away from print.
Is there a US specificity in this context, especially since Donald Trump was elected president?
Not regarding Donald Trump. I’ve drawn Trump as a dog, and I’ve drawn Netanyahu as a dog. Cartoonists love to draw politicians as dogs. Anti-Semitic cartoons are common around the world but are not common in the USA where editors do a good job of recognizing and killing offensive cartoons.
4) Why is it important to defend cartoonists and press cartoons, according to you? (or: do you think a world without cartoons and caricature has become a serious eventuality? Can you imagine such a world?) What should be done to defend this form of journalistic expression? 5) As a cartoonist and founder of Cagle Syndicate Cartoon, what would you say about the role played by social medias? Do you see them rather as a useful tool or a threat to a good and sound public debate? Or somewhere in between?
It is troubling that so many people get their news through social media. Social media has taken the advertising revenue away from traditional news media – both online and in print – so journalism is being starved. Editorial cartoonists are no different than other journalists; we’re underpaid freelancers now; we draw for love rather than because of any good business sense.
I run an editorial cartoons site for readers at Cagle.com, and we stopped running advertising on the site. We rely on donations from readers to support Cagle.com. Other publications are going non-profit and relying on donations to support their journalism – I’m impressed with Pro-Publica and the Texas Tribune. The Guardian has been successful with support from their readers.
Cartoon fans who worry about our profession can support us by going to Cagle.com/Heroes and making a small contribution. We really appreciate everyone’s support!
Want to see more of my posts about the New York Times’ ugly, recent history with editorial cartoons?
Forcibly separating children from their parents at the border makes for lots of great editorial cartoons. I did this one over the weekend and I’m working on another one now.
There is an interesting disconnect in the press about the criticism of this ugly Trump policy. The more alarm raised by critics, and the more attention raised to the separations and detentions, the more likely it becomes that refugees will be deterred from entering into the USA illegally, and therefore, the more Trump will be beloved by his heartless base – who see the Bible as supporting Trump’s immigration planning.
Still, the bad press must sting the ICE agents and the people who carry out this heartless policy, like a bit of pee to the eye.
I’ve drawn lots of peeing dog cartoons. One of my favorite oldies is George W. Bush as a dog marking his territory around the world. So naturally I wanted to draw a bull, as Spain, peeing on Catalonia. The problem is, that on the map, Catalonia is in the upper right hand corner of Spain, and for the Spanish bull to pee on Catalonia I would have to have the Spain-Bull stand in France, which doesn’t make much sense. The bull could be standing up to pee, in an arc up to Catalonia, but that’s a little nasty. We have a new “no penises” policy here at Cagle Cartoons, which means that strategic parts of the bull have to be concealed.
So I settled on the doggie style leg up peeing, with the map of Spain in perspective and the pee puddle above the bull. I know that’s a stretch.
Here’s my old favorite Bush peeing cartoon. Bigger map. Smaller doggie. No puddle under the doggie.
Sometimes it’s hard to pee when geography gets in the way – so my Catalonia cartoon is not one of my best. Still, I look to draw peeing “doggies” whenever I can.
My last two cartoons have been about Kim Jong Un. The first was Li’l Kim making himself into a target. Here’s the rough sketch.
Here he is as line art. Most newspaper readers will see the cartoon in black and white like this.
I thought I would be bold with the color on this one – to make it more powerful with only line art and red. I’m sure some editors won’t print it because of my color choice. Editors like lots of “pretty” and “bright” colors. Editors generally avoid anything that can be called “bold.”
Since North Korea is still dominating the news I drew another one. This one with Li’l Kim as a doggie, with President Obama and the new Chinese president Xi Jinping.
I’ve done a whole lot of cartoons with leaders as doggies. In this case, i thought it would be interesting to have Obama reacting to Li’l Kim’s threatening barking, while Jinping reacts to Li’l Kim’s pee, with exactly the same body language. Here is the line art that most people see. Yes, I decided to move Obama closer, and I realized that I needed a label on Jinping, because he’s new and I didn’t know what he looked like until I looked him up.
Here is the color version – which is never as good as the simple black and white.
Here’s one where Obama is the doggie on Wall Street’s leash.
Here’s Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the doggie.
I drew this one back in the 2008 primary season, with President Clinton as the doggie on Hillary’s leash. Ugh, I hate looking at my old, early Obama.
I drew a lot of doggie cartoons with President Bush. The military was W’s doggie.
Drawing Muslims as doggies is deeply insulting to them, which is why so many cartoonists do it, I suppose. Here are the Sunnis and Shiites fighting at the height of Bush’s Iraq Mess, with Iraq’s president Maliki.
I drew lots of W as a doggie. Here he is marking his territory.
And here is W the doggie, during the run-up to war in Iraq.
I’ll bet my cartoons would be much more popular if I drew nothing but doggies. I’ve considered it.