Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wish You Were There #4 - Telnaes and Moss exhibit reviews

These two are from the International Journal of Comic Art 4:1 (Spring 2002). I was still feeling my way with writing these.

Pens and Needles: The Editorial Cartoons of Ann Telnaes. Rosslyn, VA: The Newseum, October 26, 2001--March 3, 2002.

The Newseum is closing in 2002 to move to Washington, DC so the Telnaes show (entitled Pulitzer Prize 2001: Editorial Cartoonist Ann Telnaes in the exhibit) will be the last one for several years. Telnaes, the second woman to win the Pulitzer, has no home newspaper; instead she is under contract with Tribune Media Services. The small exhibit consisted of 16 cartoons, 11 of them originals. 5 were on the disputed 2000 presidential election, 2 on the separation of church and state, 1 on Elian Gonzales, 2 on China's human rights record and the last on OSHA's regulating the home workplace. Telnaes worked as an animator for Disney and Warner Bros., and now does a weekly strip as one of the 'Six Chix.' Her line is very distinctive, probably due to her animation work; one can immediately recognize her art. Telnaes draws in pencil, inks her work and then scans it into a computer to add color. She now produces both black and white and color versions of each cartoon; this show reveals the color detracts from the impact of the cartoon. While this was a pleasant little show, the public would benefit from a larger one showing a larger amount and demonstrating a wider range of her cartoons. The exhibit is online at If that site is taken down, many of the cartoons in the exhibit can be seen at; Telnaes' own site at is under construction as of this writing.

Geoffrey Moss: A Pen as Mighty as a Sword. Rosslyn, VA: The Newseum, Fall 2001--March 3, 2002.

A very small exhibit of six pen and ink cartoons drawn after the terrorism of September 11 was tucked into a corner of the main exhibit hall. Moss, who calls his captionless cartoons "Mossprints" is syndicated by Creators. The six drawings were in the classic tradition of newspaper illustration, showing death as a gasmask-wearing skeleton and the Israel / Palestine issue as part of the larger problem. A larger exhibit with more information on Moss would be a pleasure; this show functioned as an appetizer.

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