Showing posts with label editorial cartoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label editorial cartoons. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Dick Wright


by Mike Rhode


Dick Wright of The Providence Journal-Bulletin was the 1983 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Editorial Cartooning. As Dave Astor has written, “Wright worked for the [San Diego] Union-Tribune … (starting in 1976) and later joined The Providence (R.I.) Journal, the Nashville (Tenn.) Banner, and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. Currently [2005], he’s affiliated with the Gwinnett Daily Post of Lawrenceville, Ga. He was syndicated by Tribune Media Services, then Copley News Service, and finally for several years in the early 2000s by Daryl Cagle. His work was collected in the book If He Only Had a Brain... in 1998. The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco “houses over 300 political cartoons illustrated by famed cartoonist Dick Wright in the mid-1990s.” He retired from editorial cartooning in 2005, around the same time he was profiled by the Washington Times. Wright has recently returned to editorial cartooning.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I draw editorial cartoons.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I use a brush, pen and India ink.
 
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in 1944.

Why are you in the Washington area now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I live in Warrenton, Virginia.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I am self-taught. I went to Long Beach State University and I majored in finance.

Who are your influences?

Mad magazine, and especially Mort Drucker. Also, Walt Disney.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I think I would do more local cartoons.

What work are you best-known for?

I can't think of a single piece of work. In general probably my caricatures.

What work are you most proud of?

Well, when I started I was pretty rough. I guess that given where I started I am most proud of what I developed into. My work is a far cry from when I started. I had some help along the way. Mort Drucker was a great encouragement to me as well as Karl Hubenthal in Los Angeles.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I am content to do cartoons about Virginia at this point in my career.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
I used to keep a file of "ideas" that I used to trigger new ideas. If you worked at it long enough something would come.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

I think that the future in cartooning is in online venues.

What local cons do you attend?

I don't attend any.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I worked in DC for Scripps-Howard Newspapers. I got to know DC a bit. I guess being in the middle of the action was my favorite thing. I ran into many people that were real players. I enjoyed that

Least favorite?

Traffic.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

The Smithsonian.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I love Mexican food just about anywhere.

Do you have a website or blog?

I have a website for a book I wrote called "Growing Big In God". I wrote short messages about many topics about life. I was a pastor of two churches and used my experience and knowledge to help others deal with the tough side of life. Dick Wright Cartoons is my Facebook page with new cartoons.

How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you, personally and professionally?

I work from home anyway so it really hasn't impacted me much.

 Can you tell us a bit about being a church pastor and your faith?

I grew up in church. I had a very powerful experience with God at about the age of thirteen. From that time forward, I was deeply engaged in church and was very focused on spiritual things. On my own I began to read the Bible every evening before going to sleep. In reading the Bible, I learned a lot about God and it changed me. Even as a young teen, I became very interested in someday serving the Lord as a pastor. My parents were middle class. We struggled financially even as my dad worked two and three jobs as far back as I can remember. When it came time for me to go to college, I did not have you the heart to ask for help in going to college. I was interested in going to a bible college to become a pastor. Instead, I attended Junior College with no particular direction. I dropped out and got a job as a draftsman because I could draw. In those days we actually drew by hand the things we were building. I advanced quickly and moved up to a junior designer at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. I became interested in engineering.


By then I was married with two little girls. I wanted to become a senior designer, but you had to be degreed. So I went to Long Beach State studying engineering and worked full time. While I was at Long Beach State I began to draw cartoons for the university newspaper, the 49'er. I did this a couple of years and finally I went to some local newspaper editors and asked them what they thought of my work. They were very encouraging and began to print a few. This changed my whole direction. I began to consider changing my career goal from engineering to cartooning. I spent about two years contacting newspapers looking for a job. Finally, I was hired at the San Diego Union as their back-up cartoonist and illustrator and I was on my way. It didn't take long for my editorial cartoons to be used more and more and I became the lead cartoonist. I was in San Diego for about eighteen months and then moved to the Providence Journal and that is where my career took off. I was focused on being as good as I could be. I would get up at about four in the morning and read the paper cover to cover. My intent was to know what was going on so my cartoons had substance. I worked at it. I became syndicated and my list of papers grew to about 420. This was a lot, since at that time there were only about 1700 dailies in the country.

This went on for years, but I never forgot the early experience I had with God and my very distinct call to be a pastor. As my list of papers grew I reached my limit. I began to struggle to keep the numbers up and had to work harder just to stay even. I began to realize that there was no way I could sustain what I had been doing for years and I became discouraged. I began to question what I was doing, and for what? At this time I began to think about becoming a pastor and fulfill that early calling. I was 52 at the time. I began to seek out what was necessary to become a pastor. I had a friend who was a pastor who told me that in Virginia all you needed to become a pastor was to be ordained by a church and I could become a pastor. His church ordained me as I had 30 years’ experience leading and teaching the Word. Within a month I had gathered together a group of 21 people and we started a church and I was the pastor. In 12 weeks the church grew to 100 attenders. Three years later we completed a new church building. In five years, my church had grown to more than 400. I retired and then came out of retirement to help another small church get established. I am currently the assistant pastor at that church now.

 You mentioned Mort Drucker who just passed away this month, after a long life. Do you have any specific stories or anecdotes about knowing him?

 When I was trying to get into cartooning, I wrote Mort a letter with some of my work to Mad magazine. I received a letter back from him. He was gracious and encouraging. He offered advice about cartooning that was very helpful. One of the things he told me was that every assignment I get and send off should be better than the last job I did. He said this was the way to get better. He said that when you plateau and level off, keep working at doing better than your last job. He said this is how he improved. Mort was a very kind and gracious man. Many years later, when I was the cartoonist at the Providence Journal, I was involved is getting the program set for an editorial cartooning convention. I contacted Mad and talked to the editor and invited all the cartoonist to the convention in Newport. Mort and Jack Davis showed up along with some others. What a thrill! I have a photo of Mort and myself taken at the mansion where we were hosting the convention. He was so gracious and kind to me. What a great cartoonist, a great man. I miss him.

 4/23/2020: Updated with links to Wright's Facebook page, thanks to DD Degg of the Daily Cartoonist.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

PR: 2020 Herblock Prize & Lecture awarded to Michael de Adder; Matt Lubchansky is finalist


For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday March 4, 2020 – Michael de Adder is the 2020 Herblock Prize winner for editorial cartooning.

Michael de Adder has won numerous awards for his work including seven Atlantic Journalism Awards plus a Gold Innovation Award for news animation in 2008. He won the Association of Editorial Cartoonists' 2002 Golden Spike Award for best editorial cartoon spiked by an editor and the Association of Canadian cartoonists 2014 Townsend Award. He has been nominated for four National Newspaper Awards and was shortlisted by the National Cartoonists Society for the Reuben Award in Editorial Cartoon category.

Michael de Adder was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. He studied art at Mount Allison University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting. He began his career working for The Coast, a Halifax-based alternative weekly, drawing a popular comic strip called Walterworld which lampooned the then-current mayor of Halifax, Walter Fitzgerald. This led to freelance jobs at The Chronicle-Herald and The Hill Times in Ottawa, Ontario. After freelancing for a few years, he landed his first full time cartooning job at the Halifax Daily News. 

After the Daily News folded in 2008, de Adder became the full-time freelance cartoonist at New Brunswick Publishing. He was let go in 2019 for his political views with one of these being his cartoons depicting U.S. President Donald Trump's boarder policies. Currently, de Adder works for Counterpoint, a United States based newsletter that celebrates a diverse field of cartoonists from different political perspectives as well as the Toronto Star and the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

He has over a million readers per day and is considered the most read cartoonist in Canada.  He is a past president of the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists and spent five years on the board of the Cartoonists Rights Network.

The Herblock Prize is awarded annually by The Herb Block Foundation for "distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herblock." The winner receives a $15,000 after-tax cash prize and a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. Michael de Adder will receive the Prize on April 6th in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. Jose Andres, chef and founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK) a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.

This year's judges were Dan Perkins, pen name Tom Tomorrow, creator of the weekly political cartoon "This Modern World" and winner of the 2013 Herblock Prize; Michael Rhode, archivist and author, commentator on comics for the Washington City Paper and creator of the ComicsDC blog; and Eric Shansby, American cartoonist and children's book illustrator whose work appeared most prominently in The Washington Post.

The judges noted "There were many strong submissions in this moment of political crisis in America. The judges ultimately chose Michael de Adder for his elegant yet concise draftsmanship and his ability to distill complex issues into impactful visual statements. De Adder, who recently lost his job due to criticism of the American president, embodies Herblock's standard of courageous independence, as defined in the award."

The Herblock finalist for 2020 is Matt Lubchansky who will receive a $5,000 after-tax cash prize. The judges said "Matt Lubchansky is an up-and-coming artist whose work exemplifies the cadence and structure of a new generation. Their work was distinguished by a wide diversity of subject matter and a cleverly askew sense of humor."



Sarah Alex
Executive Director
The Herb Block Foundation
1730 M Street, NW Suite #1020
Washington, DC 20036
(w) 202-223-8801


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Clay Jones

2019 Herblock award, photo by Bruce Guthrie
 by Mike Rhode

Clay Jones is a long-time political cartoonist who also writes an amazingly hardest hitting blog about his cartoons. Here's some quotes from just the past few days:

  -"Graham and McConnell have no problems being hypocrites and telling us out loud that they plan to conduct a sham of a trial." (Premature Republicans)
   -"If Santa was planning to land his endangered reindeer on the Trump’s roof, the only thing that’d stop the Trump boys from killing them would be if they couldn’t get a guide to hold their hands. You know they’re too wimpy to climb up there on their own." (Run, Run, Rudolph)
  -"And if you’re supporting Donald Trump, a bad guy bullying a child, you’re one of the bad guys fighting against America and the rest of the planet too." (Mean Girl Hurts Trump)

Honestly, these days I often read past the cartoon quickly just  to read his commentary.

Clay moved from Fredericksburg, VA (which is technically in our coverage area, but...) to Woodbridge, VA (which definitely is...), was the finalist for 2019's Herblock Award (there's an autobio at that link), has a regular cartoon gig for CNN, and has a new book of his Trump cartoons out, and I'm finally getting around to interviewing him. I apologize to both him and our readers for the delay. As you'll read, he's completely self-syndicated now and you can support him directly.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I am a political cartoonist.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I went fully digital in May 2016. I'm now on my second Surface Pro.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in Fort Hood, TX in 1966.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved to Fredericksburg in 1998 to work for The Free Lance-Star. I stayed in the area after I was laid off in 2012. I moved to Woodbridge two months ago to live in sin with my girlfriend.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I took a few art classes but failed the last one I took in high school. Can you tell? From there it's been trial, error, a little plagiarism, etc, etc.

Who are your influences?

As a cartoonist, Sergio Aragones, Mort Drucker, Don Martin (you can tell), Jim Davis, Charles Schulz, and Berke Breathed. As a political cartoonist, Mike Luckovich, Mike Peters, Paul Conrad, Herblock, Bill Mauldin, Pat Oliphant, Jeff MacNelly, Walt Handelsman, Michael Ramirez (really), and Scott Stantis. Some of these political influences have worn off me over time.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

If I realized how much I sucked when I was younger, I wouldn't have done that.

What work are you best-known for?

At this time, probably for drawing Donald Trump's hair and tie. I also get a lot of comments on the way I draw his mouth.

What work are you most proud of?

Any cartoon that really pisses off the Trump cult.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I would like to work at another news outlet in a fantasyland where they let me draw anything I want, pay me well, and leave me alone.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I don't have time for writer's block. I tell it to go away and power through. Honestly, I try to think what Mike Luckovich or Peters would do, then I try to do something weirder.

Cover of his new book
What do you think will be the future of your field?

Fewer jobs for sure even though that's not justified. We'll still be here but there will be fewer of us. Fewer people will enter a profession that doesn't reward or pay them. Most of us still in it are hangovers from when they used to give us jobs with benefits, vacations, 401Ks and stuff. Most people who do this in the future will have to commit while being distracted by a real job. That will affect the quality.

I'm also afraid publications will get even safer and more afraid to publish anything challenging or critical of anything.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Awesome Con, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I never had until recently when my girlfriend (the one I'm living in sin with in Woodbridge) took me to the Fairfax ComicCon. It was OK. I'm really not that big of a comic fan. I usually only read political cartoons, party because I'm a fan and partly to see that I don't draw the same idea as someone else.
Jones, Matt Davies and Matt Wuerker, photo by Guthrie

What's your favorite thing about DC?

Food, the diversity, the liberalness, the metro, food trucks, The Post and Politico, the people, culture, museums, history, political bars, and some stuff I'll think of later.

Least favorite?

It's expensive.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

All of them but my favorite thing is to take a visitor from the Roosevelt and walk them around the tidal basin to the Jefferson.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Food trucks and hotdog stands. Mmm Mmmmm MMmmmmm. I also enjoy eating things I can't identify in Chinatown.

Do you have a website or blog?

Yes. Do you want to know the address? OK. claytoonz.com. You'll see cartoons, a blog for each cartoon, and even a video where you get to see me draw the cartoon. It's the best political cartoon blog by any self-syndicated political cartoonist.

Clay also posts his drawing videos on YouTube, rough sketches of ideas for CNN, and at least one cartoon a day and often more via his blog and email newsletter. And who can resist closing an internet story with a comparison to Nazis?






Monday, December 16, 2019

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Alexandra Bowman


by Mike Rhode

My friend Bruce Guthrie recently attended a political cartooning event at Georgetown University featuring Matt Wuerker and KAL, which I had to skip due to a scheduling conflict. Afterwards, he made a point of introducing me via email to Alexandra Bowman, the student political cartoonist who organized it. In keeping with our attempts to learn more about local cartoonists, I asked if she would answer our usual interview questions.  Alexandra did so directly upon finishing her final exams, and I think you'll all be impressed by her answers.


1. What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I am a political cartoonist, children's book illustrator, and fine artist. The menu of galleries on my website is a bit unwieldy at this point.

I served as the Editorial Political Cartoonist for "The Hoya," the Georgetown University newspaper of record. I left this past fall to start my own political comedy show at Georgetown, "The Hilltop Show"--I create hand-drawn and digital graphics for the show. I was also recently hired as the Editorial Political Cartoonist for Our Daily Planet, a climate news outlet with a readership of 13,000 (my first cartoon was published here), as well as the Georgetown Review, an independent news source on campus.

I also have illustrated three children's books and do freelance work and commissions. My work has been published by BBC News, BBC Books, Penguin House UK, Puffin Books.

I serve as the Live Political Cartoonist for the Georgetown Institute of Politics for Public Service (GU Politics). My first event was this past September's MSNBC Climate Forum; I created cartoons and life drawings of candidates, including Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, throughout the two-day event. I also do freelance artwork for GU Politics. All my live cartoons, as well as my past work for "The Hoya" and other political pieces, can be found here.

2. How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I am partial to drawing/sketching my political cartoons and illustrations in pencil, inking, and coloring with alcohol markers and colored pencils. I'm becoming increasingly fond of coloring via Photoshop, as it's much faster and I don't have to wait three days for the Copic ink to come off my hands.

When making fine art, I enjoy using mechanical pencils for detail work. Oil paint and colored pencils are helpful for creating broad swathes of color.

3. When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in March 2000 in Sierra Vista, AZ. Yeah, I really haven't been around that long.

4. Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

As a current Georgetown undergraduate student, I am currently based in DC. I live in Kennedy Hall at Georgetown, which has only about half the leaks and rodent sightings as the other dorms. When I'm not fending off rat attacks, I live about 30-40 minutes from Washington D.C. in Fairfax, VA.

5. What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I took AP Studio Art in high school, and took an Oil Painting class last year at Georgetown. I've had a few extracurricular art classes here and there. My mom is an artist: she ensured that I always had access to art supplies and art books, and took me to museums on almost a weekly basis as a kid. I have also spent years teaching myself to draw. Every break from school invites the existential question of "how many coffee table-sized Art-Of-The-Movie books should I bring home?"

6. Who are your influences?

While teaching myself over the years, I have devoured art books and classically-illustrated children's books, particularly animation concept art books and anthropomorphic animal stories. Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Byron Howard, Jin Kim, Shiyoon Kim, Cory Loftis, Jim Davis, Christopher Hart, the illustrators of the Geronimo Stilton books (whose pseudonyms on the copyright pages have been tragically unhelpful), and Trina Schart Hyman. From a young age, I have been particularly enchanted by illustrations of anthropomorphic animals, especially those with a semi-realistic tone (e.g. the work of Beatrix Potter, Disney's Robin Hood, Zootopia, Aesop's fables illustrations, etc.).

Beatrix Potter and Jim Davis were my earliest influences. Whenever I draw an animal or a chubby character, its arms and paws/hands are (unintentionally) posed exactly like Garfield's. I drew Garfield all over my notebook and test margins in the fifth and sixth grades. And when I saw "The Hobbit:" when I was 12 (on December 22, 2012; yeah, I know), I became engrossed with Tolkien and Bilbo Baggins. I received a Bilbo Baggins bobblehead for Christmas three days later, and I decided to draw it that evening. I proceeded to cover my seventh and eighth-grade planners with drawings of Bilbo, and that doodle instinct has not since abated.

I've only begun to get into political cartooning recently, but I have long adored the work of the Washington Post's Ann Telnaes, Politico's Matt Wuerker, and The Economist's Kevin Kallaugher. I actually helped plan a GU Politics/Hilltop Show event this month hosting Mr. Wuerker and Mr. Kallaugher on campus; I delivered the event's opening remarks and introduced the cartoonists.

Vincent Van Gogh, Albrecht Durer, and Leonardo da Vinci are some of the biggest influences of my fine art.

7. If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I don't think I've been drawing professionally long enough to have had any major slip-ups or regrets. I think.

I am, however, at the stage (the "Early Life" section on Wikipedia?) that I will look back on in 5-10 years and wistfully think "If I had only known/done X at that time!" Advice from more experienced cartoonists is always much appreciated!

8. What work are you best-known for?

Live political cartooning at the Climate Forum was a pivotal moment in my artistic "career" (I'm 19, I squirm when I use that word). Since coming to Georgetown, I have immersed myself in political cartooning for multiple publications. I think if you were to ask someone who has a second-degree connection to me (socially or on LinkedIn) what I tend to draw, they'd mention "the girl who draws political cartoons and foxes and John Oliver and had that massive display in the library coffee shop once."


As mentioned, I was also recently hired as the Editorial Political Cartoonist for Our Daily Planet, a climate news outlet that John Kerry apparently reads every morning.

On a fun note, one of my drawings of the Fourth Doctor and K-9 was published by BBC Books and Puffin Books/Penguin Random House in an international anthology for sale in Barnes and Noble.

9. What work are you most proud of?

I'm particularly proud of my recent political cartoons, as I'm excited to have ventured into a field of art that I believe has more of a tangible positive impact on the world. I believe that political satire is one of the most effective means of reaching those who would not otherwise engage with the news in politics, as young people and the politically uninitiated are much more likely to engage with informational media if it is presented in an entertaining package.

10. What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I would like to be a broadcast journalist, news anchor, or political comedy talk show host. Writing for the latter would be an ideal intermediary position. I really admire how Jake Tapper has been able to tactfully combine his interests in strict news reporting and political cartooning by hosting both "The Lead" and his "State of the Cartoonion" segment.

I would also love to direct films for Pixar.

In the case of either life path, I would like to use my career to create meaningful media and/or entertainment, particularly for young people.

11. What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I'm blessed that I rarely have to deal with writer's/artist's block. Keeping a notebook and writing down ideas whenever they occur to me helps keep creative blockage at bay.

Watching a 2-D Disney movie or watching late-night comedy never fails to offer heaps of inspiration.

12. What do you think will be the future of your field?

I hope that illustrators and filmmakers who intend to create meaningful, character-building animated films for children enter the field of animation. I admire how Pete Docter has imbued the films he has worked on/directed (i.e. Wall-E) with his Christian faith.

I believe the future of political cartooning may lie with animated political shows, such as Stephen Colbert's underrated animated series "Our Cartoon President." The show has been more or less panned by critics, but each show is essentially a 30-minute moving political cartoon and deserves credit for being more or less the first of its kind.

13. What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Awesome Con, or others? Any comments about attending them?

Being a Georgetown student with newfound access to DC has given me a new perspective on the sheer quantity of phenomenal cons available to me. I'm eager to continue learning about new cons to visit, particularly those that focus on film-making and illustration

For a number of years I have attended AwesomeCon, where I have met Wallace Shawn, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Adam West, Burt Ward, and David Tennant. I met David Tennant while dressed as the Tenth Doctor; I gave him a drawing of Ten meeting Scrooge McDuck, which David said "was the pinnacle of all his work." I continue to share this story with my Uber drivers.

14. What's your favorite thing about DC?

Coming to Georgetown, I was concerned that DC did not have the media and/or entertainment presence of New York or Los Angeles. However, perhaps partially due to my interests changing since arriving on campus a year and a half ago, I'm realizing that DC's political focus makes it a media hotspot particularly well-suited to my own interest in politics. DC being where the action is in terms of current global chaos is also a plus.

15. Least favorite?

See previous sentence.

16. What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

#ripnewseum.

17. How about a favorite local restaurant?

My favorite restaurant of all time is Filomena in Georgetown. I am comforted knowing that my culinary tastes have been validated by Bono and Harrison Ford.

18. Do you have a website or blog?

My work can be found on alexandrabowmanart.com and on Instagram (@alexandrabowmanart). I also tweet about illustration and current events under the handle @scripta_bene. I have a Facebook page for my work, which sends me notifications two or three times daily saying "Your followers have not seen a post from you in months." It's linked here if you're still interested.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

RJ Matson of Capitol Hill's CQ Roll Call wins Berryman Award

CQ Roll Call's RJ Matson wins Berryman Award for political cartoons


Matson's 2019 cartoons satirized McConnell's focus on Supreme Court, House Democrats' handling of impeachment and working for Trump


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Meet a Local Book Designer: A Chat with Barbara Sutliff

by Mike Rhode

Barbara Sutliff is a book and magazine designer and art director  who recently worked on an editorial cartoon book for the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC). On a tip from her husband, cartoonist Joe Sutliff, Barbara and I got together for an informal email interview.

I heard that local editorial cartoonist Matt Wueker was doing a book for a Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum exhibit in Columbus, OH? They have an editorial cartoon show that's only up for another month. Is that what it's for?

Yes it is based on the show, the AAEC has their conference there this coming weekend. The AAEC will have the book for sale. It was a very small print run for the conference, and the association plans to show it to some of the large book publishers that will be there in hopes of interesting them in publishing it on a larger scale, perhaps even an expanded version.

What's the title, and who's the author?

The title is Front Lines: Political Cartooning and the Battle for Freedom of Speech by The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. This is similar to the title of the exhibition, which was Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists and the First Amendment.


The editor of the book is Matt Wuerker, award winning political cartoonist from Politico and former president of the AAEC, and a friend of ours (Joe and I).
Back and front covers
How did you get involved? What did you do for them?

Matt saw Joe at an event and mentioned the project and asked whether I might be interested in designing the book. We talked and I was very excited to work on such a fun and important project. Matt was terrific to work with. After hearing his ideas for the look of the book, we talked  back and forth as I showed different options for the chapter design treatments, Once chosen, it was a really smooth collaboration—Matt was just finishing up getting the essays edited and finalized, while collecting hi-res versions of the many cartoons that he was organizing to go with each chapter/essay. 

Liz Donnelly drawing and table of contents
In the meantime I roughed out the book to get a firmer idea on page count for each chapter and for the overall book, including many cartoons chosen to go with each chapter. As I have designed and produced hundreds of publications over the years—this project was a great fit—Matt and I had a smooth back and forth with emails including pdfs of pages with notes attached with my questions, suggestions as well as his corrections, answers and suggestions. We also had periodic phone calls to go over the status chapter by chapter. I worked in InDesign and sent pdf proofs which as I mentioned, we added electronic sticky notes to for specific questions and to provide me with credit info for each piece etc. When everything was approved I made hi-res print quality pdfs for the printer. Matt already had this idea in mind for the cover—he provided my with his mockup in InDesign which I tweaked (I am a stickler when it comes to kerning and typography and Matt was thrilled with that attention to detail on my part!) It was a great experience, I loved designing and producing the book. Matt just told me he is putting a printed copy in the mail for me and I am so glad to hear that he is very happy with the printed edition.


How many images are in the book? Is everything from the exhibit in it? Was there anything tricky or difficult about the layout?

Pillars by Jimmy Margulies. August 16, 2018 from the exhibit

.

I counted 100 cartoons in the book not counting Matt’s cover cartoon. It also has essays by Joel Pett, Lucy Caswell, Roslyn Mazer, Rob Rogers, Ann Telnaes and Matt. 

I didn’t know whether the book included everything from the exhibit, since I didn't see the show, but Matt says, "No....  And many of the cartoons in the book are not in the show. It's by no means a catalog of the show.  We just used that as a jumping off point.”

The tricky thing for me was incorporating many horizontal cartoons into the design without having the option of going across the gutter of a perfect bound book like I might when designing with photographs, which can have impact across a spread—but obviously that doesn’t work with cartoons with words. I created a grid with an appropriate width for type, on a square page which allowed for a narrow outside column to be used for pull quotes and to have the flexibility to use the full width including the narrow column for cartoons to jut out beyond the type column. It works as many of the cartoons are horizontal and allows for variety in the design of each spread with varying sized art along with the text and pull quotes drawing the reader to important ideas from the chapter and that act as design elements on the page as well. I guess the other tricky thing that comes to mind is that the chapters were mostly cartoons with an essay flowing through them as opposed to a text-heavy book punctuated by spot illustrations. So the challenge was to keep the continuity of the words flowing around the cartoons which meant jumping the words around a spread or two of just art so that the cartoons and words complemented one another.

Barbara Sutliff is available for full-time or freelance work. Contact her via https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbarasutliff/