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

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The rest of Mark Fiore's winning RFK Award portfolio

The press release for the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for editorial cartooning linked only to Mark Fiore's submission of his animated cartoons about the border crisis entitled "Family Separation in Cartoons." However, he also submitted one long-form and multiple single panel cartoons which contributed to his winning the award. I wrote to him today asking about them and he added the rest of his submission to his website. 




I encourage everyone to check them out and reflect on them.


Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Mark Fiore wins the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award editorial cartoon category

From their press release on May 3rd:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 3, 2019 – Today, in celebration of World Press Freedom Day, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has announced the winners of its 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Book & Journalism Awards. The author of the winning book selection and first place winners in 13 categories - including high school and college print and broadcast, international and domestic print and photography, new media, cartoon and more - will all be honored at a ceremony on Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 pm at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Historian, author and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Book Award Chair Michael Beschloss will serve as master of ceremonies joining the organization’s President Kerry Kennedy and Journalism Award Chair, playwright and author Margaret Engel in presenting the awards.  The full list of winners for each category is included below.

Professional and student journalist winners of the 2019 Journalism Awards chronicled topics including firsthand accounts of asylum seekers as part of a migrant caravan, the horrors of human trafficking, sex abuse, and gang life, the war in Yemen, and much more.  Their fearless exploration of controversial topics comes at a time of continued attacks on the press by the current administration in the US and abroad. The 2019 Book Award will be awarded to author Shane Bauer for his book American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment (Penguin Press) exploring the horrors of for-profit prisons, which he witnessed as an undercover corrections officer.

....

2019 Journalism Award winners were selected from a pool of over 300 applicants in thirteen categories which are reviewed by professionals from across the media landscape.  The Book Award was chosen from a field of nearly 100 applicants. Judges for the award included historian and author Ted Widmer; Georgetown University Law Professor and author, Peter Edelman; and Harvard University Law Professor, Annette Gordon Reed.

Please see below for a complete list of this year’s winners & RSVP to our May 23rd Event: 

“Family Separation in Cartoons”
KQED News and online news outlets
Mark Fiore

Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award's Editorial Cartoon winners 2019-1983

Mark Fiore, the 2019 winner was announced on May 3rd.

Harvested from Wikipedia and the AAEC's website, here are the past winners.

2018: Ruben Bolling, "Tom the Dancing Bug" Syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication

2017: Mike Thompson, "The Flint Water Scandal," Detroit Free Press

2016: Angelo Lopez, "Editorial Cartoons," Philippines Today

2015: Darrin Bell, "Darrin Bell 2014 Editorial Cartoons," The Washington Post Writers Group

2014: David Horsey, "Portfolio by David Horsey," Los Angeles Times

2013: Jen Sorensen, self-syndicated

2012: Stephanie McMillan, "The Beginning of the American Fall and Code Green" South Florida Sun-Sentinel

2011: Gary Varvel, "The Path to Hope" The Indianapolis Star

2010: Bill Day, Series of cartoons, United Feature Syndicate

2009: Jack Ohman, The Oregonian

2008: Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News

2007: Clay Bennett, Christian Science Monitor

2006: John Backderf, "The City"

2005: Mark Fiore

2004: John Sherffius

2003: Dan Perkins ("Tom Tomorrow"), "This Modern World"

2002: Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News

2001: Matt Davies,The Journal News

2000: Ted Rall, Universal Press Syndicate

1999: Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader

1998: Dan Perkins ("Tom Tomorrow"), "This Modern World"

1997: Doug Marlette, Newsday

1996: Walt Handelsman, Times Picayune

1995: Ted Rall, Chronicle Features

1994: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution

1993: Paul Conrad, Los Angeles Times

1992: Paul Conrad, Los Angeles Times

1991: Wiley Miller, San Fransisco Examiner

1990: Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News

1988: Don Wright, Miami News

1987: Sam Rawls, Atlanta Constitution

1986: Bill Day, Detroit Free Press

1985: Paul Conrad, Los Angeles Times

1984: Doug Marlette, Charlotte Observer

1983: Don Wright, Miami News

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review: Black and White / Thoughts in Cartoon by Mohammad Sabaaneh


by Mike Rhode

Black and White / Thoughts in Cartoon by Mohammad Sabaaneh, Washington, DC: Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds. November 17 – December 15, 2018. https://www.thejerusalemfund.org/21159/november-cartoons

Mohammad Sabaaneh is a self-taught Palestinian cartoonist, who, like all good editorial cartoonists, often finds himself in trouble with both the Israeli and the Palestinian governments. Notwithstanding the need to teach art, and the regular seizure of his artwork when he returns from travelling (and thus he says he only carries reproductions personally), Sabaaneh has been able to compile a book, White and Black: Political Cartoons from Palestine (JustWorldBooks, 2017; $20). While touring the East Coast for this publication, he stopped in Washington to introduce a small exhibit of his linocut art.

Malcolm
Linocut is a negative printing process made by using sharp tools to engrave a piece of linoleum, and then inking it, and pressing it into paper. Sabaaneh was taught the technique by World War 3 Illustrated’s Seth Tobocman in New York. He took the gravers back with him to Palestine, found linoleum from a hospital’s floors, and found a substitute for the ink that was unavailable at home, and began making art. In his artist's statement, he wrote, “When I do linocut, I feel like I am giving a gift to myself! It is so exciting when you carve the linoleum, then cover it with the ink, then press it… and just waiting to find the result. No-one around you understands what exactly you are doing. I feel that I am creating a version of myself as well as creating art. The amount of wet black ink on the paper reflects me, and reflects the world around us. My daily political cartoon is influenced by the linocut technique and I like the results. Linocut is also one of the most important techniques for producing political posters.”


The Weight of Occupation
The exhibit consists of fewer than twenty pieces hung around hallways in a small office area, some of which seemed thematically out of place such as “Malcolm” which is a portrait of the 1960s black American activist Malcolm X. Others are what one expects from a cartoonist who refuses to collaborate with those he considers occupiers, to the extent of turning down exhibits with Israeli cartoonists in Europe. “The Dictator’s Melody” in which a uniformed man conducts an orchestra as bombs fall behind them, or “The Weight of Occupation” which shows a bald man carrying a slab engraved with tanks and bombs, fit into Sabaaneh’s main concern – freedom for Palestine. However, he notes, “I think as a Palestinian cartoonist I should not rely on my topic. Yes, Palestine is one of the most important topics around the world, and that has helped me to spread my art all around the world. But as an artist I believe that my art should consist not just of a strong message, but it also should be good art.”

The Dictator’s Melody

I found the strongest pieces in the show to be two pieces, “Resisting settler colonialism everywhere” and “She carries remembered worlds,” each depicting generic Palestinian people, a man and a woman, with their bodies fading into buildings. Both evoke a strong sense of place and purpose, more so than “Can you chain a heart?”, an image of a heart wrapped in chain. The exhibit also contains a long “History of Palestine Frieze” which is about five feet long and shows a history of the occupation via cartoon figures. Sabaaneh says he plans to do more large-scale works like this, and has recently completed one on the subject of women.

She carries remembered worlds

Resisting settler colonialism everywhere
 
Can you chain a heart?
At the exhibit opening, Cartoonist Rights Network International’s Bro Russell interviewed Sabaaneh, who then also took questions. (The Fund has said that a transcript will be soon made available on their website). The audience was made up of students and people already familiar with the Palestinian cause, which Sabaaneh says actually works against him, because most of the people who come to see him at a talk or an exhibit are already convinced and do not need to argue with him or his work. For those not familiar with his work, the exhibit and the book are a good introduction to a world where political cartoonists still matter enough to be regularly threatened with more than job loss.


History of Palestine Frieze segment


(This review was written for the International Journal of Comic Art 20:2, but this version appears on both the IJOCA and ComicsDC websites on November 18, 2018, while the exhibit is still open for viewing.)

Flashback to Nikahang Kowsar's 2003 cartoons

I ran into Nik Kowsar yesterday. Nik was a cartoonist in Iran who eventually had to seek asylum in Canada and then the US. He lives around DC now, and doesn't do as much cartooning as he did, but he still helps other cartoonists via the CRNI. He sent along a few cartoons he'd done for sharing here.
 





 
The Bush ones were drawn for Iranian media right after the invasion of Iraq in  March and April of 2003. I was still working as a cartoonist in Tehran. I fled Iran on June 25th, 2003 for Canada.

I strongly believed that the whole campaign for finding Weapons of Mass Destruction was a scam and Cheney and his gang wouldn't be able to pin point even one rocket.

The 2 Saddam cartoons were drawn after his arrest near a village, north of Baghdad in December 2003. I was living in Toronto at the time.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Meet John Darrin: A Chat About His Anti-Trump Cartoon Book

by Mike Rhode

Early this fall, some of my friends among local political cartoonists started telling me that they had a piece in a new book. Author John Darrin commissioned over a score of cartoonists to illustrate Who's That Man with Mr. Lincoln, Mommy? A Parent's Guide to the Trump Presidency. Darrin himself is from Frederick, MD, and local cartoonists in the book are Steve Artley, Barbara Dale, Al Goodwyn, Clay Jones and Joe Sutliff (see the bottom of this post for his list of all the contributors).

Darrin's website describes his book thusly:

Who’s That Man With Mr. Lincoln, Mommy? is a political parody intended to discredit the Trump Administration in a simple, compelling, and entertaining way. Set as a walking tour of the Mall in Washington, DC, two young parents and their children play the alphabet game to explain why President Trump is the greatest. The children unwittingly expose their parent’s absurd explanations with common sense. Interlaced with penetrating editorial cartoons from award-winning artists, this no-holds-barred tale takes us on a journey through the deception and hypocrisy of the Trump White House.

The slim volume (there are only 24 letters in the alphabet after all) features a page of text with an illustration and his imaginary family discussing a word that has gained prominence (or notoriety) due to the Trump administration. The facing page reproduces a political cartoon and a brief biography of the cartoonist.

Darrin was kind enough to send me a copy to preview and answer some questions for ComicsDC.

You're normally a novelist? Why did you decide to write a children's book parody?

Yes, I am a novelist, and also some business-based non-fiction. A parody of a children's book allowed me to present the pro-Trump arguments in the shortest and simplest form and have them rebutted not by partisanship and ideology, but by simple common sense and honest questions.

And why have it illustrated by cartoonists?

Steve Artley's drawing from the Lincoln Memorial
I believe editorial cartoons are the most compelling way to instantly communicate complex ideas. And the weakness of a children's book format for an adult is the monotony of the presentation. Letting different cartoonists not only do their cartoons, but also illustrate the story meant that each page brought fresh and interesting imagery. A surprise with each page turn.

How did you find them?

 Lots of research and queries. Lists like Pulitzer and Herblock prize winners, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and different cartoon syndicators. Then lots of correspondence to sell the concept.

Did anyone turn you down?
Yes, lots of rejections. It turns out these guys are not sitting around waiting for someone like me to contact them, but actually have jobs and commitments. Who knew? The ones who accepted generally were excited by the concept and the chance to work with the other cartoonists.

You selected various terms for the cartoonists to choose from - how did you come up with them? 

I made a comprehensive list of words that would apply to Trump's administration (page 62 of the book) and picked the ones that I felt were most important. For example. using pussy or Putin as the "P" word was an obvious choice. But I wanted this to be a catalog of Trump's failings and Puerto Rico was no longer on people's minds. With the daily barrage of lunacy, it is easy to forget earlier offenses to the American legacy. Several of my choices were changed by the cartoonist to fit their interests, such as Ingrid Rice, a Canadian cartoonist, choosing NAFTA over narcissism.

Did you write the script first, and give each appropriate page to the cartoonist after they selected a term?

Yes, the story was drafted and then the cartoonists drew to the subject and narrative.

Unlike many cartoon books about DC, the scenery among the monuments is largely accurate even though not everyone is a local cartoonist. Did you provide pictures or art direction?

I mapped out the walking tour of the family and used Google street view to get screenshots of each location and gave them to the cartoonists. That way the story followed a consistent path.

How are you selling and/or distributing this?
Joe Sutliff's drawing of the Trump Hotel (aka the Old Post Office)

The book is available on our website and on Amazon. We have been trying to get it placed in retail stores, but we don't have a wholesaler so we'll continue to work on that.


There are two sequels planned: Who's That Man Scolding Mr. Trump, Mommy?, and Who's That Man Looking So Sad, Mommy?, about the Mueller investigation and the mid-term results, respectively.


Nick Anderson, Pat Bagley, Darrin Bell, Randy Bish, Stuart Carlson, Jeff Danziger, Ed Hall, Phil Hands, Joe Heller, Clay Jones, Keith Knight, Jimmy  Margulies, Robert Matson, Rick McKee, Joel Pett, Ted Rall, Igrid Rice, Jen Sorenson, Rob Tornoe and Monte Wolverton appear in addition to local cartoonists Steve Artley, Barbara Dale, Al Goodwyn, Clay Jones and Joe Sutliff.




Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rob Roger's political cartoon exhibit opens at GW's Corcoran

Rob Rogers
by Mike Rhode


I was able to briefly stop by last night as Rob Rogers made a few short remarks about an exhibit of his cartoons, including 10 original pen and ink drawings and the companion colored prints critical of Trump that a Pittsburgh newspaper refused to print before they fired him. Also included are prints of sketches that they turned down before they became completed cartoons. Rogers' contentious relationship with the papers new editor has been written about extensively and soon after he was fired, GW announced they would exhibit his cartoonist directly across the street from the White House complex (information from their press release follows the images). The exhibit is sponsored by GWU and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. AAEC president Pat Bagley and Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes contributed to the text of the exhibit.

The sold-out event drew local cartoonists Mike Jenkins, Joe Sutliff, Carolyn Belefski, Politico's Matt Wuerker, and Al Goodwyn a freelance cartoonists who appears locally in the Washington Examiner, in addition to Library of Congress curator Martha Kennedy (whose exhibit on women cartoonists is on display at the Library), and the Washington Post's Michael Cavna.

More photos can be seen here.
 





Incomplete sketch rejected by newspaper

Cavna, Goodwyn, Jenkins, Belefski

Belefski, Sutliff and Wuerker

Sutliff, Wuerker and Kennedy

 
Bagley's statement




 'Spiked: The Unpublished Political Cartoons of Rob Rogers' Opens at the GW Corcoran School of the Arts and Design

Editorial cartoonist was dismissed from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after facing censorship of his cartoons


WASHINGTON (July 18, 2018)-The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George
Washington University opened "Spiked: The Unpublished Political Cartoons of Rob Rogers"
today. This pop-up exhibition in the atrium gallery of the Corcoran School's historic Flagg
Building features 10 finished cartoons and eight sketches that went unpublished by Rob Rogers'
employer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, between March 6 and June 3, 2018.

Mr. Rogers served as the editorial cartoonist for the Post-Gazette for 25 years, until his firing in
June 2018. Prior to his dismissal, the newspaper refused to publish a series of cartoons
produced over three months.

"I believe the role of a newspaper is to be a watchdog, keeping democracy safe from tyrants. I
hope that visitors to the exhibit get a sense of the important role satire plays in a democracy and
how dangerous it is when the government launches attacks on a free press," Mr. Rogers said. "I
am excited to have my original cartoons on display at the Corcoran. The fact that these are
cartoons about the president and now they will be on shown a few blocks from the White House,
that is pretty incredible!"

The Corcoran strives to promote diversity of thought and experience, address critical social
issues and educate the next generation of creative cultural leaders.

"Mr. Rogers' work has tremendous educational value to our students by speaking to the skills of
technical virtuosity, iteration, perseverance and creative methodologies on how to critique
power," Sanjit Sethi, the director of the Corcoran said. "His work also becomes a powerful point
of departure for this community to speak with each other about issues around censorship,
freedom of the press, journalistic and creative integrity and the consequences of hypernationalism to a democracy."

The Corcoran organized "Spiked" in conjunction with University of Pittsburgh's University Art
Gallery and in collaboration with the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
"Freedom of speech is more than words. It's pictures, too," Pat Bagley, president of the
association, said. "This exhibit draws attention to Rob Rogers, a popular voice at the Post Gazette
for 25 years. It points to what people in power do to people who draw funny pictures of
the powerful and why that is an important measure of a free and open society."

In addition to the exhibition this summer, the Corcoran will host a series of conversations this fall
regarding issues around censorship, freedom of the press, journalistic integrity and the consequences of nationalism to a democracy, in collaboration with both the Association of
American Editorial Cartoonists and GW's School for Media and Public Affairs.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Editorial cartooning on ComicsDC: An Editorial

by Mike Rhode

It occurs to me that some readers might be wondering about the fact that we now have three editorial cartoonists appearing regularly here - Mike Flugennock, Bill Brown and Steve Artley.

As you would expect, all three are local cartoonists.

Steve Artley (a long-time member of the blog) is working through his archive of drawings with a long-term eye to donating them to a library, so I suggested that he share them with us as he scans them for his file.

William "Bill" Brown's work appeared in the Takoma Voice newspaper for years, and with the loss of that venue, he's publishing his work here at the moment. He's best known for his President Bill (later Citizen Bill) strips which have run for years.

Mike Flugennock identifies himself as an anarchist and has been producing political work for years, some of which one sees around town, as protest posters. He's been sharing his work with us for years now too, and I always enjoy it when I get a new one from him.

None of these people get paid by us, or reflect "our" viewpoint, and the site as a whole takes no advertising or generates any money anyway. There is no editorial work done on any cartoonist's submissions, so what you see is what they've decided to post. We, including our writers, are all here for our love of the medium.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ann Telnaes Q&A at Politics and Prose


IMG_20180124_190746_672After she read Trump's ABC, her new book of caricatures about the administration, Ann Telnaes took questions from the audience for about thirty minutes. With her permission, I've transcribed them.

I’ll tell you a little about his book came about. I did not plan to do an ABC book. I had done a lot of sketches in 2016, especially during the primaries and debates, and I originally tried to get a book published of those sketches. My book agent went around, still during the primaries when most people thought Hillary was going to win the presidency (myself included), and couldn’t get any interest. People were already tired of it, and thought Hillary was going to win, so the feedback from publishers was, “We’d like to see a Hillary book.” I thought, “Ok, I can try that – this will be interesting - first female president” – but for some reason, I had this nagging feeling and I just couldn’t come up with something. Of course then the election happened and most of us were surprised, and I thought everybody would be interested in a Trump book. But you’d be amazed at how many publishers didn’t want to do a Trump book – at least an editorial cartooning book.

I put it aside and I happened to take a road trip down to Savannah during the holidays. I had a nine hour drive down and a nine hour drive back. I was driving, because my dog doesn’t, and I didn’t have my hands free to do any sketches. I was thinking about a suggestion a friend had given me, which was to do a political ABC book. Since my hands weren’t free, I put my phone on, and started to recite, “A is for blah, B is for blah...” and I kept doing that all the way down to Savannah and all the way back up. By the time I got back to D.C. I had a book.

Which was amazing, because the hardest thing for me is to let go and let that new thing happen. When you get something in your head – I had a different type of book in my head – but once I let go of it, and I went with what I was thinking, it just came. That was a surprise, a nice surprise. I took a few hours and did some sketching. By chance I was giving a talk at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, and I was talking to James Sturm the co-founder of the college. He looked at my sketches and said, “I’ll put you in touch with Fantagraphics.” I had an email exchange with publisher Gary Groth and it was great. He said, “Yeah, let’s do it” and that’s how the book came to be.

The rhymes were done by the beginning of 2017, and the artwork was finished by May, and I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t hold up. There are some things that obviously aren’t in here, but I’m pretty pleased with it. I’m happy I did it.


Q: How has your image of Trump changed as he’s gone from being the joke candidate to being the actual president? How has your portrayal changed? I know the tie has gotten longer.
IMG_20180124_191508_027
Yes, the tie is wonderful. The tie is the prop that keeps on giving. I’m still playing with that tie.
You know, I didn’t really think of him too much as a joke in the beginning. I had done a couple of Trump cartoons before when he ran earlier that were more joke-like, but when he announced this time, I actually did a cartoon where he was saying, “Me, me, me” all the time, because his run for president was all about him. I think in terms of how he looks physically – to me caricatures are more about who the person is. The more that I listen to him, and the more that I realize that this is all about him, that has developed my caricature.

A difference in the last couple of years is that I’ve gone back to doing colors by hand instead of on the computer. Watercolor is a wonderful medium for accidents. I don’t even know how to use watercolor, but it doesn’t matter.

Q: On your road trip where you composed the book, did you have any ideas that were too angry or obscene to include, and if so, will you share them now?

Probably, but I don’t remember them. Actually, it’s amazing. Except for a couple of letters, I pretty much kept to it. The only one I remember going back and forth on was the “K is for Killing without a new plan,” about Obamacare. At that time, they were just in the middle of trying to kill it and I wasn’t sure if I should say they killed it, or didn’t, so I decided that they’d try to kill it, but they still haven’t killed it yet.

Q: Would you consider doing sequels for other years if he lasts that long? Every day there’s some new crazy story…

Oh god. You’re right. The only thing I find wanting in this book is that there’s other things I want to address. Maybe I can do a counting book.

Obviously I had to make a decision what I was going to do for each letter, and there were certain things I wanted to make sure I got in there, like the separation of powers, and I had to include something about his appearance and his hair, even though that’s kind of silly. People would notice if that wasn’t in there. I wanted to hit specific things. Using “pussy” was deliberate on my part – this is something new. I work for the Washington Post, and I had to ask if I could use that word. I can tell you that they wouldn’t have allowed me to use it in any other situation, but once the President says it, I’m allowed to use it. And now I use it.

Yes, now for another book I could use “shithole countries.”

Q: Since Trump is famously thin-skinned, do you know to what extent he has objected to your cartoons?

Let’s broaden that and say, “Has he reacted to any editorial cartoonists?” Not that I know.  I honestly think it’s because the man doesn’t read. He gets his information from television. We’re not on television and I think that’s the reason he has noticed us. There’s been plenty of work out there that has been hard-hitting against him.

Q: Did Fantagraphics come up with the board book format, or was that something you came into the deal with?

No, actually that was something they had to sell me on. I draw very large, and I tend to want my work printed large. At first I thought it would be a bigger book, but I had a really great designer, Jacob Covey, and he and Gary Groth were both telling me that we needed to do this as a board book. I said, “I don’t know, that’s kind of small,” but when I saw it and held it my hand, I thought, “Yeah, this will work!” I’m really pleased that they convinced me to do it this way because I think it’s perfect.

I draw large. The reason I draw large is because I have an art background. We were encouraged in art school during life drawing classes to draw from the shoulder and not from the wrist. So I’m always doing this [as she makes a big sweeping motion with her arm]. I always feel I draw better larger. It takes more time, but I feel I get a better end product.

Q: The rhyming flows well – was that hard to do?

I’m not a writer. Maybe because I was in the car… I had a lot of time. I said a lot of things over and over, but I’m not a writer. I think because I was raised on Dr. Seuss books that might have helped me a little bit. It’s not perfect, but it worked.

Q: As a journalist, how do you process all the ongoing controversies? Do you ever tune it out?

I have to be honest with you – ever since Trump became President, I just feel the need to draw. I’ve been drawing editorial cartoons for 25 years, and even though I did a lot of cartoons criticizing the Bush administration, and I didn’t agree with their policies, this is a completely different situation for me. It’s a dangerous time. I wake up every morning just wanting to draw. I have to decide what to draw and that is one thing that I’ve made a conscious effort about. There’s a lot of silliness, and with social media, that tends to spiral out of control sometimes, so I try to make sure I’m criticizing actions and policy decisions and not just stupid things he says. Things that have consequences are what I try to do; I don’t know if I’m always successful at that. Personally, I’m having trouble sleeping lately because I’m thinking about it. That is one thing I do. I don’t watch the evening news after the PBS Newshour. I stop, because then my mind is racing for the rest of the evening. But that’s the only personal struggle that I have.

Q: I’ll put you on the spot - where do you see this all ending up?

I think it’s going to go on for a while. I really do. There was a short time right after he became president where I thought “Maybe this is going to be over quickly.” The problem is, and this is what I do my most critical cartoons on, the Republican leadership is the enablers. They are the reason we are still at this point. They have decided that they are going to keep this man in office as long as he is useful to them. And unfortunately, I think that the way Trump operates, and what he responds to, and what he wants out of this… it’s going to be a back-and-forth situation. We’re just going to have to roll along with it. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take a while.

Q: For a cartoonist, it must be very tempting to hop on the hot-button stuff, the craziness and the complete nuttiness and not the more complicated stuff about the state of the Environmental Protection Agency and political contributions. How do you find a way to make the more complex issues visual?

I take a lot of notes. It’s really a question of what am I going to address today. And make sure I keep the ones that I may go back to later. It is more difficult to do an editorial cartoon about a complicated thing. The EPA is a great example – they’re gutting it. They are gutting it. And people don’t realize the extent of it until they turn their faucets on and they have dirty water. I try to address those things, but when TV is talking about the recent silliness, then that’s what people are paying attention to.

Q: Are there other members of the administration that are iconically recognizable that you can build a cartoon around?

Oh, I love drawing Pence. Pence is one of those examples where I think my cartoon doesn’t really look like him, but it is him. I’ve done Sarah Huckabee – she’s interesting. There’s a lot of good characters in this administration. I drew them in G – grabbing pusy. The KKK guy [in the background] was the last thing I put in the book, because it was right as Charlottesville was happening. The [G-H] spread kept getting more and more people in it and I was so thankful when Scaramucci dropped out. I was like, “Where am I going to put him?” and I just didn’t have to. I stuck Comey in here, because it was the time when he got fired, and everyone said he’s a hero, but they failed to remember that he’s the one that decided to announce that he was reopening an investigation into Hillary. So that’s why I stuck half of him in there.
IMG_20180124_190545_189Q: I wanted to thank you for ending the book on a positive note.

It wasn’t intentional [laughing]. I showed it to a close friend when I first got it, and she said, “You ended it on a positive note. That’s not you.” Z is hard. Zebra or Zen?

Q: Do you now see Trump as wrong, or as evil? If the latter, will that affect your drawing? You draw him as funny-stupid person versus an evil person.

I draw the Republican leadership as evil. I think he’s an opportunist deep down. I think he’s got a lot of faults and he’s an opportunist in the worst sense. He’ll say anything to get what he wants, and he’s got a lot of people around him that are enabling him to do that. And let’s face it – he’s a 71-year-old man. That’s him.

Q: To what extent do you get requests from the editorial board of The Post, or readers, or is it just what you want to do? Do they ever make requests?

No. I come up with the idea and run it by them. They’ve always let me decide what I want to cartoon on. They’ve nixed a few things. Around the time of the Charlottesville protests and killing, I came up with an idea they wouldn’t allow me to do because I think they were concerned about the tenor of the country. I think if I had offered that idea at any other time, it probably would have gone through. Sometimes they have to think about that.

Q: Does The Post have right of first refusal? Or are they your syndicate?

No, I’m not syndicated. I’m exclusive to The Post. I do other work, for The Nib occasionally, but they have the first rights. I did that cartoon for The Nib; they ran it.

Q: Have you been threatened?

By people? Oh yes. All cartoonists get threatened at some point or another. After 9/11 was a difficult time. I did a cartoon about Senator Cruz and I got a lot of threats for that. I think when everyone’s emotions are running high are when you get the most. But mostly we get emails telling us how stupid we are.

Q: Could you talk about becoming a political cartoonist, and then if you have the desire to move out and do other forms of illustration?

Sometimes. [laughs] It depends. I actually started in school for animation. I went to California Institute of the Arts, and studied character animation in the traditional Disney style and I worked for a few years in the animation industry. I had no interest in politics whatsoever. I didn’t read newspapers. I lived in LA – why do you need to read newspapers? One night I was doing a freelance project and I had the television on, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 happened right in front of my eyes and I think that woke me up. I became more and more interested in political events, and watching C-SPAN a lot, and I just started doing my own editorial cartoons. Then what finally caused me to decide that I wanted to be an editorial cartoonist was watching the Anita Hill / Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991.

I was a young woman, in my late twenties, and I had dealt with sexual harassment myself and I knew perfectly well it was a problem. To watch a bunch of senators up there, both conservative and liberals, and say that it couldn’t possibly have happened and they didn’t believe Anita Hill made me decide I needed to become an editorial cartoonist. So you can thank those senators; they’re the reason I’m an editorial cartoonist.

Q: What’s your sense of how the #MeToo movement is going to affect the 2018 elections?

Let’s hope it does. Women are mad. I speak to my friends who are my age, and they’re mad, really mad. I hope so because I think it’s about time. It’s funny to hear people to talk about sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. There’s all forms. I’ve dealt with it my entire career. I laugh when I hear people express doubt about it. Every woman has gone through it one way or another. It’s not all rape, but it’s a lot of forms of assault.

I’m going to give a personal example that I’ve never told anywhere. I’m in my fifties. When I had just turned fifty, I was walking down the streets of Washington, D.C. in broad daylight and I had a guy come up from behind and grab me like Trump grabs people. In broad daylight. I’m not a young woman. I was floored. To deal with the police after that? Two female policeman took down everything and did nothing. I was furious. That’s just unacceptable. It was some thirty-something year old guy just thinking he could do it. It’s a problem. And it’s not just for young women, it’s for older women too. There – now I’m really mad.

Q: Is Fantagraphics sending you on a book tour for this?

Yes, I’m going west. I’m going to first start in LA, then to Oakland, then Pixar (where a lot of my old colleagues from CalArts work), and then finish up at Fantagraphics in Seattle in February.

More pictures from the evening can be seen at Bruce Guthrie's site. If you want to see how large her drawings are, original cartoons by Ann can be seen at the Library of Congress in the Drawn to Purpose exhibit or in the Hay-Adams Hotel's Off the Record bar.  An article about the bar and the cartoonists (that I wrote and interviewed Ann for) will be in the upcoming issue of White House History magazine. Ann's previous book, Dick, about Vice President Cheney can be bought online and is highly recommended. Three styles of t-shirts with Ann's cartoons on them can be bought at Amazon.

Ann Telnaes' booksignings for Trump's ABC

Monday, September 25, 2017

Catching up with conservative cartoonist Al Goodwyn

by Mike Rhode
It's been 6 years since I interviewed you for the Washington City Paper - The world's changed a bit since then - have you?
Other than grayer hair and higher cholesterol, I haven't changed much.  Still enjoying life in DC.  And you're right, the world has certainly changed, some for the good and some for the bizarre.  What's also bizarre is that the good and bizarre labels seem to flip depending on individual political perspectives.
About six months ago you started a cartoon blog with Jeff Newman where you provide conservative political cartoons and he does humorous commentary on public events.  Can you tell us how that started, and why you're doing it? How is the reaction?
I had been wanting to try my hand at blogging for some time.  Given that the first steps at blogging aren't really part of the creative process, but include figuring out the mechanics of blogging, the layout, and all of the key strokes needed just to get started, it stayed on the back burner for years.  Jeff's a good friend of mine back in South Carolina and we chat often about politics.  He was actually the push to make the blog finally happen. 
It was over a few beers with Jeff that the topic of blogging resurfaced.  We convinced ourselves we could manage a blog.  Isn't beer amazing?  We wanted the theme to somehow counter the growing number of people who get their news from Comedy Central and memes.  We were both a fan of the book Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole where people seemingly amassed in a confederacy to stymie the protagonist's every move.  From our prospective those who simply latch on to whatever fits their world view without validation from other sources were acting like drones, hence Confederacy ofDrones was launched. 
With lots of snarkiness, satire and sarcasm, we've been posting on a fairly routine basis since then.  Part for fun and part for sanity.  We've loaded over 150 posts so far. We even appreciate other perspectives and disagreement especially when opinions are backed up by facts. The blog can be found here: https://confederacyofdrones.com/.  The reaction has been positive and we've enjoyed engaging with other bloggers on politics.
You've been picked up to do print cartoons for the Washington Examiner, which was Nate Beeler's home when it was a daily. What is the story behind that? Is it all new material for them?
Nate is a phenomenal editorial cartoonist.  His work was a part of my metro commute when the Washington Examiner was a daily newspaper.  I was sorry to see that daily paper go away, partly because it changed my commute routine but mostly because it was another step in the fading of political cartoonists.  Nate has been, and I'm sure he'll continue to be, used by the Washington Examiner through syndication. 
My involvement with the Washington Examiner came about because my cartooning outlet of 28 years, the HealthPhysics News, was cutting back on costs and no longer wanted cartoons.  My start at cartooning began with them back in 1989 when they were called the Health Physics Society Newsletter and ever since then I had been a regular contributor … until this summer when they let me know that they would no longer be running cartoons.  I think they felt worse about it than I did.  It's a business decision that I completely understood.  They had been great to me over those many years and without them, it's possible I may never have tried my hand at cartooning.   
Since one door closed, I was in search of another.  The Washington Examiner, now a weekly news magazine, has its offices near mine in downtown DC.  I made contact with several people there and after they looked at some of my work, we met in person.  They were encouraging during that meeting and indicated that they'd like to occasionally use my work.  The first was in the September 18th issue. 
How does it feel to have a 'reinvigorated' political cartoon career as a conservative in 2017? 

It's great to have an outlet whether it's the blog or in print.  There's so much going on and so many opportunities to identify contrary opinions to what's happening in politics and society, that there's plenty of motivating material for cartoons. 

Even though I lean to the right and most of my cartoons have a conservative tilt, I still poke at Republicans and President Trump.  Of course many would say, and I'd agree, that those are easy targets based on recent missteps and gaffs.  Fortunately as far as US presidents are concerned, we don't elect them for life.  Unfortunately, in the absence of term limits for congress, the country has moved too far away from the citizen politician and more toward entrenched career politicians.  You'd think with the level of political fodder available today for lampooning that the world of political cartoons would be a thriving industry.  Maybe, again, some day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New caricature coasters at the Hay-Adams

20170901_181820
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg of the Supreme court in a caricature drawn by Ann Telnaes on a coaster from the Hay-Adams' Off the Record bar.

20170901_181759

Kim Jong-Un by Matt Wuerker and Angela Merkel by Kal.

20170901_181807
Mitch McConnell (from 2014) by Kal and Vladimir Putin by Matt Wuerker.



Friday, April 07, 2017

Ralph Baden - An Artomatic Interview

by Mike Rhode

Ralph Baden's work at Artomatic was quite a surprise as it's often NSFW, or families. The centerpiece of his exhibit is a large painting of a man with an erect penis and a caption that wouldn't make it through many Internet filters. We reached out to him to ask our usual questions, some of which are less relevant to a painter than a cartoonist, and he gamely answered them.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Large scale political satire and comical oil paintings.


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

Oil painting on canvas.

20170325_174244

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

1960's Maryland.


What neighborhood or area do you live in?

Baltimore.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

The Corcoran School of Art


Who are your influences?

I'm doing pretty original stuff. Nobody takes oil painting and makes the most vulgar painting -- except maybe the old Dutch masters -- paintings where people got drunk in the streets -- they were funny.

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

To do it over I'd have to have a career- but I would have gone twice as loud, twice as big and twice as early.


What work are you best-known for?

Nobody knows of me -- I'm amazed you contacted me.


20170325_174250

What work are you most proud of?

 In 2016, being expelled from 2 un-juried shows with 2 completely different bodies of work -- also not being allowed to sell at a farmers market under the freeway by the prison in Baltimore because my work wasn't family friendly... and also not being accepted into The Bromo Seltzer building because my work was considered"too unique".


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

Bigger larger scales. I would like to have a room full of people laughing at my work at The Met or The MOMA


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

Stare at a light bulb.


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

Trash can, dumpster, landfill.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

The Phillips -- I love to go sit in the Mark Rothko meditation room and wonder why.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Mangialardo's

Do you have a website or blog?

www.ralphbaden.com