Showing posts with label political cartoon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label political cartoon. Show all posts

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Al Goodwyn wins DC Society of Professional Journalists' Dateline Awards for editorial cartooning

While being excoriated in South Carolina for his cartoons, Al Goodwyn was winning a Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists's Dateline Award for journalism excellence.

Editorial Cartoon
Winner: Al Goodwyn,The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Goodwyn editorial cartoons
Finalist: Alexander Hunter, The Washington Times, Hunter editorial cartoons

Fredericksburg's Free Lance-Star is one of his clients that published the three cartoons in his submission in 2019.

Al Goodwyn becomes the latest editorial cartoonist to upset a newspaper

Al's a personal friend of ComicsDC, and while I personally may not agree with his politics and cartoons,* he's a good guy, not a troll, and was doing a cartoonist's job in raising issues via a comic. I think the newspaper should have had the courage of its convictions to stand by him since the editors knew they hired a conservative cartoonist, and this cartoon isn't any more extreme than others they've run from Al.

I've included the note that he sent to the Daily Cartoonist too.

Newspaper Apologizes For Divisive Cartoon

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Matt Wuerker comes in second for the "formerly known as Thomas Nast" Award CORRECTED

Matt Wuerker  actually was cited for SECOND PLACE from the Overseas Press Club. Adam Zuglis won first place.  ComicsDC regrets the error.

Best print or digital graphic journalism, including cartoons, on international affairs.
Sponsor: Daimler
Adam Zyglis
The Buffalo News
Judges:  An impressive caricaturist, Zyglis is the kind of cartoonist who would have to be jailed immediately if he lived abroad. That’s the standard by which all great political cartoonists should be judged.

From the Overseas Press Club citation page

Best print or digital graphic journalism, including cartoons, on international affairs.
Sponsor: Daimler
Matt Wuerker

(thanks to Michael Cavna for the tip)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Meet a Visiting Cartoonist: Spain's Tomás Serrano

by Mike Rhode

Tomás Serrano visited Washington recently just as the city was shutting down from the coronavirus. We were still able to meet and chat about his work with local cartoonists Matt Wuerker and Mike Jenkins, although this interview was done by email later. Tomás is temporarily living in America and cartooning via long distance.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Several types. At 25, I got my paid to start doing caricatures for a local newspaper in Salamanca, Spain. Years later I got into political and gag cartoons, and one of them won me the Mingote Award in 1995. Six years later, my first children´s book was published. In 2013, I made an animated musical video. In 2014, I began to work for the Spanish newspaper ABC drawing caricatures and editorial illustrations. Since 2015, I´ve been the political cartoonist of the online newspaper El Español and also sometimes I illustrate the editorials of the newspaper. In recent years, I did caricatures for the Magazine of the University of Chicago.

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

In the beginning, I used traditional tools like color pencils, gouache or watercolors. At this moment, I do sketches with a red pencil and mark the lines with a 5B pencil then scanning and adding color with a Tablet and Photoshop. It´s the fast way because, usually, I have only a couple of hours to send the cartoon.

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

I was born in León, Spain, in 1960.

Where are you living now? Why?

Since July 2019, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky because Heminia, my wife, is working as a middle school teacher. For me, living in the US is a great experience. I love it. The American culture was always present in my life since I was a child: old TV series, movies, illustrated books, music…

Is it hard being an editorial cartoonist from a different continent and with 5 time zones changes?

Not at all. It´s so easy now. The only difference is the time: There, I drew after lunch; here, before. I´m following the current Spanish trends through the radio, podcasts, streaming live TV and the online newspapers.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?  Why did you leave architecture?

My training is in architecture. This helped so much in staging my ideas and composing the images. I use to draw realistic architectural backgrounds because it emphasized the nonsense of the conduct of politicians. The strong crisis for architects in Spain from 2008 helped me to recover my passion for cartooning.

Who are your influences?

When I was young, my principal influence was Francisco Ibañez´s comics, Mortadelo y Filemón author. Visually, Disney´s artists were my favorites so far. Uderzo, Jean Giraud… Back then I didn´t like the UPA artists that I love now. Over time, I realized the influence of the freshness of my brother Carlos “badly done” drawings. Regarding humor, the movies of Charles Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, Billy Wilder and Woody Allen. My favorite cartoonists are Jean Jacques Sempé, Ronald Searle, Charles Addams and the caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

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

I think I´ve been very lucky in my cartoonist career. In Spain, I was awarded with the best prize you can get. I feel recognized by my the heads of my newspaper… I wouldn´t change anything.

What work are you best-known for?

Maybe for my current cartoons in El Español, the number one in the top ranking of the Spanish native online newspapers.

What work are you most proud of?

For my first published children´s book Salfón el limpiador de tejados, by the unforgettable moment when I told and drew it to my son Guillermo, improvising the characters and the story.  I would be happy if it was published in the States.

I´m so proud too of my Mingote Award and my first illustration in the US for the Magazine of the University of Chicago.

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

I would like to design characters for the movies, or have orders for advertising campaigns, or covers of books… And yes, I would like to work for US publishers.

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

I take it easy. It happens sometimes, but experience makes last minute ideas to come…  That´s what I always say to my daughter Paula. For drawing and for everything.

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

These are bad times for the press, and there are a lot of people doing funny things for free on the net. Many online newspapers have no cartoonist. Maybe the brilliant ones will survive because an image has still a high value.
Mike Jenkins and Seranno share a caricature moment

What's your favorite thing about DC?

You know I was in DC only for a weekend. As a big fan of the movies, I liked to be in the places I´ve seen there: the White House, the Capitol, the Memorials… and The Exorcist steps! In addition, I would recommend the Blues Alley Club and the Off the Record Bar.

Least favorite?

There are outstanding buildings in DC (e.g. the Old Post Office), but some mixes of styles in the streets didn´t convince me. Anyway I´ll remember the beautiful houses in Capitol Hill and Georgetown.

What monument or museum do you enjoy? What did you hope to see, but missed due to the coronavirus shutdowns?

I loved the Lincoln Memorial and the National Portrait Gallery. I enjoyed the fantastic exhibition of John Singer Sargent portraits in charcoal. I missed, among others, the National Gallery of Art. I hope to come back.

How about a favorite local restaurant when you visited?

I enjoyed the Indian food of Rasika and The Smith's burger.

Do you have a website or blog?

I recently renewed my website:

Friday, February 21, 2020

Commentary: Alexandra Bowman of Georgetown's "The Hilltop Show" Responds to Callout and Critics

by Alexandra Bowman

Ms. Bowman is a 19-year-old student, political cartoonist, and humorist at Georgetown University. We interviewed her last December. When I met her in person last weekend, she told me about a minor university controversy about a pulp paperback book collection in a GU dorm library that had started to go national due to Brietbart picking it up. I offered her space at ComicsDC for her response. For the record, I'm in my mid-50s and grew up with many of the books pictured in the Georgetown Review story around the house, I have read some of them, and I personally do not find them generally offensive myself. However, I do believe that she and her colleagues have a right to make their opinions known without being trolled. And at least one of the books, The Cunning Linguist, is genuinely hardcore pornography. - Mike Rhode

Launched in fall 2019, The Hilltop Show is Georgetown University's political comedy show. Our team aims to make current campus, national, and international events accessible and entertaining to those who might not typically engage with the news - including not only students but the broader Georgetown community and beyond. In line with this mission, we publish journalistic pieces as well as comedic sketches and interviews with political practitioners and comedians. 

I founded the show last April. I write sketches and "informational monologues" (the thing John Oliver does), conduct and coordinate journalistic investigations, organize film shoots, edit videos in Adobe Premiere, and conduct outreach and PR for the Show. I create our graphics, drawing many by hand with traditional and digital media, like our Season 2 poster:

The Hilltop Show meets in a study space in a dorm that would be more accurately described as a glorified broom closet. Until a few weeks ago, the space included a bookshelf, on which were hundreds of books have been there since 2003 when the dorm opened and an alum donated them. During a weekly team meeting, we noticed one book that caught our eye, entitled Cherokee, which depicted a young Native American girl on the cover illustrated not only in an objectifying way but also with blood on her clothes. Upon further inspection, we realized that at least one of the books was hardcore pornography, but many others of them included derogatory racial elements and glamorized rape, including that of underage girls. We asked the university and multiple organizations if they were aware of the books and if they had any background knowledge of their origins, and within hours of one of our emails being sent, every book disappeared from the dorm library. 

The Hilltop Show partners with an independent student media publication on campus, The Georgetown Review, and we worked with them to publish a journalistic report based on The Hilltop Show's research and the events that had transpired. The Show also filmed and published a sketch (a Goodfella's parody) on the same day the books were removed. 

Shortly thereafter, the university newspaper, The Hoya, published an article that included a statement from me, with some remarks indicated as representative of the team's views and some as my own. As I noted to them, "While some were simply raucous crime noir murder mysteries representative of the literary and cultural time in which they were written, other books included extremely problematic and damaging elements, including the glamorization of rape, including that of underage girls. Completely naked women of all races were frequently featured on these books' covers. Further, many books fetishized young nonwhite women." 

The books were typical of the time in which they were written, but our main question was whether the university knew that they were present considering that the books' racist and pornographic content, regardless of when the books where written, could be harmful to those who read them. Several young children under the age of ten live in the buildings where these books were kept, not far out of their reach.

I'd point to how Disney has approached the issue of many of their older films containing culturally outdated and racist elements. On the new streaming service Disney+, films with these elements have warnings in their descriptions.  For example, on the 1967 film "The Jungle Book," the following lines are included in the description of the film: "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions."  I believe that even a small plaque on the walls of the McCarthy and Reynolds library with a similar sentiment would have been enough. When we reached out to the university, we didn't want the books to ultimately be removed. We wanted them to be contextualized in a similar way to how Disney has handled such content typical of mid-20th century media.

Conservative higher education news site The College Fix published a laughably biased article, which was not based in fact nor particularly concerned with providing much context for the situation whatsoever. Breitbart apparently then noticed this article and then wrote one of their own based on the College Fix's report. 

Breitbart reported the story in a way that suits the narratives popular with their reader base. Their report paints the story thus: liberal snowflake college students complained when something offended them, and the university folded and banned the books those students whined about. The image accompanying the article, a photo of books engulfed in flame, has prompted thousands of commenters to compare what we did - which was to raise questions to the university regarding the presence of dime novels that glamorize rape and pedophilia - to Nazi book burnings. 

Brietbart's article has been shared over 38,500 times as of February 20th. Over 11,000 comments have been left. 

The Hilltop Show has released a statement via a tweet commenting on the Breitbart article: 

"First, we didn't want the books removed altogether. We wanted them contextualized. Censorship? Nope. Second, if you're a fan of keeping books around that glamorize rape and pedophilia, we have Some Concerns. Something tells us you didn't read @thegureview's actual report."

I'd like to conclude by saying that we are more entertained by our Breitbart callout by anything else. After all, Breitbart has now called the Hilltop Show a "crack research team." Rest assured that "Crack Research Team Member" T-shirts are currently being designed. Cheers.

More information about The Hilltop Show can be found on our website, where you can also sign up for our newsletter. Our YouTube channel is linked here. We post updates, political cartoons, memes, and more on our social media pages: we are @hilltopshow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. As our slogan states, we will continue to #capitalizeonthechaos. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Conrad's last Nixon cartoon: "I forgot the line!"

 by Mike Rhode

I was in a bookstore on Capitol Hill (Capitol Hill Books in fact) this weekend, glancing through the comics and graphic novels section, and spotted this copy of The King and Us: Editorial Cartoons by Paul Conrad (Los Angeles: Clymer Publications, 1974; 3rd printing 1975) collecting his cartoons about the disgraced President Nixon. Conrad's one of the great editorial cartoonists of the 20th century, and had been on Nixon's enemies list so I picked it up to look at...
...$10 and it was a third edition, signed in August 1994 twenty years after it was published, and twenty-five years later, the Sharpie ink is already blurring and fading.... 

...but there were two photocopies laid in, one of Conrad's last cartoon about Nixon from April 25, 1994, showing Nixon's tombstone with a double entendre engraving, 
"Here Lies Richard M. Nixon, 1913-1994"

...on the back side of that first photocopy was a sketch of the idea of that cartoon, inscribed, 
"For Frank and Estelle, Lisa, David -- All the Best - Paul Conrad"...

...but it also had something the final cartoon was missing. 
A caption with a second double entendre - 

"The Final Coverup" 

- which made the cartoon just a bit more brutal, 
as befitting a man who was was audited  by the IRS as a result of the enemies list

Estelle apparently kept the sketch until Nixon died 
and sent a photocopy to Conrad to remind him of it. 
He wrote back, "Estelle! I forgot the line! 
Why didn't you call and remind me. Love Paul C."

Admittedly, there are some deductions here, and it's a very minor bit of comics history, 
but one never knows what one will stumble across in the pages of a book. 

I wonder where the original sketch is now...

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?


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 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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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

Off the Record bar has new coasters and artwork

I stopped briefly into the Hay-Adams Hotel bar yesterday and saw a new Trump caricature by Matt Wuerker on the wall of the stairway coming down from the main hotel. I also got a new coaster of Kamala Harris , so I checked with Matt to see what else he'd done with Kevin KAL Kalllaugher and Ann Telnaes.
",,,you missed the new Supreme Court!  In the booth behind the bar we've done the current bench. I also did some new coasters-- Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and a new Bernie Sanders. It was just me for this round of coasters.  They needed a quick turn around. The Supremes were evenly divided between the three of us."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Comics lawyer Mitch Berger in hospice (UPDATED)

Mitch at Awesome Con 2014. Photo by Bruce Guthrie
by Mike Rhode

Local comics and cartoon lawyer, editor and collector Mitchell Berger posted on Facebook last night that he's in the final stages of hospice care, after suffering from "a rare cancer called neuroendocrine tumor, or NET" for years. Mitch was a lawyer who graduated from Antioch School of Law in the District, but he has also attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He merged his career and his hobby for decades.

From October 2010 - April 2014, Mitch edited NPR's Double Take feature showing 2 political cartoons. As far as I can tell, he did it anonymously (to the public at least. I'm sure the cartoonists knew). Mitch would frequently weigh in on legal issues in comics, including this comment from 1995 about fair use of political cartoons: "As a lawyer and as the consulting editor on NPR's Double Take Toons, while I disagree with Chip Bok's view of Net Neutrality, but I do support him on his understanding of fair use. His statement "come up with something on your own," is what resonates with me the most. Chip has the right to have the words he speaks and the images he draws to be presented as he intended them. In fact, he has an internationally recognized legal and moral right to protect the integrity of his work. Replacing his words with someone else's isn't just criticism, it supplants and therefore silences his speech. And because of the way the internet works, it is quite possible that some might mistake the parody of his work, as his work." Another of his legal comments can be seen here.

He was also cited by Tom Spurgeon as an editor of cartoons on Kaiser Health News website.

One of Mitch's long-time roles was as "Supernatural Law’s legal consultant Mitch Berger" for Batton Lash's comic book about lawyers with monsters for clients. Lash, who also had attended SVA, passed away earlier this year.

Mitch, Jackie Estrada and Batton Lash at Awesome Con 2014. Photo by Bruce Guthrie
An interview with Will Eisner that Mitch co-conducted with Mike Barson and Falls Church's Ted White, was published in Heavy Metal's November 1983 issue, of all places. He was a founding board member (1991) and vice president for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Eric Reynolds of the Comics Journal recalled that he resigned under pressure in 1994 after the failure in defending Mike Diana. He also provided other cartoonists with legal services. At some point, according to Mary Fleener, he worked for DC Comics and helped her get rights to a story back. He also posthumously assisted Dori Seda to ensure her literary rights went to the person she had wanted them to go to.

Crumb drawing donated to Columbia's library
In 2015, Mitch donated his sketchbook to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum and allowed us to reproduce his Facebook post about it. In 2017, Mitch contributed money in the name of his first wife, Peggy Girsham*, to increase the print run of Resist! #2. His most recent donation was a drawing by Robert Crumb to Columbia University's Library this year. Librarian Karen Green confirmed this for me, noting it was "A very, very kind and generous donation."

I never got to know Mitch particularly well. We would run into each other infrequently at political cartoon events such as the RFK Awards, but by the time I met him he'd already been a long-time part of the comics scene and certainly didn't need me to introduce him to anyone in the field. As seen here, Bruce Guthrie has pictures of him locally at Awesome Con and the Herblock Awards.

On his Facebook post, Mitch writes,dictated to his brother, "I am not at the end yet, but I am getting weaker and losing strength. I can't say enough about how supportive hospice care has been. A hospice nurse makes sure that I have no pain or suffering. A very professional and caring hospice worker comes three times a week to give me a bed bath and change the bedsheets, so I am always clean, pain-free, and comfortable."

Mitch and Mark Fiore at Fiore's Herblock Award, 2016. Photo by Bruce Guthrie
A cross-section of the comics world have responded to his post including Rick Veitch, Mary Fleener, Keith Knight, Jim Wheelock, Shannon Wheeler, Mark Fleck, Jackie Estrada, Wayno, Rick McKee, Ted Rall, Robert Greenberger, Sean Howe, Keith Brown, Clay Jones, Karen Green, Michael Cavna, Paul Levitz, Bob Staake, Barbara Dale, Paul Mavrides, Brian Bassett, Michael T. Gilbert, Stephen Bissette, Nina Paley along with simple 'likes' from Bob Smith, Mark Wheatley, Teresa Roberts Logan, Caitlin McGurk, Carol Tilley, Jimmy Margulies, Ron Evry, Tom Heintjes, Mark Newgarden, Heidi MacDonald, Noah Van Sciver, RL Crabb, Mark Stokes, Tom Orzechowski,  Greg Wallace, John Branch, Doug Ready, Barbara Randall Kesel, Randy Bish, Jim Valentino, Ray Alma, James Owen, Matthew Hansel, Denys Cowan, Maggie Thompson, Michael Fry, Darrin Bell, Diana Schutz, Robert Gregory, Mark Zingarelli, Pete Maresca, Greg Koudoulian, Christine Tripp, and probably others. Additonal comments have been made by Glenn McCoy and Jen Sorenson, with likes from Frank Cammuso, Jeff Trexler and Mike Lester.

This post will be updated as new information or comments come in, with new pieces in italics. 

*Oct 30: Ms. Girsham's name was previously misspelled as Grisham. Thank you to Eva Zelig for the correction.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

100 Years of Cartoons in El Universal exhibit opened last night (corrected)

100 Years of Cartoons in El Universal, an exhibit of political cartoons opened at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC last night, featuring remarks by Ambassador Martha Bárcena, El Universal newspaper editorial director David Aponte, and curator Augustin Sanchez Gonzalez.

(correction: we had earlier mis-identified Mr. Aponte and apologize for the error)

My pictures are at

Regarding the photos of the remarks, the podium was flanked by the Mexican and American flags. Due to the angle I was standing at, I was only able to get the American flag in my shots.

The website description is


September 4 - October 30, 2019 at the Mexican Cultural Institute 

El Universal newspaper editorial director David Aponte

The Mexican Cultural Institute is proud to announce its newest exhibit, 100 Years of Cartoons in El Universal: Mexico - United States as Seen by Mexican Cartoonists, taking place from September 4 through October 30, 2019. The exhibit collects a brief sample of the thousands of cartoons published in 100 years in the widely known newspaper, El Universal, where almost all Mexican cartoonists of the 20th century have traveled through. This exhibit reads as a nodal part of the history of the cartoon in Mexico and includes a brief representation of the artists who traced and portrayed the history of the country. The pages of El Universal have shown the critical work, with aesthetic greatness, by artists such as Andrés Audiffred, Eduardo del Río Rius, Helioflores and Rogelio Naranjo, who have all shaped Mexican national events with art and humor.

The exhibition consists of seventy pieces; sixty-two of them orginal and of great value. Most came from the Museum of the Cartoon of Mexico City, from the authors themselves, and from private collectors. The works follow three themes: the American cartoon, the vision of the cartoonists around Uncle Sam and their vision around the American presidents. 100 Years of Cartoons in El Universal is complemented with the first cartoonists of El Universal and concludes with the great masters of the Mexican cartoon.

Ambassador Martha Bárcena

Right to left: Ambassador Martha Bárcena, El Universal newspaper editorial director David Aponte, and curator Augustin Sanchez Gonzalez.

curator Augustin Sanchez Gonzalez.