Showing posts with label political cartoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label political 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?


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. 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?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

PR: New political cartoon book from Clay Jones

Impeach This Book! Cartoonist Clay Jones collects his smartest, funniest Donald Trump cartoons in one ridiculously long-tied, deluxe volume!


(IMPEACHMENT DAY, November 13, 2019) -- Editorial cartoonist ClayJones has been drawing the world around him for more than two decades, but his style and humor caught fire at the beginning of the Trump Administration.

An award-winning artist whose work is seen on CNN as well as newspapers and news sites across the United States and beyond, Jones collected his best Trump-related 'toons in one full-color, 270-page deluxe collection titled Tales From the Trumpster Fire: A Cartoon Anthology ($39.95US; Mr. Media Books, 2019).

Among his fans, Jones is perhaps best known for distinctive north and south caricature of Donald J. Trump: the hair goes on and on to the north while the ever-present red tie flows ever-further south. The book features a Foreword by fellow editorial cartoonist Matt Davies and endorsements from TV personality Rosie O'Donnell and fellow cartoonists Ann Telnaes and Mike Peters.

Clay Jones is a self-syndicated political cartoonist whose work is distributed to newspapers and news sites across the United States and around the world. He also draws a weekly cartoon for CNN Opinion’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Clay was represented by Creators Syndicate (2000-13) until he left to start his own syndicate. His career began in 1990 at The Panolian, a weekly newspaper in Batesville, Mississippi. Clay also worked for the Daily Leader in Brookhaven, Mississippi, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He previously worked as a freelance cartoonist for The Daily Dot, The Seattle Times and The Costa Rica Star.
Clay won “Best Cartoon” in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest (2018), as well as several state awards in Mississippi, Hawaii and Virginia. Additionally, he was the finalist for the Herblock Award (2019), and rejected a weird “free speech” award from the government of Iran.
A collection of his work is archived at the Mattie Sink Memorial Library at Mississippi State University. An early collection of his cartoons, titled “Knee-Deep inMississippi,” was distributed by Pelican Publishing (1997). And his work was displayed in an exhibit at the Jewish Museum Berlin (2017).
His daily cartoons are featured in about 50 newspapers and have been reprinted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Dallas Morning News, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Ottawa Citizen, the Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, Newsweek and Time Magazine. They’ve been seen on CNN, MSNBC and C-SPAN.
Clay plays and writes 90s-style alt-rock on guitar. He released the album “No Thanks To Hancock” with the band Corporate T-Shirt.
He lives somewhere in the Washington, D.C, suburbs of Northern Virginia.

Mr. Media Books is an independent publisher known for its wide array of unrelated titles, from business titles such as Mean Business by “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap and Determined by Atlanta business legend Felker Ward to You’ll Need a Guide by Marshall Craig and the pulp fantasy noir series Tales of the Annigan Cycle (imagine if Edgar Rice Burroughs collaborated with Quentin Tarantino). The St. Petersburg, Florida-based imprint, started by writer Bob Andelman in 2014, also published the politically brutal humor of The Wages of Sin by cartoonist Keith Brown.