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Cartoonists in the news: Doug Marlette

Doug Marlette recently spoke at the Virginia Commonwealth University on the topic of editorial cartooning.

From the article:

An example of one of his most influential cartoons was one from 1986 that featured a crying eagle looking up at the dark sky, in response to that year’s NASA space shuttle explosion. The cartoonist said he designed the illustration in 45 minutes for a special edition of the Charlotte Observer.

Marlette said hundreds of people wrote letters to the paper to give thanks for the cartoon and request reprints. The editors decided to reprint copies of the image and have it available for people to pick up. More than 1,000 copies were printed and distributed in days.

“I’ve never seen that kind of reaction,” Marlette said. “It went on for weeks.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Marlette said he even has received death threats for some of his work, such as “What would Mohammed Drive.” The cartoonist said people generally appreciate their own rights and not the rights of others.

“No one believes in free speech for (someone) other than themselves,” he said. “We are all alike in this sense.”

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