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Cagle rounds up controversial cartoons about the VT shootings

Over on Daryl Cagle’s blog, he’s posted the more controversial cartoons about the Virginia Tech shootings as well as the many gripes about them (scroll down). The two cartoons that are creating the most ruckus are Milt Priggee’s drawing of the letters “VT” drawn out in bodies as well as Rob Roger’s usage of imagery from the iconic and Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the Kent State shootings back in 1970.

Rob defends the use of the imagery:

I realized when I drew the cartoon that this might be a problematic image to use because it is so closely associated with the quelling of an anti-war protest. The Virginia Tech shooting has nothing to do with war or protesters, but it has now become the largest campus shooting tragedy in our history. The largest campus shooting up to this point was at the University of Texas in 1966. It is more closely aligned with Virginia Tech, but there is not one indelible image that comes to mind with the Texas shooting. I hope readers of my cartoon can look past the war context of the photo and focus on the emotional context.

Apparently some people couldn’t.

Community Comments

#1 Norm Feuti
April/19/2007
@ 8:13 am

I don’t have anything to say about the cartoons.

My only observation on the matter is that I think the way society and the media over-analyze these disturbed individuals into postmortem celebrities only serves to drive the next guy with a sick fantasy to be even more dramatic.

Is it any wonder these types of events keep happening when we never fail to give the perpetrators the fame and attention they knew they would get?

#2 Rich
April/19/2007
@ 11:41 am

Amen Norm. I terms of the cartoons … the seemed to have received the feedback they deserved in my opinion.

#3 JeffM
April/20/2007
@ 12:21 pm

Cagle was the one that immediately used white male hicks sitting in trees insinuating the snipers were white Christian NRA, 2nd Amendment lovers, when the DC sniper shootings were happening. But when Malvo and Muhammad were caught, and being 100% opposite of what Cagle was trying to imply, he and the others leftist cartoonist went silent. Why? Don’t want to upset Muslims? Yeah I know. Christians are easy targets because we don’t riot and call for the heads of cartoonist.

#4 DT
April/20/2007
@ 1:52 pm

It is a sad commentary on the editorial cartoonist themselves as well as the profession when they try to parlay a tragedy of this magnitude into some kind of personal notoriety by purposefully depicting imagery that can only inflict pain…how mightier the pen, which requires no permit at all

#5 Chris
April/21/2007
@ 10:34 am

The VT massacre was an horrible tragedy. My condolences to the families of the victims.
I agree with Norm that the real disgusting thing about this is how these psychos that kill all these people (Cho Seung-Hui here, or those Columbine gunmen) are turned into celebrities and pored over after their death by the media. If anyone should be glorified, it should be the victims. Just last night I was watching TV and there was a “News at 11” flash which promised more about this killer. This is horrible and I think it says something about our society that people are so fascinated by this.

On the cartoons: The “VT in dead bodies” one is disgusting and inappropriate. I can understand his intent, but I can’t believe that they published this so soon after the massacre. The “Bush and handguns” one tries to put a political angle on the subject, but honestly, there shouldn’t be a political angle here. The “Kent State = VT” cartoon was more sensitive, but I agree that it implies that the government was involved in the tragedy. As for Cagle’s own cartoons in response to the shootings, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of the two that criticize the media having a field day with it. I’m sure that the cartoon he drew — showing two men saying, “There’s no way we could’ve prevented this” in front of Cho painting in huge letters, “STOP ME” — will be very controversial.

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