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Tom Toles ‘Toons Ticks off Two Readers

Mike Rhode notes that a recent Tom Toles cartoon generated two compaints to the Washington Post. See the cartoon, and the letters.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
@ 10:52 am

Tom Toles is the second funniest, most caustic, most irreverent cartoonist working. (False immodesty prevents me from naming the first.) That he can’t draw a lick is a mere technicality. Tom Waits can’t sing, but he can flat write music. In a slow news cycle, a daily deadline always offers the opp. to mail it in w/ a “back to school”, “how hot is it?” or “delayed flights” idea. That he was able to find a hook in the haystack of the obvious is brilliant. And hilarious.

P.S. I find it nausiating when people pretend to speak for the dead. Flt. 93 hero Todd Beamer could just as equally have laughed at the cartoon.

#2 Rob
@ 12:40 pm

Lately it has become apparent that editorial cartoonists are full of themselves as well as something else.

#3 Mike Lester
@ 12:59 pm

Dear no readily available website or credentials of any kind Rob,
I’m under the impression this is a professional blog for professionals. If you want to ignore the topic at ahnd in favor of a personal attack, I’m not interested.

full disclosure: don’t know, never met Toles. Or Rob.

#4 Rick Stromoski
@ 2:20 pm

I too have noticed uncredentialed and unidentified individuals on this forum who use this space to attack others anonymously. It’s most unbecoming. I prefer to call My friend Mike L a horses patoot to his face….from 2000 miles away.

#5 MJ
@ 2:20 pm

I thought the toon was funny. Airline flights are always delayed for one reason or another

#6 Dan Bielinski
@ 3:39 pm

Lester- the first line in your response made me laugh out loud. Right on, brother.

#7 Rich
@ 8:56 pm

Why are two complaints about an editorial cartoon even newsworthy? I fail to see the relevance of even bringing this one up, unless, of course, it’s a really, really slow news day! In the immortal words of Werner Kempler “Hoooogaaaan!” ;)

#8 Chris Myers
@ 5:18 am

Tom Toles has been overrated since he was with the Buffalo Evening news. Hopelessly leftist, not very creative and even less talent as an artist.

He’s a throwback to narrow mindedness and a member of the 60’s burnout generation.

He like many members of his generation and profession should simply go away.

#9 Charles Brubaker
@ 5:31 am

“He like many members of his generation and profession should simply go away.”

You do realize that the left-wing portion of the editorial cartoonist profession takes up about 75%, don’t you?

#10 anne
@ 7:08 am

I am getting really tired of this attitude I am finding here and all over the web (though,thankfully, not as much here as on other sites) of major intolerance and hate. If you don’t like someone’s work, don’t read it. Just because it isn’t your taste doesn’t mean the person is a hack. Saying these sorts or derogatory things about one of the giants of the business is just low class.

I may be wrong, but I believe Alan posts these stories to demonstrate the relationship of comics to the culture and public they reflect so as to give the comic creating community food for thought as they analyse the public pulse. Not, to invite abuse of said cartoonist. If you have a legitimate criticism of the cartoon in question, such as whether it crossed a line, fine.
What I really object to is the view that people unlike you should “simply go away”. Go where? Out of the business? Off the planet? Learn to accept that people you don’t personally like are going to continue to be allowed to take up space in both the business and on the planet.

#11 Mike Lester
@ 9:23 am

In the immortal words of Yosemite Sam, “Whoa, mule!”.

First, The Famous yet Mysterious Rob, Chris and even you, Anne, are well within their righs to say “these sorts or derogatory things”. And while I’d prefer you back it up, in America it’s not even a requirement.

#12 anne
@ 9:56 am

I think you should probably re-read your own previous post to “Rob” in which you remind him to stay on topic and avoid personal attacks. I saw no comment on the toon in question in Chris’s post . All I saw was a personal attack on Toles and the comment that he and his kind should “go away”. I stand by my assertion that, in america, as you point out, Toles doesn’t have to “go away” he can go on his merry way offending anyone he wants. If he goes too far, there may be economic pressures brought to bear in terms of a boycott of his work but Chris and those like him aren’t interested in things like boycotts, they are only interested in childish out bursts like “go away”. Perhaps Chris should join in with the letter writers to the WAPO to express his opinion – I was under the impression that Alan set up this blog as a place for discourse, not attacks.

#13 Dean Turnbloom
@ 10:16 am

I find Toles to be very amusing most of the time. This cartoon, although I don’t think I would have used the phrase “let’s roll” out of respect, is very funny. I have no real objection to it being used in this particular context – it doesn’t appear to be disrespectful at all. My hesitance in using what he must have known had the potential for controversy may be why I’m not one of the well-known (or even known) names in editorial cartooning.

#14 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:46 am

How do you square your praise for Toles cartoon with your AAEC Forum criticism of cartoonists using the bridge collapse as a metaphor to comment on Bush and other issues? If thats insensitive to the victims, as you charged, how’s the Toles cartoon not also? I see no difference between the two. I regret using a collapsed bridge metaphore to comment on Rummy and apologised to readers who called. By the next day however it seemed like every cartoonist in the country was using it as a metaphor. As well constructed an idea Toles cartoon was, if I was his Editor, I’d probably be asking him what else he had to offer that day.
Jeff Darcy

#15 Mike Lester
@ 2:06 pm

You “see no difference between the two” yet “regret” and “apologised” for a using a bridge collapse as metaphor for Bush Admin. criticism. Have I got that right? Toles used hijacked airline passengers analagous to…hijacked airline passengers.

no time to play today, on deadline: using mine cave-in to bash HillBillary.

#16 Dave M.
@ 4:22 pm

I guess this item is just another example of Tom Toles being overrated.

#17 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:34 am

Now that you mention it Mike, I do see a difference. You bashed cartoonists for being insensitive to the Bridge collapse victims. To me,the Toles toon was far more insensitve to the 911 victims than any of the bridge cartoons you bashed. It seems you’re trying to have it both ways.

#18 Rich
@ 1:37 pm

To me, the difference is that Toles uses the 911 reference positively. “Let’s roll” was a very heroic battle cry for taking positive action in a negative situation. So using it in his cartoon is respecting the heroism rather than denigrating it. When stereotypes and references are used in a positive light, I think it’s harder to be critical than when used negatively. For those that think this is disrespecting 911 victims because it makes light of a truly tragic situation, that’s unfortunate but I can understand the concern. Yet, I see this as honoring a heroic tradition by using it as an example in a situation that, while not life-threatening, makes a good point about how the airlines are holding passengers hostage and the need for something “heroic” to be done to remedy it.

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