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News Briefs for January 26, 2009

» Politico has an article about the difficulty cartoonist will have skewering President Obama. Let’s see… no, this isn’t a re-print of an earlier article that we’ve talked about before (see here and here). Can we be officially done on this topic yet? Or better still, can editorial cartoonists, when asked this question, say emphatically, “Obama is not the re-incarnated Christ. He’s a politician with a lanky body and big ears. He’s going to be no harder to skewer than any others” and then be done with it.

» The comics have finally come to The Louve in Paris France. The exhibit that opens Thursday is entitled “Small Design: The Louvre Invites Comics” and displays cartoons from five cartoonist whose work includes images of The Louve. The curator says the exhibit isn’t so much about the comics.

Curator Fabrice Douar says the initiative is not about “modernizing” the Louvre, nor about “validating” comic strips as an art, nor about engaging with the youth.

“We wanted to present this art with the goal of showing its … aesthetic quality, but also its quality in the sense of the confrontation between the world of the Louvre and this alternate universe, which is that of comics,” he says.

» Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who has raised some eyebrows lately for using his comic strip to promote a business venture defends his actions with E&P.

This is the sort of thing that kind of divides the world into those who see things in black and white and those who can see things in nuance,” he told E&P Friday, referring to comic purists who will not bend. “People who see the world in black and white will not appreciate it. But those who look at different shades of grey will.

» Frank McLaughlin who has drawn the Batman for comic strip and comic books is teaching art to adults. The 73-year-old has also taught children’s art classes as well.

Community Comments

#1 Phil Tography
January/26/2009
@ 5:22 pm

Is the Scott Adams quote a way of deflecting his attempt of self promoting his newest venture ? What he did with his trip is no different thenmost of the late night talk show guests who only appear to promote their latest movies, tv episodes, books, cds, or whatever else they are selling. That would be like Garfield sleeping in his bed, with the latest Garfield reprint book or newest dvd.

#2 Chris Myers
January/27/2009
@ 6:39 am

If a cartoonist is unable to skewer Mr. Obama, it’s because they are letting their pro-Obama stance get in the way.

With the big ears, elongated body, lanky arms, the guy is walking caricature.

Mr. Obama will be handled with kids gloves simply because most editorial cartoonists are liberal and Mr. Obama is their guy.

If you look back to the first week of the previous administration they were already tearing Mr. Bush apart.

#3 Jeff Stanson
January/27/2009
@ 7:41 am

It’s very likely Obama will have a longer honeymoon period than most US Presidents of recent years… but he’ll end up being skewered just as much as any other. Not because he (or any other president of the past few decades) deserves it so much as that it’s what editorial cartoonists, comedians, talk show hosts, SNL casts, and pundits do.

#4 Jeff Darcy
January/27/2009
@ 11:13 am

Alan,
Last week I gave an interview to an east coast paper about the challenges Obama may present and I believe I told them just what you said in your post. He is easy to draw and politicians never fail to deliver material for cartoonists.

#5 Phil Tography
January/27/2009
@ 1:44 pm

I think what is not being said is how many editorial/political cartoonists are having trouble drawing their hero/messiah because they are afraid of the backlash they will endure ?
Most of them (not all) had no problems picking on Bush 41 & 43, after all they are caucasians and male.
To pick on MR. OBAMA may, and I stress MAY seem racist (gasp!). I know a few have no problems with characterizing our new leader (psst, they are conservatives).

#6 Rick Stromoski
January/27/2009
@ 2:18 pm

>>> think what is not being said is how many editorial/political cartoonists are having trouble drawing their hero/messiah because they are afraid of the backlash they will endure ?

I know ! It’s been over a WEEK and I’ve yet to see one impeach Obama cartoon. Damn Liberals.

#7 Bearman
January/28/2009
@ 7:02 am

Rick you obviously didn’t look hard enough…

http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/politicalcartoons/ig/Political-Cartoons/Impeach-Obama.htm

#8 Ted Rall
January/29/2009
@ 3:56 am

Aside from Obama’s physical characteristics, I don’t understand what will be difficult about criticizing Obama. Most editorial cartoonists are liberals–and Obama isn’t liberal.

Until injustice, hypocrisy and willfully squandered opportunities are no more, editorial cartoonists and politically-minded citizens have no business kicking back and taking a breather now that Bush is out of office. The political pendulum has shifted slightly to the left, but that’s not nearly far enough.

Gitmo is still open. Torture continues. Warrentless wiretapping is still going on. Obama wants to re-invade Afghanistan, and is already bombing Pakistani wedding parties.

Worst of all, Bush and Cheney aren’t behind bars.

Anyone who thinks there isn’t work to do here is just being lazy.

#9 Wiley Miller
January/29/2009
@ 8:06 am

“Anyone who thinks there isn?t work to do here is just being lazy.”

Which pretty much sums up 95% of the “profession”, and why it deserves the death it’s getting.

#10 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
January/29/2009
@ 8:40 am

El Jefe…errr, Ted…. the problem is not in our depictions of Obama ( or ANY politician ) , but in being able to get our stuff actually published. The usual conundrum. I was effectively blackballed OUT of the industry for four years for never buying into the criminal bush garbage.
I could not get ANY of my work published, even benign gag stuff. I am sure that the American version of the Gestapo paid some visits to my editors to shut me down, and they did for awhile.
Eventually, the egregiousness, and heinous indifference of the criminals was too much not to notice. Katrina was the big turning point, when citizens had had enough…and said so. I saw my well meaning, but do-nothing congressperson immediately after where numerous constituents ORDERED her to to do something, and she looked SCARED.

I am willing to give President Obama some benefit of doubt, but only in time to allow the American fascist party to further paint themselves in a corner. Representative Conyers is working deliberately to enforce the Constitution. The pressure that has been put on real patriots has been enormous. We know what the moneyed interests are capable of, and that they have no aversion to going to extremes to maintain control and power.

Article I, Sec. 3 [7] of the US Constitution must be enforced, war crimes tribunals begun, and extradition to the Hague for trials. We are either a Constitutional democracy, or we are not.

#11 Mike Peterson
January/29/2009
@ 8:52 pm

“Obama wants to re-invade Afghanistan, and is already bombing Pakistani wedding parties. ”

Okay, let’s see the citation on this, Ted. And you said “parties’ so I’d like to know the facts about more than one.

I don’t know what you mean by “re-invade” since I didn’t hear anything about Bush pulling the troops out.

But I want the facts on these wedding parties he’s been bombing. Some dates and places, maybe a link?

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