Year End Gleanings – Ed-Op Cartoon Division


Taking the Cartoon Literally

A reader is upset that an editorial cartoon took liberties with the pre-Nativity narrative.

…the cartoonist completely twisted the biblical event of Joseph and Mary looking for a room in Bethlehem where Jesus would be born…

He made them out to be unwelcome immigrants who should have been stopped by a wall. They were, in fact, required by their country’s king to go to that city so Joseph could pay his taxes and be counted.

They were not part of a foreign organized caravan carrying another country’s flag and they were not demanding asylum.

Apparently a number of people don’t understand that exaggeration is part of the art. There never was a headless soldier as portrayed by Rob’t. Minor, the Lincoln Memorial didn’t actually cradle its head in its hands as Mauldin drew it, etc.

Enough people complained that Andy Marlette felt the need to explain.

It’s usually against personal policy to play the explain game with editorial cartoons. By nature, they are symbolic and interpretive…

Apparently, I had failed to accurately depict a scene from that well-known source of universally-understood “facts” — also known as the Holy Bible. King James version, of course.

But forget the admittedly loaded idea expressed by the caption for a moment. What was interesting was the common thread in the criticism — a literal-mindedness tinged by finger-wagging anger that demanded some sort of presumed degree of historical accuracy and scholarly citations … from a cartoon.




“Once again, Marc Murphy [goes] swimming in the cesspool of liberalism,”

On a good day, Marc Murphy wakes up and reads what’s going on in the world and immediately has a vision about the picture he’s going to draw that night on his iPad.

On the worst days, he’ll go to bed without having drawn a thing and without an idea of what he should have drawn that night — with a plan to get up early and sketch.

Murphy’s drawings have appeared on the Courier Journal’s editorial page for 11 years now. The freelance cartoonist, who is not a Courier Journal staffer, skewers politicians for the ridiculous and sometimes harmful things they do to advance their agendas. He opines on the issues that affect us all with a picture and a few words.

And for those who don’t agree with his point of view — largely progressive but unafraid to take on liberal icons — well, sorry about that.

The Louisville Courier Journal profiles its political cartoonist Marc Murphy.




A Historian – “only funner”

Three minutes of Mike Luckovich discussing (mostly) President Trump on CNN.

More Mike! December 2018 unpublished sketches.




That was Then, This is Now

For 13 years in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the editorial cartoonist for the former Herald-Progress … I was pretty merciless most of the time — but also, most of the time, the subjects of my satire appreciated that my motivation was to remind them not to take themselves or their situations too seriously.

In today’s environment, I would never want to be an editorial cartoonist. I would be afraid for the safety of my family. And that’s not an exaggeration.

Robert Holland writes about the inability of some Americans to take it on the chin.




Introducing Bart van Leeuwen

Cagle Cartoons introduces cartoonist Bart van Leeuwen.




“a friendly reminder that some lesbians actually wear lipstick”

But what was up with the single black line used for Nessel’s lips, when the women on either side of her were given a full three — plus a swath of color — to create the image of a fuller lip?

Cartoonist John Auchter got some feedback from Michigan’s Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel.




The Early Berge Gets The Word

Always enjoy a look at cartoonists in the beginning.

Paul Berge lets in on his early artistic development on some church projects.




And because I’m one of the book people…

I enjoyed this Jeff Koterba cartoon.