The Federalist Papers in Action by Scott Stantis

What happens when you get Federalists Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (and John Jay?) together with anti-Federalists Patrick Henry and Sam Adams, and then choose Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis as the moderator?

In this case the result is a seven and a half minute animated version of the birth of The Constitution.

[Scott] said when he got the call about the new Hamilton Exhibit, he jumped on the opportunity.

“It’s Hamilton. Of course you’re interested. I learned later, that I was actually competing against three to four other cartoonists, so it’s thrilling,” he said. “We started with sketches, they gave me a script but Lin Manuel and the rest of the team were just terrific. They said, do what you want.”

After hundreds of sketches, Stantis created a more than seven-minute animated version of the birth of the Federalist Papers, which is featured in the “Federalist Gallery.” He said it’s something that brought his love for drawing and history together.



It turned into a ten month labor of love:

“I’m a history geek. I have always loved history. When they called, I was actually reading a biography on Patrick Henry, which is one of the people I draw here. How many times in your life are you going to be able to caricature Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton?” Stantis said.

Putting a modern, comedic spin on the story he hopes will hook a new generation of history buffs.

“I used things like ‘mic drop’ and thought bubbles like ‘boom,’” he said. “You project that with the art. There’s two video screens and in the middle of it, there’s the Constitution, and I wanted the backgrounds to match the same coloration and look of the Constitution.”


Scott’s effort is part of The Federalist Gallery which in turn is a part of Hamilton: The Exhibition currently showing in Chicago.

More information about Scott Stantis’s effort from the WBBM report. If you are in Chicago goes see the exhibit and pay particular attention to Scott’s project which he claims “doesn’t suck as much as I thought it did.”

The Chicago cartoonist also gets almost 20 minutes on The Chicago Tribune’s own radio station WGN (does the Trib still own that?), where he talks about his Federalist Papers project. That audio broadcast opens with Scott talking about the N. Y. Times cartooning fiasco for about four minutes, and closes with Scott discussing his career and the current cartooning profession for the last five minutes.




One thought on “The Federalist Papers in Action by Scott Stantis

  1. To answer your question about WGN radio: Tribune Media kept the former Tribune Co.’s WGN radio, its TV stations, and its real estate, when it spun off the newspapers several years ago.

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