Duncan Macpherson – Stamped and Profiled

Canada Post’s week of honoring editorial cartoonists continues with Duncan Macpherson.

Duncan Macpherson is considered a giant of Canadian editorial cartooning. His witty cartoons challenged authority and tapped into public sentiment on domestic and world events while Macpherson himself helped reshape the trade for a generation of cartoonists.

Among several firsts throughout his career, Macpherson was the first editorial cartoonist to be invested into the Order of Canada, in 1988. “With a flick of his pen he can draw a general truth from a seemingly trivial incident, bringing laughter or groans, but never indifference,” observed the Office of the Governor General.

When Macpherson joined the Toronto Daily Star in 1958, after illustrating for The Standard in Montréal and Maclean’s, he became the first Canadian cartoonist to hire an agent to negotiate his salary.

Postes Canada profiles Duncan Macpherson (1924-1993) here.

“I’m the audience when it comes right down to it. I hope I’m not alienated from the mainstream, sort of beverage-room thinking,” Macpherson said in the National Film Board of Canada’s 1975 film, The Hecklers. The job required him to be apolitical, he said, and while he never intended his cartoons to be vicious, “if the only way to make the point is a pretty tough delivery, well, that’s the way the point’s going to be made.”

[S]ays his son, Ian Macpherson. “He was always drawing cartoons … He was a born cartoonist… He was interested in other kinds of art, but just like a musician who chooses a certain kind of sound, he fell in love with humour.”

Elsewhere Guy, at Bado’s Blog,  gives us Duncan’s resume.