Cartoonists and Politicians – Comic Chronicles

John Miller Baer, cartoonist turned politician turned cartoonist

John Miller Baer, the first Representative elected to Congress under the endorsement of the Nonpartisan League, began his first full term on this date in 1917. Baer had been first elected to serve a partial term in 1915, filling the vacancy left by Representative Henry Helgesen.

Despite his political interests, Baer was best known to North Dakotans as a newspaper cartoonist. His cartoons, many of which were decidedly political in nature, appeared in many of the state’s newspapers, including the Non-Partisan Leader, the Fargo Courier-News, and Labor, the newspaper of the National Railroad Union.

Prairie Public has a short profile of John Miller Baer

More about the cartoonist who coined “New Deal” from Alex Jay and Mike Rhode.


Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons

Editorial cartoonists deliver biting social commentary made palatable through amusing and well-crafted illustration.

“Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons” features 51 original editorial cartoons from the nation’s great metropolitan newspapers during the Golden Age of print journalism.

Included in the mix are six Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists, each demonstrating the theme of political commentary through editorial illustrations and addressing issues from the first half of the 20th century.

The exhibit comes to the Sand Springs Museum.


ExhibitsUSA is the home base of this traveling exhibit.


Legacies Built and Destroyed – Thomas Nast and Boss Tweed

In Gilded Age New York City during the 1860s and 1870s, nobody wielded more political power than William Magear Tweed. Known by both his fans and fiercest critics as “Boss Tweed,” the former fireman rose through the ranks of New York’s Democratic party to pull the levers of the mighty political machine known as Tammany Hall.

Boss Tweed operated with impunity—until he got under the skin of a 30-year-old political cartoonist named Thomas Nast. Nast launched a relentless anti-corruption campaign against Tweed in the pages of Harper’s Weekly. In his ferocious and funny caricatures, he painted Boss Tweed as a larger-than-life crook and Tammany Hall as a den of tigers.


David Roos, at, looks at the politician and the cartoonist.