Wednesday (We’re All Over the Place) Roundup

© RL Crabb 

Let’s start with a cartoonist’s cartoon about cartooning.


© EC Publications 

I grew up in central Maine in the ’60s and ’70s, and while we weren’t exactly the Mayberry of the North — the fictional town of “The Andy Griffith Show” — if you were looking to find a nearly 100% all-white Catholic and Protestant enclave above the Mason-Dixon Line, we were it…

We had, to the best of my knowledge, one Jewish student…

The only other Jews I interacted with were my dentist, Dr. Howard Kominsky … and Mickey Goldsmith, who founded Goldsmith’s Sporting Goods, where I bought my baseball gloves and bats.

Nevertheless, there was a profound Jewish influence on my outlook on life, specifically my sense of humor. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Everything Jim Sullivan learned about Jewish humor he learned from Mad magazine.


© Marek Bennett

Now, more than ever, with disinformation and half truths taking on lives of their own because of social media, there is growing awareness that an understanding of the U.S. Constitution, what it means and how it came to be, is critically important.

“Words count,” said Meg Mott, who spent two decades teaching political theory and constitutional law at Marlboro College. “But you don’t have to have a law degree to think about the Constitution.”

One particular group she is intent on interacting with is teenagers.

“Last summer, we focused on free speech,” said Mott, about a workshop hosted by the Putney Public Library. “This summer, we are focusing on privacy.”

To help liven the discussion and take it out of the 18th century, comic artist Marek Bennett will be co-facilitating this year’s free workshop, which runs from June 27 through July 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The Cartoonist Constitution, 1986
In honor the 200th Anniversary of the signing of The United States Constitution.


Bruce Plante tried to use one of his editorial cartoons to explain the concept of satire to a class of children one time.

The cartoon showed Bernie Sanders as a caveman running for president. The youngsters didn’t get it.

“C’mon,” Plant cajoled. “You don’t really think Bernie Sanders is THAT old, do you?”

They did.

Bruce has more success with adults as The Sand Springs Leader reports on his museum lecture in conjunction with the current exhibit, “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons.”


One of the pleasures of the Washington Post’s digital version, besides national treasure Ann Telnaes, is Sergio Peçanha’s work, much of which recalls the promise of webcomics that Scott McCloud predicted so many years ago. I was absolutely thrilled to make contact with him on Instagram, and ask him to do an interview.

Sergio Peçanha is a visual columnist at the Opinions desk of the Washington Post. He uses visual elements like illustrations, cartoons, maps, information graphics and videos to tell stories. Before joining The Post in 2019, he was a graphics editor at The New York Times for more than a decade, where he created visual stories for the International desk and the New York desk.

Mike Rhode interviews WaPo graphic artist Sergio Peçanha.

What do you do when you’re in a rut or have writer’s block?

I freak out and think I am a failure. I always talk to my wife. Also to my shrink, and close co-workers. I fish for ideas, but mostly lament. They are so nice to me, they cheer me up. When I think no one can stand my lamentations anymore, I hide and fail alone for some time. At that point, I think about changing jobs, because the suffering is intense. I become confident that people will realize that I’m a failure and I will be fired. After a lot of that suffering, eventually something happens.


If you were a comics fan in the mid-1970s, the appearance of Superman from the 30s to the 70s, Batman from the 30s to the 70s and Origins of Marvel Comics on the shelves of bookstores and libraries was a monumental occasion. Though these books were not book-length comics works like Burne Hogarth’s 1972 adaptation of E. R. Rice’s Tarzan of the Apes, or even the first anthology of classic superhero comics collected in hardcover (Jules Feiffer’s The Great Comic Book Heroes appeared in 1966), they provided some of the first affordable access to comics history, and crucial validation that superhero comics deserved a place on the bookshelf. These books as much as any in comics history paved the way for the graphic novel revolution in the trade book industry that ripples down to the present day.

The woman behind these transformational works is not unknown. Her name is Linda Sunshine and she has written over 50 books, including many bestsellers, pop culture guides, and adaptations of movies, and has worked in the publishing industry for half a century.

Sunshine was just starting her career as a junior editor at Crown Books in 1972, when she and legendary Crown Books publisher, Bruce Harris, launched the Harmony Books imprint to exploit the then-new category of trade paperbacks as well hardcovers in affordable editions that typically featured trendy, pop culture-oriented topics. “I had this idea to do a hardcover book about Superman,” Sunshine explained. “No one had done that before, and I actually had to talk DC into doing it, because they were very skeptical.”

Publishers Weekly profiles and talks to Linda Sunshine.


For 19 of the past 20 years Tom Richmond has done caricature art for The Reuben Awards.
Here is Tom’s gallery of those illustrations.