Let’s get this straight right off the bat: this is not a political post.
As most of you know Michael Ramirez is the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Reuben Award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Las Vegas Review-Journal with a conservative outlook. But again forget the politics, this is about his art.
And one would be hard-pressed to argue that Michael’s cartooning is not art. But is he getting too artsy for print?
A few weeks ago Mike included a Ramirez cartoon in a column that confused a number of us because the point of it was lost amongst all the impressive line work.
And that was a full color high-resolution drawing for people reading it on their computer. Imagine trying to get the point when reading it on your local paper’s opinion page. Well, I don’t have to imagine, that is my reality.
My local broadsheet gets their political cartoons from Creators Syndicate and the paper definitely leans right, so Michael is part of the regular rotation.
The past week had my newspaper run two Ramirez commentaries, both came out very “muddy.”
Today the paper ran this one (we are near the Bay Area):
A lush scene with palm trees and flora (in the middle of a desert, but that’s not what this is about).
Here it is from my newspaper:
All the detail is gone.
A few days ago we were treated to this cartoon:
And in the paper:
The ornate door virtually disappears while the portraits are barely discernible.
In Michael’s defense the newsprint cartoons are taken with a handheld phone camera which blurs it some, but not a lot. Michael does makes sure the word balloons are clear and with a white background.
I don’t know if The Review-Journal prints them in color or not, or if they have better presses (probably).
Now I’d think that Michael’s cartoons get more eyeballs from the world wide web than from print where all those exceptional lines and colors come through, but are at least a third of his cartoons are making it hard on the dead tree editions.
The cartoons are © Las Vegas Review-Journal/Creators/Michael Ramirez