Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 20, 2009

Furor Over Sean Delonas' Stupid-Ass Chimp Cartoon Grows A Bit, I Guess

* I guess according to the video posted at Mike Lynch's place there was some sort of protest at the New York Post yesterday over Sean Delonas' Wednesday editorial cartoon mash-up of the killer chimpanzee news and the stimulus package story, a mixing of elements that led some believe that Delonas was archly portraying our new President as a chimpanzee that was shot a bunch of times by cops. I'm not sure there's much movement in the actual story: the editors continue claim that it was a straight-up "those guys what wrote the stimulus package are about as smart as chimps" joke, other people continue to be very upset and doubt that's all that was going on. I guess some employees are upset, so that's news. Peter David says it caused him to reconsider his longstanding strategy of betting the pass line when Al Sharpton is up to roll. The Daily Cartoonist provides an idea of how widespread the discussion of the cartoon, such as it is, now stands. Daryl Cagle has the best headline and probably the best advice: just being cognizant that people are going to see certain things as alarming, and folding that consciousness into how you approach your work.

* speaking of Cagle, he hosts Mike Lester's response to criticism of his cartoon that compare "drinking the kool-aid" provided by the President via oratory on the stimulus bill to the "drinking the kool-aid" that killed almost a thousand people in Jim Jones' compound in Guyana. How to describe it... have you ever sat around with a bunch of old friends and cut each other up a bit and then one quiet guy at the table gets to speak and completely freaks out about what's been said and goes off on how you're all immoral, evil morons and he hates you? It's kind of like that, just on-line instead of at the corner bar during reunion weekend or at the Harrah's buffet in Las Vegas. Also, judging by the tone of the comments, instead of saying "Hey man, calm down" or sending someone after him as he walks back to the rooms, you and your friends in the above example gang up on your hot-headed pal and beat him to death.

Lester's a good cartoonist, but I believe his Jamestown cartoon a bad cartoon and I'll reiterate my initial criticism. As much as he may feel contempt for the political rhetoric utilized by President Obama, it's hard to believe that Lester really thinks the people that do embrace it are going to die like so many poisoned people, and the dangers of using a specific, real-world mass suicide as a metaphorical example is that there's not much room to go beyond that initial, blunt comparison. If he really does think that belief in this rhetoric will kill people, 1) wow, and 2) it's unclear why when pressed he would unpack his case in terms of how much Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher annoy him.
posted 4:15 pm PST | Permalink

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