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

July 8, 2013

Here’s Something That Still Confuses Me A Bit

I hear from a lot of my hometown friends and occasionally read opinions that state the bulk of political cartoonists are left-leaning. I know that some of the best ones are -- Oliphant, Toles, Bors -- and that traditionally some of the better ones (Mauldin, Herblock) have been (I also realize that these can be slippery definitions), but I always wonder if that old saw is true, particularly anymore. I mean, it's hard for me to imagine any cartoonist from the left going after a target on the right like this cartoon from Jeff Darcy does. That didn't run on some strident site somewhere; that apparently ran in the Plain-Dealer. A cartoon like that just seems like a straight-up political-issue slapdown. I get that Sarah Palin and before her Condoleezza Rice have seen some highly disdainful, savage cartooning tossed their way, even some with deeply unfortunate elements of categorical bias (pick your category: class, race, gender), but this strikes me as a purer distillation of a strong political position presented without perspective or humor and aimed right at someone. I'm having a hard time coming up with something similar from the other direction. Did someone do like a baby's death shroud in place of the "mission accomplished" banner? I don't remember it. I guess it's possible. At any rate, my surface impression of political cartooning is that what we in the U.S. call conservative politics has a number of practitioners, including several people known by name (McCoy, Stantis, Ramirez), and that this supposed tilt or imbalance isn't what it used to be -- if it ever was.
posted 12:10 am PST | Permalink

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