Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best of 2008 - National Cartoons

Everybody is releasing their "Best of 2008" lists, so I figured it was about time to post what I thought were a selection of my best national cartoons from 2008.

I'll post a separate list of my favorite New Jersey cartoons from 2008 soon.

While working for, I had the opportunity to "live-cartoon" election day, filing quick cartoons all day from Dixville Notch to Obama's victory speech.

You can check out the rest of the cartoons here.

I was always a fan of Tim Russert. I would love to say it was for his honesty and straight-forward earnestness, but it was his love of the Buffalo Bills and his desire for them to "squish the fish" that allowed me to first relate to him.

Did this cartoon on a Monday, and on Friday I was laid-off. I'm still waiting for my career as a psychic to take off. Call me Dionne Warwick!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year Delaware!

I have to admit, I'm going to miss drawing Ruth Ann Minner.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here's one panel from my New Jersey "Christmas Card" now posted over at Go check it out.

The rest of the week, I'll be celebrating Christmas with not one, but two families, so I won't be posting anything else until Monday.

Have a great holiday, and I'll see you when I see you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Little Weekly Newspaper That Could

The New York Times has a cool story today about the TriCityNews, a weekly newspaper out of Monmouth County, N.J. Apparently, the newspaper and it's staff of 3.5 employees are prospering because they aggressively IGNORE the Web.

Their website is very minimal, mostly a little text about the paper's mission and ad rates, but nothing more (check it out here).

Dan Jacobson, the publisher and owner of the TriCityNews, explained to the New York Times why:

"I don’t understand how putting content on the Web would do anything but help destroy our paper. Why should we give our readers any incentive whatsoever to not look at our content along with our advertisements, a large number of which are beautiful and cheap full-page ads?”

New Jersey Cartoon: The Ghost of Chris Christie's Past

Chris Christie, the former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, is continuing his "let's wait and see" approach about running against Jon Corzine for Governor in 2009.

Despite having little experience as a criminal prosecutor when George W. Bush appointed him in 2002, Christie has been a political corruption buster, amassing 130 political corruption convictions without a single acquittal.

But, in the last year, he received a blemish on his record when he handed his one-time boss, former U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft, a contract worth between $27 million and $52 million to monitor a medical device company for 18 months. Democrats challenged the no-bid deal, which lead to new Justice Department guidelines on how federal monitors are selected.

Will it come back and bite him? Who knows. We'll see if Steve Lonegan puts together a commercial with money changing hands, as Ashcroft sings in the background, "Let the eagles soar..."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh That Evil Rex Babin

Like many cartoonists after the now-famous shoe throwing incident, Sacramento Bee cartoonist Rex Babin decided to weigh in on the situation, suggesting to President Bush that he shouldn't "let the shoe hit him on the way out."

John in Carolina, who's blog title suggests that he's "a history buff who's skeptical of much that mainstream media tells us," was upset enough at the cartoon to call Rex to "learn why an American cartoonist would pen something he had to know would be popular with our country’s enemies and encourage those who seek to attack our President."

According to John, Babin responded to the criticism by saying the shoe-throwing assault on President Bush was justified because Bush has killed so many Iraqis.

“I don’t actually want Bush to take a bullet,” Babin told the caller. “[But] Bush is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. What should he expect?”

After the cartoon and Banin's comments were posted on the blog McClatchy Watch (suspiciously similar in look and tone to Jim Hopkin's Gannett Blog, right down to the blogger template), one Anonymous poster had an interesting thought:

"Rex made a mistake. he should of put Melanie Sill's (the current Sacramento Bee editor) picture in the cartoon rather than the President's. As a former Bee subscriber, I have watched the Bee self-destruct."

You're probably thinking, "Okay, interesting thought about commenting on the perceived decline of the Sacramento Bee by one if its readers."
Well, Anonymous continued:

"Conservative readers have dropped it in droves. Young liberals don't read, and thus can't pick up the slack. The new web site is not user friendly, and seems designed to keep conservative criticism at a minimum. The Bee is sinking. It's the editorial board first, women and children last."

The comments on the Sacramento Bee's website were even funnier:

Speakup, suggesting that Babin is abusing his first amendment rights by criticizing Bush, who is a Christian:

"And for Rex Babin's 1st amendment rights he can thank our very Christian, very conservative and very self sacrificing Founding Fathers."

He also had a gem about what he thought of "progressive" voters:

"Progressives are fascist Nazis."

Rmdsacto, out of all the commenters, hits the nail on the head:

"These people worship you Rex. That is your audience. Time for a reality check"

Rex Babin's cartoons for the Sacramento Bee can be viewed here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Go Check It Out: The Stereotypical American By Daryl Cagle

Interview in Editor & Publisher

In the newest issue of Editor & Publisher, America's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, they interviewed me for a story about the current plight faced by all editorial cartoonists.

How did you deal with your own layoff from Politicker?

I feel fine with it. From the start, I knew we were trying something new, and that I'd be the first and only staff cartoonist in the country to work exclusively online. Of course, I was hopeful that it would've lasted longer than it did, but the economy tanked, and they had to reduce.

Everyone at Politicker and The New York Observer have been great, and it's good to know that they value my cartoons enough to keep me on as a freelancer. It was a great opportunity, and gave me tremendous exposure, so I have no complaints.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advice To Survive A Recession

Sometimes, this is all you can do.

Zuma Sues South Africa Cartoonist

A cartoon by South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro continues to cause controversy 3 months after it was first published. South Africa's ruling party leader Jacob Zuma is suing a cartoonist for $712,300 (£464,200) for damage to his reputation and damage to his dignity, the BBC reports.

The image depicts Zuma, complete with Shapiro's trademark shower-head, unbuckling his belt as he prepares to rape the figurative Lady Justice.

She is held down by Zuma allies Julius Malema, Gwede Mantashe, Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi.

Mantashe encourages Zuma, saying, “Go for it, boss!”

"Even in places where I've been found not guilty, he continues to find me guilty. He can't be right. He's totally out of order," Zuma told South Africa's Talk Radio 702.

But Mr Shapiro called up the radio station to defend himselfand his cartoon, claiming Mr Zuma was paying "lip-service to freedom of expression".

"I am a columnist, a visual columnist. I comment on what you do and what you say. And you are a public figure. You are the one with the power, not me," he said.

"And you just turn it on its head and act the victim," he said.

Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya said the newspaper had not been served with Zuma’s demands, but would defend itself and Shapiro in court.

“We believe the cartoon reflected the opinion at the time that the judiciary was under attack,” said Makhanya.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Go Check It Out: The Great Ham Caper

By Mike and Stacy Lynch

The 'Sole' of Wit

Many, many more here.

H/T - Matt Wuerking,

Former Wichita Eagle Cartoonist Talks About Life After Layoff

Cutbacks among editorial cartoonists this year has been dramatic (myself included). They're part of the larger wave to layoffs and reductions experienced by most major media companies due to the economic recession.

Richard Crowson, the former cartoonist for the Wichita Eagle, was let go back in September after spending 21 years at the paper. But he's not letting all the sour news keep him down.

It was announced earlier this week that Crowson will now be cartooning for the Wichita Magazine on a monthly basis. Beginning in January, he'll have free reign with the inside back page of the magazine, and plans to fill it with a satirical view of the city drawn as a prairedog town called Wichidog Town.

Richard is also busy playing his banjo, volunteering, and he's even started his own website and blog, located at

Despite losing his job, Crowson told Alan Gardner over at The Daily Cartoonist that things seem to be very optimistic:

This layoff thing has been just the kick in the butt I needed to explore some of these possibilities that I’d wanted to get involved in for years. After some 30-odd years of editorial cartooning (some of which were very odd) I’m due for a change. The experiences I’ve had drawing for The Wichita Eagle for the last 21 years, and for The Jackson Sun (in Jackson, Tennessee) for 9 years prior to that, have been rewarding and a real blast, but now I can stretch out a little and it feels good!

Recently he talked with KMUW's Frank Dudgeon, which you can listen to here.

New Jersey Cartoon: Duck, Linda, duck

Click the image to see the full cartoon.

It's one thing to pay tribute to a departing colleague as he goes to Washington. It's another to tell him that you really wanted him to win.

Which, according to, is EXACTLY what State Sen. Raymond Lesniak did:

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday on a resolution honoring Lance on his departure from the State Senate, Lesniak said: “Senator Lance knows I said to him before the election ‘I really want you to win, Senator.’ I didn’t want to lose him in this body, but he by far was not only the best candidate, but he’s earned it and he deserves it.”

The only problem is during the campaign, he endorsed four-term Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender, the SAME Linda Stender that announced yesterday that she intended to run for re-election.


Here's the sketch:

And by-the-way, if you haven't noticed, I'm not leaving PolitickerNJ. I'll still be doing a new cartoon every Wednesday, like always, plus whatever Wally throws my way.

The guys at and The New York Observer have been great, and I'm thrilled that even through tough times and economic cutbacks, they value my work enough to want to keep me around.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Go Check It Out: 3 More By Beeler

How to Create a Sticky Post on Blogger

Finally figured out how to create a sticky post on Blogger. I've seen this done on the Star-Ledger's website, and I wanted something to offset my latest cartoon from my normal blog posts.

For anyone interested, here's how I did it:

1. After you've logged in, click on "customize" in the upper right-hand quarter.

2. Next, click "Add Gadget" and just choose whatever function you need to use for your "sticky post." For mine, I needed to display my cartoons, so I used "Picture." But use whatever you need.

Also, you may need to play around with it. It initially creates it for the right column, which made my cartoon 200 pixels wide! One I placed it in the main column, I simply re-loaded the image and it made it the correct column width.

3. After you "Add Gadget", you need to drag it to the top of the main column and place it above "Blog Posts."

4. Click on "Preview" to make sure it appears at the top of the page. If it does, click "save."

That's all I did. I want to play around with it more, but now I have a cartoon to draw. Hope this was helpful.

At Least Homer Loves His Newspaper

According to Homer, The Daily Growl is the only newspaper that "tells him the truth, even on Iraq."

H/T - E&P

New X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer

The new trailer for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” debuted this weekend before showings of the Keanu Reeves science-fiction remake of “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” and here it is for your viewing pleasure.

A couple of notes:

1. Seems like they're pulling the story directly from the "Origins" miniseries, complete with Logan as a child discovering his claws.

2. We get a glimpse of Taylor Kitsch as Gambit. If you don't know, Taylor is one of the pretty-boys from "Friday Night Lights."

3. At 1:52 ... is that a young Storm?

Cartoonist Finds Out About Shoe-Throwing Game After Completing Cartoon

When someone throws a pair of shoes at the President of the United States, it's bound to become the sort-of event that satirized and lampooned by editorial cartoonists.

Jimmy Margulies, the editorial cartoonist at The Record, had already finished his cartoon on the subject when he learned that someone had already posted a shoe-throwing game online, and it was quickly making it's way around the web.

Margulies' cartoon shows a man playing a video game, with a woman in the background commenting, "Ever since they released that game of throwing shoes at Bush, I can't get him off the couch..."

And because it's such a great video, here it is again:

19th Century Cartoon Showcases Differences Between Obama and Lincoln's Paths to Inauguration

Although Barack Obama has announced he plans to take the same route to his inauguration as his political idol, Abraham Lincoln, a pointed 19th century political cartoon showcases how the trips will hopefully differ.

Adalbert J. Volck, a political cartoonist who was a Confederate sympathizer and onetime courier for President Jefferson Davis, captured reaction to Lincoln's journey in a famous drawing that showed Lincoln, in a nightshirt, sneaking a peek out of a freight car.

In February 1861, Lincoln's security chief, Allan Pinkerton, was convinced that someone would attempt to assassinate the president-elect in Baltimore and arranged to smuggle him under cover of darkness from one train station to another.

According to Courtney B. Wilson, executive director of the B&O Railroad Museum, passengers heading south were forced to change trains in Baltimore because service south of the city was provided by a different railroad company. Rail cars were pulled by horses less than a mile from President Street Station to Camden Station - next to the present-day baseball park - and then attached to locomotives to continue their journey.

Lincoln hid at President Street Station before "his car was pulled through Baltimore under the darkness of night," Wilson told the AP.

The maneuver was denounced in contemporary newspaper accounts as cowardly.

Delaware Cartoon: Convicted Felon? Get a Job With DNREC

At the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), state environmental officials decided to hold jobs open for three employees serving prison terms, during a hiring freeze no less.

2 of the prisoners are serving terms for child molestation, while one is serving a one year sentence for second-degree vehicular homicide.

Jack Markell
, the incoming Governor, blasted DNREC, calling it a "disturbingly serious breach of the public trust." Ruth Ann Minner, showing decisive leadership, decided not to second guess the head of the agency, John Hughes.

“Secretary Hughes struggled with these decisions and after an honest and thoughtful deliberation process, he made a tough call,’’ Minner said.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cheer Yourselves Up

In the season of bad news here's a little shoe toss game to cheer yourselves up....

Click on the image to play.

H/T - Matt Wuerking,

Paterson in a Blind Rage Over SNL Skit

"Governor, what do you have against New Jersey?"

"Unfortunately, a southern border."

Apparently, everyone found this skit on this week's finale of Saturday Night Live funny (including the New York Post where I stole the headline from) except, you guessed it, New York Governor David Paterson.

"I can take a joke. But only 37% of disabled people are working and I'm afraid that that kind of third-grade humor certainly adds to this atmosphere. Let's just say I don't think it helped," he told The Daily News.


Then again, can you blame him with lines like this?

"I'm a blind man who loves cocaine, who was suddenly appointed Governor of New York; my life is an actual plot from a Richard Pryor movie."

UPDATE: I didn't realize it, but following the Paterson skit, as Amy Poehler was saying her final good-bye, Armisen as Paterson walked onto the frame and blocked her out.

Auburn Football Cartoon Out of Date Before it Even Ran

Another cartoon, this time by Birmingham News cartoonist Scott Stantis, didn't see print because of the volatility of the news cycle.

Scott explains why here.

H/T - The Daily Cartoonist

Go Check It Out: Rodd Racer Pages

Art by Toby Cypress

Newspaper Industry Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

I missed this earlier, but Steve Greenberg, the former editorial cartoonist for the Ventura County Star, posted this cartoon on back when he was laid off from his staff job in November.

Greenberg used to contribute cartoons to Editor & Publisher magazine, and it seems more relevant today that it might have 12 years ago when it first appeared.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cartoonist Name Omitted from CBS News Story

In a CBS News story about Barack Obama's monumental task to restore credibility to the White House, CBS points to an editorial cartoon that seems to sum up their entire story in one single image.

The problem is, they don't even bother to mention the artist.

"A cartoon from the Houston Chronicle caught the flavor," the story begins, not bothering to mention that the cartoon was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Nick Anderson.

The story goes on to describe the cartoon in lieu of showing it or providing a link:

A man standing in front of a burning building labeled "the economy" is shouting into a phone: "My house is on fire, how soon can you get here?"

A fireman who looks like Barack Obama answers, "January 20th."

This story illustrates a giant pet peeve of mine as a cartoonist. Whenever a news story uses an editorial cartoon to clarify its point, they very rarely credit the editorial cartoonist by name, choosing instead to go with the "a cartoon from x publication" instead.

Would someone ever quote something out of a Maureen Down column just by saying, "In a column that appeared today in the New York Times..."

This happened to me recently in a New York Times story about a cartoon I had drawn for about the New Hampshire senate race:

Mrs. Shaheen’s risk-averse approach to the issues helps explain why a cartoon posted on the Web site ridicules Mrs. Shaheen as the driver of a car stopped at a green light, refusing to move without knowing what the polls say.

It's too bad they couldn't give me a namecheck, or even pay me for the right to show the cartoon. But I guess it's all right.

After all, I'm only a cartoonist.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Cartoonist Calls an Audible

David Horsey, the editorial cartoonist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has an interesting post on the perils of deadline cartooning and late-breaking news.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Illustration for the New York Observer

Here's an illustration I did for the latest issue of the New York Observer, promoting their newest Politicker website,

In the illustration (from left to right) are New York Governor David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Malcolm Smith and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Here's the sketch:

Zapiro: The Mandela Files

The cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro (seen above with Nelson Mandela), launched his latest coffee-table collection of Mandela cartoons last night, along with an annual of his most recent work.

He spoke to Sunday Times books editor Tymon Smith about his satirical depiction of and commentary on Madiba’s life (an honorary title adopted by elders of Mandela's clan). In this audio slide show Zapiro explains the significance that this experience has had on his own career and personal growth.