Every year at this time the Spectator graciously devotes a couple pages showing off my favourite cartoons from the last 12 months. Here’s last year’s. Below are some cartoons from the first selection covering local issues…
The local political story of the year had to be the defeat of Larry DiIanni in the municipal elections. Some people thought my depiction of Joanna Chapman in this (March 8) and a couple other cartoons was mean and unfair, but in response she wrote to me saying , ” I was surprised that some well meaning people have felt that your cartoons insulted me. When I saw the first cartoon (above) I was taken aback for a moment, it was a shock because I had never thought about what a cartoonist would make of me. However, I did describe myself as a ‘little old lady from Dundas’; appeared at Council with a bandaid on my nose, and tend to wear boots and funky clothes, and have more cats than is good for customer relations, so caricaturing these things make a fair and funny drawing.” So there. The world could use more Joanna Chapmans.
Drawing on the Caledonia story hasn’t been easy throughout the ordeal but given its local significance it’s impossible to avoid. The cartoon above (April 21) never did get printed on the Editorial Page. It was spiked during the time when emotions were running as high as the black smoke billowing out of the tire fire spanning highway #6 next to the Douglas Creek Estates. While the cartoon did run in other newspapers across the country it was simply too hot to run so close to the source of the news.
Three federal politicians who were making headlines a year ago have almost completely vanished off the face of the planet. The above cartoon (Dec. 23, 2005) show the Dickensonian spirit of Sheila Copps haunting Tony Valeri in the midst of last years Christmas election campaign. Sightings of both became rare after voting day, January 23. In the next cartoon (Oct. 18) I compare ex-MP Stan Keyes next to Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner for his pioneering of microcredit to the world’s most poor. Stan Keyes became the head defender for payday loans in Canada after stephen Harper recalled him from his cushy posting as Counsel General in Boston. So if you ever find yourself taking out a loan with a 59% interest rate thank Stan Keyes for leading the charge in defence of Payday loans.
2007 will mark my tenth year anniversary as the Spec’s editorial cartoonist. I’ve seen the completion of several everlasting Hamilton issues such as the Red Hill expressway, amalgamation, Sheila Copps… but no other subject seems to endure as long and as nauseating as the saga of Hamilton’s Lister Block (June 16). We were talking about saving it well before I began drawing in 1997, and we continue to 10 years later.