Occasionally I get my cartoons to run in the Toronto Star, which naturally increases the exposure of my work quite significantly. Here’s some analysis of the above cartoon from a snotty* 26 year old Toronto based blogger who describes herself this way: “Remember that weird kid in school who never talked? This is what’s going through her head…”
I’m trying to figure out if I’m reading today’s Toronto Star editorial cartoon right. (Yes, that’s the Hamilton Spectator cartoonist – that’s what the Star printed today.)
I’m seeing in that cartoon the passing the torch symbolism from In Flanders Fields, but it seems to be endorsing that passing of the torch. The characters might be smiling, and at any rate they certainly don’t look particularly grim about it. Because they’re all soldiers and only soldiers, and because they’re all labelled as wars, it really looks to me like the poppy is symbolizing warfare itself. But then he passes it on to a child? With what looks like a smile on his face? Without hesitating or questioning why he’s doing so? So they’re essentially declaring warfare inevitable without questioning that declaration, or even bothering to look grim while they do it? I don’t think that’s what my great-grandfathers had in mind when they were sitting in muddy shitty rat-infested holes shooting at each other.*
The text to the right doesn’t give a clear interpretation (I think it’s a newspaper article, not the artist’s own commentary), but it certainly doesn’t do anything to make me think my interpretation is wrong.
(On a purely artistic note, the transition from sepia to b&w to colour is particularly good.)
Well, at least I’m glad the sepia to b&w to colour effect was easy to figure out.
* I call her snotty based on a previous posts where she exposes some typically ignorant Toronto-is-the-centre-of-the-universe comments, such as: I’ve decided the answer to “Why don’t you just buy a small house in Hamilton?” (or some other place with cheap housing and a huge-ass commute) is going to be “For the same reason you aren’t buying a dairy farm in Kazakhstan.”
|Actually, what happened was I used to live in a house in Hamilton, then came to realize that I’m far happier in an apartment and I’m far happier with a negligible commute. But a few very loud people in my life keep asking me why I don’t buy a house in Hamilton instead, and I’ve been trying for years to figure out a way to get them to understand that it would just be extra work and inconvenience without making me any happier. The Kazakhstan analogy is my latest attempt.
My regular readers (all five of them) already know this whole story so I didn’t bother to recap. It never occurred to me that random passers-by would care.
But anyway, since we’re now cross-linked and you’ve gone to all the trouble of making a post just for this cartoon, I don’t suppose I could prevail upon you to explain it? Those were serious questions – I’m afraid I just don’t see the thesis. Why the child? Why the smiles?
Hello Impudent Strumpet,
(I can’t post on your blog — for some reason it crashes my machine.)
Through my web statistics I get a rundown of any site that uses my cartoons or link backs, so naturally, I was interested in your comments whether you were just blogging to yourself, 5 others, or 500,000 others.
I don’t know what’s so confusing about the cartoon. But if you’re stuck on the notion that Remembrance day is just about depression, death and war then perhaps I can see where you’re coming from.
My interpretation of what this day is all about, based on my own experience of attending countless Remembrance day ceremonies as a kid and now as an adult, is the notion of “Lest we Forget” or “we remember”, along with the assurance that that will continue as it seems to have in the past.
The cartoon illustrates the passing on of remembrance from one Canadian war generation to next from WWI to the current conflict in Afghanistan. The child is there to represent the next generation with the assurance that remembrance of wars past and the veterans who fought for Canada continue to be honoured in the future. The smiles on all in the cartoon symbolize the faith that remembrance will go on.
I really don’t know what you’re connections to Hamilton were or are, but I guess any Hamiltonian’s knee jerk reaction to anything uttered by a Torontionian against this city is going to be some kind of slur. I sensed that in your one comment.
– Graeme MacKay