Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.
Last year’s Favourites.
Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.
Last year’s Favourites.
Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, August 26, 2006
Leave it to the nerds at the International Astronomical Union to ruin a kid’s day.
For half of their young lives, the sixth-graders in the Young Scientists program at Barrington Elementary School in North Austin have been told that there are nine planets in the solar system. So when their teacher, Paige Baker, told them that union scientists on Thursday had decided to delete Pluto from that list, it was understandable that some students had difficultly handling the gravity of the decision.
“It’s been with us so long. Why would they do this?” asked Nikki Chupa, 11, who always used the mnemonic “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the order of the planets.
“Why do they have to go mess stuff up?” 11-year-old Angelique Price asked.
Baker told them she felt their pain.
“Imagine what it’s like for me, and I’ve been told this for years — double digits even,” she said. “But you’ve got remember, these are scientists. It’s not a popularity contest.” (Source: The Statesman)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 14, 2008
If we are, then here’s something else you may have heard before: You get what you pay for at the Olympics.
Medals don’t fall out of trees – not at the Summer Games. They come through sheer volume of legitimate medal chances, and the countries with most darts come away with the most hardware.
The early results? We’re through five days of competition and our batting average is still .000. — Togo has a medal. Kyrgyzstan has two. Azerbaijan has three. And Michael Phelps has five.
We’ll pass them all by the end, barring an absolute disaster, but still, as the calls from editors begin to roll into the press centres here – all looking for the “What’s going wrong?” angle that usually doesn’t arrive for a few more days at these things – it is clear that Canadians are getting edgy.
Don’t forget. There are about a dozen countries in the world who are serious about hockey. Two – Canada and the U.S. – are gold medal threats in women’s hockey.
There are 200 countries that take track and field, boxing and swimming seriously.
“I think [we’re] disappointed because we had some dreams, or expectation, and it seemed that it was going to be easy. But you can see, nothing’s ever easy,” said Pierre Lafontaine, the team leader for Canada’s swimming team.
His team has posted all kinds of personal bests, but zero results. “There’s much more than just medals, but medals is what shows on the books,” he admits.(Source: National Post)
Letters to the Editor:
I was totally offended by the tasteless cartoon in Thursday’s Spectator regarding our great Canadian athletes.
My wife and I have watched a lot of the television coverage and have been proud to see our athletes try their best and give it their all, against other athletes who are supported by their governments with large sums of money.
Maybe the cartoonist and some of our politicians should get out and support our athletes, or maybe even volunteer to coach or assist some of these fine examples of Canadian youth, instead of poking fun at them.
Good luck to all our athletes.
— P. Knapp, Hamilton
The editorial cartoon depicts a Canadian swimmer running along the edge of the pool — and still finishing well behind the pack. I find this cartoon totally offensive.
As the son of a man who competed in the first British Empire Games in Hamilton and later in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932, I am aware of the dedication, hard work and many sacrifices made by athletes. There is also heartbreak endured by many along the journey.
I would have expected a major urban newspaper to show understanding and compassion in its coverage — be it print or “humour.” I challenge The Spectator to take a more constructive role in promoting future Olympic podium successes.
— J. Ravensdale, Puslinch
I would like to congratulate your witty and talented cartoonist Graeme MacKay. I read the criticism of his cartoon about the failure of the Canadian athletes the first week of the Olympic Games. Cartoon is satire and the one who doesn’t accept it lacks a sense of humour.
— Panos Andronidis, Hamilton
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 7, 2008
American athletes arriving to compete at the 2008 Olympics and wearing protective masks inside the Beijing airport they were acting like jerks.
Yeah, no kidding, the air in Beijing is worth complaining about.
These are athletes at the peak of their conditioning. But they can’t endure the air inside a building? While they’re walking, rather than running or breathing hard? And for the few minutes it would take to get past all the photographers and into the privacy of their buses or cars?
But complaints should come in the context of realizing that Chinese officials, companies, and citizens actually have done quite a lot to try to cope with the problem (details here) — and that it’s sad in many ways, rather than contemptible, that the first view the world’s TV audience will have of spiffed-up Beijing will be of the opaque gray-brown skies. Unless, of course, there’s a big cleansing wind out of Mongolia right now.
It’s embarrassing enough for the Chinese hosts that the air looks so bad. It’s tasteless, prissy, and showboating for visitors to rub it in this way. (Again, I’m talking about wearing the masks inside, in front of cameras, while standing around — not sensible precautions for training.) (Source: The Atlantic)
Well, the above cartoon is not my finest work but I can keep my head up knowing I was able to draw something on the issue of smog and the coming Beijing Olympics without having to rely on using two very overused visuals, the gas mask, and the 2008 logo: (as has been the case with other cartoonists) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. No offence to my cartoon friends, but the logo parody has been done to death, hopefully restraint can been exercised in the weeks to come so we don’t have to see another. Further apologies to other cartoonists whose similar work I neglected to link to.
This isn’t to say logo parody cartoons shouldn’t be done, but I think they should be drawn sparingly, and only if there’s a great idea. The concept of showing the stylized figure depicted on the Beijing Olympic logo as a truncheon bearing police officer is a great visual, but I’m not sure even a week to go before the games begin many people are familliar with the actual logo.
Among many editorial cartoonists I talk to logo cartoons are often viewed as being easy in and outs enabling the cartoonist to take the rest of the day off. It doesn’t take much to punch in the words ‘Beijing’, ‘Olympic’, and ‘logo’, into Google images to find a wealth of visuals of varying resolution, before manipulating one and handing it off to the editor for approval.
Cliches, metaphors, and proverbs are very important instruments cartoonists use to draw their commentary. While I and others groan at the overuse of some of the gags and scenarios seen in editorial cartoons editors tend to gobble them up, certain that the readers are going to easily understand what point is being made. Sometimes they become so overused it makes it easier for the lazier cartoonists to blatantly plagarize others.
On this occasion let’s review some of the common editorial cartoon cliches:
Please feel free suggest new ones through the comment box to add your own to the list.
THE OLD…Puzzle with a missing piece(s) editorial cartoon.
THE OLD…Painting oneself in a corner cartoon.
THE OLD…Walking the plank cartoon.
THE OLD…Large fish eating the medium-sized fish eating the small fish gag.
THE OLD…Things proceeding as slow as a snail/turtle gag cartoon.
THE OLD…Image of a beaver representing Canada.
THE OLD…Image of Uncle Sam representing America.
THE OLD…Donkey and Elephant representing the political parties in the U.S.
THE OLD…Corporate logo incorporated in a cartoon gag (i.e. Olympic rings for wheels on a tank. Bush choking on an Pretzel in the shape of the Enron logo.)
THE OLD…Manipulation of a flag, national symbol, coat of arms, etc
THE OLD…Sinking Ship cartoon.
THE OLD…Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil cartoon.
THE OLD…Combination of two unrelated current events.
THE OLD…Loon on a Canadian dollar drowning/choking/spashing during currency fluctuations cartoon.
THE OLD…Ostrich head buried in the sand gag.
THE OLD…Taxpayer being held upsidedown with money falling out
THE OLD…Blind justice statue editorial cartoon.
THE OLD…Incorporating popular cartoon characters iE: Homer Simpson, Mr. McGoo, Peanut’s characters, etc. in an editorial cartoon.
THE OLD…Adding irony/humour to illustrations of famous photographs editorial cartoon (ie: the Hindenburg blowing up)
THE OLD…Dividing a continent/country up and pointing to different regions with satirical names gag.
THE OLD…naughty pupil writing lines on a chaulkboard cartoon.
THE OLD…”kick me” sign on the backside of a politician gag.
THE OLD…Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden image.
THE OLD…finger in the dike cartoon.
THE OLD…New arrivals to hell cartoon
THE OLD…labyrinthe image to convey, timelines, bureaucracy, etc.
THE OLD…target plastered on a person image marking imminent firing, defeat, death, etc.
THE OLD…circling vultures image to convey the same thing as painted on targets
THE OLD PIG…representing gluttony
THE OLD…peace dove altered to convey no chance of peace
THE OLD arrow going through someones’ head
THE OLD big politician holding another less big politician up as a puppet
THE OLD jumping out of a cake
THE OLD gas station imagery: pump hoses like snakes, guns…whatever
THE OLD alterations of gas/gallon signs
I’ve discovered something new pertaining to what’s popular among the gag cartoonists when it comes to cliches, but it could very well include editorial cartoonists. A cartoon editor at Prospect, a monthly British general interest magazine, has ranked cartoon cliches in order of popularity based on what’s subitted for publication. From First Draft, The Prospect Magazine blog, here are the top 20 cliches used by cartoonists:
19. Medieval sieges
18. “Back in 5 minutes” signs
17. Adam and Eve
15. Fairy Tales (ie: The 3 Bears, 3 Little Pigs, Rapunzel)
14. Business meetings
13. Ordering in a restaurant
12. Witch hunts
10. The Grim Reaper
9. Job interviews
8. Doctor appointments
6. Goldfish bowls
5. In/Out trays
3. Smoke signals
2. Psychiatrist couches
1. Desert Islands