Graeme MacKay is a popular person when local school kids tour The Spec building.
Our editorial cartoonist, Graeme regularly takes time out to talk to young people about what he does. There is a reason. Many years ago, Graeme, while on a boy scout tour, spoke with legendary Spec cartoonist Blaine. A little while later, while struggling in high school, a smart and caring teacher noticed his doodling and suggested he sit down with Blaine and talk about it.
It changed his life.
Today Graeme draws five cartoons a week. He starts his day at the morning editorial board meeting where a group of us gather around to talk about the day’s events and decide what the main editorial in The Spectator should be. I often wonder what Graeme is thinking as we talk about national politics, city hall, Hamilton personalities and pretty much everything else in between.
I get to find out later in the day, or the next day, when we see his latest creation.
Sometimes these cartoons are controversial. A recent one about the Pope and the Vatican’s Ten Commandments for safer driving upset some readers.
Graeme, who will celebrate his 10th anniversary as The Spec’s cartoonist July 7, says the local drawings are always the ones that provoke the most reader reaction.
“They sting the most,” he says. “But they are also the most popular.”
The “perfect storm” of a cartoon?
“It is the one with the least amount of words,” MacKay says.
“It means it is all visual … the power of a simple image.”
MacKay and his fellow cartoonists Terry Mosher (Aislin), Brian Gable and Roy Carless recently raised $10,000 for the family of Afghanistan-born Said Shiragha Rahimi, who died suddenly early this year.
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Kind words from the big cheese… in other news…
Between now and the middle of July I’ll be mixing vacation time with the business of “professional development”. My family and I are to off to visit friends in Virginia and Delaware, and between that I’ll be at the 50th annual Convention of Editorial Cartoonists in Washington D.C. I’ll take pictures.