Love this behind-the-scenes look with The Onion's editorial cartoonist:
One of the things I love most about Clay Bennett is how deceptively simple his cartoons are. I think another editorial cartoonist would have beaten you over the head with gaudy art and lazy labels, but Bennett is beautifully, quietly devastating, and you just have to admire that.
“Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire,” airing on PBS’ “Independent Lens” series (check local listings for time) shows the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner with his combative liberal spirit intact.
Here’s a little more:
The film captures Conrad’s outrage at what he regards as the trespasses of the powerful and the sheer delight he takes in skewering them.
His career began when political cartooning flourished in newspapers. Now only about 3 percent of daily papers have cartoonists on staff, according to an expert quoted in the documentary from Barbara Multer-Wellin and Jeffrey Abelson.
The shrinking number dismays Conrad. And he’s no fan of those who have abandoned the traditional single-panel cartoon for a comic-strip approach.
“It’s dialogue, long conversations, from one panel to another. Some have a political point but when you get finished reading them you knew that in the beginning. So what am I doing reading ‘em?” he said.
I can’t wait! Go set your DVRs now!
There’s a nice piece in today’s Chicago Tribune Magazine about Bill Mauldin.
There are so many great cartoonists past and present I have yet to delve into, and, sadly, Mauldin is still on my to-do list.
The good news is I there’s an exhibit of his work right here in Chi-town until the end of the year! It’s so rare that something like this is close to me that I’m positively giddy about it!
At the end of the Tribune piece, there’s a little thing that disturbs me, however:
The Chicago Tribune currently has no full-time editorial cartoonist on staff, not since the great Jeff MacNelly died at 52 in 2000. I showed some of Mauldin’s work to editorial page editor Bruce Dold. He smiled and said, “They don’t make ‘em like MacNelly and Mauldin anymore.”
Would he hire Mauldin if he walked in the door today?
“In a second,” said Dold. “In a second.”
A note to the Trib:
While another Mauldin or MacNelly might never be, it shouldn’t take you six years to find another vital cartoon voice.
MacNelly left some big shoes to fill, but maybe we can find someone who can stuff some newspaper in the toes for a while?
Trib, baby, you know I love ya, but come on. You owe it to the cartoonists that helped make you great to get off your duff and hire someone already.
I think he’s got a great, somewhat more gentle, take on the normal topics, and his art is refreshingly different from the standard homogenized style; a nice blend of hand drawn and Photoshopped.
I dug the comparison of sketch and final art:
Honestly, you could almost publish the sketch if you added some text.
Anyway, check it out…