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May 18

When Cartoons Matter

Category: Baltimore Sun, News

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I learned a surprising truth this week. I learned that cartoons matter. This may sound funny from someone who has been immersed in the dark art of editorial cartooning for over 3 decades.

Sure… I always hope any cartoon I draft is going to rock the world and be positive force for change. But it is more realistic to assume the daily cartoon is a small voice that affects things in small ways.

I believe the cumulative impact of hundreds of cartoons over years can give a cartoonist potent voice in the political discourse… but one cartoon making a difference these days? I didn’t think so… until this week.

The cause for change was an essay published this week by former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. He had been invited with over a dozen Baltimore luminaries to pen a tribute to the Baltimore Sun in honor of the publication’s 175th anniversary.

In his reflection (see below) he chose to describe the influence of a newspaper on local politicians. He gave as the perfect illustration (pun intended) of this power … the editorial cartoon. He cited how one cartoon in particular from 1992 changed his mind and policy on a certain city issue.

t was very interesting for me to learn of this…even 20 years after the fact. I now wonder if any other cartoons might have had similar impact on other politicians.

For those who don’t think newspaper cartoons have impact, please take note…. I now have proof to the contrary.

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2 Comments so far

  1. [...] Sun contributing editorial cartoonist, Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) recently learned one of his cartoons from 1992 had changed a politician’s mind on a city issue of how to handle an adult store in the downtown area that was attracting drug [...]

  2. The Round-up | Procartoonists.org May 25th, 2012 6:47 am

    [...] Kevin ‘KAL‘ Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist, proves that a single cartoon can change politics. [...]

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