Archive for the 'Baltimore Sun' Category
The recent civil unrest in Baltimore has grabbed the world’s attention and saddened us here in Maryland. I have done a few recent cartoons on the problems for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist which I share below. There will undoubtably be more to come.
During my first ten years of my career as a cartoonist, Margaret Thatcher loomed large. I was working in the UK for a variety of daily and weekly publications and Maggie was residing in 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister of Great Britain. She seemed to be a hovering presence in my life for a decade.
I drew her just about every week. She was sharp-nosed determined character with little humor. Small in stature, Thatcher proved to be a large conservative force for change in both the the UK and the world. Her determined style won her many friends and enemies among citizens of the country and Â the cartoon community.
She was a friend to cartoonists because her dogged right wing politics provided mountains of inspired scorn-filled cartoons. She was an enemy to many cartoonists because few supported her conservative agenda.
While assembling my new book Daggers Drawn: 35 Years of Kal Cartoons in The Economist I found scores of cartoons I produced about the Iron Lady over the years. I attach a handful here. If you have favorites from years past let me know and I will try to dig them out.
Recently The Baltimore Sun celebrated its 175th anniversary. The newspaper asked me to create a cartoon reflecting on that achievement. I choose to create something that celebrated the proud tradition of editorial cartooning at The Sun over the decades. I hope the tradition continues for another 100 years.
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.
Sureâ€¦ 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 discourseâ€¦ but one cartoon making a difference these days? I didnâ€™t think soâ€¦ 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 publicationâ€™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 â€¦ 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 thisâ€¦even 20 years after the fact. I now wonder if any other cartoons might have had similar impact on other politicians.
For those who donâ€™t think newspaper cartoons have impact, please take noteâ€¦. I now have proof to the contrary.
This week marked my return to The Baltimore Sun after a 6 year hiatus. I am delighted to be back. (see this week’s cartoon below)
This new chapter in my career started in early December when I received a surprising email from Andy Green, Editorial page editor of The Sun. He had been asked by the publisher of the paper to see if there was any way they could lure me back. This was an intriguing thought.
I have been very lucky during the intervening six years since my departure from The Sun. I had a close and long term (30+ year) affiliation with The Economist which continued to blossom. I joined UMBC as an Artist-in-Residence where I have engaged in a series of great projects involving students and faculty. I have also been exploring animation in a big way, working with local animation houses DigitalSteamworks and Bully Entertainment on some great and exciting films. Check out the video below created by The Sun that talks about my recent work.
So, when The Sun first contacted me, I thought that I might be too busy to accept their offer. But then, I reconsidered. I thought I could manage one cartoon a week as long as certain conditions were met.
First, I wanted assurances of editorial freedom in my work. Next, I wanted the cartoon to be displayed at a large enough size to adequately showcase the artwork. Third, and most importantly, I wanted to maintain the same rights that I have enjoyed with The Economist over the past 3 decades: I would own the physical artwork of the cartoons and own all rights to the use and reproduction of these cartoons.
I submitted these requests along with a daily rate for producing a black and white cartoon. The Sun agreed to my proposal.
We determined the starting date to be the 19th of February because I would be settled back in Baltimore after some international travel.
During my return flight from the UK on Thursday, I scanned through the in-flight movie listings and made the mistake of choosing to watch “Immortals”, the over-the-top B-level sequel to “Clash of The Titans”. All was not lost, however. The farce of a movie acted as a perfect inspiration for my first cartoon for The Baltimore Sun. (see below).
Back in January 2006, I was one of the many victims of the mad and desperate cost cutting that was crippling US newspapers. It is my hope the return of a cartoonist to The Baltimore Sun is a modest beginning to the reversal of that trend.