Here’s a take on Nevada City I did a few years ago. Not much has changed, except I don’t think there are any Republicans left in the city limits…
As an editorial cartoonist, I find it necessary to draw our president from time to time. Usually(but not always) it will not be complimentary. Presidents, being at the top of the heap, get the blame for most of the country’s ills and shortcomings. It’s part of the job and most take such criticism in stride, at least in public.
There was a dramatic change when Barack Obama was elected. The sentinels of political correctness deem most any negative portrayal of Number 44 as a personal racist attack, even though the same cartoon featuring anyone before Obama would be acceptable. Why? Because all the presidents before were privileged white oppressors, according to some. Cartoonists have struggled with this conundrum for almost six year, including yours truly.
The latest outrage came this past week, when cartoonist Jerry Holbert of the Boston Herald ran a cartoon featuring an intruder in the oval bathroom suggesting that the prez try the new watermelon flavored toothpaste. As anyone older than forty knows, blacks were stereotyped through much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as watermelon thieves. Now Holbert contended that it was an honest mistake, claiming that he noticed the offending flavor on a store shelf and thought it amusing. Even though the slur was obvious to me, I tend to take him at his word. Cartoonists are only human, despite what the public thinks.
So far, I haven’t been on the shitlist of indecent cartoonists, although I have made the effort from time to time. This is one of the few cartoons I have submitted to The Union that was rejected by the management.
And here’s a few examples of Bush bashing that somehow escaped the notice of the media watchdogs…
I might have done a few of the scenarios pictured here; the vampire, maybe the devil, but I don’t think I would ever draw any president with a knife stuck in his head. As for the monkey, I’d be lynched for drawing that now, and rightly so. But it does raise the specter of double standards. What do you think?
Back in 1980, a feisty little crew of local yokels seized the means of production at The Nevada City Independent. Cartoonist Dan O’Neill, fresh from his battles with the Disney Corporation and the United States Supreme Court, was installed as editor. Along with Bob Lickter, Terry Pittsford, David Parker, Pam Wood, Dave Carter, John Bonner, and yours truly, the little weekly set out to conquer the media world of western Nevada County. It only lasted two years before going bankrupt, but in that time we did manage to shake things up a bit, and even managed to stop a major development (Champion Trails) from transforming the very character of Nevada City.
Let’s hope that this latest rainfall and cooler weather have finally stopped the raging fires and given the brave firefighters a well deserved break. Then, to pick up the pieces of broken lives…
After I did this cartoon, O’Neill told me to stop drawing him. Ha! If he is going to go around teaching people to do this kind of subversive shit, it is only natural that his creations will turn the tables. It’s the Frankenstein effect.
You know you’ve made it when someone thinks enough of your book to burn it.
This coming Thursday, September 25, I’ll be selling my wares at The Union’s 150th Anniversary Open House. This is an opportunity for the public to see the inner workings and people who produce the daily paper, and to air your suggestions and gripes. Among the items I’ll be offering are…
My collection of editorial cartoons and comic strips that appeared in the paper from 1998 to 2010, including those covering events leading up to the Wild and Scenic designation of the Yuba River, and the four year battle over Natural Heritage 2020. This is the history of Nevada County in cartoons.
My recently self-published auto biography, Scablands, covers a pivotal time in my life. After years of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’roll, and comics, I left Nevada City for the wilds of eastern Washington and a new job as a repo man. Along the way I discovered the story of an ancient people and their struggle to adapt to the coming of the white man. Eventually, the two stories collide. (This book is recommended for mature audiences. Adult language and situations.)
And who knows what other goodies I’ll find in my bag of tricks? You’ll have to come and find out for yourself. The fun begins at 5:30.