January 24th, 2015
I love the pomp and circumstance of political tradition. Our government’s rituals. My favorite part of every State Of The Union, and I have seen a lot, is when a guy comes out of the hallway and yells, “Mr. Speaker! The President of the United States!” This year, that man is Paul Irving, the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has the distinction of being one of only three people to speak during the State of the Union address besides the president and the House Speaker. I drew him quickly as he bellowed his introduction.
I also drew some other people at the SOTU. It’s hard to draw this event, because the camera focuses mostly on the President, of course. If it does show people responding in the audience, it is often for seconds and so it is hard to capture. I don’t like to prepare and draw ahead of time–I like the spontaneity of not knowing what I will see or experience. For instance, this year a Congresswoman waved a pencil in solidarity with the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris a few weeks earlier.
My cartoons were collected also on my Huffington Post blog, and Medium’s The Nib.
January 13th, 2015
I often draw political events and awards shows on television. It seems to be something I enjoy and people enjoy seeing my quick sketches. I have done it for a few years now for The New Yorker, BET, Theatermania, Fusion and Medium. This time I did it for myself and my own personal audience….as I wasn’t even sure I could do it at all. The Golden Globes this year followed an incredible tragedy: it was so close to the deaths of the four cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and I was in such a fog about that, and still very sad. It seemed odd to being doing something so frivolous. But I decided–or imagined–that the four irreverent cartoonists who were killed would approve of my lampooning Hollywood. They would have done a much more forceful job of it than I, but that’s neither here nor there.
Above and below are the results. I have a feeling that cartoonists were on people’s minds as they watched the Golden Globes (some actors commented on the tragedy), because my work got more attention than usual. Cartoonists are being thought of. It’s nice, I hope it lasts, but for better reasons. Cartoonists are a wonderful asset to our society, I must admit. I like cartoonists: they are, generally speaking, good people. And we provide a much needed service.
My tweet drawings for the Golden Globes got a shout out on twitter from @NBC, and Retweeted and favorited by thousands of others. The following day, my drawings were shown on the Today Show, I was profiled in People and also on USA Today. Quite something.
It seems that people like cartoons, no matter whether they are hard hitting or silly. We all need to laugh.
January 8th, 2015
I don’t see my pen as a gun. It is tempting to draw it as such, a pen or pencil is pointed, and cartoons can be very sharp and sometimes hurtful. A gun can be a symbol of defiance and power, so can a pen. But can we think of power another way? Not as something that hurts or kills or maims, but something that persuades, talks, helps and cares.
A pencil and pen can be just that.
January 7th, 2015
My heart goes out to the families of the cartoonist and others who were killed in the senseless violence at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Cartoons are incredibly powerful, and it is the responsibility of the cartoonist to use her power for good. The cartoonists who were killed did just that in their own way; it is a provocative way, but that is their right. I mourn the loss of these cartoonists as champions of freedom of expression. My solution to revenge their killing is to draw for peace at every opportunity.
December 31st, 2014
What if we all laugh together, can we make the world a better place? Humor can change the world, I think. Why not?
Here is a talk that I gave a few weeks ago on this idea:
Warm wishes for a good new year for all!