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April 21, 2012 9:34 AM   Subscribe

"If you study all of the recent Pulitzer winners in the cartooning category, you’ll see that single-panel editorial cartoons are an increasingly timeworn form. Even the best ones traffic in blunt, one-dimensional jokes, rarely exhibiting nuance, irony, or subtext." Farhad Manjoo argues that the Pulitzer should honor "infographics and interactive visualizations... [which] derive their power from real, often surprising data that’s presented, ideally, in a simple, understandable way."
posted by The corpse in the library (35 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wuerker is neither subversive nor an extremist. He seems to target Republicans more often than he does Democrats, but he mainly favors a clichéd, pox-on-both-your-houses approach.

Ugh, what dreck. It's hard to believe that Wuerker won the Pulitzer Prize.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:40 AM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every award attempts to expand until it can read mail.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:48 AM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, basically XKCD should be getting pulitzer awards?
posted by roboton666 at 9:55 AM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]




Until Slate finally gets its long-deserved Pulitzer for Overcooked Contrarianism, the whole thing's a sham.

This piece is a great case in point. Begin from an easily defended premise: this guy Wuerker's a tired old hack. Next, skip over piles of evidence of more worthy recipients doing great original work in the field - Ruben Bolling, Matt Bors, Tom Tomorrow, and so on - to arrive at the startling and dubious contention that the really great editorial cartoons are actually infographics and Tumblr feeds. 

Never mind that these are much closer to commentary than cartooning. Don't linger on the fact you yourself cite about Fiore's Pulitzer win, which might indicate that the Pulitzer folks are in fact aware that not all editorial cartooning today looks 100 years old.

No, never mind all that, for you are riffing at Slate, and it's your job to arrive at an unexpected linkbait conclusion that follows from your premise only in the way that the TV news comes after a sitcom.
posted by gompa at 10:04 AM on April 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


Here are 103 cartoons they were drawn as part of a protest called "Black Ink Monday", that occurred in 2005 when the Tribune papers fired many of their staff cartoonists. The irony of the protest was that it convinced me that the newspapers were entirely correct in firing the vast majority of their editorial cartoonists.

Political cartooning has been obsolete since Tim Kreider drew this image of a scientist setting a monkey on fire anyway.
posted by Grimgrin at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2012 [14 favorites]


I enjoy the old-timey cartoons a lot more when I imagine they're drawings of everyday life in a world where shit like that actually happens.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:07 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]




he mainly favors a clichéd, pox-on-both-your-houses approach

I only have a problem with one of those.
posted by Trurl at 10:11 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best political cartoons come from The Onion.

Or Something Awful.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:14 AM on April 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


> The irony of the protest was that it convinced me that the newspapers were entirely correct in firing the vast majority of their editorial cartoonists.

Whew, this one couldn't be a better example of what Kate Beaton pokes fun of in this strip. I wonder if he added the bulls-eye last?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:15 AM on April 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


Oh dear, Card Cheat. That sign labelled "Rising Journalism Mediocrity Swamp" should be hung prominently in the self-parody wing of the Smithsonian's Hall of Irony.
posted by gompa at 10:20 AM on April 21, 2012


The best political cartoons come from The Onion.

I love Kelly. But, if you look at some Glenn McCoy, you almost conclude these guys can't be parodied.

I could almost ask if McCoy is an ironic master gag.
posted by Trochanter at 10:24 AM on April 21, 2012


(Love Telnaes' line work -- so graceful)
posted by Trochanter at 10:29 AM on April 21, 2012


The tradition of the unstraightforward, often erudite, often very harsh/scathing/satirically funny, single panel editorial cartoon is alive and well in British non-tabloid newspapers today. I wonder why they have at least mostly disappeared from US newspapers?
posted by Bwithh at 10:39 AM on April 21, 2012


The fact that this didn't get a pulitzer is a disgrace. Oh well, guess they needed to give another one to Ramirez or something. I need a Whiskey Sour.

Yeah, the Something Awful cartoon thread is the only way to read the right wing ones and retain your sanity.

I said WALK the dog!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'd agree that infographics need a pulitzer level prize, with xkcd earning the first one, but infographics aren't editorial cartoons. Infographics inform directly, while cartoons aren't quite so directed, maybe they incentivize understanding the news or something.

If the pulitzer wanted actual humor rather than prestigious employer, then they'd surely find lulzy photoshops memes that obliterate all the professionals, like from pundit kitchen or whatever.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:01 AM on April 21, 2012


Or Something Awful.

Oh, fucking hell, I had forgotten about Latuff. That guy is a problem.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2012


Editorial cartooning was part and parcel of widely-read newspapers. hint
posted by telstar at 11:47 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The irony of the protest was that it convinced me that the newspapers were entirely correct in firing the vast majority of their editorial cartoonists.

Wow. I totally disagree. Some of them are great, a lot of them are good. This one is superb.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:40 PM on April 21, 2012


I lost an hour and my hope for humanity in that SA thread.
posted by The Whelk at 12:46 PM on April 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


the only way to read the right wing ones and retain your sanity.

Yeah, now that I think of it I've actually become less sane since I started following it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:50 PM on April 21, 2012


Have we so soon forgotten GYWO? We just had a FPP about David Rees two days ago.
posted by mhum at 12:55 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, you're losing sanity, but you're gaining Mythos points.
posted by modernserf at 12:58 PM on April 21, 2012


I like a good Lovecraft joke as much as the next one, but don't bring Cthulhu into this. HE has standards.

In search of the answer to the question of where do people learn to become political cartoonists, I ran into this extremely hard to read page offering tips of the trade. On that page is a list of typical rates for cartoons based on periodical circulation:

below 30,000 --next to nothing
30,000-60,000--maybe $5 to $15
60,000-100,000--$20
100,000-150,000--$30 to $50
150,000-300,000--$50 to $75
300,000 and up--$75 to $100+

So, they might be crappy as a rule, but at least they don't get paid very much for them.
posted by JHarris at 1:10 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


That SomethingAwful thread is almost FPP material unto itself. I laughed, I cried, I lost hope for humanity all over again.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Classic Steve Bell

Not the only excellent editorial cartoonist in the UK press but perhaps the most distinctive and original today
posted by Bwithh at 1:53 PM on April 21, 2012


The best argument for dumping the Pulitzer for cartooning entirely is simply that they've given two of them to Michael Ramirez. Here's one of his latest; not only is the two-time Pulitzer winner criticizing reporters for doing their job (and promoting a false equivalency between their doing so and American soldiers posing with the bodies of people that they've killed), but he's also taking a cheap shot at the paper that fired him several years ago. Class out the ass, baby.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:53 PM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Most political cartooning has lost its flavor for me since I discovered Hetalia. America fuck yeah! (Go get 'em, Sealand-kun!)
posted by nicebookrack at 2:47 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most political cartooning has lost its flavor for me since I discovered Hetalia. America fuck yeah! (Go get 'em, Sealand-kun!)

Superdeformed!
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:23 PM on April 21, 2012


Most political cartooning has lost its flavor for me since I discovered Hetalia.

I think I'll be a lot more into Hetalia when they make a yuri version.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:50 PM on April 21, 2012


Marisa: Submitted without comment.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:59 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


^New favorite poster.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:09 PM on April 21, 2012


Dear Prudence:

I have a problem. I'm a journalist who is tired of fact-finding. Why should I do a lot of hard work for a story when I can read Buzzfeed and Reddit all day and write opinion pieces about "old media"? Should I go all the way and become a SEO consultant or stay in my current gig writing clickbait? My co-workers have the same standards, so it's not like I stand out.

Sincerely,

Slouching Towards Huffingdom

P.S. Help! My father-in-law is engaged to my adopted daughter.
posted by benzenedream at 8:24 PM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have read the article, and considered, deeply, what it was trying to say. My modern, hypertext-enabled, web-savvy, culturally sensitive, experience-colored rebuttal is boiled down to a single word:

Bullshit.

That is some serious firepower your infographic is going up against. To the point where, maybe, infographics need their own award category, so their brilliance and contribution to journalism can be acknowledged?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:08 PM on April 21, 2012


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