Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Je Suis No Tears For The Creatures Of The Night


-by Melody Siegler

One of my long time best friends, Bob Filbey, sent me a cartoon he had just done.  
My "career" has just made new headway. Every editorial cartoon I've ever done has been submitted for free to our 3 local publications (in Humbolt County). None were ever published locally. Because of the Comic Show at the Sewell Gallery  on display this month in Eureka and the execution of several cartoonists in France, the North Coast Journal requested I do a comic about the event, so apparently I will finally be published locally in that rag this week! I presume there is no pay-- a typical ploy by for profits and non-profits alike, because everyone knows artists work for free because they can best afford it...

The [White] House Trap Game was published in Comic Review and Comic Relief nationally, for which I was paid a hefty $2 back in 1986 (and you may wonder why I don't do more cartoons...).
Filbey continues:
I saw an interview of a real, full time professional editorial cartoonist on PBS last week who lamented that there are only about 30 of his kind left in the US, and that the number of cartoonists killed in Paris was more than the number of pros employed in New York, California, and Texas COMBINED! With such little diversity (and pay), it's no wonder cartoons in this country have become so bland.

Political cartooning, a noble endeavor a century ago, has been (mostly) reduced to inflammatory images meant to sing to the choir or lame platitudes intended to provoke nobody. I got in a hairy dispute with a local cartoonist who didn't care if political cartoonists disappeared from earth (even though he's partially paid as one). He thinks the only bar political cartoons must pass is being funny.

Humor is golden, but political cartoons can do far more than that: they can educate, they can juxtapose, they can make people think of relations and perspectives they've never considered before; that's just not what they do anymore.
I had to ask Filbey about this cartoon from Patrick Oliphant, published in the NYTimes and elsewhere on March 25, 2009 (Universal Press Syndicate distributes Oliphant’s cartoons).  The cartoon garnered various comments, as you can read here.

Filbey’s response: “I think Pat (Oliphant) is probably pick of the litter of the remaining 30 professional cartoonists. As to the cartoon you sent, I'm not fond of Zionists and tend to agree with Pat, but it's really not the fault of the Jews...“

Here’s Oliphant’s cartoon of  January 08, 2015 (published by GoComics). I didn’t ask Filbey about this one, but I think he would approve.

I also asked Filbey about Mike Luckowich, and this cartoon in particular:

Filbey said:
Not familiar with him, but checked out about 50 of his images on Google. He is funnier than most, sometimes uses effective juxtaposition, but often takes the singing to the choir route without much analysis.
And, no, I didn’t ask him about the Rob Crumb cartoon:

But that’s a whole ‘nother story, here and here. But, in response to a comment to another friend, he responded “Yes, Melody, aging cartoonist Robert Crumb has become fossilized in his own warp.”

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home