Pen & Ink

Cartoon News: DSK And Dr. Phil

A picture’s worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. So, we’ve decided to take a look back at the week using pen and ink.

The cartoonists and caricaturists whose work I wolfed down in youth were a disparate bunch, ranging from brutal political hard men like James Gillray to fecund fantasists like Edward Lear and behavioral satirists like H.M. Bateman, whose work, like that of so many of the greats, had a smidgen of gleeful sadism in it. These three were Brits, but there are plenty of Americans in the mix including George Herriman of Krazy Kat, James Thurber, and Peter Arno.

So, as I say, a disparate bunch but in a couple of ways the form in which cartoonists choose to work binds them. The first is that cartoonery can be called the original Conceptual art in that it’s about a thought, and if you lose that thought, you’ve lost your piece of work. And the second? Cartoonery goes back to antique manuscripts, to graffiti, to cave walls. It’s an ancient form, and utterly appropriate to the screens, which are the cave walls of the present. Indeed the more giddy the possibilities in cyberspace become, the rawer and fresher cartoons can look.

That said, here are some of mine commenting on the events of the week.