Showing posts from January, 2017

Devil's Rope

About 95 years ago Valdemar Andersen created a front page for the Sunday edition of Politiken of a blackbird in the barely there spring. Everything is still just twigs and branches of the same black as the singing bird and yet even the blue sky is light and open. Everything is about to begin again.

The lightness of the predecessor underlines the seriousness of our world today, when the blackbird finds itself crying on a background of screeching solid yellow.

In a world of barbed wire even his thought bubble is encased in barbed wire.

Barbed wire or "Devil's rope" as if was known in the US, when it was invented to seal off land from other settlers. It defined US history by changing the landscape of the open prairie forever. In its stead came a fierce insistence to protect and keep out.

When protectionism makes the cage seem the safest place to be in, freedom has taken on the face of prison.

The cartoon by Fadi Abou Hassan is courtesy its cartoonist and must not be reprod…

On Moral Superiority

This is a textbook example on moral superiority.

Not the noise of the here and now showing off economical and physical muscles. Take the Trump Administration for instance, plumping up its feathers by way of issuing executive orders on the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Antonio Rodríguez García first made the cartoon on the initial victory of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, when it was decided to seek out alternatives to drilling the Dakota Access pipeline under the Missouri River. That one leg on the wrecked pipeline speaks of powers. That was in December 2016.

Antonio Rodríguez García has created a symbol on the Standing Rock Sioux that surpasses the very symbol of US official life. This is the one, which was here before any Constitution was spoken of and this is the one, which will be here when there is no more such a thing as a US president.

It is not that it is forceful. It is the sheer moral calm of knowing what is right and acting accordin…

Truthful, Not Neutral

"I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home".

Powerful statement of the horror implied of what we can expect from the new US presidency by Christiane Amanpour in her acceptance speech when honored with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award on November 22, 2016 by The Reporters sans frontières.

Censorship has its very own visual anatomy as proven by Angel Boligán. Note how his present cartoons are not new nor share their dates. Censorship is the key challenger to the cartoonist in everything (s)he does.

The anatomy is based on the human mouth and hand. In other words speaking out and physically attempting to halt someone from doing so. Hands are aggressors within the terminology of cartooning. When a hand is raised there is every reason to look out.

From those two elements grow a rich visual analysis before us. The mouth comes with a head; the speaker does so at a personal risk. The hand, h…

Evolution of man

It is rare for a settled type of iconography to be of continued artistic merit, but the line-up of the evolution of man continues to be of interest.

In fact, it is hard to find a poorly composed one despite the very fact that its objective is very nearly always the same: Evolution of man turns out to be one of regression as proven by the final specimen; the one which should have been our self-congratulation on how far we have come.

Instead the final one is the worst of the bunch, lacking any means of self-reflection. We know all of this and still it is sharp and relevant next to every time we see it.

How is that?

The present trio of cartoons is classical in that they pinpoint specimens of our day, who are insisting on violence, verbal and physical alike. The past weeks Trump has proven to us all that he is precisely as "fucking outrageous" - to quote David Remnick in turn quoting his (in their own words) "emotionally fucking pissed" colleagues in The New Yorker - …

The Flaming Grenade

As per the Anatomia Cartooniensa:
The flaming grenade or fire-ball is a symbol, which will celebrate its first 500 years of existence before long. It has been a military insignia for just as many centuries, empowering its wearer of thunder and show off in equal measures.  Napoleon thus applied the symbol to successfully take on Poland, and so there is all the more reason for any speaker to use that very same strategy. 
Words too have their strategy of empowerment by way of becoming a reality. The present cartoon by Fadi Abou Hassan is a magnificent example of hot air balloons and the danger they entail, only too easily transforming into actual tools of murder. 
The juxtaposition of words and imagery is the ultimate forte, forgetting his role as a servant to a people. In Europe Russia demarcates the ultimate border of a despot; when the invasion of Russia is on the table, we know he is on the end of his line. Napoleon could tell. 
With this one, well...

The cartoon shown is courtesy o…

Opération Revanche

Two years ago today five cartoonists were murdered, underlining the frailty of life and the courage of cartoonists in spite of it worldwide.

The massacre at Charlie Hebdo remains an open wound in cartooning.

The very last cartoon by Honoré had been published on social media mere moments before. As a powerful piece of imagery on religious fascism it was made into a stencil by Tarek Alghorani in his honor. Let us then mark this date by the illegal act of giving Honoré his posthumous stencil:

On the day of the massacre, four of the cartoonists were declared dead at the scene, while Honoré was fatally wounded and passed away too within the hour. The press, however, has a slow mind, and once the number four had been mentioned, the press and public mind stayed with the number of four cartoonists murdered. 
A beautifully and technically masterful memorial line of stenciled portraits by Rob.Ink in which each of the portraits takes on a different pose from the ones next to it made for a vivid…

The Nature of Drawing

Looking back while going forth: New Year invites to reflection. Before any demagogue, politician or anyone else for that matter has had the time to occupy the cartoonists of the world, let us take in Riber Hansson's words how the act of drawing is part of our DNA.

Riber's original words in Swedish are in Italics below.

By Riber Hansson

We need drawings more than ever. In the present downpour where everyone shares endless trains of random snapshots via all channels on the Internet, we need to be reminded of what an image can be too. What it can communicate by being open to interpretation. And what amazing traditions onto which drawing is based.

No form of communication is so understandable, well-preserved and so unchanged through the ages as the drawing.

Humans of today can regardless of the original intent of the image grasp, understand, and enjoy a 30,000 years old drawing on the cave wall of in French Chauve, as well as a 3,000 years old Greek vase, a Gerda Wegner-cartoon fr…
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