Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
In honor of Independence Day, Madison Media Partners Inc., is providing unlimited access to all of our content from June 28th-July 4th! Presented by Stoughton Health

Hands on Wisconsin: The Sky is Falling

  • Updated
  • 0
Hands Cartoon: Chicken Little

The gag of this cartoon is a bit of an inside joke amongst cartoonists, but I think the general public will still enjoy the message.

Despite my relative youth (I'm 30), I'm mostly a traditional old-school editorial cartoonist. I draw elephants and donkeys, I use lots of visual metaphors and simple one panel cartoons that make simple and direct points. I'm not an alternative or altie cartoonist, like many of the political cartoonists of my generation. Those cartoons almost always have multiple panels and lots of lengthy dialogue, often full of wonderful sarcasm.

There is a bit of debate amongst us cartoonists over the future of our industry (some might compare that to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic). Many of the altie cartoonist complain that a new generation of media consumers don't like or even understand the kind of cartoons I draw. They argue that people my age and younger don't understand what the elephant and the donkey represent and don't like one panel cartoons. They argue that even with our diminished attention spans we would all prefer to read dozens of snide remarks over several panels.

I'm not sure I buy the argument, (or I would probably stop drawing the cartoons I do). Granted many of my readers are older, but that's mostly because most newspaper readers are older. But I've gone to speak to elementary school students and all of them know about elephants and donkeys and often understand even some of the more hype-localized cartoons I draw about obscure policy. (Of course, I don't know how well their teachers have coached them in preparation of my visit).

But I will continue to draw elephants and donkeys. I'm proud of them. They are symbols that were developed by editorial cartoonists, and then co-opted by the political parties. Both parties use elephants and donkeys on their party logos. It's one of the lasting impressions that editorial cartoonists have left on our society, and I'm going to take pride in that heritage.


Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Badger Sports

Breaking News