By BRUCE HELANDER, April 2021
The cartoon tradition has been with us for hundreds of years. The history of cartoons that carry a social or a political message includes Daumier, James Gillray and Punch, which could deliver a knock-out blow with a pen mightier than a sword to political figures that had it coming. Ben Franklin, a multi-talented politician, created perhaps the most iconic cartoon in American history, when he made Join or Die, a drawing of a snake cut into sections representing the original colonies.
The craft of reportage photography also comes to mind. That is partially built on knowledge of one’s subject, on being out and about. As Anthony Haden-Guest is, watching, listening, keeping his fingers on the pulse of the city and observing the eccentric behavior, peculiar habits and quotable quotes that he somehow takes home every evening, which may appear later in print or in drawings that have evolved into their own individual style as he documents life in our modern society from the high to the low in a way worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. His cartoon works can now be seen at Manolis Projects in Miami, the Paul Fisher Gallery in Palm Beach and shortly at the Contra Gallery in Manhattan. WM
Bruce Helander is an artist and art wrter. His uncle, Mort Walker, created the legendary comicstrip, Beetle Bailey.view all articles from this author