Cartoon Corner: Cartoonists rise to tragic occasion

johman@sacbee.comJanuary 20, 2013 

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of editorial cartooning is being forced to comment on things that seem beyond comment, such as school shootings. What can one usefully add to the debate that doesn't seem trite or corny? When I went "On the Google," as former President George W. Bush once put it, to dig up cartoons that were, in fact, trite or corny, I didn't find much. Yes, I deal in preconceived notions.

In the case of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, once the media had swiftly and inevitably moved on from the initial shock of the event, the national debate then shifted to gun control. Again, I expected to find the usual full magazine of shopworn imagery, but I fired blanks. Most of my colleagues had done creditable work on the subject, with practically no overlap, nor, indeed, any regurgitation of previous metaphors. In short, they were on target.

• Signe Wilkinson drew Joe Biden (for some reason, minus gleaming, potentially life-threatening grin) chatting with a hirsute Santa Clausesque Uncle Sam about the finer distinctions between guns:

• Matt Bors extended the logic of the Survivalist Right on their premise that if everyone were armed, we'd all be safer (file under category of "Hasn't worked in the Middle East"):

• Jim Morin drew a nice overhead perspective of our Founding musket-packin' Fathers arguing over original intent (and thanks to the many gun-totin' readers of The Bee who shared their kind insights on my cartoons on that very subject this week):

And, no, I am not smarter than the framers. OK, I am smarter than one of them. I beat James Madison at iPad Jeopardy. All the time.

• Finally, Dan Wasserman executed a very simple, touching tribute to the children of Newtown:

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