« Classic cartoon: Willie and Joe | Main | Classic cartoon: The response to 9/11 »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

David Spitko

I am absolutely enjoying this week's walk through history. Again, thank you.


Your analysis of the success of these cartoons demonstrates the basis for your success at teaching kids about political cartooning. I'm so glad you do that. We adults need it, too.

Mary in Ohio

Thank you for bringing these back to us!


my favorite mauldin cartoon.

Bill Farr

I'd like to gently disagree with your repeated commenting on the image of the Statue of Liberty weeping as mundane and pointless. Most of us didn't see thirty different versions. We saw one -- in our local paper. Maybe two, if we subscribed to another paper, or if our paper did a round-up of other cartoons. In the shock of what happened, it was a very moving capsule of what we just experienced, and I can't help but think that your distaste for the image has either a) occurred after the fact, with time and distance and seeing multiple versions making it mundane for you; or b) due to you viewing everything as a professional, not as an actual reader. If you opened the papers on September 12, 2001, saw that image, and thought, "Oh, how trite," well, that's jaded professionalism. The artists working on deadline produced something that worked for their readers, powerfully. Easy to look back and say "Now, THIS image is something special and better than the others"... but that's not how political cartoons are experienced. In the moment, as news and commentary on news, after a tragedy -- the weeping Statue was perfect.

Mike Peterson

I take your point that the average newspaper reader only saw one, Bill, and also that a lot of people found it touching and appropriate.

Still, cartoonists are paid to be imaginative, and, if 30 people come up with the same idea, that idea wasn't much of an innovation and you have to question whether they put much into it.

Weeper cartoons are a cliche. When Jim Henson died, there were cartoons of weeping Muppets, for example. After the earthquake in Japan, I found a classic watercolor of a Japanese woman, added a tear and posted it on Facebook as a joke, but it got more laughs from my friends after several cartoonists did the same thing at their actal jobs -- and I assume cashed their paychecks without blushing.

What makes the Mauldin Lincoln stand out was his perfect choice of subject, as noted. But generally speaking, weepers may be popular but they're poor art. And you'll see more cartoons here that are obscure but well done than you will cartoons that are popular but predictable.

(But I would also note that this response underlines your observation that I respond from a professional rather than a populist viewpoint.)


What sets him apart, then, is that Mauldin wasn't maudlin.

(Admission: I had to google the etymology of maudlin to make sure this crack was appropriate. Boy, is it ever.)

The comments to this entry are closed.

What's so funny?

  • I read some 175 or more comics a day. Each day, I post a strip or two here that made me laugh, made me think or impressed me with its artistry. It's my hope that you'll see some new strips here and decide to follow that artist's work, and perhaps even to support that work by purchasing a collection of strips. But, mostly, I hope you'll find this a place to get a laugh or share a thought each day. After all, comic strips are a very demanding art form, but the ultimate point of all that work and all those deadlines is to give readers a little pleasure each day. If you find a comic hard to read, clicking on it will open a slightly larger version. (You may find that right-clicking and opening in a new tab produces a better result.) All comics here are copyrighted by their creators. -- Mike Peterson

The Prime Directive

  • The Prime Directive is that we don't single out comics for snark and abuse. This may change once I've won a couple of Pulitzers and a Reuben or two.


  • Want a daily reminder and link? My Twitter handle is @ComicStripOTD and I promise that you will never hear about what I had for lunch or the cute thing the dog said.

Independent publishers

  • Independent comic collections
    Not all cartoonists market their collections through Amazon. Here's where cartoonists can list their independently published, and marketed, collections and where fans can find, and buy, them.

Blog Roll

  • Comics Worth Reading
    Independent Opinions by Johanna Draper Carlson and friends News and reviews of graphic novels, manga, comic books, and related subjects
  • Comic Riffs
    Michael Cavna's Washington Post column on comics and related media news.
  • Mike Lynch Cartoons
    Cartoonist Mike Lynch's blog: Fascinating archival stuff he's found and scanned, tips on how cartooning really works and progress reports on his garden (in season).
  • The Comics Reporter
    Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary
  • Cartoon Movement
    An international site with sociopolitical cartoons from around the world, curated by Dutch cartoonist Tjeerd Royaards. A real mix of impressionistic panels and short-form graphic journalism.
  • Africartoons
    Cartoons from across Africa, which has an extremely lively cartooning culture. Most of the material requires you to be on top of African current events and political personalities, but even when you're not sure of the specifics, there's some creative stuff to envy in the lively nature of the art form as practiced there.


  • GoComics.com
    Universal Press Syndicate's page. You can click on each strip and read for free, but for $11.88 a year, you can create your own page of strips and also avoid pop-ups. It's worth it.

Comics Kingdom

  • Comics Kingdom
    King Features' site, with free comics if you don't mind a truncated service, or a very good paid site for $20 a year. Some of the benefits, including Vintage strips, require that paid subscription. It's worth it.