Added 9/10/09: Here’s an interesting column about my Obama school speech cartoon (the cartoon is below) from a newspaper editor, responding to some very vocal complaints from readers who misunderstood the cartoon.
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 4:39 PM
Subject: Cartoon question
I just got a surprise phone call from a reader who was mad at meÂ because he thought your cartoon of little Jeffy was intended as anÂ insult to the president. I told him that’s not the way I took theÂ cartoon, and that I thought it skewered those who thought Obama’sÂ speech would “indoctrinate” youngsters and turn them instantly intoÂ Communists. Our reader didn’t sound very convinced.
I know cartoonists don’t like to explain their work, but did IÂ interpret your cartoon as you intended?
Thanks for the help,
Managing Editor – San Marcos Daily Record
On Sep 8, 2009, at 6:12 PM, Daryl Cagle wrote:
I’m being sarcastic. I think the conservative complaints and fears about Obama’s speech were silly, so I drew it up to look silly. Â I did, however, label the cartoon as “conservative” on our download site, because I knew some conservatives editors would take it literally, and that amused me.
Satire is often lost on readers; sometimes it is a cultural thing. I recently gave a speech in Tokyo where the interpreter explained all of my cartoons to the audience who didn’t understand or appreciate our concept of sarcasm. I guess that explains why we rarely see political cartoons in Japan.
There will always be readers who don’t “get it” –better to keep drawing for the ones who do “get it.”
All the best,
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 11:10 AM
Subject: Jeffy cartoon
I found the cartoon very offensive. Â Yes, I do realize you were trying to beÂ sarcastic. Â However, this ran in our local paper before the speech wasÂ given. Â I believe that many of the “extremists” who are not going to listenÂ to the school speech will actually believe this is what the speech is about,Â and then go spread even more of their lies. Â As I told the Editor andÂ Publisher of our local paper, if it has run AFTER the speech, it would beÂ quite obvious to all that you were just being offensively sarcastic.
I wonder how Ed, Chris Matthews, Olberman and the other news people on MSNBCÂ feel about this.
Jeff Keane left this comment about the cartoon on my Facebook Page: