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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Thank God for Photoshop

Cartoonists have been employing copy machines on repetitive multi-panel cartoons like this one since Mr. Xerox was a boy. Now Photoshop lets us appleC-appleV elements and move them around, making complicated cartoons like this one do-able under tight deadlines.

That said, I always feel an irrational twinge of guilt when I cut-and-paste within a cartoon, as if readers have paid me by the line and insist on their money's worth. For reasons I can't explain, I usually go back in and tweak the characters and backgrounds here and there to give the eagle-eyed wannabes something to examine and form conspiracy theories about. It's a ridiculous game that only the wonkiest among us play, but I find myself wondering whether other cartoonists do the same thing.

I know this blog is read by a bunch of cartoonists. Let's go around in a circle and confess our photocopy sins. Who wants to start?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Banks

Monday, May 22, 2006


Friday, May 19, 2006

Watch This Space

I'm having fun today subtly referencing a cartoon I drew 27 years ago (above) when a commission investigating the possibility of a conspiracy in the JFK assassination dug up the remains of Lee Harvey Oswald. I'll post the new cartoon (for Sunday's Forum section) when I finish it later today.

Friday Sketchbook 5.19.06

Foreign Policy

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogger Trims

Blogger seems unable to load my full sketchbook pages today. Don't know why it's trimming the bottoms off of my files. I'll save today's finished drawings for a later date when the entire cartoons will load.

Wednesday Sketchbook 5.17.06

An Exchange over Casinos

(The following is an email to me from Gerald Austin, spokesman for Louis Beck in his effort to open a slot machine casino at Broadway Commons in Over-the-Rhine.)

Louis Beck appeared before the Ed Board of your newspaper. I was there but I do no believe that you attended.

If you had attended, you would have met a businessman who is a poster child for corporate responsibility. You would have met a husband, father and grandfather whose companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last twenty years on programs benefiting Cincinnatians in need.

You would have met a devoted product of Cincinnati’s public schools, university and law school who has stood up to Penn National(Argosy) and their strong armed tactics to deny Greater Cincinnati residents from deciding for themselves whether to have gaming or not.

You would have met a philanthropist who will create a separate foundation from his own profits. This foundation could grow to $10 million dollars per year and will be devoted to revitalizing Over The Rhine and other areas and programs through grants, investments and support.

But you were not present yesterday. You are very clever and creative as evidence by your many awards. I understand you have carte- blanch from your superiors to
publish anything you choose. You could not resist “slots” and “sluts”.

Unfortunately, today’s cartoon was uncalled for; outrageous and more importantly a gross disservice to not just Mr. Beck and his potential partners but to the people of Greater Cincinnati.

You should meet Mr. Beck. Then you could apologize in person.

Gerald J. Austin

Dear Mr. Austin,

I was not present for the meeting with Mr. Beck, nor were the hundreds of thousands of other members of this community who are nonetheless affected by his proposal and entitled to an opinion on the subject of introducing gambling to the heart of our city. I draw frequently about topics whose principals I have not met; I do not see any substantial connection between meeting individuals and commenting on their public actions.

If I ever do meet Mr. Beck I will be more than happy to thank him for his kindness as a grandfather and for the other good deeds he may have done for this city, none of which are germane to the subject at hand.

The word “sluts” in the cartoon (which refers to the “backers” of the casino proposal) are those who I believe are cheapening our city. The sort of gambling he proposes exploits those who cannot afford it and preys upon a vulnerable population while adding nothing of value to the richness and texture of our community. The cheerless, robotic feeding of slot machines is a pathetic sight that can hardly be listed with the zoo, symphony and art museums as civic treasures. Mr. Beck acknowledges that this sort of gambling would exacerbate social problems, but counters that government “programs are already in place” to deal with these ills. What a guy.

The tawdry payoff to the schools to buy off critics of the casino proposal is as cheap as the rest of the deal. The problems gambling and debt create in families more than offset any benefit schools may experience. Localities that already have casinos seldom list their owners among those who substantially give back to their communities. If Mr. Beck manages to break that mold, I will gladly express my appreciation.

Meanwhile, you have fortified me to oppose the casino measure with both barrels.

Jim Borgman

Monday, May 15, 2006

Working Late 5.15.06

Monday 5.15.06

Friday, May 12, 2006

Principal for a Day

I spent Thursday morning at Schiel Primary School in Clifton shadowing Mr. Stanley Flower as part of the Cincinnati Public School's Principal for a Day program. The idea is to allow community leaders to see what a principal's job involves and how it is changing as schools change. Much of the Enquirer's editorial board likewise visited other schools, and we'll be writing and drawing about what we observed in the week ahead.

The series kicks off this Sunday in the Forum section, so dig a little harder to unearth it from the mattress ads.

The experience left me optimistic about the children I observed and the quality of education they're receiving. Schiel is a top-notch environment and the kids were more attentive and thoughtful than I could have ever anticipated. We had a great day together. Thanks to Mr. Flower, the kind of principal any school would be lucky to have, and all the other great faculty, staff and parents I met along the way.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

MacNelly Sculpture

I got a postcard in the mail today announcing a show of Jeff MacNelly's bronze sculptures at r.h.ballard, art, rug & home in Washington, VA. The exhibit runs May 6 - 28. The gallery is at 307 Main Street, Washington, VA. There was a reception with Susie MacNelly, who carries on Jeff's strip Shoe, on May 6th (before I received the announcement.)

If anyone gets to the exhibit, I'd love to hear about it. I saw a few of Jeff's sculptures in progress when I visited him in 1993. The postcard shows a cowboy on a horse climbing a muddy slope. The one I recall seeing in progress was of a man on a horse talking to a man in a pickup truck.

I am of that generation of editorial cartoonists who felt that MacNelly could do no wrong. Everything the man touched turned to gold. In this case, I guess, bronze.

Wednesday with the NY Times

Monday, May 08, 2006

Called Shot (and Revision)

Monday Notes 5.8.06

Spring Picnic

We had perfect weather this weekend for the annual Spring Picnic for the Trilateral Commission, though naturally many of the participants preferred to remain behind closed doors. We all enjoyed delicious cold chicken dinners and Teddy Kennedy once again brought his famous bourbon weenies. The only disappointment of the weekend was bin Laden's failure to show (again) -- there was a motion to remove him as head of the dessert committee for all future gatherings, which was seconded by many. The final vote was unanimous.

I was on the cleanup crew along with my editorial cartooning buddies. Highlight: a kiss on the head from Nelson Mandela.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Friday 5.5.06

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random Scratchings 5.3.06

Blogger has been acting hinky lately and I haven't been able to upload any notes for several days. (I know you wait with baited breath for my Starbucks napkins.) Here's a sampling of recent thoughts.

Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff

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