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BorgBlog
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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Monday, March 26, 2007

Icon Wanted



When I came up with this idea on Friday regarding Elizabeth Edwards' recurrence of cancer, I realized there was no universally recognized cartoon shorthand for Cancer. the idea called for a "Cancer" figure to be throwing cold water on the frivolity of the 2008 Campaign.

Drawing Cancer as Death or the Grim Reaper wasn't quite right. Though her cancer has been called "incurable" in the news accounts, death is not necessarily imminent, thankfully. The figure in this drawing had to be walking away, so there wasn't much opportunity to be subtle.

I settled on this gaunt spectral figure but clearly it's lacking some sort of identification prop. (My editor mistook the figure for a slug.)

Just wondering if anyone else has tackled this one. Icon for hire.


12 Comments:

at 3/26/07, 9:49 AM Anonymous Shawn said...

I also thought it was a slug at first glance.

Maybe doing an imposing, non-gender specific silhouetted figure? (in the vein of the Oliphant image here)

http://www.geocities.com/eingedi.geo/softer_side.jpg

 
at 3/26/07, 11:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.ajwrb.org/watchtower/G37_9_8_p773%252ejpg.jpg

 
at 3/26/07, 4:15 PM Anonymous Weekly cartoonist said...

I have no idea how I would have handled that one, but given your image of protagonist clowns I think I might have just had a respectful drawing of Elizabeth Edwards on the side with an x-ray under her arm.

 
at 3/26/07, 4:38 PM Blogger who said...

I love this one....I am still laughing after reading your explanation. Can't catch my breath. Wonderful endorphens!! I looked at the cartoon yesterday and couldn't ID the "cold water" image. Looked sort of like Nessy of Loch Ness fame. So....I decided to wait and see how it looked to me today to see if I could get another perspective. It didn't occur to me that you would write an explanation. lolololol. Still laughing. Such a sad issue, though....lololol.

Thanks Jim. Cold water.....lololol. whew

I have no ideas about how I would have drawn. But....I will keep the wheels turning.

w

 
at 3/26/07, 4:51 PM Blogger who said...

The Cancer Society has used a looped pink ribbon with a straight pin as a symbol for people to wear in support of breast cancer research. With the loop up. An image of the front of a cancer treatment center. An image representing perserverance and endurance and good spirits, as Mrs Edwards has projected. A drawing of her with her pink breast cancer ribbon holding a campaign sign?

A bucket with a drop of water, suspended in the air, above the "clowns" with a pink, looped ribbon and the words "surviving."

That's all for now

w

 
at 3/26/07, 4:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's always "the big C".

 
at 3/26/07, 10:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Shawn who said the cancer figure looked like a slug. I sensed trepidation on your part. However, it also took courage to tackle such a sensitive subject. You made your point that politics as usual are frivilous in comparison to the real issues we face in our lives. My paternal grandparents both died from cancer. My grandma never requested preferential treatment because of her illness. You demonstrated good intentions by drawing the cartoon.

 
at 3/27/07, 6:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was a giant, burnt finger and for the life of me I did not understand the meaning. It would have been at home in the New Yorker.
The pink ribbon would have been easier on the brain. Sunday paper's in color anyway, huh?

 
at 3/27/07, 11:29 AM Blogger Jim in DC said...

cancer is gluttonous, ravenous. gaunt, doubtful.

 
at 3/27/07, 5:55 PM Blogger kencookusa said...

With a water analogy, I thought the "Rorshak cloak" was a mishapen or elongated sharks fin, that said, it's one of "those" cartoons that just doesn't quite "congeal" or neatly fall into place.
Too divergent, slapstick on the one hand and insidiousness on the other and at times a viable cartoon can be fleshed out but most of the time the humor or editorial idea is left floundering in the dark void of those illuminatae that just don't catch or spark.

 
at 3/27/07, 6:26 PM Blogger Terrence said...

Well... I believe the graphic/symbolic image for cancer would traditionally be a crab.

So I guess the issue, then, is the need for a human figure to contrast with the clowns?

How about an evil-looking mime?

 
at 3/28/07, 10:59 AM Anonymous Dan said...

I like the idea of Mrs. Edwards wearing a pink ribbon and looking at the clowns.

Cancer doesn't need an icon. It needs a human face and ribbon which, to me at least, represents strength and perseverance.

I wish there were some way to work in her husband walking away from the clowns to take care of her. It makes me sad that he's still in the race and making her come with him.

 
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