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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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Thursday, July 19, 2007


Remember third grade when the teacher left the room and asked the class to work quietly for a few minutes? There was no surer way to trigger pandemonium.

The image flashed in my mind when I saw a record number of comments posted while I took a two-week vacation. The usual level of sophisticated debate ensued, of course. Our blogmaster is pleased that BorgBlog maintained a place in the heart of the Enquirer blog pack in my absence. Thanks to you all, and particularly to our full-time anonymous college student who managed to tear himself away from his studies in order to comment about absolutely nothing every three-and-a-half minutes for two weeks. What a hoot.

I spent nine days in Israel, seeing every corner of a compelling and complex country. A few of the high points:

-My first view of Jerusalem's creamy white stone walls, visits to the Kotel or Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the winding alleyways of the Jewish and Arab quarters of the city

-A tour, conducted by Rabbi David Foreman, of the Security Fence separating Israel from the West Bank, including several of the bus stops where suicide bombers blew up buses full of children on their way to school

-Dinner in a Sunni bedouin tent in the Negev Desert and a camel ride

-Climbing Massada before dawn and watching the sun rise above the ruins where 900 Jews chose suicide over Roman slavery

-Peering from the bunkers of the Golan Heights where Syrian soldiers once menaced the Israelis living on the kibbutzes below

-Tracing the path of Jesus' Galilee ministry from Nazareth to Capaernum and seeing the sites of the Sermon on the Mount and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes

-Participating in an archaeological dig in ancient caves, finding pottery that had not been touched by human hands in 2300 years

-Visiting Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and hearing our guide compare Rabin's assassination to the end of an era of innocence such as America experienced with the death of JFK

-Experiencing the collapsing power of Yad VaShem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum

-Listening to the experiences of an Israeli Arab, who account for one-sixth of the country's population, and a visit in a mosque with an imam who explained the five pillars of Muslim faith

It was a pleasure to return home last night to my own bed and decent coffee this morning. For now I have had my share of falafel and hummus, brutal heat and throbbing airports. So much new information to digest, so many new pieces to fit into the puzzle of the Middle East.


at 7/19/07, 11:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're quite welcome!

i missed you. :-(

at 7/19/07, 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

we all missed you.

at 7/19/07, 10:10 PM Anonymous nose up borgman's rear end said...

Borgman says: "time for a break from the action. I'll be back on Thursday July 19. Talk among yourselves." At 8:31 AM, H. Beige said... "Talk among ourselves"? Hmmm, I'll wait."
On July 19, Borgman says: "remember third grade when the teacher left the room and asked the class to work quietly for a few minutes? There was no surer way to trigger pandemonium."

"The image flashed in my mind when I saw a record number of comments posted while I took a two-week vacation. The usual level of sophisticated debate ensued, of course." I'm confused by this statement. It seems sarcastic, on your part. (I admit I'm overly sensitive.) Are you stating that all of the comments expressed during your absence are juvenile, in your opinion? As an overly-sensitive person, I agree with H. Beige that your suggestion to "talk among yourselves" was conceited. At 10:21 PM tim of sioux falls said...
"I enjoy Jim Borgman's cartoons. He is among the elite in political cartooning. However, his blog has become a combat zone where no one dares to enter for fear of retribution. I find it difficult to discuss relevant issues about cartooning or current events when one person's unreasonable hostility toward an opposing view poisons the venue for exchanging ideas." I agree with this statement.

at 7/19/07, 11:09 PM Blogger Wettengel said...

I can't figure out why you did not have "good" coffee until your return? I thought there was a Starbucks on every corner in Israel also. Aren't they taking over the world?

Welcome back!

at 7/20/07, 3:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

*** spitball to the back of the head ***

at 7/20/07, 5:32 PM Blogger Elyse said...

starbucks over there - not a chance! Aroma and Hillel coffee shops dominate every corner. Yummmy! Jim, I hope that you got to at least try the amazingness that is an iced Aroma coffee.

at 7/22/07, 2:26 PM Anonymous Weekly Cartoonist said...

The sad truth is that the angry attacks make any critiques impossible.

PS Terrence show us more toons!

at 7/23/07, 10:17 AM Anonymous Deborah said...

Sounds like an awesome trip, once in a lifetime. Welcome back. We missed you.

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