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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, January 03, 2008

Glad Tidings

I got home from vacation late Tuesday night and was surprised to find myself sitting at my desk yesterday morning, just hours later, with a deadline hanging over my head. I don't know about you, but on re-entry days it takes me the better part of a day just to go around and turn on all the factory lights, flip the machines on and open the windows. It was midafternoon before I finished reading the newspapers and catching up with vacation clutter.

On normal days I have a dozen topics swirling around in my head, any one of which might pop open to provide the day's cartoon idea. But on re-entry days I'm lucky to have two thoughts to rub together. Yesterday I had the slimmest sliver of a concept -- something about taking down the Christmas tree and the Iowa caucuses.

By now I know to respect that faint sound of a tuning fork quivering in my brain, so I held onto this slight image all day and tried to find the connection. Something about dragging the tree to the curb, the end of the season of good cheer, the beginning of the political season. It came together around 4PM when it absolutely had to.


When I looked at the cartoon in the newspaper this morning I thought it looked more sinister than I'd intended. It may even come off as a shot at Iowans, who I actually appreciate for doing some of the early heavy lifting in the campaign process. Maybe there's too much blackness on the right side of the drawing. Maybe the "Politics" figure should have been walking toward a far-off farmhouse across a comically vast snowy field?


at 1/3/08, 12:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Jim, Thanks for sharing, I like your writing as much as your graphics. Good to see the drafts. Idea: If we drape the peace and goodwill over our hearts and minds it becomes the underlayment to the urgent calls of our lives, politics and otherwise, all year.

So good to have you back.


at 1/3/08, 12:38 PM Blogger Matthew Hansel said...

I think that you captured the sentiment perfectly!

Thanks for posting the "ruffs" and for providing a bit of insight into ye olden creative process.



at 1/3/08, 2:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, just what I was thinking about and considering as I thought about what our politics and government would be if we selected our leaders from a wide open field of canidates that had presented no specifics and thought of us as needing none.

I am tired of the who ever speaks the loudest, most or longest wins while I am wasting my time waiting for the substance so I can make some sense of the decisions I get to make.

Thanks Mr. Borgman, it is nice to have some simple summations done, you are very good at what you have choosen to be your work and profession.

at 1/3/08, 3:30 PM Blogger Philip Shade said...

Definitely a dark piece, but I think that's good for the subject.

It might have worked just as well without Iowa on the mailbox, and some garbage cans.

Also thanks for the roughs, I know you were worried - or had experienced - people pilfering your unused ideas. I think showing the roughs for the published pieces is a nice workaround.

at 1/3/08, 4:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in Iowa and its been horrible with the early cacuses and the political adds for x-mas.......

I am glad its over tonight... my only regret is not being able to get any candidates to address the WGA strike and media conglomeration much like the post about the paper closing.....

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