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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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Monday, January 07, 2008


I'm inclined to agree with the last post's commenters that the MLK/Obama cartoon didn't quite work. I was trying to convey my excitement that, while we've had a dream since Dr. King's day, there is finally a realistic road map to the White House. Obama's blank expression threw it off.

As I worked on the cartoon, I found that a smile on Obama's face made him appear to be gloating. A stern expression made him appear to be confrontational, which I don't find him to be. So I tried for a look of steady conviction, and didn't quite capture it. You wouldn't believe how much whiteout is on that cartoon.

Live and learn. (Although I'm still not sure how I'd draw it better today.)

Your thoughts?


at 1/7/08, 11:00 AM Anonymous matta said...

I understood what you were saying but I thought it wasn't meshing in concept. Its not Obama's roadmap, its the political process. Additionally, Obama's campaign hasn't really made this about race and MLK was mostly focused on racial equality. If Obama becomes President, doesn't mean MLK's dream is realized...Maybe another POV is that MLK's dream inspired generations of politicians and leaders (both black and white) that paved the way for Obama to have a credible chance of becoming President.

at 1/7/08, 11:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a cartoonist, or even an artist, but I have to ask...

If Hillary, or some other candidate, is easier to draw, do you take this into account when considering which candidate gets your vote. :-)

at 1/7/08, 11:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it because it left me with freedom to think about all the different meanings there might be. I could list mine but that would interfere with other's freedom of interpretation.

Jim, it worked for me. Keep it up. Maybe none of us know this path, it's new.


at 1/7/08, 12:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,
I have to agree with previous people the the first cartoon just was a bit confusing but I still in a way understood it. I am in no way a cartoonist and the best i could ever draw would be stick people but a previous post struck my imagination that maybe a split screen idea, on one side you have MLK on tv with little Obama saying something about being president and on the right side of the "split screen" obama talks about his road to the white house


at 1/7/08, 12:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could have mirrored their poses.
Show Obama in the same pose as Dr. King, but Obama is holding the roadmap in the other hand.

at 1/7/08, 12:44 PM Blogger Paul said...


Originally, I thought your cartoon was saying that Obama's "roadmap" paled by comparison to MLK's "dream", which didn't make too much sense. It was definitely Obama's blank expression that threw it off. Since you are setting up a side-by-side comparison between the two, how about having Obama mimic MLK's gesture and expression exactly? This would show that the roadmap is just as important as the dream because it shows a way to actually achieve it.

at 1/7/08, 1:23 PM Blogger Matthew Hansel said...


I'm not sure how I might change the expression to make it work.

Maybe change the word ROADMAP to PLAN???

I dunno.


at 1/7/08, 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's his real face...

at 1/7/08, 4:26 PM Blogger Wettengel said...

How about if Obama was saying "I'm living the dream!" and had a smile.

at 1/7/08, 4:49 PM Anonymous matt reeder said...

Matt, I like the "plan" replacing "roadmap" idea. I understand the roadmap pun (I guess it's a pun - don't know what else to call it), but I think it weakens the cartoon. A eupahmism just seems to take away from the bold statement the cartoon is making.

I think the Obama's eyebrows are the problem with thte expression; they came acroos to me as either confused or ambivalent.

at 1/7/08, 8:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

great - another insecure president!

at 1/7/08, 8:34 PM Anonymous Weekly cartoonist said...

Obama's expression seemed to turn the road map into something rather insignificant in comparison to Dr. King's iconic pose and quest. I think if the portrait of Obama had been less cartoonish then the two images would have worked as one -- as a progression, not a contrast.
(I spent last night drawing and redrawing nesting dolls until I realized the idea I had just didn't work visually. *&%$#@!! Then I settled on something less interesting.
In short, I hate to knock any serious work, because it sure ain't easy.)
Man, this is a great site. Where else does a prominent artist have guts and humility to the ask a bunch of strangers, rowdies, and tyros for advice?

at 1/8/08, 9:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheap shot: You could rise both eyebrows in Obama.

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