Thursday, August 16, 2007

Book Review: Killed Cartoons

killed cartoons book cover
I rarely get my news from newspapers anymore, but when I do peruse the paper I head to the commentary section to see what’s on the minds of journalists and my fellow citizens, and, most importantly, to see the editorial cartoons. My poor husband who’s trying to eat his meal in peace has to endure my tsk-tsking if I don’t agree with a cartoon, snickers if I do, and rants if I’m really offended. Scott Stantis, Hoover resident and editorial cartoonist for The Birmingham News, is one of my favorites and his cartoons are usually right on the money. Case in point is his recent cartoon showing two devils in hell wiping the sweat from their brows saying, “Man! It’s hot as Birmingham today!" Heh heh.

I picked up Killed Cartoons off the library’s 1st floor display shelf because I just had to see what cartoons were so controversial that an editor would refuse to print them. I thought editors thrived on controversy. Isn’t this what sells best these days? I was surprised to find out this isn't always the case.

Every chapter includes the controversial cartoons and the history behind the killings, along with comments from the cartoonists and occasionally the editors. No subject is taboo: abortion, gun control, suicide, religion, and even the Holocuast and 9/11. There’s plenty insulting of world leaders going on. A few memorable ones are President Bush’s “electile dysfunction” and Bill Clinton’s strategically placed saxophone, along with his “I’m with stupid” T-shirt with the finger not pointing sideways. Curious about Schindler’s other list or Martin Luther King’s other dream?

If you're not easily offended, go ahead and give it a try.

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