TIME published its list of “Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2008” and it’s, well, fucking atrocious. So I’m sending this Letter to the Editor to TIME:
To the Editor:
Your list of the Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2008 is an insult to editorial cartoonists, many of whom are losing their jobs to the economic downturn in the newspaper industry. In 2008 hundreds of brilliant political cartoonists produced thousands of hard-hitting, thought-provoking and hilarious cartoons about everything from the flash in the pan that was Sarah Palin to the rise of Barack Obama, and all you could come up with was this phoned-in crap?
Never in American history have so many talented artists worked in so many diverse styles using as many approaches to produce as exciting editorial cartoonists. Yet never have the political cartoons appearing in print in mainstream print media have been so bland, inane, and just plain stupid. (The good stuff appears in alternative weeklies, family-owned dailies and, of course, online.) It’s a paradox, and it’s hurting our profession.
It’s one thing for lousy cartoons to appear in print somewhere. It’s downright appalling to anoint them the best work produced by a field in a given year. Heck, even among the artists you selected, they all did much better work than the pieces you picked. How would TIME like it if someone published a list of the Top 10 Newsmagazines of 2008—and it was just a list of blogs by 16-year-olds typing in their parents’ basements?
Do us a favor: If you can’t find a few clean and sober editors to take the time to sort through the year’s editorial cartoons, don’t bother.
Very truly yours,
Association of American Editorial Cartoonists