The panel discussion “You can get killed doing this: sketches from the satire biz” was held at the recent MoCCA Fest in New York. The panel discussed the chilling effects on what satirical works get published, and why it’s important to keep publishing satire anyway. The blurb in the festival’s booklet reads in part: “Can satire survive in a world of trigger warnings and Kalishnikov triggers? Could the National Lampoon be published in a post-Charlie Hebdo world? Is self-censorship the greatest sin of all?” This week we present an excerpt of that discussion.
There are numerous ways in which you may have encountered Ted Rall‘s work. In addition to his political cartoons, he’s taken on a variety of other formats and other media: comics journalism (in central Asia, including Afghanistan), newspaper columns, radio, graphic novels, and MAD Magazine work.
While his political views are left-of-center, his tendency to question Democrats as well as Republicans has brought pushback from some on the left. Whether his target is a Republican, a Democrat, or another political cartoonist, Rall pulls no punches.
In this episode, he talks with Tim about his philosophy of political cartooning, filing comics from a war zone, why his editors at MAD just don’t “get” his character Fantabulaman, and much more.
On my recent trip to Beijing, I talked to Liu Jing for the podcast. I had hoped to also speak with China Daily editorial cartoonist Luo Jie, but unfortunately he was out of town when I was there. As it happened, his preference was to do the interview in written form, anyway, so here’s my conversation with him:
—Did you grow up reading comics? Making comics?
Like the vast majority of Chinese children, my growth process was accompanied by reading comics. I was born in 1978; in that era, there were few decent comic book publications. It was very common that many children would have to share one comic book. Relative to the shortage of comic books, I preferred watching cartoons on television. There were a lot of animated cartoons, whether Chinese or foreign. I was very willing to copy some favorite cartoon characters in “Saint Seiya” and “Transformers”. That was the greatest pleasure of my childhood.
—What were/are your favorites?
US editorial cartoons are my favorite. I like funny comics too, especially nonsensical comics, just like those drawn by Japanese cartoonist Rumiko Takahashi.
When Doonesbury started nearly 42 years ago, Garry Trudeau was a hot young property, the undergrad student cartoonist who spoke the language of “today’s youth”. Now age 64, Trudeau can hardly make that claim, but instead he can take credit for a monumental strip chronicling the lives of his many cast members and their lives growing old in the social and political environments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Tim and Kumar assess the strip’s legacy, discuss Brian Walker’s Doonesbury and the Art of G. B. Trudeau, and review the past year’s worth of strips.
Ruben Bolling is a comic strip creator who admits that he’s less interested in drawing than he used to be. Known as the brains behind the hilarious, and sometimes absurd, weekly strip “Tom the Dancing Bug,” Bolling does want to continue the strip, but also concentrate more effort on writing, and to move into other types of creative pursuits. One such pursuit may be a movie project with New Line Cinema. In an interview with Tim, Bolling talks about the movie, his influences, his tools, and his characters, as well as answering questions from listeners!
Also in this episode, Tim, Mulele, and Kumar discuss the upcoming WeirdCrimeTheater.com and Tim’s ongoing paid drawing gig (see his finished works below the break).