Reynolds’ cartoon focused on tragedy

Eric Lipp’s letter (Herald, Aug. 1) regarding the cartoon by Judith Reynolds (Herald, July 22) misses the point of newspaper cartoons. In defense of Reynolds and the Herald, editorial cartoons are not necessarily supposed to be funny. The term relates to the medium as a characterization, which, when done well, is an immediate visual statement about a person or event.

France’s great 19th-century artist, Honoré Daumier (1808-79) produced remarkable satirical commentary on societal behavior and political issues. America’s Thomas Nast (1840-1902) brought widespread attention to political corruption through his caricatures.

Were editorial cartoons meant to be funny, they would appear on the comics page. For the uninformed, they serve to send a message without having to read lengthy diatribes. They also can be a shorthand representation of unspeakable catastrophe.

Reynolds’ poignant drawing succinctly focused attention on the horrific event in Aurora. In the most basic way, the drawing implied how an intended evening of fun and entertainment instead ended in tragedy and mayhem.

I commend the Herald for printing it and also for printing Lipp’s letter. No apology required.

Stew Mosberg


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