Monday, April 26, 2010

Speaking of Asay cartoons

Writing the blog post the other day for "We Republicans Have a Suggestion," I was reminded that this wasn't the first time I've drawn a cartoon in response to one of Chuck Asay's. Back in 1993, I was editorial cartoonist for the UWM Post at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. At the time, the Post was the university's liberal newspaper, and the UWM Times was its conservative rival.

The Times ran Asay's syndicated cartoon on a regular basis. The cartoon I reacted to was against a federal 5-day waiting limit for the purchase of a handgun, then part of the Brady Bill. If I remember correctly, it showed a sprawled, presumably dead woman whose outstretched hand lay near a phone off the hook. A voice from the phone informed the late "Mrs. Smith" that her 5-day waiting period was over and she could come pick up the handgun she had bought for her protection.

So I drew this:

Lest you, dear reader, get the impression that I have some grudge against Chuck Asay, let me assure you that this cartoon exchange was just part of a general rivalry between campus newspapers. Since both newspapers were free, it was generally safe to assume that anyone who cared to read one paper would also read the other.

The Times didn't have its own editorial cartoonist as such, but they did run a topical cartoon of a sort. It didn't involve any drawing, just cutting and pasting of photos and clip art. It featured a thinly disguised rip-off of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes -- more precisely, from the Calvin Pissing on Something car window decals -- as its smart-alecky editorial voice.

One week, I had the idea to compare New York Senator Alphonse D'Amato's investigations of Hilary Clinton to Calvin's pestering of Susie Derkins in the C&H strip. Where I wrote the newspaper's name next to my signature, I wrote "UWM Post, where we have the decency to credit Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes when we rip him off."

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