A few months ago, I pre-ordered Bill Sanders's forthcoming retrospective of his editorial cartooning career. I have both of the books published while he was the cartoonist for The Milwaukee Journal. Head for the Oval Room deals primarily the Nixon administration, some of which is also repeated in The Sanders Book. The latter book includes cartoons not only about the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations, but about Wisconsin and Milwaukee issues as well.
I'm looking forward to receiving the new book, which promises cartoons from his retiree years, but also examples of Sanders's early career with Stars and Stripes, The Greensboro Daily News, and The Kansas City Star. Given how different in style his Milwaukee cartoons are from his earlier work, it should be interesting to see how that evolution took place.
|"How Much Are We Really Involved Here" by Bill Sanders in Greensboro Daily News, ca. March, 1962|
I have to say that I barely took any notice of Candidate Trump at the time, myself; my editors at Q Syndicate, the Milwaukee Business Journal, and the Racine Journal Times probably wouldn't have been interested in cartoons about him anyway. Had Jim Morin published his book a year earlier, I suspect none of his Donald Trump cartoons would have made the cut for this book, so it's fortuitous that he had a chance to dig up his material about a nearly forgotten episode from when current president first dipped his toes into political waters.
|"Looks Like His Last Trip to Moscow Just Backfired" by Jim Morin in Miami Herald, June, 1985.|
Besides, there was so much else going on in the 1980s, even without a president tweeting all his brain farts every morning. If anyone is still publishing editorial cartoon memoirs thirty years from now, there will be an awful lot that seems of tremendous import today that will end up on the cutting room floor tomorrow.
Another cartooning memoir recent to my collection is The First and Only Book of Sack (only available from the Star Tribune and currently only on back order) by Steve Sack, featuring the best of his cartoons for the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 1981 to 2017. It's too bad that he didn't also include his older cartoons for The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, such as the one below. Mr. Sack is not a packrat, however, and it's extremely unlikely that foraging through his Indiana cartoons would have turned up any early drawings of Mike Pence, who, after all, was still in college at the time.
|"Jump!" by Steve Sack in Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, August, 1980|
Due to its publication date, Sack's book includes a handful of cartoons about Senator Al Franken (who also wrote the first of the book's four forewords) and one of Garrison Keillor, but none which reflect either man's #TimesUp fall from grace. The Keillor cartoon is especially unintentionally ironic, depicting the Prairie Home Companion host hiding out from a horde of sex-crazed women. The original context of the cartoon was that Keillor had been named one of Playgirl's Sexiest Men Alive in 1986. (Sack observes that one of the other men on that year's list was Donald Trump).
Such is the risk in any collection of topical writing; editorial cartoons almost always have an ephemeral quality to them. (Just check out any cartoon about Herbert Hoover before October, 1929.) I don't imagine that Sack's book is on back order because he's slipping in some hasty updates, because he'd just have to do it again in a matter of months.
We'll just have to wait until The First and Only Book's sequel.