Monday, January 19, 2004

See Hilarious Mars Rover Cartoons

It says a lot about the state of editorial cartooning in this fair land of ours...

A few days ago the comics blogosphere rather amusedly reported on the fact that when the Mars rover landed on Mars, every editorial cartoonist on the country had the same idea: ie, of course, what could be funnier than finding Osama on Mars? Well, I'd rather have a toothache, but thats just me.

Its about the lamest gag I can possibly conceive - given that its not funny in any remotely humorous way. Its more like humor through the tried and true Pavlovian response method: jam two familiar but dissimilar current events into the same panel, rinse and repeat. Of course, the audience has been trained to chuckle at such toothless fare by generations of precedent. The fact that so many cartoonists had the same idea, or a very similar variation on the theme, is reprehensible, and says a lot about the editorial cartoon as an instrument of civil protest and satire in the year 2004.

So, anyway, when I check into my e-mail this morning what do I see? Slate's Daryl Cagle is making a virtue of his profession's total cluelessness by running a laundry list of Mars Rover cartoons. There's only a page of Osama gags - even though there were many more produced - but there's a WMD reference or twenty as well as the obligatory Britney Spears and Michael Jackson punchlines. Someone even threw in a Jimmy Hoffa for good measure, because I guess it just doesn't get any more topical than people who've been dead for almost thirty years.

No comments :