Cartoon critics Phil Witte and Rex Hesner look behind gags to debate what makes a cartoon tick. This week our intrepid critics examine cartoons about climate change.
Rex: It seems every other headline features the word “climate”, whether referring to massive storms or permanent global change.
Phil: Are we really going to talk about the weather?
Rex: No, we’re talking about cartoons, as usual.
Phil: This fine cartoon by Kaamran Hafeez has its comedic roots in the 1950s TV series, Lassie.
Rex: Every generation has its animal friend – Flipper, Willy, etc. – capable of incredibly complex warnings, as evidenced by the insanely complex caption below.
Phil: Animals have an amazing ability to quickly adapt to warming climates, as shown in Alex Gregory’s caption-less cartoon.
Rex: In fact, the fish in Charles Barsotti’s drawing seem to have found a silver lining in global warming trends.
Phil: Most cartoonists, however, are more sympathetic to the plight of creatures caught in these rapidly changing conditions, like Sam Gross’ poignant walrus portrait. No words necessary.
Rex: Back to humans, I hope our attitudes towards preserving the planet have evolved since Lee Lorenz’s blasé fat cats.
Phil: Mick Stevens picks up on the slowly changing attitudes. The only thing dry is the humor.
Rex: The rising sea-level looks serious in this Washington D.C. setting.
Rex: Some politicians seem a bit tone-deaf to the general discussion, as portrayed in Paul Noth’s campaign rally scene.
Phil: I hope he’s talking about “clean coal.”
Rex: Your average man or woman on the street can often have mixed feelings about climate change, as illustrated in Bob Mankoff’s pointillist drawing.
Phil: I suppose we all could do a little more, or at least that’s what Frank Cotham advocates in one of his classic desert shack scenes.
Rex: I understand the effects are far-reaching, at least that’s what P.C. Vey suggests.
Phil: The last thing anyone wants to hear is—
Rex: I told you so…right, Tom Toro?
Have thoughts? Let’s hear them: