The World Health Organization labeled Ebola “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.” This is in part because it affects the world’s most vulnerable populations. Ebola is not easily transmissible in countries with public health infrastructure – it doesn’t spread like the flu – meaning the U.S. is not at any significant risk for a large outbreak. However, the sensationalist tendencies of our media and the paralysis of lawmakers during the election year make it all the more difficult to mount an effective response where the Ebola virus is causing the most damage: In Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The World Bank estimates that “90% of the economic losses during any outbreak arise from the uncoordinated and irrational efforts of the public to avoid infection.” That being said, the very least we should do as Americans is not allow our fear to act as a further detriment to the already troubled response to this emergency.
I recently attended the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists annual conference, and it was a spectacular time. The conference, which featured a wide range of lectures emphasizing the power of the medium, did a great job highlighting the good news of the profession. In particular, presentations on graphics journalism – including reporting done through comics and interactive video-game style pieces — demonstrated the form’s unique ability to allow people to explore stories with greater depth and engagement.
Apart from the panels, it was an inspiring experience simply to hang out with the tight-knit community of political cartoonists, who gave me a lot of much-appreciated encouragement and constructive criticism on the work I’ve created over the past two years. Learning to write and draw cartoons is a long process, and I want to thank everyone who has been following my progress and giving me feedback!
We’ve heard a lot about how ISIS uses social media to recruit new members and spread it’s message. And as MATTER pointed out- if ISIS was a start-up, they’d be working with some pretty impressive statistics. But we could never have guessed how much the start-up mindset is engrained in their culture. Recent documents acquired by the Gabbler show ISIS’s latest pitch to investors.
I’m off this week, taking a class on graphic novels and narrative comic-making at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.
I’ve also been working on a particularly difficult cartoon about the language of the conflict in Israel and Gaza, which I will publish as soon as I can stop revising it. More soon!
Guatemalans Aren’t Just Fleeing Gangs by Saul Elbein for the New Republic
The Process Congress Wants to Use For Child Migrants is a Disaster by Dara Lind for Vox
Arizona Politician Mistakes Bus Full of YMCA Kids For Undocumented Immigrants by Abby Phillip for The Washington Post
I didn’t start drawing and studying editorial cartoons consistently until my senior year in college. However, I did draw a few cartoons on Iraq when I was researching Blackwater and military contractors in high school. I drew these before I knew anything about editorial cartoons, and while they are filled with mistakes and questionable decisions (it looks like I labeled a curb “Iraq”), it was my interest in the topic that got me into political cartoons.