Five Increasingly Unfortunate Political Cartoons About the Boston Marathon

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 16 2013 10:13 AM

Five Increasingly Unfortunate Political Cartoons About the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon bombing has produced a run of gripping journalism, both first-person from runners and information-rich from analysts. So many reporters actually ran in the marathon and then filed stories that they earned a micro-trend piece.

It's tougher for cartoonists. The cartoonist must react instantly and with measure and wit to horrible, unthinkable things. It doesn't always end well. The results of the Fourth-and-a-Half-Estate's work is mostly captured here, with full rights, by Daryl Cagle, and it includes some head-scratchers. (I noticed them at Something Awful, where they were being collected by readers.)

Below the fold:

Cameron Cardow, of the Ottawa Citizen, where "Uncle Sam as stolid comforter and avenger" is still an acceptable cliche.

J.D. Crowe, of the Mobile Register, goes for the "uplifting metaphor of the tireless runner." I'll allow it, jarring as it is.


David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Star combines the themes -- heroic runner and avenging state. That's not too horrible, is it? And if you click around Cagle, you find a bunch of decent, if obvious, takes on the heroism of cops and runners -- pleasant-enough themes. No, as above, it's the cartoonists outside the U.S. who seem to have forgotten their tact pills.


That's Sweden's Olle Johansson, who has a surrealist vision of tear size and design, and doesn't take the idea much further than the Onion's satire of a bad cartoonist, "Kelly." (Kelly always crams a crying Statue of Liberty into the frame.)

And that's Australia's Peter Broelman, who wins the first-ever Tragic Cartoon No-Prize.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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