(Photo by Steve Rhodes.)
All good things – and every chronically tardy series of ridiculously long posts filled with obsessive debunks and snarky commentary to conservative cartoons – must come to an end. Or a halt. Or something like that.
Creators Syndicate, which represents several of our regularly featured cartoonists, has raised a copyright objection to us posting their work here. We suggested a few accommodations, but they were all rejected (if fairly politely). This isn’t a big site, and we’re not making money at it, but we do respect their intellectual property rights. It’s hard to “excerpt” an editorial cartoon, making “fair use” difficult, and the main reason we posted the cartoons in the first place rather than linking them was for readability since we were discussing them. I’ve said it before, but I appreciate both Mike Lester and Glenn Foden writing and being good sports about the series. Nor would I begrudge any cartoonist for objecting to being included (although our snotty attitudes were not the issue here).
If and when RWCW returns, we’ll either not be using Creators Syndicate cartoonists, or will simply link their work versus posting the actual cartoons here. Many other cartoon roundups use a link format. I don’t think that would be as fun or readable for our purposes, but, uh, some might argue the series never really excelled at those elements anyhow.
I’m afraid Creators Syndicate objected to past posts in the series and not just posts going forward. That’s not surprising, but is deeply unfortunate. Since fixing past entries (by substituting links) would be a massive undertaking, for now, we’re simply blocking all of the pictures, although the posts remain. I doubt many people are traipsing through the archives, but if you’re looking for a specific cartoon we featured, I can probably hunt down the official version and e-mail you the link.
At some point, RWCW or a similar series may return (with a new format). In case it doesn’t, or simply because it’s a new political era, this isn’t a bad time to reflect briefly on the past two and half years of watching political insanity through cartoons. John McCain’s favorite performer will provide the mood music as we proceed:
(Try not to cry, now. *sniff*)
It would be silly to claim we were always praiseworthy of the cartoons we featured, since usually we weren’t. However, I do think we honored good artwork, cleverness even if we disagreed with the point of view, the right to criticize public figures, and the fine tradition of American editorial cartooning. Most people like cartoons, and as I’ve mentioned before, my dad introduced me to Walt Kelly’s Pogo as a kid and I took a few cartooning classes as a youngster. It’s difficult to make a point in a single panel (or several crammed into a small space). We bemoaned Mike Shelton and other editorial cartoonists being dropped by local papers. We congratulated Michael Ramirez on his most recent Pulitzer, and linked cartoonist interviews and related pieces. Despite any political differences, we probably helped the cartoonists we featured more than we hurt them (not that our influence was great, regardless).
I have to say I learned a great deal through researching issues for the series (although some readers might contest that), and when I had to rummage through older entries, they could make for fairly interesting time capsules of conservative talking points and the events of the day. The series became almost a sociology project. It was also encouraging to see a number of cartoonists drop partisanship once in a while.
In any case, thanks to any and all readers over the past two and half years, especially those who commented or passed on links to cartoons. Thanks to the bloggers who linked us (and to my blogmates here). Most of all, thanks to all the cartoonists themselves, for spurring spirited discussion. I’ll send out a new e-mail to folks on the mailing list if and when we’re back running again without the difficulties, but this isn’t a bad time to take a hiatus anyway. Thanks, and in the meantime, try to keep a comic outlook.
(Keep moving, buddy!)Filed: Rightwing Cartoon Watch
Tagged: Right-Wing Cartoon Watch
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