Here is a Zoom panel I participated in Saturday, October 3, 2020 with fellow editorial cartoonists Pat Bagley, Jen Sorensen, Eric Garcia and David Brown for the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), a non-profit organization that sponsors a yearly, four-day Fall festival in Ohio devoted to comics and cartooning. The panel was MCed by 2019 Pulitzer Prize-finalist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher.
I was a little nervous, but I also had a fun time seeing all the other editorial cartoonists and listening to them talk about their work this year. I’m a big fan of all the participating cartoonists. For me, it’s always cool to meet the cartoonists that I admire. That morning, before I went online for the meeting, my wife and I helped a friend move boxes so I didn’t have time to practice talking about my cartoons so I don’t stumble over my words. It was fun anyways. When I hear myself talk, though, I always wish I can talk slower and in a deeper voice. My wife advised me to be careful not to say too much “ums” and “you know”.
One of the things that I admire about my fellow cartoonists is their deep knowledge of the issues and the seriousness in which they approach their cartoons. They deeply care about the issues facing their local community and the nation as a whole, and they find unique and creative ways of making serious political commentary. I deeply admire Jen Sorensen’s multi-panel cartoons, which gives her an opportunity to do more nuanced commentary on issues than single panel cartoons can do. I admire David Brown and Eric Garcia’s deep dives into the issues facing the African American and Latino communities. And I admire Pat Bagley’s courage in being a liberal voice in a very conservative community.
Of the American cartoonists today, Eric Garcia’s work probably has the closest affinities to my own cartoons. The Filipino American community and the Hispanic community are dealing with many of the same issues of immigration, the history of American imperialist exploitation of each community’s country of origin, the Philippines and Latin America’s shared history as former Spanish colonies, the continued harassment of the indigenous peoples in the Philippines and Latin America. Eric takes much bolder stands in his cartoons than I do, and looking at his cartoons always keep me accountable to be more brave.
I was happy to promote the work of Andy Singer, one of my favorite cartoonists. I like his very unique and insightful takes on the issues facing the nation. One of my biggest thrills as a cartoonist was meeting Andy at the San Francisco convention for editorial cartoonists. He hung out with my wife and I about 2 years ago, and we both liked him and his funny takes on the world.
I like and admire many editorial cartoonists, but I don’t really know many of them very well. So it’s always a thrill to be in events like this where I get a chance to interact with them and get to know them beyond their cartoons. When I get nervous, I tend to put my foot in my mouth. So I have to be careful to not be too nervous around them. But I’m really proud to be able to be an editorial cartoonist.