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Joel Pett

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OPINION
April 25, 2010
April 22 marked four decadent decades since the declaration of Earth Day, and the cartoon footprints were everywhere. Signe Wilkinson penned a simple but sharp, small-is-beautiful sentiment. (Less is always more in cartoons; I'm green with envy.) Nate Beeler aired his anti-regulatory grievances as political fallout kept coming from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption. And I pictured the anthropomorphic laments of songbirds and bees, great apes and big cats. After 40 years, we're still debating the fate of the Earth rather than doing much about it. Which means these cartoons could all be recycled for years to come.
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OPINION
December 28, 2011 | By Joel Pett
Wow, slow news year, unless you count war, protest, revolution, famine, floods, droughts, tsunamis, all manner of meltdowns, sexting, tweeting, the GOP, OBL, OWS, DSK at the IMF and OMG! Pat Oliphant's circular firing squad seems the perfect political metaphor for 2011. Jack Ohman bid Osama bin Laden a not-so-fond farewell. Clay Bennett's clever pyramid scheme captured what's at stake in the Arab world. My presidential high-wire act fizzled. Adam Zyglis wondered if what happened there could happen here.
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OPINION
August 1, 2010
It's no family secret that cartoonists love to gig Uncle Sam's Big Brother about the clandestine clan and their Keystone cop-ops. So reports of the byzantine national security apparatus and trillions (okay, tens of thousands) of pages of leaks on Afghanistan delivered a double-whammy of ammo to the doubters who deal in ink by the double-barrel. Matt Davies and I both did a number on double-talkers and double-dealers who can't do the numbers. And Ed Stein's Page 1 news flash was no boost to boots on the ground.
OPINION
October 24, 2010
Everyone is spooked by those frightfully unfair, nasty, negative campaign ads. How dare someone take a tiny kernel of truth and grossly exaggerate it to make a political point? (OK, that's pretty much the job description of an editorial cartoonist.) Signe Wilkinson outfits the trick-or-treater-in-chief in peripatetic pachyderm garb. Rob Rogers dresses up (and dresses down) the freak shows, frauds and faux leaders. And Steve Breen unmasks big money, pointing a bony finger at empty suits with deep pockets.
OPINION
March 28, 2010
Healthcare reform cartoons hearkened back to the New Deal, the Fair Deal and, of course, Joe Biden's Big Expletive Deal. But at the epicenter of the historic and hysteric histrionics over womb-to-tomb care, once again, was abortion. Chuck Asay was stupefied as antiabortion Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) rolled over and played dead. Abortion rights advocate Signe Wilkinson took a hard line against a dysfunctional Congress and erectile dysfunction. I chose the middle ground, wondering when we will ever move beyond this most profoundly personal and divisive of do-or-die political issues.
OPINION
August 22, 2010
In an age in which everything is shoutfest fodder, is there any more emotionally charged issue than the Lower Manhattan relocation of a moderate Islamic cultural center that was first established before the World Trade Center? (Oh, OK, "ground zero mosque" is so much catchier.) Nine years on, cartoonists freely evoke 9/11 imagery that would've sparked an American-style fatwa back then. Rob Rogers let fly with a first-rate defense of the 1st Amendment. Mike Lester put provocative final words in the mouths of terrorism victims.
OPINION
March 29, 2009 | Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
This week, cartoonists mostly spouted off about layoffs, rip-offs and payoffs But we also dashed off a few big-picture pictures. Tony Auth aimed some richly deserved slings and arrows, lowering the boom on upper-crust combatants of middle-class warfare. Steve Breen earned his pay by somberly marking a war milestone. And I issued a condemnation on circumstances half a world away. Cartoonists love to pontificate. -- Joel Pett
OPINION
April 12, 2009 | Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Cartoonists, wielding our mightier-than-the-sword weapon of choice, went after WMD this week. Yet another mass shooting in a tragic season of spree fever had Matt Davies fingering the gun lobby. Tom Toles went ballistic, lamenting the lame international response to Kim Jong Il's ill-fated satellite (or was it?) launch. And I took aim at targeted military cuts with an in-your-face rendition of the president's just deserts. I gotta stop being so cynical -- or at least slow the rate of increase.
OPINION
October 15, 2006 | Joel Pett
It takes something big to steer cartoonists away from a Washington sex scandal. Your run-of-the-mill humanitarian crisis, overheated sectarian strife or ho-hum environmental decline lack the earthshaking climax of, say ... a Kim Jong Il-advised thermonuclear blast! And although the visual epicenter of the North Korean nuke crisis may be the ubiquitous mushroom cloud, the hair-raising dictator himself makes a pretty good axis-of-evil target.
OPINION
June 7, 2009 | Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Huge, boffo front-page news everywhere, and I don't mean Conan taking over for Jay. An American industrial icon crashed and burned, and Matt Davies checked under the hood of the belly-up beast. Wrenching. A historic Latino appointment was appraised, and Dan Wasserman, reacting to the reactionaries, pondered what bigotry begat. The president delivered a much-anticipated address in the cradle of the clash of civilizations, and I penned a somewhat long-winded response -- for a cartoon anyway.
OPINION
October 17, 2010
Cartoonists sift through mountains of information, mine the deepest layers of the mediasphere, seeking to strike that one golden nugget of truth and then extract it and amalgamate it into irony. Pat Oliphant used the headline-grabbing Chilean rescue to undercut underhanded underground business. In a lighter vein, Matt Davies blasted the cast of caricatures hoping to be elected this fall. And Jeff Koterba's undersized rescue vehicle conveys a metaphorical message that doesn't augur well for financial markets.
OPINION
October 10, 2010
In all the Hollywood journalism flicks, is there a more famous one-liner than the one in "All the President's Men" when Hal Holbrook tersely directs Robert Redford to "Follow the money"? It's truer now than ever. Bruce Beattie reminds us of the judicial branch's role in off-the-charts political spending. Dan Wasserman turns up the heat on big "tea party" donors. And Gary Varvel burned the president for deficit spending ? tight in his own backyard tour. So much for the checks. On to the balances.
OPINION
October 3, 2010
So editorial cartooning is a solidly old-school medium. But in between penciling, inking and erasing, we blog, tweet, scan, clone and otherwise electronically alter. And we try to keep our characters up to date. Jeff Danziger's texting-while-strafing piece is a killer. Jim Morin is no hack, as his schoolboy e-warrior demonstrates. And Scott Stantis doesn't phone it in, calling out the Obama/Biden administration for its oh-so-Bush/Cheney tendencies. I guess cartoonists draw both Dubya and Obama with oversized ears for a reason.
OPINION
September 26, 2010
We cartoonists put on our thinking caps, noodle about shades-of-gray matters, then offer our opinions in black and white. We don't keep a lid on anything. And we try not to talk through our hats. Pat Bagley deserves a Halliburton deal for his hilarious homophobic headgear. Signe Wilkinson thoroughly covers the subject of our right to self-expression. And Nick Anderson twists the upstart GOP right into so many cartoon balloons. Hats off to all for their updated dunce caps. -- Joel Pett Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky.
OPINION
September 19, 2010
Golden State politics provide cartoonists with golden opportunities. According to Rex Babin, ex-Governor Moonbean's excoriation of an ex-president's extracurricular exploits excited Meg Whitman, the ex-EBay exec. The San Bruno gas-line explosion blasted a statewide wakeup call, which Tom Meyer put in his pipe and smoked. And for escapists looking to avoid depressing news, there's always Fantasyland, if you can get by Steve Breen's eighth dwarf. Of course, the Magic Kingdom will gladly accept your gold card.
OPINION
September 12, 2010
First, a personal note. My condolences to the family of former Los Angeles Times cartoonist Paul Conrad, a true giant of our ink-stained trade. Paul never shied from speaking his mind; he was widely admired, deservedly decorated and will be long missed. On to the cartoons. Last week, I showcased American cartoonists' reaction to the drawdown in Iraq. Now, some views from the rest of the world. Paresh Nath, of the United Arab Emirates, connected the economic dots. Israel's Moshik Lin rolled out a defeatist attitude.
OPINION
April 4, 2010
When we're positively weary of the negative (terrorism, famine, political polarization and the inevitability of debt and taxes), cartoonists can always fool around with sexual politics, taking strange political bedfellows to task. Tom Toles whipped out a piece punishing Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for some GOP extracurricular clubbing. I wondered if the right wing would ever get it right on gay rights. And Mike Luckovich discovered links between golf and the Vatican pedophilia scandal.
OPINION
January 31, 2010
As President Obama addressed the bigs (wigs, shots, cheeses, enchiladas), cartoonists communicated to the little people, the rankled and filed, the unwashed and unhappy masses with newsprint on their ever-pointing fingers. Steve Sack hung his art in a largely polarized gallery of the small-minded. Tom Toles' big-budget big-screen patrons opted for less-than-optimal optometrics. And I spoke freely about the injudicious branch and big-dollar elections -- corporate dollars can never get too big to flail against.
OPINION
September 5, 2010
Before WMD went AWOL, as the war machine was being cranked up and the dreaded "yellow cake" was being served and the French and the Dixie Chicks were being vilified, no group of journalists questioned the war louder and longer than editorial cartoonists. We have the hate mail to prove it. Small solace, but seven years later we can say we told you so. Chan Lowe fingers George "I'm the Decider" Bush, Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney and Donald "Get Over It" Rumsfeld. Signe Wilkinson recounts the Iraqi tragedy.
OPINION
August 28, 2010
Cartoonists spent the week clucking about the egg recall, zeroing in on Manhattan Mosque Madness and poking fun at political primaries. But a few marked the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by sympathizing with millions of flood-displaced Pakistanis. Pat Bagley pointed out ironic homegrown terminology. Jeff Danziger flew off the handle about sky-high military hardware. And Matt Davies' terrifying suicide life vest showed us why relief is far more than just a humanitarian matter.
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