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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 02/13/2009

The 'Best' Editorial Cartoons of the Week

By Michael Cavna

Back when Barack, Joe, John and Sarah were all making daily headlines and punchlines, any newspaper political cartoonist worth his or her ink-stained assaults could attract at least a warm corner of the spotlight.

Since the inauguration, though, with the campaign circus having long left town, the climate has returned to being a bit colder for many editorial cartoonists. Pink slips. Red ink. Newspaper blues. Being a staff cartoonist these days can mean working in all the wrong colors.

So today, this blog's vaunted Riffys devotes the day to giving some love to the esteemed Political Cartoonist.

Here's a sampling of my Favorite Editorial Cartoons of the Week, for various and sundry reasons. If you've got a favorite, throw us a link -- and you're invited to vote for your fave among these:

First off, congrats to the Washington Examiner's NATE BEELER for officially picking up the Berryman Award the other night. Richly deserved. As for this art: Many cartoonists mined the Phelps photo for laffs, but this is visually superb in a truly cartoon-y way. The deft crosshatching, the tensed hand and, especially, the refracted images in the bong are just beautiful. Rare care, that.


Whether you agree with the cartoon's politics or no, STEVE BENSON's joke is set up quite nicely. The caricatures of Obama and Daschle are none too shabby, either.


Perhaps it was only a matter of time till we saw this concept (and no so different from when I used words last month to depict Obama's entire face). But MICHAEL RAMIREZ executes it splendidly -- and something artful's really going on with those "Obama-brows."


DREW SHENEMAN's style is nearly always eye-catching -- and nice to see someone react so swiftly to the Ticketmaster/Live Nation news. Heck, the hooves and horns alone are worth the price of admission.


The cartoon's lofty tone is delivered well without calcifying into marble. Plus, BEN SARGENT's 'hatching has long left me marveling. (A fellow cartoonist once told me Sargent draws at 100 percent [or "actual"] publication size. My mind reels at the very idea.)


By Michael Cavna  | February 13, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  The Political Cartoon  
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Nate Beeler: That's GREAT cartooning art...

Posted by: JkR- | February 13, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Love the Beeler! Ol' Nancy hasn't looked more current/retro hippie. The REAL San Francisco Treat.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | February 13, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ben Sargent's cartoons, as reprinted in WaPo online, caught my eye years ago. His art is almost always head and shoulders above the rest.

Posted by: marshlc | February 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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