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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/30/2009

Swine Flu: Too Soon to Joke? Tell It to the 'Toonists

By Michael Cavna

Can cartoons prevent swine flu? Why sure -- simply print out this page, tie a string to it and wear it as a mask.

What's that? Too soon to joke about swine flu? Well that's my point exactly.

As the potential pandemic made its first wave of headlines days ago, editorial cartoonists jumped on the opportunity to comment on something besides Obama's first 100 days, if not Susan Boyle's first 10 days. But the catch is: Since we have no idea yet just how deadly this influenza might yet get, cartoonists run the risk of playing it too "cute" when invoking their plump swine images.

Take, for instance, the apocalytic Grim Reapin' horsemen saying they can't take the new guy -- the pink-butted swine -- too seriously. Randy Bish invokes Miss Piggy, ostracized by her fellow Muppets. And then there are the all-too-obvious "Mexican tourist" gags.

Ideally, good editorial cartoonists are paid to edgy, paid to take risks, paid to push the envelope. But sometimes, events demand that even hyperbole-wielding cartoonists deal their satiric cards especially deftly.

By CAM CARDOW (courtesy of

By RANDY BISH (courtesy of

By AISLIN (courtesy of

By STEVE NEASE (courtesy of

By PETER NICHOLSON (courtesy of

By Michael Cavna  | April 30, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Political Cartoon  
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glad to see Peter Nicholson is keeping generic stereotypes alive.

Posted by: jessecline | April 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

All pretty good. I'd give Cardow credit for the funniest one and Aislin for an arresting image. I didn't think Toles take on the matter made a dent.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Cardow's is hilarious.

Have a couple on my blog as well, one of which is similar to Bish

Posted by: BearmanCartoons | May 3, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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