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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 12/15/2009

Really, TIME magazine? The 'Best'?? Here are 10 more editorial cartoons to consider

By Michael Cavna

Declaring anything the absolute best -- short of da Vinci, Einstein or Derek Jeter -- is a fool's errand and the height of trivial human folly. (And if you disagree vehemently with dubbing the Yankee shortstop the "best" -- well, see? We've proved our point already.)

The latest folly comes courtesy of TIME magazine, which dares to declare its "top" things of the year, in a blatant effort either: (a) to cop an air of unassailable authority; (b) to stir good-natured watercooler chatter; (c) to try to make its lists appear all hottied-up for quickie tweetmeme and pinging; or (d) to avoid writing more actual stories, what with their pesky transition paragraphs and, um, reporting.

We tease and hector, natch, because by practicing its annual rite of time-passage, even TIME magazine loves the sport and folly of declaring its "Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2009."

This time last year, of course, 'Riffs took TIME to task for its "best"-of-2008 picks. Which means that as our own foolish yet sporting now-annual rite, we throw down the gauntlet over their list. And we mean business because truth be told, it is our best gauntlet.

So to get on with the duel of the thing, we offer a challengers' gallery of 2009 cartoons that we believe topples your so-called "top," TIME. Many of these editorial cartoons, in fact, were voted on by armies of discerning and savvy 'Riffs readers. So "en garde!" TIME magazine -- your list spotlights entirely worthy cartoonists -- we are fans of them all -- but try on this democratic "Riffs' Challenger 10" for size. Then, be prepared -- haha -- to acknowledge your folly or (we're pretty lax on this point) slink away in inky shame.




'MATT BORS' (courtesy of Matt Bors)


'NATE BEELER' (courtesy of Washington Examiner /


'MIKE LUCKOVICH' (courtesy of Atlanta Journal Constitution /


(courtesy of Jen Sorensen)


DAVID FITZSIMMONS (courtesy of Arizona Daily Star /

STEVE BREEN (San Diego Union-Tribune):

breen122.jpg (courtesy of Steve Breen / the San Diego Union-Tribune)


(courtesy of Scott Stantis / Birmingham News-Chicago Tribune)


'J.D. CROWE' (courtesy of the Mobile Register /


(courtesy of David Horsey / Seattle Post-Intelligencer )
Enlarge Comic

By Michael Cavna  | December 15, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  The Political Cartoon, The Rants  | Tags:  Chip Bok, David Fitzsimmons, David Horsey, J.D. Crowe, Jen Sorensen, Matt Bors, Mike Luckovich, Nate Beeler, Scott Stantis, Steve Breen  
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Next: Michael Chabon & Wes Anderson pick 'em: Their favorite Christmas animation


Much better!

Posted by: rhompson | December 15, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Nate Beeler's "memorial" to the Metro crash was very powerful (albiet probably too "local" to make any national list). Still, hasn't there been enough time to get the color on the map corrected from orange to red?

Posted by: kilby | December 15, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Totally off this topic, but relevant to the current headline of the death of Oral Roberts...if I could draw it, I would:

Left panel: 1987, caricature of Oral Roberts pleading "I will be called home..."

Right panel: 2009, St. Peter outside the Pearly Gates at a podium, greeting Roberts, "What took you so long?"

(what are the odds of some cartoonist actually doing this bit?)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's not in the editorial cartoon department, but as a political commentary, today's Piranha Club is as good as anything I've seen. Sarah Palin might want to pay it some mind:

Posted by: andym108 | December 16, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, much better.

Posted by: RKaufman13 | December 16, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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