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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/13/2010

PARODY OF THE DAY: The story behind 'How WikiLeaks Stole Christmas!'

By Michael Cavna

wikiwardgrinch.jpg (used by permission of Ward Sutton /

WikiLeaks is such a topical gift to cartoonists this time of year, it's as if the snowy-haired Julian Assange were Santa himself. And our favorite seasonal mash-up thus far is illustrator Ward Sutton's new Seussian spoof, ""How WikiLeaks Stole Christmas!"

"One night while reading the Grinch to my son at bedtime, this idea popped into my head: What if WikiLeaks disclosed the Grinch's past to Whoville?" Sutton tells Comic Riffs. "As soon as the concept struck me, the piece practically wrote itself."

According to "Dr. Sutton's" spoofage for the Boston Globe, "New revelations threaten stability of Grinch-Whoville accord." The Grinch goes into "damage control mode" over reports of his cruel yuletide stance. The cross-species-dressing Max the antlered pooch is sought for questioning; the Lorax and Sam I Am have their own tersely worded rhyming reactions; and the unduped Cindy Lou Who, batting her baby blues, seems the most clear-eyed of all.

"I love creating parodies, and the visual styles of both the Seuss book and the animated special are so iconic that they're perfect for parody," the New York-based Sutton tells us. "Meanwhile, I have been fascinated by the rage over WikiLeaks and thinking about that a lot. There's so much mystery and speculation about 'what will they uncover next?' "

"I know Seuss parodies have been done before -- I've done a number myself, dating back to my college days -- but this concept seemed so fun that I jumped at the chance," says Sutton, a Minneapolis native whose illustration clients have included the Onion and the Nation, the New Yorker and the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Village Voice.

"I have to admit that I am a huge geek fan of Dr. Seuss," says Sutton, whose animation clients include HBO and "Strangers With Candy." "This has only been reaffirmed by having two young kids, because his books are among the few that I never get tired of reading and re-reading. I also love the Chuck Jones animated film of 'The Grinch' and think it is a rare case where an adaptation lives up to the original, if not surpasses it."

Sutton is also appreciative of the support he gets from his editors at the Boston Globe.

"I feel lucky to work with them, and creating this piece was so enjoyable, it was like a Christmas present to myself!"

The entire slideshow can be viewed at

WIKILEAKS: The most eye-catching cartoons yet leaked...


By Michael Cavna  | December 13, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Interviews With Cartoonists  | Tags:  Chuck Jones, Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Ward Sutton, WikiLeaks  
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