Deep Impact

Columbus Alive | June 30, 2005
Political cartoons have one serious obstacle that their gag-oriented cousins on the comics page don’t have to contend with: a short shelf life, often no longer than a news cycle. So the book-length collection is a true test of a political cartoonist’s work—showing whether their art is powerful enough to engage no matter what the content, and whether their commentary is incisive enough to serve as historical record.

Ward Sutton passes that test with Sutton Impact (Seven Stories), which collects highlights of his eponymous weekly strip (neé Schlock ’n’ Roll) from throughout the Bush years. (Alive readers who see it every week for free will be happy to know the book contains illustrations and cartoons from other sources as well, like the Village Voice, High Times, TV Guide and One World).

The collection format also gives readers a chance to reassess a cartoonist’s predictive powers, and it’s amazing how much Sutton got right (often to his own chagrin, like the Bush action figure), and amusing what he got wrong (Wesley Clark, John Kerry, John Edwards). Now for a prediction of my own: One day, future generations of Americans will look back at our time and say, “Wow, what a sad and horrible chapter in our national history,” and we can respond, “Yeah, but at least the political cartoons were funny.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 62 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Phone: (614) 221-2449