For the most part, America’s editorial cartoonists have gotten better at drawing Obama over the last year. They’re no longer depicting him as a generic black guy but as an unique individual with his own distinctive features. (I’m sure there’s a dissertation topic in there somewhere about how this somehow mirrored many white Americans’ evolving views of candidate Obama.) But there are some still some stragglers, whom I feel obligated to call out—in the name of improving the quality of political satire, of course. Not that good editorial cartoonists have to be good caricaturists: The Washington Post‘s Tom Toles, who is for my money the most original of the newsprint cartoonists, draws Obama like he has a bow tie stuck behind his head. But at least it kinda, sorta looks like him.
What bugs me are the cartoonists who still do the random-black-dude thing or use some kind of slapdash combo of Obama’s most prominent features (“Big ears? Check! Angular chin? Check! Longer than average torso? Check!”). Or worse. After the jump, a collection of nine of the most egregious examples of editorial cartoonists’ attempts to capture Obama’s likeness, and some thoughts on who—or what—they actually look like.
Editorial Cartoonists’ 9 Worst Attempts at Drawing Obama
Our new alien overlord. (As drawn by Tony Auth.)
Richard Nixon: Slightly tanned, rested, and ready! (As drawn by Signe Wilkinson.)
From the forthcoming collection, Fifth Graders Draw Racial Stereotypes. (As drawn by Ken Catalino.)
Hey, hey, LBJ! (As drawn by Glenn McCoy.)
A barely reanimated Leonid Brezhnev. (As drawn by Gary Markstein.)
The late Peter Jennings. (As drawn by David Horsey.)
A selection from Now That’s What I Call Borderline Offensive Clip Art, Volume 3 (As drawn by Gary McCoy.)
PLUS: Honorable Mentions, International Division
Mario Cuomo… walking like an Egyptian. (As drawn by the Vancouver Sun‘s Roy Peterson.)
A man with “Obama” embroidered on his jacket. (Wonsoo is from South Korea, but that’s really no excuse.)
Blue-lipped Obama, as drawn by three confused Canadian cartoonists. (Perhaps responding to Gary McCoy’s overly bipartisan purple-lipped Obama?)
Your nominations and suggestions of what these artists were thinking in the comments…