Arts Desk

Arts in Review: The Year in Cartoons

Other papers may pick what they think were the best cartoons of  the year. Here at the City Paper, we're doing it differently. We've asked some local cartoonists to pick their favorite piece that they made over the past year and share it with us.

David Hagen was first to respond:

He says: "For some reason I really liked this cartoon I drew this year and donated to the annual fundraiser Cartoons & Cocktails that was held last October at the National Press Club. I've been donating original cartoon art to this worthy cause for over 10 years. It supports Young DC and gives scholarships and support to kids interested in journalism."

As for the subject matter: "Sexy vampires are taking over everything! Books, movies, television, comics–they're everywhere! I drew this after my wife was swooning over one shirtless, hair-blown bloodsucker and I felt like old Bela Lugosi spinning in his...erm...grave. Happy Vampire-less New Year!"

Editorial cartoonist Steven Artley sent us a creepy picture too:

Artley says: "I love drawing cars and old houses, so this cartoon was fun to do. In September, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell indicated he was going to be a part of a huge Tea Party rally with Sarah Palin, et al. So, I thought we'd peer back to a kinder, gentler, more innocent time of car dates, drive ins... and Psycho!"

Washington Post writer/editor/comics blogger/cartoonist Michael Cavna felt "my favorite column/cartoon that was reprinted in 2010 [was] actually posted online in December 2009, I see. Are your eligibility rules as hard-n-fast as those ol' Pulitzers, Mike?" Nope, so here's his The Salahi Sketch: How a pro cartoonist 'crashes' deadline like an uninvited guest.

Donna Lewis, whose Web comic Reply All will be syndicated by the Washington Post Writer's Group in 2011, chose this one:


"This strip sums up everything that tortures me in life.  We work so diligently and conscientiously to be healthy and aware and in touch with our true selves.  But the fact of the matter is that our true selves are actually far more dominant than all of our best efforts to be better.  Plus, I really like the colors in Lizzie’s mat."

Carolyn Belefski chose two strips, noting, "Since my inking style has changed over the course of creating Curls, I selected these strips to focus on the current look of Curls."


"Plymouth Rock—I selected this strip to show a color comic which showcases most of my Curls characters and the sense of humor in Curls."


"Christmas Dream Present – This strip represents the relationship of Curls and Turtle Neck with her dreams and Turtle Neck's desire to make Curls happy during the Christmas season."

Nick Galifianakis lost his beloved dog Zuzu, so he says "this was the defining illustration of this past year for me":


Kevin 'Kal' Kallagher is not looking back, selecting a cartoon that  "appeared in The Economist last week and has the added bonus of looking at the year ahead."


Ann Telnaes picked an animated political cartoon she did for the Washington Post's website—John McCain's stance on 'don't ask, don't tell'. She says of it, "I look for interesting audio on a daily basis, so I had the previous comments on Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) from Senator McCain in my files.  After watching the testimony from Secretary Gates and chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen during the recent Senate Armed Services committee, I incorporated McCain's previous statements with theirs to show how he has been changing his criteria for the repeal of DADT.  I think this animation is successful in using someone's own words to show hypocrisy and I also like how the visual shrinking of McCain illustrates, in my view, his stance on the issue."

Molly Lawless sent in her "favorite at the moment, a Frog & Owl strip called Regret."

Matt Dembicki writes and draws comic books. He's sent in a page from one:

Dembicki says of it, "My favorite is the pg. 4-5 spread in Xoc #3. I think it conveys the massiveness of the garbage patch floating in the Pacific Ocean, and I enjoyed drawing it from a perspective below the water."

Joe Sutliff says, "Woof. It's hard to pick one—my favorite idea never actually got drawn (for Draw Mohammed Day)."

"Hilary Hooah is my favorite from the Rock Creek Free Press."

"Of course, because as you've said to me, '..it's the easiest way to introduce who I am...' there's my America's Next Great Cartoonist strip, Big Daddy—I like them all (especially the one Gene Weingarten didn't understand), but this one had the most universal appeal."

Richard Thompson says, "For my favorite cartoon, I pick the Cul de Sac for March 21 because it makes me laugh."

Matt Wuerker picked his November 3rd cartoon about the fickleness of voters (use the link for a better view than this screencapture):

Matt says, "It may be a little trite when a cartoonist uses the old trope of welding one news item to another, but in this case I thought it worked well... and captured something about our flighty political hearts."

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