Monthly Archive for January, 2010

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David Levine RIP

levine_nixon_lbj_vietnam.gifI just briefly wanted to pay homage to the recently passed master cartoonist. Possibly the most recognisable caricaturist of the past 40 years, Levine has come almost to incarnate the discipline, especially with his withering cartoons of the main players in the Nixon administration and of other unsavoury world leaders of that era.

Contrary to assertions I’ve heard made, he was far from single-mindedly, or even reductively, acerbic (his most vicious caricatures are indeed pretty fierce, but are also animated by the kind of outrage necessary to political cartooning); he was rather a finely rounded cartoonist. His portraits are more often than not reverent, humanising their subjects with humor and verve. With thousands of such cartoons under his belt (most of them for the New York Review of Books) he ranks, rather, amongst the most significant portraitists of the last forty years.

Read Michael Kimmelman’s appreciation here.

The First Piece of Bad News

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I didn’t take long for the New Year’s first piece of crap news to arrive here. Some idiot broke into the home of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard wielding an axe, evidently in “retaliation” for the latter’s cartoon of the prophet Muhammed. The cartoonist saved himself by fleeing to the house’s panic room. His grandchild was also there. The police thereafter arrived and disabled the attacker with shots to the leg and hand, and he has now been charged with attempted murder and is recovering in the medical wing of the prison Vestre fængsel, Århus. Congratulations asshole, you’ve just made the world a little less tolerable a place to live.

For what little it’s worth, our sympathies and best wishes and hopes for a peaceful rest of the new year go out to Westergaard and his family.

Above: one of the infamous cartoons (not by Westergaard); prescient at the time, painfully topical now.

Old Men in a New Car

Old Men in a New Car
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On the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men.

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Happy New Year!

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From all of us to all of you. Holding it down for Copenhagen.