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The Acerbic Pen:
Editorial Cartoons from the Collections

comic car hood

The hood of an automobile that served as a canvas for several of the artists at the 1985 Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in Orlando, Florida.

Participating cartoonists included Jeff MacNelly ("Diesel Easel"), Kate Salley Palmer ('Possum Roadkill), Mike Jenkins (Batman Logo), Dave Granlund ("I'd Walk a Mile..."), and Draper Hill ("Forget, Hell")

(Hood donated by Kate Salley Palmer and now on display at SCPC)

Exhibit created by Herb Hartsook and Kate Moore
South Carolina Political Collections, 2007

Editorial cartoons grace the pages of most American daily newspapers and are widely popular with readers. Often providing biting commentary, they comment on issues ranging from local to international matters. These cartoons hold great value in illustrating key issues or events in our history and are among our most popular holdings.

SCPC holds the collections of two fine editorial artists, Walt Lardner and Kate Salley Palmer. Artists often give original cartoons to the subjects of their drawings and many of our other collections contain cartoons lampooning the collection’s creator.

Sadly, as the newspaper business struggles to retain its readership, some are giving up their staff cartoonist, using instead a syndicated cartoonist whose work may be excellent, but will not address local issues as a local artist can. According to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, between 1985 and 2005, the number of editorial cartoonists employed by American daily newspapers was halved.

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© 2007 Board of Trustees, University of South Carolina