Saturday, September 20, 2014

In Memoriam: Tony Auth 1942-2014

 Longtime editorial cartoonist for The Philadelphia Enquirer, but syndicated all over for those of us never fortunate enough to have visited the City of Brotherly Love. Won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976.

“Our job is not to amuse our readers...Our mission is to stir them, inform and inflame them. Our task is to continually hold up our government and our leaders to clear-eyed analysis, unaffected by professional spin-meisters and agenda-pushers.”

“I get a lot of hate mail, but it’s predictable...They claim I’m sort of taking advantage of free speech, that I ought to go to Russia, where I’d be shot, and that if America was any good, I’d be shot here, too.”

 Auth began working for the Philadelphia Inquirer during the Nixon administration.

The militaristic police commissioner-turned-mayor of Philadelphia during the 1970s was an early target of Auth's.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I can identify with either of those two guys.

From way back in 1985. If anything, it's even more timely today.

 1986: Fortunately, this cartoon's no longer timely.

Health worries.

 Here's a tribute to fellow editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block, better known as Herblock.

2000: So who won the damn thing?

This appeared right after 9/11. Not much exaggeration there.

The late paleontologist was a firm believer in evolution, and wasn't the least stressed out about it.

Mission accomplished

 A national landmark we really don't need.

Finding it constitutional is all the rage these days, but it wasn't a mere ten years ago.

Take your pick.

 The price of oil shot up late in the last decade, and we began looking for an alternative.

2008: I'm sure they both did, but was it the same lesson?

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Obama appoints Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, despite her radical views. 

 2009: Fears about health care reform.

2010: Reality sinks in.

Harold Camping predicts the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011. This cartoon appeared the next day.  

I don't see a diet anytime soon.

Was the recent VA scandal (long wait times leading to more than a few deaths) simply a matter of supply and demand?


The "all the rage these days" I was referring to earlier.

 I think this was drawn prior to the most recent set of controversies bedeviling the NFL, but it certainly seems timely, doesn't it?

What better way to end this than with a tribute from another cartoonist?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. These cartoons are great. I especially like the Obama one and the NFL one. Speaking of the NFL controversies, I think the abusive behavior is terrible, but I also think we shouldn't be so surprised when a testosterone-driven athlete is not able to differentiate one playing field from another....and Roger Goodell and others like him are simply money-driven.

  3. I couldn't find an exact date on the NFL cartoon, Kass, but I'm guessing it's from about a year ago when there was lots of controversy over head injuries, but it adapts rather nicely to a different set of circumstances now, doesn't it?

  4. Wonderful post and he was a very interesting cartoonist.
    But like he said his cartoons were meant to make us think.
    As I am so daft one of them I can't tell if it is sarcasm or agreement.

    On another another note.
    We knew someone in Clinton's inner circle and what you heard in the news was just the tip of the iceberg. So I have a super hard time with Hillary. Bill is a great divider.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. If the "tip of the iceberg" you referred to, parsnip, has to do with Bill's sex life, I don't know why I should hold that against Hillary. After all, she was technically the wronged party in the matter.

    That said, Hillary's not my ideal Democratic presidential candidate. I think it would be healthy for all concerned if somebody opposed her for the nomination, which she now seems to have locked up, even though she hasn't even said she's going to run!

  6. No, his sexual promiscuity is not the reason I said that although it leads to his problem. His ability to compartmentalize what he does with no repercussion. He is just a lose cannon.
    Didn't he have some deal going with one of the "istains" that he had to back out of ?
    I just don't trust him or the Secret Service to contain him around all that power again.
    Plus I think she messed up big time, didn't own up to it and passed the blame.
    She is starting to look a lot like Bill.
    I don't like the will she or won't she run thing she has going on either.
    Just saying.... but what do I know ?

    cheers, parsnip

  7. My newspaper didn't carry Tony Auth through syndication, so I haven't seen as much of his work as I'd like. I appreciate your use of examples.

    I've been voting Democratic since 1972, but I am balking on Hillary Clinton, and it is because she presents too much of a target for political enemies. There will be talk that she would be a shadow president, with her husband making the decisions. That's insulting and sexist because she is a brilliant woman, but when it comes to political opportunism, nothing is too low for the opposition to say or do.

    And then there is the problem of the House and Senate...if they skew Republican we could have Obama redux, where the party of gerrymandering and obstructionism could throw up many roadblocks to make sure her time in office would be viewed as a failure.

    I have almost thought that no matter who the Republicans run I might just root for that person to win...then I could spend the next four years ragging on him the way the Republicans have ragged on Obama, and Clinton before him. It is petty and childish of me, but in this atmosphere of political poison why shouldn't I also have my fun?

  8. Postino--My newspaper didn't carry him all that much, either, but Time and Newsweek often used his cartoons. I sorry I couldn't provide more examples from the '70s, '80s and '90s, but what's on the Internet is mostly post-2000. Ideally, I would have used a cartoon featuring every president since Nixon.

    Re Hillary: I have severely curtailed political posts on this blog in order to avoid an argument with parsnip (just kidding, parsnip, you know I love you) No, the real reason I don't do politics much anymore is I have such a hard time reconciling Who Should Be Elected with Who Can Be Elected. I can only write passionately about the former whereas the latter gets nothing more than a resigned sigh by me. What's strange about Hillary is that it seems the Democratic Party establishment has decided that she is the most VIABLE candidate despite the very good points you've just raised. Despite 6 years in the White House, it's the Clintons, and not Obama that controls that establishment. Honestly, I have no idea what Bill and Hillary really stand for other than the belief that they should be running things. But I'll vote for them again if I have to.

    1. Gosh, I will really try to keep my mouth closed so please post away...but sometimes living in a Border City drives me batty and I must ramble on. Like my week of Illegal aliens posts and how they have affected my family and friends. Just had to say something. I really try to keep politics off my blog.
      Get this, You are going to love this, I was going to run (and lose) for the Tucson City Council... till Japanese son said "Mom you don't live in the City !"
      See I said I was quite dense.
      But No Hillary and Bill for me. I know way to much.

      cheers, parsnip

    2. Feel free to comment anytime, parsnip, even about illegal aliens. I just got a bit mischievous there.

      "No Hillary and Bill for me. I know way too much."

      Maybe you should get in touch with Woodward and Bernstein.

    3. By the way, parsnip, I have been reading those illegal aliens posts of yours. I just haven't responded to them because, honestly, I just don't think I have anything novel to add to the topic.

    4. Kirk... No need to comment. Those post were just info on what it is like to live in a border town and state.
      Some times you just need to vent.
      People don't believe me/us the few that do talk about the other side of all the tearful heart wrenching sob story that are told by illegals. Any of these heart wrenching stories could be found in any big city in US.
      As for Bill our "political royalty" who cares ? most but not all is out there and it gets glossed over. I still won't vote them back in. Once was enough.
      le sigh...