Concern for Koterba

I think maybe the Omaha World-Herald should be concerned about their editorial cartoonist, Jeff Koterba. Either he’s suffering from some kind of amnesia or lack of creative ideas, or they’re getting ripped off while paying him for rehashing unimaginative excuses for cartoons.

Take a look at today’s cartoon.

Jeff made me take his cartoons down, so this used to be a cartoon of snow blowing, kid says it was great getting a snow day, other kid says it gave him a chance to finish his global warming report.

What’s the basic idea here? It’s cold and snowy, which is ironic, because scientists claim the earth is falling prey to global warming. Okay. It’s a bit naive and simplistic, but it’s at least drawn well.

Well let’s take a look at his cartoon from January 15th of this year – not quite a month ago.

Guy standing in snowstorm with a sign saying “Bush: Stop global warming.”

Oh hey! I recognize that point!

This isn’t an isolated incident. Koterba’s been known to display these symptoms before. Let’s look back at campaign season, 2006, when we were treated to not one…

Guy getting mud on him from the TV.

Not two…

Voter wading through mud (labeled “mud”) on his way to the booth.

Not three…

Voters needing sanitizer to get the campaign mud off them.

But FOUR different cartoons running in a less-than-one-month span (October 10 to November 6) that essentially present nothing more to discuss than literal illustrations of the figurative “mud slinging” term. At least the final installment in this series was a cleansing of the readers from the tired overuse of the metaphor.

Voting booth as shower booth, necessary due to all the mud.

In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, for any readers of this blog who don’t know this, I am also an editorial cartoonist, so I probably tend to look at cartoons with more of a competitive eye than the average newspaper reader. But as someone who spends a good amount of time and effort trying to come up with new, creative and unique ways of making points and furthering political discussion, and as someone who is concerned for the declining relevance of editorial cartooning, it’s a little frustrating to see cartoons like these taking up space from actual commentary.

Jeff Koterba’s cartoons are available at the cartoonists archive.

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