The end of a year means a look back at the editorial cartoons that came our way.
The review often reminds us of what we already had forgotten, intentionally or not.
“That was this year?” Yes, it was.
And so, we culled dozens and dozens of cartoons to 43 favorites, then cut further to display on Sunday’s two print pages. All 43 can be viewed at reporternews.com.
If you remember, we “cheated” in 2016. We eliminated the 1,300 or so cartoons related to the presidential election and chose our favorite non-political cartoons.
To avoid cartoons that focused on, mentioned in part or even hinted at President Donald Trump’s first year would’ve left us with, maybe … seven cartoons.
We’re kidding, of course. But the president was a newsmaker, whichever side of the aisle you prefer. Or if you are without an aisle.
The year seemed to go from event to event to event, sometimes from crisis to crisis to crisis. For example, hurricanes. After a quiet past few years, Mother Nature unleashed her fury on Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. Of course, Hurricane Harvey’s attack on our coastline had the greatest local impact. It’s why we selected a hurricane-related cartoon separately, one that spoke to the hope generated by people working together during a year when so many people seemed to be working against each other.
The biggest themes were the rash of sexual harassment accusations that came forth, one dethroning a Hollywood mogul and another costing an Alabama politician his chance to become a U.S. senator.
Yet, was that story any bigger than the horrible violence produced by a gunman in Las Vegas and another in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs? Or the melee in Charlottesville, Virginia?
Our cartoons include one depicting churchgoers kneeling in prayer with rifles strapped to their bodies and another of the famed New Year’s Baby of 2018 saying goodbye to 2017, also with a weapon at the ready.
One of our favorite cartoons depicted the cast of Sesame Street, a public television favorite, helping to build President Trump’s wall. Funding to PBS programs was placed in jeopardy in 2017. The unanswered question in that cartoon was if Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo and rest of the gang was getting paid by Mexico, by Trump or working gratis.
You’ll shake your head while both wincing and chuckling through the year. Some reminders will sadden you.
It’s the way 2017 played out.