The 9 Worst Obama Editorial Cartoons

| Fri Jan. 23, 2009 2:20 PM EST

obama_tophat.jpg For the most part, America's editorial cartoonists have gotten better at drawing Obama over the last year. They're no longer depicting him as a generic black guy but as an unique individual with his own distinctive features. (I'm sure there's a dissertation topic in there somewhere about how this somehow mirrored many white Americans' evolving views of candidate Obama.) But there are some still some stragglers, whom I feel obligated to call out—in the name of improving the quality of political satire, of course. Not that good editorial cartoonists have to be good caricaturists: The Washington Post's Tom Toles, who is for my money the most original of the newsprint cartoonists, draws Obama like he has a bow tie stuck behind his head. But at least it kinda, sorta looks like him.

What bugs me are the cartoonists who still do the random-black-dude thing or use some kind of slapdash combo of Obama's most prominent features ("Big ears? Check! Angular chin? Check! Longer than average torso? Check!"). Or worse. After the jump, a collection of nine of the most egregious examples of editorial cartoonists' attempts to capture Obama's likeness, and some thoughts on who—or what—they actually look like.

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Editorial Cartoonists' 9 Worst Attempts at Drawing Obama

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Our new alien overlord. (As drawn by Tony Auth.)

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Richard Nixon: Slightly tanned, rested, and ready! (As drawn by Signe Wilkinson.)

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From the forthcoming collection, Fifth Graders Draw Racial Stereotypes. (As drawn by Ken Catalino.)

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Hey, hey, LBJ! (As drawn by Glenn McCoy.)

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A barely reanimated Leonid Brezhnev. (As drawn by Gary Markstein.)

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Tuvok, the black Vulcan. (As drawn by Marshall Ramsey.)

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The late Peter Jennings. (As drawn by David Horsey.)

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The zombie twin of Dr. Julius Hibbert. (As drawn by Ted Rall.)

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A selection from Now That's What I Call Borderline Offensive Clip Art, Volume 3 (As drawn by Gary McCoy.)


PLUS: Honorable Mentions, International Division

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Mario Cuomo... walking like an Egyptian. (As drawn by the Vancouver Sun's Roy Peterson.)

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A man with "Obama" embroidered on his jacket. (Wonsoo is from South Korea, but that's really no excuse.)

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Blue-lipped Obama, as drawn by three confused Canadian cartoonists. (Perhaps responding to Gary McCoy's overly bipartisan purple-lipped Obama?)


Your nominations and suggestions of what these artists were thinking in the comments...

Images from Slate's Today's Cartoons and Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoonists Index