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Auchter's Art: Not automatically on-board


Before, during, and after drawing a cartoon, my brain is in a constant search for a match — some cartoon or other media where I might have already seen the idea. It's the result of my paranoia that I accidentally commit the worst possible of sins, plagiarism.

And it's more than a little unsettling (and definitely not mentally healthy) that the search part of my brain delights when it thinks it has found a match. "Oh! Oh! Now you've done it! Now you're gonna get in troubbbbbllllllle!!!"

So it was after I had just put the final touches on this week's cartoon. Fortunately, what my brain turned up wasn't a forgery, but an influence. (Well, that's what I think — you can decide yourself.)

Last year during the 2020 election, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Darrin Bell did a cartoon that was simply a drawing of a letter being written. The letter says,

Dear America, I would very much like to critique Kamala Harris's criminal justice record, but I'm too busy critiquing YOUR "birther" and "she's not really black" nonsense. Would you please lay off the racism for a while? Your Cartoonist, Darrin B

I'm pretty comfortable in saying it's similar but not the same. (Honestly, if I was going to steal anything, it would be the fearless way that Mr. Bell draws, but I don't have the skills.) The similarity is this: I would love to more fully address Governor Whitmer's lack of transparency in her decision-making processes, but there is so much nonsense in the way. To paraphrase then, dear Michigan, would you please lay off the conspiracy theories for a while?

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganRadio.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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