Thursday, April 19, 2012

One excuse after another

A C-minus on the Effective Editorial Cartoon Scale …
The earth shook San Francisco 106 years ago this week, giving me another flimsy excuse to blab about tangentially related cartoons. These follow the day the earth did another number on The City 23 years ago.

The San Francisco Giants were about to play the Oakland A's Oct. 17 in Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, when the TV signal hiccupped and disappeared. Then the ground beneath me in suburban Sacramento gently rippled. My wife, pregnant with our firstborn, and the women with her, planning an event in the next room, simultaneously felt queasy and glanced around to see if anyone else noticed.

In the constant din of news about the devastating earthquake, I drew a buncha cartoons. The Stockton Record ran the one above, which as cartoons go, doesn't go very far. It became merely visual relief on a gray page. "Cartoonist feels earthquake, fumbles the commentary, whelms readers" — that about sums it up.

My more pointed cartoons, about the literal and political fallout of the quake, including the one below, were harder to sell:
Though the Embarcadero is a broad and beautiful avenue again, the elevated double-decker that used to darken the piers along San Francisco's inner bay became a horrendous deathtrap in the Loma Prieta quake.
Gov. George Deukmejian wasn't alone in passing blame for what might have been lax oversight in the seismic stability of all that the Loma Prieta earthquake knocked down. But he wasn't at the forefront saying, "We need to fix this!" either. I dunno; maybe my pointed 'toons lacked taste and decorum.

Which is sorta what I was going for.

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