Political Cartoons: 2000 – Present

The rise of the internet brought about a decline in printed media.

Political cartoons of the twenty-first century began to be created using digital software rather than with traditional methods, and began to be published independently on websites and other online forums.

Due to the internet, anonymous or amateur political cartoonists also started to reach larger audiences than ever before. New digital software also made it easier to create colorized political cartoons which sought to capture users attention on sites across the web.

Click on each image to enlarge.

 The Hare and the Tortoise
 Herb Block, 2000, for the Washington Post, Washington, D.C.

In an allusion to the famous parable, this cartoon depicts Al Gore as a hare and George Bush as a tortoise. It argues that Gore was distracted during his campaign, seemingly bouncing around from issue to issue, while Bush remained focused on his core policies and therefore progressed slowly but surely, culminating in his victory in the 2000 presidential election.

Cartoon shared with permission from Herb Block Foundation.

Eagle Sharpening His Talons
Steve Breen, 2001, for the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego, California

This cartoon conveys the bellicose mood that was prevalent throughout much of the country in the aftermath of 9/11 which culminated in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.

Cartoon shared with permission from Steve Breen.

Maybe This Stunt was a Little Too Ambitious…
Steve Breen, 2009, for the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego, California

This cartoon depicts President Barack Obama attempting a daredevil stunt in an ambulance labeled “Obamacare,” the colloquial name for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA was an ambitious and controversial policy that sought to provide more affordable healthcare to all Americans. Some criticized the plan for costing too much money and doubted its practicality, hence the comparison to a stunt unlikely to succeed.

Cartoon shared with permission from Steve Breen.

Lock Him Up
Andy Marlette, 2017, for the Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Florida

Cartoonist Andy Marlette mocks and criticizes President Donald J. Trump’s harsh immigration policies by showing an ICE agent arresting Jesus, who would have had a similar profile as many modern immigrants in the US.  

Cartoon shared with permission from Andy Marlette.

Travel Ban
Mike Thompson, 2017, for the Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan

This cartoon uses American history to satirize the travel ban imposed by president Donald J. Trump on seven predominantly Muslim nations in 2017. Cartoonist Mike Thompson highlights the perceived irony of Trump’s ban by using the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, themselves often seen as religious extremists, being turned away by caricatures of the Wampanoag due to their fictional “travel ban.” 

Image courtesy of Mike Thompson and USA Today.

Fashion Week 2020: COVID-19 Edition
“Luisoura” (r/kapasousa, insta: @kapasousa), 2020, posted on Reddit (r/politicalcartoons)

This cartoon lampoons the idea of holding fashion week during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic with all of the models wearing masks, hazmat suits, and more.

I’d Like to Introduce You to Our New Capitol Tour Guide
Adam Zyglis, 2021, for The Buffalo News, Buffalo, New York

This cartoon mocks Senator Mitch McConnell who is depicted introducing Jake Angeli, otherwise known as the “QAnon Shaman,” as a “new Capitol tour guide.” Angeli famously participated in the January 6th storming of the US Capitol wearing what has been described as “shamanic” attire. McConnell received criticism for his opposition to form a commission that would investigate the January 6th Capitol Riot.

Cartoon shared with permission from Adam Zyglis.

Walt Handelsman, April 3rd, 2021, for the Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia

Referencing the 2021 blocking of the Suez Canal, which cost nearly $1 billion in international trade, cartoonist Walt Handelsman satirizes the government’s current gridlock on a number of issues.

Cartoon shared with permission from Walt Handelsman.