If you are wondering why my first cartoon mentioning the multiple disasters in Japan focuses on a pretty unimportant side story, it is because I don't do cartoons that only say "a disaster has occurred" and offer no humor, insight, or opinion. There are obvious issues with nuclear power to discuss, but even there most cartoonists have simply opted for "a nuclear disaster is currently occurring and it is bad" cartoon. Many of them have to deal with daily deadlines that I'm free from, but there's no excuse for the incredibly poor quality of cartoons that we have seen in the last week and a half.
Daryl Cagle posted three sets
of Yahtzees on his blog: cracked Japanese flags (with a sub-set of radioactive symbols), Godzilla cartoons, and photoshopped versions of “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” pulled from Google images and slapped with labels. Two Pulitzer winners drew crying Geisha girls. Is this the best we can do?
It is horribly embarrassing for this profession to produce so much identical work--identical work that says virtually nothing. Even days after the clichés had been established and run into the ground, artists who clearly saw them shamelessly turned in similar work.
There is no more visible way to signal to editors that editorial cartoons are irrelevant than to have its practitioners rushing to produce interchangeable pablum.