As an online editorial cartoonist, I pay homage here to some of the finest new and established cartoonists that are focusing their editorial commentary on social media. Like myself, many of these cartoonists have found the Web 2.0 world is just as exciting and newsworthy as political commentary. And then again...sometimes worlds collide!
While not one of the TOP TEN, one of my own editorial cartoons has also dipped its toe into the social media waters. Here you'll find kidd millennium interviewing Obama as to how he might be enlisted to solve the crisis of dwindling newspaper circulation.
This TOP TEN list represents some of the finest talent on the scene today. If you would, please take a moment at the end of this blog and vote for your favorite.
A relative newcomer to cartooning, Jones works as a developer for Engauge where each member of their social media team is required to blog at least once a week. His one-panel social media comics on a site called StatusThis are his contribution. Here he satirizes location-based social networks and the geolocation component that requires check-ins when users arrive at a restaurant venue.
2- Walt Handelsman
Walt Handelsman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for Newsday in New York. His work is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media Services to newspapers around the country and internationally. One of the mostly widely reprinted cartoonists in America, Handelsman's work has also run in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. In this cartoon, Walt comments on the power of Twitter during the Iranian Election protests last summer.
3- Rob Cottingham
Rob Cuttingham is one of the principals and communications strategist for Social Signal, a social media marketing firm. He has maintained a long-running blog on technology and public affairs, and has been a regular freelance contributor to CBC Radio. He draws the the insanely popular 'Noise to Signal' web comic. Here he references how shortened hashtag names on Twitter allow for more bang for the 140-character buck.
4- Andrew Fowler (aka Guhmshoo)
Andrew Fowler ran his initial social media cartoons under the pseudonym Guhmshoo. He explains Guhmshoo comes out of the closethis rational for hiding behind his comic art as a means, "to freely flirt with social media without much risk." According to Fowler, by taking this approach, he "learned more about social media as Guhmshoo," than he felt would have possible as himself. Now, that he's 'out of the closet,' so-of-speak, this cartoon takes 'potshots' literally at Bing, as it tries to go up agains the the Grand-daddy of search engines, Google.
5- John Cole
John Cole has been Scranton's The Times-Tribune editorial cartoonist since Apri 2005. He draws five to seven full-color one-panel cartoons weekly. Here is takes on the current controversy Google has had with China. According to Cole, "Google’s threat to pull out of China reminded me of the old saying, “when you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” The Internet search giant bent its own rules for openness on the Web when it acquiesced to censorship demands by the Chinese government. Evidently, the ideals of free and unfettered inquiry didn’t matter so much when there was a buck to be made." This cartoon is a reminder and shouldn’t be a surprise to Google (or any other media-rich Internet concern operating there) that totalitarian regimes generally will stop at nothing to squash dissent.