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Arts, Sports & Culture

'This Campaign Is Yuuuge!' Pittsburgh Cartoonists Tackle The 2016 Election

Steve Brodner
Toonseum Facebook

While this election season may be stressful for voters across the U.S., it has served as the fodder of political cartoonists’ dreams. Pittsburgh’s Toonseum is showcasing some of the best political cartoons of the season with their exhibit This Campaign is Yuuuge!: Cartoonists Tackle the 2016 Presidential Race.

Rob Rogers, award-winning political cartoonist for the Post Gazette and the President of the Board of the Toonseum expressed that political cartooning has been a part of the American fabric since before the nation was even founded. Artists such as Paul Revere, Ben Franklin and Thomas Nast carved a niche for the American craft.

According to Rogers, the American style has diverted over time from that of European political cartoons. European political cartoons tend to have fewer words, be more picturesque and symbolic, whereas America’s style relies more on humor infused images with dialogue.

That humor is present in This Campaign is Yuuuge! Both liberal and conservative cartoonists take sharp-tongued shots at Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and, of course, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The gallery showcases not only final products but also process images. That means the sketches, final ink and final color are present for some of the cartoons, giving a peek into the work that Rogers and other cartoonists perform every day.

During this election season, the cartoonists don’t need to worry about running out of material.

“Every day there’s an opportunity for a faux pas,” said Rogers.

Rogers is currently covering the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“I’ve covered every convention from 1988 on, there’s a lot of things that are similar,” said Rogers.

What has changed, Rogers pointed out, is a major increase in security and a larger presence of protesters. It has also become a largely scripted spectacle.

“It’s all pre-packaged, so you’re waiting for someone to slip up or doing something weird,” said Rogers. “There’s plenty of stuff to be entertained by.”

Rogers next political cartooning endeavour will be covering the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.

This Campaign is Yuuuuuge!: Cartoonists Tackle the 2016 Presidential Race runs until August 28 at the Toonseum.

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