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Pick a president, any president

October 11, 2012 in General, News

The four yearly festival of politics delivered by the American presidential election is in full swing and this time it is also bringing innovation from the US cartoonist Ann Telnaes.


© Ann Telnaes @

Ann has made a purpose-built app for the duration of the campaign called For the record, Potus is the the abbreviation for President of the United States.

For this project Ann isn’t working with her regular employer at the Washington Post and is instead selling the bespoke animation app direct through the Apple iTunes store.

She kindly agreed to answer a few questions from us about it:

What size of readership are you going to need at 69p per app download?

My partner (Sara Thaves of the Cartoonist Group) doesn’t really have any expectation of making a profit.  I don’t know about the UK, but app development is still an expensive endeavour in the States.  It’s at the stage where developing websites were in the beginning; now of course one can create a website for practically nothing.  My intention was to explore another avenue for editorial cartooning, to create an interactive editorial cartoon.

Are you upping production for the duration of the campaign?

Since I use actual audio from Obama and Romney, it would be ideal  to keep adding audio as soon as it leaves their mouths, but because of the cost we have no plans to. Obviously this app only has a shelf life until November 6 [polling day].

Which tools do you use to animate?
I still hand draw my animation poses, hand ink, then colour in Photoshop.  I then use Flash for production work.
Ann added:
If any of your UK colleagues express an interest in wanting to do one of these types of apps, please have them talk to me first.  The whole process was a bumpy road, both from dealing with app developers (we had two) and the Apple approval process.
Given that younger readers get their news for the most part exclusively online, here is another platform for editorial cartoonists to consider.  I’d like to stress, though, that this is not a game – the app still reflects my point of view (as an editorial cartoon should).
If you would like to ask Ann a question please do so in the comments below, as she has promised to check in here and try to answer them.

Cartooning the US election if you are a British cartoonist

November 4, 2008 in General

PCOer Martin Rowson writes:

Basically, it’s a bugger, and quite often you have you make a virtue of necessity by saying you don’t know (the result). So in 2000 I did a cartoon for The Scotsman, drawn on the day of the election, to be published on the Wednesday, saying that Ralph Nader had won. Then again, in 2004, in a cartoon appearing the day before the US election, I just launched into fantasy, second guessing the outcome (click the picture for details). After all, we’re in the business of comedy and fantasy, so you should, with a little bit of guidance to the readers, be able to get away with anything! Just like the Republicans!

This cartoon first appeared in the Guardian during the 2004 US Presidential election campaign.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

Cartooning the US Presidential Election

November 4, 2008 in General

We’ve seen how they covered the recent Democratic and Republican Conventions, but as the USA goes to the polls today, how do cartoonists cover an election?

Probably the most controversial approach is that being taken by Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury (seen here in the Guardian) – to draw the artwork for Wednesday’s strip in advance and in essence ‘call the election‘, in this case for Obama – an approach not without it’s dangers, as dealt with here by‘s Jim Borgman.

Of course, in these days of blogging, it’s now possible for a cartoonist to live-blog their drawings, like Marshall Ramsey in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger or the‘s Rob Tornoe. The Daily Cartoonist‘s Alan Gardener will be live-blogging the live-bloggers as the results come in tonight as well.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

by Royston

A cartoonist's farewell to Dubya

October 28, 2008 in News

Whoever wins the US election, he is probably unlikely to be as much of a gift to cartoonists as the guy who is currently putting his feet up in the Oval Office.

US editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich tells us “What I’ll Miss About George W.”

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

Cartoonists and the party political convention – Part 2: The Republicans

September 8, 2008 in General

With Hurricane Gustav battering the Gulf Coast many of the cartoonists covering the DNC last week crossed the country to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis Saint Paul, including Rob Rogers (who had to cut short his visit to the convention due to his father’s death), Walt Handelsman and’s JD Crowe.

Other cartoonists covering the convention from home include Rob Tornoe (sketchbook), and Ron Rogers. The British media was again represented by Kal (sketchbook day 1, day 2, day 3 ) and Steve Bell (sketchbook days 4-8, day 9, day 10, day 11).

It’s British cartoon talent

Cartoonists and the party political convention

September 1, 2008 in General

Party political conference season is nearly upon us here in Britain, but in the US the Democratic Party have already finished their turn. The cartoonists were out in force both drawing and blogging in Denver, Colorado.

Cartoon blogs from the convention include Rob Rogers from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (convention blog), convention first-timer Walt Handelsman from Newsday, Jen Sorenson from the Charlottesville C-Ville and Denver local Ed Stein from the Rocky Mountain News.

Interesting to note that a number of US cartoonists have chosen not to attend the Convention in person, such as Dan Wasserman from the Boston Globe, Rob Tornoe from (sketchbook), Matt Davies from the Journal News, David Horsey from the Seattle Post-Intelligencier and Ron Rogers from the South Bend Tribune (sketchbook), instead chosing to work from their studios, well away from the media crush.

In the meantime from the British press we had Steve Bell from the Guardian (sketchbook day 1, day 2, day 3)and Kal from the Economist (sketchbook day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4) actually in attendance.

It’s British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartoons in the Arts section

April 23, 2008 in General

After a weekend exploring the subject of “Art” at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, it was good to see The Guardian dedicating several pages of its G2 Arts section to cartoons yesterday.

Hillary Clinton by Barry Blitt, from The Guardian

The paper carried an article looking at the work of cartoonists attempting to get to grips with depicting US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Cartoonists were canvassed on how they approached their subject and the paper carried lots of images.

You can read the article and see the cartoons here:
National lampoon

UPDATED: Click image to enlarge

And here is some British cartoon talent