Dear The Local Voice:
I’d like to respond to the letter by William R. Latham in your December 19 edition that was sharply critical of artist Michael Ikeda-Chandler.
Mr. Latham has a right to his opinion, but mine is that he’s way off base regarding Mr. Ikeda-Chandler and his work. Ikeda-Chandler is one of the highlights of your publication, an excellent artist who’s exactly on target in every cartoon of his I recall seeing. Political cartoonists are supposed to lampoon, poke fun, satirize, and, by doing so, enlighten and broaden the discussion of the issues of the day. Ikeda-Chandler is directly in the tradition that stretches from Thomas Nast to Bill Mauldin to modern-day artists like Paul Conrad of the Los Angeles Times.
Conrad once had this to say about his line of work: “Editorial cartoonists are idealists. … Political, social, and moral injustices are perceive as monstrosities.” Thus the cartoonist has to “sweep aside all the complexities and go to the basic issue; to take suspicions, coincidences, and past events and record them larger than life.”
Ikeda-Chander does these things. I’ve been admiring his work for a very long time. On the wall in my office in the journalism school at Ole Miss are three classic Ikeda-Chandler cartoons. In one of them, he depicts a row of elephants holding Wall Street briefcases and lined up in front of the Welfare Office. One of them grouses, “It’s only socialism if you give it to the poor!”
If that isn’t exactly on target with the truth, I don’t know what is!
This letter was originally printed in TLV #196 (published January 23, 2014). To download a PDF of this issue, click HERE.