Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cartoonist Ann Telnaes on Pat Oliphant

From The Columbia Journalism Review

I became aware of Oliphant’s work years before I ever considered becoming an editorial cartoonist myself. I was studying character animation in the early 1980s at California Institute of the Arts and had no particular interest in politics, so I followed Oliphant’s work purely for the quality of his draftsmanship. 
While in art school and working in the animation industry for companies like Disney and various feature film houses, I scanned the newspapers for his latest creations. I marveled at his drawings of big Soviet bears and surly old men in black suits. 
His depictions of decrepit, lecherous Catholic priests and sadistic nuns were wonderfully irreverent, and more than once he was attacked for his commentary on the Church’s sexual abuse scandals. “The Annual Running of the Altar Boys” is an editorial cartooning classic. His drawings of chaotic battlegrounds and scenes of destruction seemed so detailed, yet upon close inspection the lines were loose and spontaneous.

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