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Each day this month I will be profiling a notable political cartoonist. Since the choices are vast, I’ve decided to slim the numbers down a bit and eliminate living cartoonists. Perhaps I will do a current political cartoon stars in the future.
Here‘s an archive of the artists mentioned already.
Today we look at a cartoonist who created the character “John Q. Public.”
Vaughn Shoemaker was born in 1902, and by the age of 22, he was the head cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News, a position he would hold for almost thirty years before moving on to various other papers before his retirement in 1972.
Shoemaker used very clean lines, and was a favorite of many of his fellow cartoonists, including Herb Block.
Here’s one of his early cartoons, where we see Shoemaker harken back to the days of Nast and Tammany Hall, in discussing New York Democrats…
Early on in his career, Shoemaker developed a character named John Q. Public who worked as the personification of the typical US citizen. Many other cartoonists took this idea, as well, and the name soon became synonymous with “average US citizen.”
Shoemaker was highly critical of Hitler, as these cartoons show…
I particularly enjoy the one about how the Nazi leaders did not look like the Aryan “supermen” that they wanted of the German race.
Shoemaker was not initially a Democrat supporter, but like many, he got behind FDR…
Here he shows FDR stewarding the ship during war…
And here is a cartoon arguing for the drafting of young men for the war efforts.
Here is a neat cartoon he did late in career showing what problems Vietnam was causing LBJ….
Shoemaker was a devout Christian, and he claimed to kneel and pray before beginning every cartoon.
Shoemaker died in 1991.
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