Pat Oliphant Explained

Patrick Bruce "Pat" Oliphant (b. 24 July 1935 in Adelaide, Australia) is the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world, described by the New York Times as "the most influential cartoonist now working". His trademark is a small penguin character named Punk, who is often seen making a sarcastic comment about the subject of the panel.

Oliphant's career, which spans over fifty years, began in 1952 as a copyboy with the Adelaide News. He continued in the newspaper business in Australia until he emigrated to the United States in 1964.

Once in the U.S., he first worked at The Denver Post. His strip was nationally syndicated and internationally syndicated in 1965. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1967 for his 1 February 1966 cartoon They Won't Get Us To The Conference Table ... Will They?. Oliphant moved to the now defunct Washington Star for six years, until the paper folded in 1981.

Oliphant's work has appeared in several exhibitions, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery. He has also crafted a series of small sculptures based on his caricatures of various political figures, which have been displayed alongside his drawings in some exhibitions.

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Oliphant won the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award seven times in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1991, the Reuben Award twice in 1968 and 1972 and the Thomas Nast Prize.

Oliphant is the nephew of Sir Mark Oliphant, the Australian physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, and later became Governor of South Australia.[1]

Controversial cartoons

Oliphant's work, which from time to time employs ethnic caricatures, has occasionally been criticized. In 2001, the Asian American Journalists Association accused Oliphant of "cross[ing] the line from acerbic depiction to racial caricature".[2] In 2005, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee expressed concern that some of Oliphant's caricatures were racist and misleading.[3] In 2007, two Oliphant cartoons produced a similar response.

A cartoon[4] about Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza sparked criticism amongst some American Jews. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement: "Pat Oliphant's outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic. It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart. Israel's defensive military operation to protect the lives of its men, women and children who are being continuously bombarded by Hamas rocket attacks has been turned on its head to show the victims as heartless, headless aggressors". The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group with more than 400,000 members in the United States, said the cartoon denigrates and demonizes Israel and mimics the Nazi propaganda. It called on The New York Times and other media groups to remove the cartoon from their Web sites.

One cartoon was criticized for its racism. It advocated that American citizens of Cuban descent (Cuban-Americans) should not only not be allowed to exercize their right to vote on national elections, but should be forcefully deported en mass. [5] The editorial staff of the Washington Post, which previously refused to publish others' cartoons which it deemed to be offensive, found nothing wrong with the message.

Collections

Chronological list:

References

[5] http://babalublog.com/2007/08/more-on-the-bigotry-of-pat-oliphant-updated/

External links

Notes and References

  1. http://www.mickjoffe.com/Sir_Mark_Oliphant Interview with Sir Mark Oliphant
  2. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/04/14/MN225028.DTL
  3. http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2415
  4. http://www.gocomics.com/patoliphant/2009/03/25/ March 2009