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Chan Lowe: Reject Corner!!!


It is fitting that The Lowe-Down should ring in the new year by revisiting a popular feature, "Reject Corner!!!," wherein the sketch of a cartoon I thought was pretty good gets spiked by my editor before ever reaching print.

As for this one, it was the first idea I submitted yesterday, ultimately replaced by the cartoon you now see in my previous posting about Gov. Rick Scott's inauguration.

Editor of the Opinion Pages Antonio Fins (my boss), felt that this effort was too "mean spirited," and suggested that I have the governor wearing sponsorship labels on his clothing, rather than use his baldness as a vehicle to make my point. He thought the overall thrust of the idea was valid; he just felt the execution was overly harsh.

I argued that Rick Scott's baldness is the only thing many Floridians know about the man, since he was intentionally vague during press conferences, and refused to meet with newspaper editorial boards during his campaign. As I said to Tony, I felt that a lot of the power of the cartoon would be lost if I did not exploit Scott's most unusual feature. In fact, I'm looking forward to making use of Scott's physical characteristic for the next four years, which I believe is entirely within the purview of an editorial cartoonist (just like George Bush's ears, or Ronald Reagan's wrinkles, for example).

What do you think? Had you seen the above sketch in its completed form in print or in this blog, would you have found it too "mean spirited?"

For Antonio Fins' extended comments about the cartoon, please click below.

Tony's take:

No better way for an editor to welcome back his staff members than with
an immediate rejection of their work. But this one was an easy call.

The question of Rick Scott accepting corporate money to finance his
inaugural festivities came up during our editorial board staff meeting
on Monday. Several board members noted that Scott ran as an outsider, and
spent many millions of his own dollars to get elected, and that voters
fed up with old-style politics and corporate-funded campaigns found that
aspect of his candidacy appealing enough to send him to Tallahassee.

So, yeah, it seemed incongruous, to put it mildly, for Scott to turn
around and rake in corporate dollars to pay for his inaugural. A little
frugality at a time of recession, moreover, might have sent a better
message anyway.

Here's the thing. The cartoon Chan drew didn't reflect any of these

All it seems to do is poke fun at Scott being bald. To me, that's not
what cartoon commentary should be all about. It's not just an
opportunity to make fun of people, but to make a statement. And this
cartoon didn't really make a statement about the points above.

So I rejected it. Happy 2011, Chan!

Categories: Cartoon Rejects (15)
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Mr Lowe,

Curious -You are not allowed to print the cartoon, but you can as a "reject"?

I looked at this sketch and I looked at the one that was published. I have to say I like the idea behind the sketch much, much better. I can see the editor's point and I can understand why he might pause to think about it; however, I think he overreacted a bit -- and I'm speaking as an editor, only on a much smaller scale to be sure! Me, I like a little edge and yes, you do have some real "edge" to work with as far as physical characteristics of this guy.

The last thing this state needs is more carpetbaggers from out of state telling us what this state needs

I laughed at the sketch. Perhaps your editor is afraid of some kind of retribution if you make 'overly harsh' drawings. Perhaps your editor felt that since this was Governor Lex Luthor's inauguration, some charity or deference ought to be shown to the man.

What would Herblock think about this if were alive today? What would Herblock do? (WWHD)? To me, that is the question

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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