2012: The year in cartoons

    It’s always a revelation to go through a year’s work. This year I was surprised by how many drawings I’d done on gun violence.

    This should have come as no surprise, given that we suffered three mass shootings this year: the killings at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., on July 20; the shootings at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Aug. 7; and finally, the massacre of grade-school children in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

    This in addition to the ongoing mayhem and murder we tolerate year in and year out. Has a tipping point been reached? Have we as a country finally had enough? Enough to confront the NRA and its minions in Congress? We’ll soon find out.

    The year was also dominated by the election, of course. And, in retrospect, looking at the cartoons done during the surreal Republican primaries, the final result seems so fore-ordained — though it didn’t seem so at the time.

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    In my own life, this year also marked a change. After 40 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, I am now at WHYY. The drawings done from January through March were done while I was at the Inquirer. From April on, they were done for NewsWorks.

    Freed from the limitations of print and liberated by association with truly professional online producers, I’ve been able to experiment with other forms of commentary, especially iPad movies done with the app Brushes, which records every stroke done by an artist and allows the work to be played back as a video. One of them, the story of a trip on the waterways of France, is included below. And others are at my blog, Behind the Lines.

    I wish all of you, and all of us, well in 2013.

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