I had a terrible fight with myself Wednesday. Being a self-editor means I have to edit, something I have little skill with. It all started like this: I had an idea to compare ISIS with the Westboro Baptist Church, you know, those creeps from Topeka, Kansas who go around to funerals of military men and women with signs that say “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God For 9-11,” crap like that.
I wanted to say “ISIS is to Islam what the Westboro Baptist Church is to Christianity.” So, I had the damn thing half drawn, and I really liked the way the art was going. It looked good and felt good. Then when Editor Bob saw what I was drawing, he called me into his office which is near the back of my brain.
The conversation went like this:
“Wait a second,” said Editor Bob. “Westboro hasn’t killed anybody yet. They haven’t cut off anybody’s head. They haven’t made anybody wear an orange jumpsuit. They might be a bunch of assholes, but they don’t have an army.”
Cartoonist Bob: “Oh, come on man, It’s an editorial cartoon.”
Editor Bob: “Well, shouldn’t it be rooted in fact?”
Cartoonist Bob: “Look, I’ve got cartoonist’s license. I can stretch the truth!”
EB: “You don’t have license to use an inaccurate comparison,” he said.
I slammed the door on Editor Bob and stomped down the hall to my office. It was a good drawing. It’s an editorial cartoon, but he was right. I threw it in the waste basket and started on another idea.
Westboro might be a bunch of hate-mongers, but they haven’t whacked anybody’s head off yet. Yet. I better save it. In this crazy world, anything can happen. I fished the drawing out of the trash.