Monday, 19 January 2009

Donato & The Prez

Toronto Sun cartoonist Andy Donato has seen eight American presidents come and go since his first editorial cartoon appeared in the Toronto Telegram in 1968.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, William Clinton and George W. Bush.

On Sunday, the award-winning cartoonist bid adieu to George W., as a gun-toting cowboy riding out of town leaving a path of destruction and chaos.

"I will miss George W. as I believe he was the worst president in my lifetime," Andy tells TSF on the eve of Barack Obama's swearing in as the 44th president.

So of all the past presidents, who was Andy's favourite at the drawing board?

"The best to draw was Nixon. but looking back, I loved drawing them all: Stumbling Ford, Rambo Reagan, Slick Willie, Chickenshit Carter, Cowboy Johnson and the War Criminal Dummy George W. The least of them to draw was George H."

Andy says he has warmed up to Obama as a cartoon subject and a man. Several Obama cartoons drawn during the lengthy presidential run were instant Donato classics.

"Obama will be easy to draw (as president), but hard to be critical of at least for the time being. I am a big fan. In all my years covering politics, I've never seen anything like this guy.

"He is the Tiger Woods of politics. He's got it all. I really hope he does well because America needs it right now after eight years of neocons."

Tomorrow will be a new day for editorial cartoonists focusing on the White House from media sources around the world.

And a new day for all of us sans George W.

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