Cartoons and History

Working on a speech for TED is totally consuming.  I will be speaking at a TEDx on Saturday–it is a complicated speech, and extra difficult because it is not all about me. It’s about what cartoons can tell us, historically. So I had a lot of fun looking at old New Yorker cartoons and selecting ones that I felt had something unique historically to tell us. The down side–and it was a significant down side–was selecting only a few. There are so many greats! I can’t share them here (copyright issues), but I can share some of the ones of mine I am including. The video of the talk will be online eventually, I hope.

The cartoons of mine I chose to show will appear at the conclusion of my talk, to show how my work reflects recent historical events and trends. I have been working for The New Yorker for thirty-three years, so a lot has happened since I began (not to mention the personal stuff that has happened in my life, which would be another talk).  All of the cartoons in this post are copyright Liza Donnelly and The New Yorker Magazine.

This first one was my first political cartoon in The New Yorker, and my second one published. It is from 1984.

This is about 9/11.

And this one is about the Iraq war:

And finally, I drew this one after the last election:


There are many more of mine that are political, and some that are cultural in nature, but I wanted to share just a few with you. Cartoons tell us a lot about ourselves.



About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men,
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8 Responses to Cartoons and History

  1. Ronnie says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Liza….and good luck on Saturday. Loved your last TEDtalk!

  2. Karen Raff says:

    Knock it out of the park again, Liza. I love hearing from you via your blogs. Keep sharing.

  3. fan says:

    Hi….congrats on your Ted Talk! I love your work. Seems this one got lost in the shuffle…though I can’t imagine how hard it would be to select only a few of your cartoons for this talk…

    • Thank you! Actually, I am selecting lots of cartoons by others, too. Only a few of mine in this talk. The one you show here is not among them, although I do like that one, myself.

  4. Rob Husberg says:

    Break a leg Liza! I know you’re going to do an ab/fab job, just like
    always. Can’t wait to see this on TED online. (they damn well better!)
    Great to see your cartoon in the June 13/20 New Yorker…it’s
    been way too long! Why don’t they run more? Can I start a
    campaign? Who can I call?

  5. thank you! It went pretty well–but I never seem to know until I see the finished product. Folks liked it. I hope you enjoy the video when it comes out. I, too, wish I was in the New Yorker more!! Yes, do start a campaign, that would be awesome! Thanks for your kind words:)

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