Cartoonists draw lots of death. War, terror, hunger, disease. Assisted suicide, capital punishment, late-term abortion. Death of the butterflies, bees, frogs. Death by medical blunder, tainted pet food, you name it. Then there is death as metaphor: the death of bipartisanship, common sense, the immigration bill and so on. But because most of us grew up watching Wile E. Coyote gamely survive multiple 1,000-foot drops to the canyon floor, there's often a whimsical impermanence to even our bleakest depictions. So Ed Stein's posthumous Darfur victim manages a sarcastic rejoinder, and Pat Oliphant's beaten dead horse and Steve Benson's party animals don't seem quite so somber. The death of irony has been greatly exaggerated. — Joel Pett
Joel PettJoel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
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