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Comics A.M. | Tanzania closes newspaper over cartoon

GADO's cartoon

GADO’s cartoon

Censorship | The Tanzanian government has banned a regional newspaper, The EastAfrican, apparently because of a cartoon by Godfrey Mwampembwa (GADO) that was critical of President Jakaya Kikwete. [The Washington Post]

Creators | “My idea is that if you want to defend Islam against cartoons, you do it by drawing cartoons, not by killing the cartoonists,” says Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh, who is back on the job after being suspended for a cartoon that some interpreted as being a likeness of the Prophet Muhammad (Sabaaneh insists it was not). This profile of Sabaaneh includes an interview with the creator and a nuanced look at the milieu in which he works. [The Independent]

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Remembering David Levine

A Levine self-portrait

A Levine self-portrait

The Internet turned out in full force last week to pay homage to the illustrious cartoonist and illustrator David Levine, who passed away last Tuesday. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more notable articles:

• Here’s the New York Times’ official obituary.

• The Times also has a nice appraisal by Michael Kimmelman. Oh, wait, here’s another one, by Steven Heller.

Tom Spurgeon, meanwhile, does his usual excellent job chronicling the artist’s life and talent.

• David Margolick recalls his relationship with Levine for The Daily Beast, which also has a nice gallery of art.

• NPR has words and pictures, as well as an interview with political cartoonist Mike Luckovich.

• British cartoonist Steve Bell pays homage here.

• Finally, here’s a lengthy remembrance from New York Magazine.

R.I.P. David Levine

American Presidents

American Presidents

The New York Times is reporting that famed illustrator and caricaturist David Levine passed away today at the age of 83 after complications from prostate cancer.

Mr. Levine’s drawings never seemed whimsical, like those of Al Hirschfeld. They didn’t celebrate neurotic self-consciousness, like Jules Feiffer’s. He wasn’t attracted to the macabre, the way Edward Gorey was. His work didn’t possess the arch social consciousness of Edward Sorel’s. Nor was he interested, as Roz Chast is, in the humorous absurdity of quotidian modern life. But in both style and mood, Mr. Levine was as distinct an artist and commentator as any of his well-known contemporaries. His work was not only witty but serious, not only biting but deeply informed, and artful in a painterly sense as well as a literate one. Those qualities led many to suggest that he was the heir of the 19th-century masters of the illustration, Honoré Daumier and Thomas Nast.

The above link comes courtesy of Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics, which published a collection of Levine’s work, American Presidents, in 2008. Most of Levine’s work, however, was done for the New York Review of Books and they have a nice, searchable gallery of his work online. I would also encourage you to check out this excellent Vanity Fair article on Levine that ran last year.

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