Political Cartoonists Face Off in Drawing Duel

BY Katelyn Polantz and Saskia de Melker  August 29, 2012 at 1:05 PM EST


Updated Sept. 5: Stantis and Rogers joined the throngs of journalists that left Tampa and went on to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention. We caught up with them again and talked about how their friendship and opposing political views affect their political satire of the conventions. And for the sake of parity, we challenged them to another drawing duel. The challenge this time: juxtapose the GOP and the Democratic events.

Click on thumbnail images to see the finished cartoons from the DNC duel:


Original Story:


Newspaper editorial cartoonists Rob Rogers and Scott Stantis spent a lot of time on what was supposed to be the first day of the Republican National Convention drawing themselves and each other.

There wasn’t much fodder yet at the RNC, which was delayed a day due to the encroaching Hurricane Isaac. Most delegates who were in town were out celebrating and fundraising at invitation-only parties.

So Rogers and Stantis, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Tribune, respectively, allowed us to engage them in a “draw off.” We gave them a general topic: the spectacle of the convention in Tampa, where more than 10,000 media descended to cover a highly choreographed three-night political television event.

The friends, part of a cohort of about 40 full-time editorial cartoonists working in the United States, have expanded their craft from traditional newsprint to blogs and social media over the past few years.

Stantis frequently appears on talk radio — at one point he hosted a drive-time show — and regularly runs caption contests. Rogers plans to produce a documentary film from his trip to the conventions, which he funded through a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo.

They also happen to sit on opposite sides of the spectrum — Rogers a liberal and Stantis a conservative. They function for their hometowns and in national politics as visual columnists, who can analyze and opine about politics as well as traditional writers.

At one point in our conversation, they talked about the importance of GOP presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney demonstrating his appeal this week — Stantis calling it one of the most essential conventions of any campaign.

Their tactics include working with metaphors, embracing exaggeration, and finding a great pun. Sometimes slightly off-color topics find their way in, too.

We’ll plan to host a second draw-off during the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, N.C.