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Cartoons

Colorado Sun cartoonists pick their personal favorites from 2019

R. Alan Brooks, Jim Morrissey and Drew Litton left an imprint on the news landscape in Colorado with humor, biting wit and unforgettable images

The last year left no shortage of subjects that touched a nerve, piqued our interest and offered a clear avenue for visual commentary. The Colorado Sun’s three cartoonists reviewed their archive and selected three favorite pieces of their work.

They also offered a brief commentary on each one.

From writer R. Alan Brooks, whose “What’d I Miss?” is a character driven, weekly strip examining everything from events to pop-culture trends; to Jim Morrissey’s single-panel treatment of the news; to the legendary Drew Litton’s take on both sports and hard news, here are the ones each liked best, annoted.


“What’d I Miss?”

Cartoonist R. Alan Brooks.

R. Alan Brooks, who writes the weekly “What’d I Miss?” comic strip in collaboration with artist Cori Redford, had the dual challenge of developing the strip’s characters while using them to frame his take on the events and trends that shaped our culture.

This came from the idea that people put forth, that, if a black person dressed, spoke, or acted a certain way, that they’d never have any trouble — with jobs, with police, etc. Sometimes, that message comes from other black people, and it’s disappointing.

R. Alan Brooks

I thought about how people try to draw each other into debates online, and how they exaggerate each other’s perspectives to win the argument. It’s a manipulative trick, so I wanted to explain how it’s done, so people don’t fall for it.

R. Alan Brooks

I was talking with some friends who work at dispensaries, about the most ridiculous things that people say to them in the course of their work, and found it very interesting. So, the result was this strip!

R. Alan Brooks

Jim Morrissey

Cartoonist Jim Morrissey.

Jim Morrissey, whose single-panel cartoon appears every other week, has tackled everything from politics to pollution with his sharp wit.

For many, he’s a hometown hero, I mean, he opened one of the first microbreweries in the state. Oh, and he was Denver’s mayor and our governor. So it was odd to see him struggle on the national stage while running for the Democratic nomination. I really thought his overzealous optimism would carrying him into Iowa. Apologies to Alfred E. Neuman.

Jim Morrissey

This is what happens when a company loses sight of its mission. And in this day and age, it’s good to see people have more power than lawyers.

Jim Morrissey

Of all the local political stories in 2019, this one was a head-scratcher. Polis is a great entrepreneur. He has the makings of a good governor. But he should have never tried to play the role of small-town rural newspaper editor.

Jim Morrissey

Drew Litton

Cartoonist Drew Litton.

Drew Litton, who made his reputation in sports and then, when so moved, refused to stick to them, combined his distinctive artistic style with his keen observational humor to chronicle the weekly twists and turns of an eventful 12 months.

One never knows where ideas come from really. This cartoon was in direct response to a Sun story about the new “magic mushrooms” law. Imagery from the 1960’s just seemed the right way to go in this cartoon. As Dylan once sang, ‘The times they are a changin’“.

Drew Litton

I’ll never quite understand what compels someone to run for president. It takes a whole lot things to fall into place to even get the party nomination, and  though I have always liked Hickenlooper, I could never imagine a president named Hickenlooper. Of course, I never imagined one named Trump, either, but I digress. Cartoons are conceived in metaphors and changing horses in the middle of a stream seemed to fit for this one. I know the song of the same name by Dan Fogelberg played a role in this one. The lyrics “changing horses in the middle of a stream, gets you wet and sometimes cold” was applicable.

Drew Litton

It’s appalling to me that 20 years after Columbine we have people making jokes about school shootings. Chuck Bonniwell’s comments at KNUS deserved to be called out. So this image popped in my head as a way to address the madness. I’m not a fan of partisan radio  or television for that matter. I believe Fox News is the biggest threat to our democracy. So the narrative seemed to cover a variety of ills all in one cartoon.

Drew Litton

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