My Most Controversial Cartoon Ever (So Far)

Nine years ago today (holy shit) The State News published the following cartoon:

ramsey_20051111

I drew this piece at the height of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, which had by that time had expanded its scope to include abuse of prisoners at Bagram Air Force Base and Guantanamo Bay, as well as a constellation of sinister “black sites” scattered around the globe. The nation was still partly in the orgiastic throes of war fever back then, and needless to say the cartoon caused a bit of a stir. This included the picketing of the paper’s offices by Young Republicans demanding my head on a plate.

I’m happy to say that my neck remained attached to my shoulders. However, I’m very much less happy about the more than 2000 additional photos of prisoner abuse — said to be “even more disturbing than the infamous prison photos from Abu Ghraib” — that the Obama administration has refused to release, citing (what else?) national security concerns.

The ACLU has been trying to secure disclosure of these photos since the very beginning of the scandal in 2004, and thankfully a federal judge last month ordered the Justice Department to provide its rationale for withholding each and every photo. I eagerly await December 12, when the least transparent administration in history must make its declaration.

Assuming the declaration will even be made public, that is.

You Again?

Click to embiggen. Originally published in The State News, Michigan State University’s student newspaper.

This cartoon was the second I drew for this day’s publication date. The first one, which consisted primarily of a photo from Abu Ghraib, was considered TOO GRAPHIC FOR PUBLICATION. See it after the jump, if you dare… Continue reading →

Soldiers fight for right to free speech, cartoons and protests included

Originally published at The State News, Michigan State University’s student newspaper.

Me, c. 2005.

On Monday afternoon, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the offices of The State News in protest of my cartoon that ran on Veterans Day, which depicted a World War II veteran saying to a younger serviceman, “I liberated a torture camp back in ’45.” The younger serviceman, bloody baseball bat in hand, replies, “I work in one.”

The first e-mail arrived in my inbox at 8:57 a.m. Friday morning. It would not be the last. During the next few days, I received a deluge of messages, including one from a gentleman who informed me that my cartoon filled him “with urge to defecate.”

As early as Friday evening, the “I Hate Mike Ramsey” Facebook group was founded, inviting members to post rants about my cartoons. As of press time, the group has 10 members, nine if you don’t count myself. I had apparently touched a nerve. Continue reading →

Contrast

Click to embiggen. Originally published in The State News, Michigan State University’s student newspaper.

This cartoon remains the most controversial one I’ve ever published. Read some of the feedback here.

The Spin Machine

Click to embiggen. Originally published in The State News, Michigan State University’s student newspaper.

Bonus points to all you 90s kids who can identify the model for the Spin Machine.