The long-anticipated return of editorial cartoons is here.
Revelstoke-based photographer and artist Rob Buchanan will once again be featuring his editorial cartoons in the Revelstoke Review.
For as long as the printed word has been around, so have editorial cartoons. These fun, artistic, and thought-provoking expressions of the creator’s ideas and opinions.
They can have an educational purpose, be comedic, and are easily digestible.
Buchanan was born in Toronto and launched a career in photography after studying photojournalism in Victoria. He later moved to Revelstoke in 1995.
When Buchanan arrived in Revelstoke, he approached the publisher of the local newspaper looking to contribute his photography.
Barbara Mukanik, the publisher of the Revelstoke Review at the time, told him they didn’t need a photographer but asked Buchanan if he could draw.
“I’d always had grown up doodling my whole life,” said Buchanan. “I would be the kid in the back of the class drawing instead of paying attention.”
After that, Buchanan spent the next 26 years publishing editorial cartoons in the Revelstoke Review.
Now, after a brief interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buchanan is back in the Review with bi-weekly editorial cartoons thanks to a contribution from Revelstoke Community Futures.
When he started, he took inspiration from some of his favourite cartoons, like Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, or popular cartoonists who were published in the Montreal Gazette and Toronto Star.
“Drawing is pretty easy, but you have to be able to kind of communicate a complicated subject in a surprising and fresh way in a very short time period too,” said Buchanan. “When you open the paper and you see an editorial cartoon, you know, you might spend three or four seconds on it and so you don’t want a lot of text, the image has to really be intuitive.”
Buchanan’s cartoons aren’t complicated: he takes an everyday problem most Revelstokians deal with on a day-to-day basis and turns them into art through the use of felt tip pens and a piece of paper.
Even though he’s spent a few years out of the game, Buchanan says his head is already full of ideas for upcoming cartoons.