Chris Britt: Cartoons and controversy

Originally posted online on Mast Media.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY (JAN. 16, 2015) – Chris Britt, a nationally-syndicated editorial cartoonist, visited Pacific Lutheran University on Jan. 16: an unfortunately well-timed visit in light of recent events in Paris.

Britt lectured to a full classroom of approximately 75 students in professor Joanne Lisosky’s “Media in the World” course, joined by other 300-level International Honors and Communication students.

His lecture began with his reflections on journalism and media. Britt said his goal is to get to the center of every issue, provoking thought and change – especially in the current state of politics.

“Yes, for a country this is the worst of times,” Britt said, “but for an editorial cartoonist, it’s the best of times.”

While there may be a bounty of issues to cover each day, it is certainly not all good for editorial cartoonists. Newsrooms are shrinking – as with many roles, editorial cartoonists are getting cut as well. Britt was fired from The State Journal-Register in 2012.  

But there is plenty of hate left around for remaining cartoonists – as placid as hate mail (which Britt has received much of) – or as violent as the attacks on Charile Hebdo in Paris.

Britt said he wouldn’t draw Mohammed now, or maybe ever.

He finished with comments on his own work, included below.

Dec. 4, 2014

Britt faced a lot of controversy from this piece portraying African-American children requesting Santa keep them safe from the police. He made headlines after a Philadelphia police force called out The Bucks County Courier Times for printing this cartoon. Sarcastically, he expressed his confusion with how this cartoon would create any chaos. “Really? Santa cartoon causes Philadelphia to burn?”

Dec. 7, 2014

Britt said that many found his portrayal of former Vice President Cheney (left) very disrespectful, especially with Britt’s inclusion of a scar (from heart surgery) on Cheney’s chest.

“It’s no more disrespectful than waterboarding people,” Britt said.

Jan. 13, 2015

Britt responded to inflammatory comments from Bill Donohue (President of the Catholic League) regarding cartoonists with one word: “despicable. ”

Dec. 11, 2014

Britt was especially disgusted by police officers who, in demonstration of disapproval of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, turned their backs on him at the funeral of two fellow officers.

“This is not your day, boys!” Britt said. “Have some respect for everyone who is there.”

Oct. 29, 2014

Britt has created several cartoons regarding the National Football League team, the Washington Redskins. “Maybe it’s time to stop doing that and change your name!” he said.

Images of Britt’s cartoons accessed from

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