Johnny Hart, the late cartoonist who created B.C. is no longer with us to provide his annual controversial Easter strip, but others still mark the seasons with their single-paneled commentary. Daryl Cagle’s Political Cartoon page at MSNBC is the best single resource for English political cartoons. They also separate and order based upon theme. So, let’s examine a few of the the Easter themed cartoons they have on offer.
This cartoon is clearly trying to remind us that Easter is actually about the death of Jesus (and resurrection, but open tombs are so much harder to depict than crosses, but some manage it! more on that later). Still, I find the bunny with outstretched arms and sly smile creepy. “He loves you this much.”
This cartoon by Parker seeks to bring together Passover and Easter, suggesting a greater depth to “this spring holiday thing.” Hmm. Ok. Not great, but ok.
Englehart’s comic is certainly thought provoking and makes me think of Jesus’ words “whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. ” (Matt. 10:38) I certainly believe that these are the burdens of sin for which he died and which we now must combat. He has made me think; good comic.
This one is purely secular and political and I don’t think it succeeds in evoking any real response (which is, after all, the point of political cartoons).
Another by Parker. This one reminds me of my childhood, not because I would create such elaborate eggs, but because my father would. He is quite the artist and made amazing Christmas and Easter decorations. I remember one egg with a Calvary scene (three crosses, etc.) on it.
These are all by the same artist, Joe Heller, and make an effort to depict the meaning of Easter as opposed to Good Friday. I was once asked by a Jewish friend why Christians wore crosses if the resurrection was so important. My reply? Tombs are harder to fit on a small chain. (Rick McKee has a similar set of three here. It makes me wonder if these more overt cartoons are not as readily used by papers requiring the artists to offer several versions so editors can choose one they find palatable).
Finally, this comic by the aforementioned McKee is perhaps my favorite of those that combine commentary on current consumerism with a statement of faith. (And political cartoons really ought to be offering some sort of critique, otherwise they are just art.) The allusion to Luke 24:5 with the angel in the midst of the holiday section of Tar•mart is great.