While the circulation of printed political comics has declined in the internet age, political satire through illustration is alive and well. In designing this exhibition, the Massachusetts Historical Society wanted to highlight Boston area artists who are creating cartoons today. We put out a call for modern perspectives on the historical themes explored in the exhibition and present four images here. We also commissioned the Boston Comics Roundtable to develop an illustrated biography of Thomas Nast, the father of modern political comics. Check out Thomas Nast: a Life in Cartoons, here.
Shea Justice grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts. As a child, he developed a passion for art from watching Drawing from Nature on PBS and reading comic books. After attending Boston University, where he earned a BFA in art education, he taught in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in the Boston Public Schools system. He later got an MFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Currently he is a teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Shea has participated in art exhibitions throughout the Boston area, and his work is permanently on display at the Sudbury Public Library and the Grove Hall Library. For the last 20 years, he has been a member of Northeastern University’s African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program (AAMARP).
Illustrator, cartoonist, animator, and sequential artist E. J. Barnes served as a local affairs editorial cartoonist for the Recorder, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from 2005 to 2009. Her political and gag cartoons have been published in various outlets, including the Cambridge Chronicle, Funny Times, Fortean Times, and the Journal of Irreproducible Results. She works in ink, ink wash, watercolor, and scratchboard. Her home studio is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work can be found at www.ejbarnes.com and www.drownedtownpress.com.
David Friedman is a self-taught illustrator, as well as a performing artist and practicing attorney. Having grown up reading the comics sections of various newspapers, David found that cartooning offered an accessible creative medium that combined his expertise in economics, politics, and U.S. law with his views on current events. David's artwork has been displayed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, on national television, in select newspapers and magazines, in political commercials, and at cultural events across the United States.