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Jim Borgman Shares His Top 5 Favorite Cartoons

Jim Borgman Shares His Top 5 Favorite Cartoons

Jim Borgman drew thousands of political cartoons during his tenure at The Enquirer. But is it hard for him to pick a favorite? Not really. Borgman, while appearing on The Enquirer’s “That’s So Cincinnati” podcast, easily listed his favorites.

The cartoons that made his short list range from serious to political to what we’re all thinking when it snows, even after all these years.

Borgman served as the Enquirer’s editorial cartoonist from 1976 to 2008 and earned the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1991. In 1997, Borgman and writer Jerry Scott debuted “Zits,” a comic strip about high schooler Jeremy Duncan. The strip has been named the best newspaper strip by the National Cartoonist Society three times. The Enquirer is among the 1,700 newspapers that run “Zits.”

Here are Jim Borgman’s five favorite cartoons:

Date: April 10, 1990
What Borgman had to say: “Ryan White was an Indiana teenager who died of AIDS at a time when the disease was misunderstood. Nobody really knew how AIDS was contracted then; all of his schoolmates, everybody was afraid to get near him. It was just a piercing story. So when he died I had him arriving in heaven with St. Peter’s arms around him, and he said, ‘This is a place where no one is afraid to hug.’

Ryan’s mother actually had that cartoon engraved on his gravestone. It seemed to really matter at the time. At one point, there were more than 500 squares of the AIDS Memorial Quilt featuring that cartoon.”

Date: Dec. 17, 1995
What Borgman had to say: “Less seriously was whenever it snows. I did a cartoon of a guy who had hoarded away all kinds of beans and water and things, and he’s in a storage room full of these things, and he’s saying, ‘We’re all going to die!’ My God, people, it just resonated. I think we all know that feeling. You run out and get your eggs and milk and hunker down, right?”

Date: June 4, 1987
What Borgman had to say: “The cicadas were always just wonderful.”

Date: Oct. 6, 1988
What Borgman had to say: “The Bengals were winning every game that year. And it was just like, ‘OK, bring on whoever’s next.’ It kind of became an unofficial symbol of that year. They went to the Super Bowl.”

Date: Jan. 30, 1990
What Borgman had to say: “There was a more political one when the Soviet Union was falling apart and Mikhail Gorbachev was the head. At the time, people talked about the domino theory in reference mainly to Vietnam.”

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer