The year ahead in political cartoons

Political cartoons won’t be all about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2011, artists say. Many of them will focus on other new faces in Washington and the emerging storyline of a divided government.

“As cartoonists, we go where the action is,” freelance cartoonist Steve Brodner says. “Right now the action is not going to be with the Democrats; it’s not going to be with Obama.”

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He’ll be keeping an eye out for “the larger issue of what happens when a party comes to power, not by virtue of their ideas, but by virtue of raw, visceral anger.”

As for other personalities, Brodner imagines he’ll be drawing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quite a bit, too, since Issa plans to lead several investigations into the Obama administration.

Other cartoonists shared their thoughts for 2011 political cartoons with The Hill:

The Times-Picayune’s Steve Kelley: “Political cartoonists are best served by discontent and fighting. … It’s going to be the dichotomy of bipartisanship versus real life; that the government is acutely divided philosophically, as is, in large measure, the electorate.”

The Dayton Daily News’s Mike Peters: “If I could draw [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] every day of my life, I would, because he’s so easy to do. He’s got those glasses, that smarmy smile, a little face, beady eyes, a long upper lip.”

The Washington Post’s Ann Telnaes: “I’ll probably be concentrating more on the (hopefully) narrowing field of GOP presidential candidates.”

The Hill’s Chris Weyant: “The Tea Party freshmen will be a force to be reckoned with. They’re vocal and colorful, and I’m personally grateful to have them around to draw. I look forward to [Sen.] Rand Paul [R-Ky.] — if not for his unblinking political determination but for his poodle-like hair. He’s a cartoonist’s dream. So is Darrell Issa. They’re going to rival other great ones to draw like [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-Nev.], McConnell and President Obama.

Other issues such as the deficit, the GOP attempts to dismantle the healthcare law, unemployment, Iraq [and] Afghanistan will be our big focus. It will be interesting to watch the GOP find a political path that goes beyond just the reversal of Democratic initiatives. And with respect to that, also seeing how the Obama administration moves forward after such a decisive election.”