Blog

With a focus on media and storytelling, I blog about everything from my favorite TV shows to my writing process for A Pink House. Currently, I'm hooked on animation and how illustrations can tell a story in a way that writing can't. If you have anything you want me to discuss in a future blog post, feel free to email me at c.g.mazanec@gmail.com! I'd love to incorporate some of your favorite media/storytelling subjects as well :)

Crossing the Line

ISIS makes an iMovie denouncing all things American...

(This is the final draft of a cartoon I drew for one of Northwestern's student papers.)

(This is the final draft of a cartoon I drew for one of Northwestern's student papers.)

The worst part about crossing the line is that you don't know when you've crossed it until it's too late. But let me back up… why is this girl showing us her slightly/ maybe-more-than-slightly insensitive cartoon about an ISIS member eating KFC?

Well, for starters, I was recently staffed as a cartoonist for my school's daily newspaper, The Daily. (Hence the title.) Although its only been a week since I started drawing for The Daily, I've already learned so much about drawing, deadlines, political humor, and most importantly, anticipating the reactions of your audience.

Since I started drawing for The Daily's opinion section, I have gained a newfound respect for the great political comedians of today: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. (Shout-out to the NU alum!) It is really hard to combine humor and topical events without crossing the line, and both of these talk show hosts have certainly mastered the technique. (Albeit, they do have a team of interns and writers to steer them in the right direction, and I am solely relying on my CNN twitter feed.)

Nevertheless, they make hard work look easy, and I am here to tell you that it is not. It is NOT easy to joke around about a sensitive issue without stepping on any toes. And my cartoon pictured above is a testament to that realization.

I know they say that talking about why something is funny sucks all of the humor out of it, not to mention that doing so bores its listeners, but I feel that I have to make this point. With my cartoon, I was not trying to downplay the horrific Youtube videos ISIS has been posting of the brutal beheadings. Instead, my cartoon was an attempt to point out the irony of a terrorist group that denounces all westernization while simultaneously using its technology to make their point. I mean, how hypocritical, amirite?

But before I get stalked by the CIA or FBI for googling "ISIS" too many times (in order to draw the cartoon above), I'll end with this: Yes, I may have crossed a line. Or at least, I certainly stuck my leg out over it. But the points that are the most uncomfortable to make are sometimes also necessary to point out. And maybe one of you will gain something from it, or at the least, maybe it will get a half-hearted chuckle out of you.

However, I also don't want to offend any of my readers (or lookers? gazers?), and so in the end, I'm glad that it was pulled from The Daily. And hopefully next week I can channel my fellow Wildcat, Stephen Colbert (did I mention he went here?), and keep my toes on the right side of the line.