A friend sent this along to me.
I thought I’d just republish it.
After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.
His cartoon was not only trending on Twitter but requests for use of the cartoon came in from CNN, Fox News and The Independent, the UK publication which ran an online editorial below the cartoon.
Even the Canadian War Museum came calling.
Water cooler conversations throughout Nova Scotia seemed to be all about the cartoon and the feelings it evoked about the cold-blooded murder of a 24-year-old reservist in front of Canada’s National War Memorial.
Simply stated, for the few who may not have seen it, the cartoon suggests the coming to life of the bronzed First World War soldiers that sit atop the memorial. One soldier is bent over, supporting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s body. Others are reaching down as if to help, while still others stare stoically forward.
His feet, complete with Argyle and Sutherland Highland hose and white spats, are the only part of the young soldier showing.
“That’s the part that touched me – the feet,” said Ian Thompson, associate publisher of The Chronicle Herald.
“(And) I guess it’s the notion of those folks in the statue coming to the aid of that young soldier.”
Thompson was not surprised by the sheer volume of requests from news agencies around the world for MacKinnon’s piece.
“Those of us who work here know Bruce is a world-class cartoonist,” Thompson said.
“Some of the world’s largest news outlets – they want his stuff!”
The cartoon made it to the top of Reddit.com and the image-sharing site imgur.com.
Perhaps most impressive of all was a telephone call from an elderly man in Saskatoon who saw MacKinnon’s work online.
“Quite frankly, what he did brought tears to my eyes,” George Whitter said. “It was absolutely magnificent and I don’t use that word very often,” he added.
Whitter even went so far as to say the cartoon should be made into a bronze plaque and placed on the War Memorial.
“It is a powerful depiction of how these are not just soldiers from the past but they are of present and, sadly, the future,” he said.
And what of the man who has an uncanny knack for hitting nerves and opening tear ducts? Of drawing thought-provoking cartoons that jam up news servers and cause readers to drip tears onto newsprint?
By noontime, MacKinnon had done a number of interviews with local news outlets and with CNN.
“It’s the symbolism that is so important in cartooning … this one was a particularly emotional and disturbing one,” said the legendarily humble cartoonist.
“I’m glad it came through clearly.”
One woman emailed MacKinnon to say she was comforted by the thought that what he depicted is maybe what happened – the old soldiers really did help the young man as he lay dying.
“I can’t really take credit for what the cartoon has evoked in people because I think it’s the emotion attached to the story that triggers the response,” MacKinnon said.
This from the man who, after 28 years with the Herald, still can’t believe he gets paid for drawing.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A portion of all sales of Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon about the shooting in Ottawa will be donated to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
If you would like to order a reprint, please visit herald.ca/cirillo or call our customer care line at 1-800-565-3339 ext 0.
The gates to Springwater Park will be opened from 8:00 am to 2:00 if you choose to celebrate Remembrance Day with us.