Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Palm Beach, Trump and Butterfly Ballots

I have been the freelance editorial cartoonist for the Palm Beach Daily News, commonly referred to by the locals as "The Shiney Sheet," for 15 years, producing one cartoon a week on the Sunday Editorial Page. In that time, I have held several "day jobs," including working as a desk editor for the publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media, on everything from a Soap Opera fan magazine to the, recently deep-sixed Weekly World News. In that period I also have redesigned and launched several other mag titles under contract, and am now the Editor in Chief of ValueRich magazine

Even though the editors of PBDN want me to stick to "local" stories, I have lampooned a lot of events and personalities that you might find familiar.

Palm Beach residents include outrageous personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump. The town is a targeted landing pad for funding Presidential political campaigns, and lately a lightning rod for political controversy. We even had one lady who registered her dog to vote. Perhaps this craziness is because Palm Beach is located firmly in the Devil's Triangle. I don't know. But "Crazy" is the its middle name. I live in Palm "Crazy" Beach County, Florida.

This provides me with no end of material, but also plenty of embarrassment. One time my wife and I were visiting friends in the south of France. It was their national election day, so they invited us along to their polling place while they cast their votes.

I thought the French voting system was unbelievably outdated by our standards. I was busy trying to keep a smile off my face while watching them make their choice on a piece of color-coded paper and stuff it in the top of a slotted wooden box.

Then our friends decided to introduce us to the entire room full of voters as their "visitors from Palm Beach." In unison, everyone shouted in a thick French accent, "Ohhhhhh, Palm Beach! BUTTERFLY BALLOT!" ... and proceeded to laugh their asses off.

Now that my 15th anniversary as the Shiney Sheet cartoonist has arrived, I figure the time is right for a book. The newspaper wants to do some special features as well. The publisher blogged about my work yesterday.

Stay tuned, I have plans to gather an audience online, solicit comments and make you part of the process as I piece together the book over the next month or so.

Read the Palm Beach Daily News blog:
Sorry. They only make their content "free" for seven days, so this blog link will only last until August 27, 2007.

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