The Washington Post

STEVE JOBS SMACKDOWN: Matt Bors delivers our Cartoon of the Day [UPDATED]



Last Sunday night, Comic Riffs first reported on a curious trend we noticed among editorial artists: Despite Steve Jobs’s declared Buddhism, obituary cartoons were rendering unto him an afterlife at the gates of an iPad-happy St. Peter.

Throughout the week, other cartoonists noted the odd trend, as well. But one artist — Portland’s Matt Bors — has now rendered perhaps the most inspired response.

With the above cartoon, Bors deftly nails a satiric trifecta — lampooning the accumulated cumulus of Jobs cartoons that too easily invoked iClouds, iPads and the Christian imagery.

And then, with a real beauty of a last panel, Bors mocks Apple’s own employment practices in China — ultimately tweaking even the pundits’ beatification of Jobs himself.

Five panels. At least five satiric targets. Bors scores.

How great his art.

“The cartoon struck a chord because it filled a void, left by my colleagues, for satire on Steve Jobs’s death,” Bors tells Comic Riffs. ”Anytime a figure is glorified the way Jobs was, there’s a backlash against it. People love to see the mighty brought down a peg, and there were legitimate reasons to criticize Jobs that were left unsaid after his death.”

Bors also notes that his cartoon’s effectiveness was dependent on how many of his colleagues “went overboard” with the pearly-gates trope. “Many people think [those cartoons] are silly,” he says, “so a self-aware comic mocking the convention was likely to be a hit.”

So Bors decided to wield both satire and meta-satire: “As an editorial cartoonist, I don’t consider any topic off limits for satire and criticism.

“That includes the recently departed — and editorial cartooning itself.”


[Note: Gov. Jerry Brown has now declared Sunday “Steve Jobs Day” in California.]

(MATTHEW INMAN / The Oatmeal)

STEVE JOBS: His 10 Best Quotes about art and creativity

RIP: Steve Jobs the Eternal Artist

MATT BORS: Cartoonist departs for Afghanistan eager to tell “the people’s story”


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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