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October 21, 1983 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-21
This is a tabloid page

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Dastardly deed

Page 4

menu at Kana's Family Restaurant is not only
delicious it's also suited to the restricted student

their contracts with the Tribune syn-
dicate. He knew this was to be expec-
ted, but it still hurt.
"Not every time you get a can-
cellation does it mean they hate your
work. A lot of times it's for budget
reasons or they'll cancel ypu because
they don't like where you're coming
from politically, but they don't think
you're lousy, you're just not saying
what they want you to say.
"Sometimes it just doesn't work and
you can't take it personally and I used
to take it personally ... I just hated the
feeling that I may have had my one big
chance when I was 21 throwing it out

chooses a cartoonist for its staff, it's
making a major commitment. Robert
Landauer, the Oregonians's opinion
page editor,is fully aware of this.
"I've watched (Ohman's style)
carefully and I've watched many other
cartoonists," says Landauer. "One thing
I like about Ohman is that he draws
characters that are recognizable ... he
does not use the art of caricature to
distort the people he's drawing about
and to get cheap humor that way. That
is the foible of many cartoonists."
M UCH OF Ohman's life is devoted
to his profession. Hard work and
self-motivation have been the key


Boy wonder

Page 1

The jump from college cartoonist to professional
artist is a big one and very few make the transition
successfully. In the competitive world of editorial
cartooning success us even more elusive. In this
week's cover story we take a look at one of the top
editorial cartoonists in the nation - 23-year-old Jack
Ohman. Cover by Jack Ohman.

The future is full of choices, but a new film called
The Final Option deals with the ultimate decisions
- how to combat a nuclear holocaust. Unfor-
tunately, according to this week's review, the only
viable option for the audience is to skip this boring

Speaking in tongues

Page 9


Page 5-7

Translator's newest album, No Time Like Now,
shows that they're right on schedule with success. A
review of this new rock band tells us everything we
need to know about translating musical notes into
good vibrations.

Musical munchies

Page 3

Your guide to fun times for the coming week on Ann
Arbor. Film capsules, music previews, theater notes
and bar dates - all listed in a handy-dandy, day-by-
day schedule. Plus a weekly feature on your favorite

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Latin hustle

Page 12

This week is full of delectable goodies for those of
you who enjoy a varied musical menu. First of all,
that lawyer in love, Jackson Browne faces his Ann
Arbor jury on Sunday night at Crisler Arena. Also on
the roster is a taste of the Tubes, who will be at Hill
Auditorium Saturday evening.

Oriental feast

Page 8

Charo meets Swan Lake when the Caracus New
World Ballet makes an Ann Arbor stop during its
world tour. The graceful moves of this Venezuelan
dance troupe will entertain those of you educated in
bilingual dance..

long as someone is screwing up, I'm
going to be there whether they're con-
servative or liberal or whatever. I don't
have any sacred cows," he says.
When asked what his game plan is for
the upcoming election year, Ohman
says he doesn't really have one. "It's
hard to predict what you'll be doing a
year in advance," he says. "But I ex-
pect that I'll be tough on Mondale. I
don't see him as having the answers in
the '80s. (The Democratic can-
didates) are a pretty good field to car-
toon about and Reagan is just as
vulnerable as they are so I don't think
I'll be lacking for topics."
So Jack Ohman, age 23, continues to
churn out five cartoons a week, hitting
all issues and targets within his wide
scope. But it is because of this - Oh-
man being so young yet doing so well -
that the road he has traveled has been
in some ways rough and his career
somewhat controversial.
Since taking over MacNelly's syn-
dicate in 1981, Ohman has been the sub-
ject of continued allegations - that he
is a MacNelly clone, that he has gone
too far too fast, that he hasn't paid his
Ohman first caught the eye of the
leaders in the cartooning profession
when he took over for MacNelly. These
seasoned veterans were interested in
seeing the 21-year-old kid who was sup-
posed to replace MacNelly. It has been
difficult for the young cartoonist to
avoid the stigma of being labeled a
MacNelly clone and no one knows this
betterthan Ohman himself.
"My critics say that I draw too much
like Jeff MacNelly and that I've had too
much too soon in terms of financial suc-
cess." But, Ohman adds, "I think my
supporters probably would say that if
you look at every other cartoonist who
has hit success early, they had to come
from somewhere. They didn't invent
their own styles."
When other cartoonists are asked
about Ohman's talent or style, Mac-
Nelly's name inevitably comes up.
"(Ohman's) statements are as good
as anybody's making," says Brian

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Taking time out from a busy class schedule to
travel east (to East Huron St., that is) can lead you to
fine oriental dining, we have discovered. The Korean

Vol II, Issue 6
Magazine Editors ..................... Mare Hodges
Susan Makuch
Sales Manager............. .....Meg Gibson
Assistant Sales Manager.......... Julie Schneider

Weekend is edited and managed by students on the
staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar-
bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition
of the Daily every week during the University year
and is available for free at many locations around the
campus and city.

Weekend, (313) 763-0379 and 763-0371; Michigan
Daily, 764-0552; Circulation, 764-0558; Display Adver-
tising, 764-0554.
Copyright 1983, The Michigan Daily.

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the window for reasons I couldn't put
my finger on. After that first month I
was thinking, 'great, at this rate I'll
have zero papers in nine months ... but
fortunately it didn't work out that
way," he says.
As Ohman's syndicate leveled off at a
more-than-comfortable 300-plus
newspapers, he continued working for
the Dispatch. He says his job was a
good one - until his editors began
restricting his choice of topics and per-
"I liked all the people there as in-.
dividuals, but they just weren't letting
me do my job. They told me to lay off
the Reagan cartoons. My basic
philosophy is that anything is fair
game. Then they said 'No more Haul
cartoons," he says.
In May 1982, Ohman joined the Free
Press, where he says he enjoys better
pay, more editorial freedom, and the
prestige of working for a major
metropolitan daily newspaper. But
Ohman's move to the Free Press was
not his last. Next week, he starts work
for the Oregonian in Portland, Ore.
"It wasn't anything to do with the
Free Press," Ohman explains about the
move. "It was just the desire to move
out West . . . My wife's family is out
there, my wife is from Oregon and it's a
good situation all around with the
working set-up I have out there.
"I really got tired of living in a big
city," he says. "As long as I had the
stature or whatever to enable me to
make the decision instead of someone
else making the decision as to where
I'm going to live, I might as well make
it when I can."
Ohman cites an unusually flexible
work schedule as another reason for the
move. At the Free Press, he worked
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week.
His new job requires only that he meet
his daily deadline of 2:45 p.m. Other
than that, he can choose his place of
work (including his home) and the.
hours he keeps.
Hiring a cartoonist for a permanent
position on a major newspaper is no
small matter. More times than not, he
or she will stay on the staff until
retirement. So when a newspaper

behind the young professional's suc-
cess. Ohman knows the importance of
his position and the responsibilities that
come with being one of the most widely
syndicated editorial cartoonists in the
nation and maintains he always has
been a disciplined worker.
"When it comes to getting the car
washed or doing the dishes, I'm not
very disciplined, but I don't miss my
deadlines," he says. "I'm very
disciplined about that kind of stuff. I've
got an audience out there and I don't in-
tend to just throw it all out the window
This same meticulousness carries
over to his cartoons. Ohman's attention
to details always has been one of his
stronger points, and it is this precision
which figures strongly in his in-
dividuality as an artist.
His trees have carefully drawn
branches, television cameras are ren-
dered complete with detailed buttons
and wires, and articles of clothing are
given realistically designed plaids and
Although Ohman maintains "a lot of
times I just put something in to fill up
space," his cartoons are well-designed
in balance, contour, and other formal
Ohman says that he uses "no tricks or
gimmicks" to come up with ideas: "I
find that the best ideas are usually
those which hit you over the head. I'll
be watching the morning news and get
an idea and I'll say, 'that's it!' I'll just
go in and draw it up. Other times he fin-
ds that simply doodling will lead to an
idea: "Sometimes ideas are formed
around objects: like I'll draw a tank or
something and the idea develops
around that object."
He holds that personally he is more
conservative than liberal, but in Oh-
man's cartoons, anyone is fair game.
That is why his readers have come to
expect a cartoon depicting a Reagan
administration folly one day and a lam-
poonery of the Democratic presidential
candidates the next.
"My basic position in cartooning is
that I should be able to comment on
whoever and whatever subjects and
personalities I wish to cover, and as

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Basset, editorial cartoonist for the
Seattle Times. "I think he's still a little
too locked into the MacNelly stuff and I
think he knows. that. I think he shows
the potential to be one of the best
political cartoonists, but I think he has
to get out of the MacNelly shadow."
Tom Meyer cartoonist at the San
Francisco Chronicle, believes Ohman's
work was largely derivative of Mac-
Nelly's when Ohman was starting out,
but that he shouldn't be criticized for
"He was put out on the national
forum withoutuhaving had the time to
develop his own style. Everybody has
imitated work when they were starting,"
he says.

year as it ha
"I don't fe
be ashamed
that I am 23
growing. I h
agree with i
their proble
take the car
tisement. If
doesn't, it dc


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editorial car


2 Weekend/October 21;, 1983 -

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