Life Begins at Incorporation: Cartoons and Essays

Matt Bors. Self-published (www.mattbors.com), $20 (232p) ISBN 978-0-9889271-0-0
It would be easy—and wrong—to define Herblock Prize–winning editorial cartoonist Bors as liberal: his target is the hypocrisy and ineptness abounding on both sides of the political and social fences. There are venomous chapters devoted to the crimes of religious fundamentalists and the NRA, but others tackle Obama’s abandoned promises and scaled-back plans. This collection of Bors’s writing and cartooning targets a wide range of the idiots and idiocies of the 21st century: unemployment, homophobia, Afghanistan, the imbalance of wealth, assault weapons, social media... and lazy, simplistic editorial cartoons (e.g. St. Peter welcomes recently deceased celeb to heaven, donkeys and elephants drive cars labeled with policy names). But he hits dead center in the Venn diagram that shows the overlap between humor and contemporary commentary, with a mix of cartoons and prose. Bors brings his skill and expertise of narrative cartooning to the editorial world: like a well-honed anecdote or a stand-up’s routine, Bors’s excellent comic timing gives his cartoons punch lines that kick in the gut as well as the funny bone. The best of his cartoons have premises so strong we’ll see them stolen by lazy sitcom writers any day now, like his plan to save print journalism by packaging newspapers in clear plastic bottles a la bottled water. The book, funded through Kickstarter and self-published with over 170 cartoons in full color, is beautifully designed and persuasively incendiary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
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