Friday, January 01, 2021

Claytoonz vs. Ben Garrison

A cartoonist named Clay Jones who calls himself 'Claytoonz' has criticized me many times. Normally I ignore such chuckleheads, but he has also been lying about me, so let me set the record straight.

I do not draw anti-Semitic or racist cartoons. Now, I do understand that folks on the far left reflexively hurl such smears toward anyone remotely conservative. It's to be expected. However, this young man presents himself as a 'journalist,' and I want to remind him that making up narratives out of whole cloth that don't align with reality is not journalism. 

For example, he recently stated that I applauded Trump for the vaccine rollout. Wrong. Never said it. I'm against vaccines altogether. I've disagreed with the president on many things and I've penned cartoons sharply critical of him--and I'm against his push for an early vaccine for COVID-19. End of story. Cased closed. 

Are editorial cartoonists really 'journalists' as Mr. Toonz claims? In a way we are. We want to convey the truth to the public. We can do investigative journalism to find that truth--something most employed journalists are no longer doing. Nowadays they merely parrot propaganda handed to them by their mega-billionaire owners and the CIA. Mostly, cartoonists express strong opinions on the news. A fair and balanced cartoon that tries to tell all sides of any issue is destined to be a flop.

Regardless, ClayToonz can call himself whatever he likes--I don't care. Many others don't care, either. Despite being syndicated, despite his quest for awards and validation, and despite his bragging about being in mainstream publications such as the Los Angeles Times and on CNN, he has not garnered as much interest as he apparently expected. Like me he's an independent cartoonist and I'm sure he works hard at his quest for fame and fortune by means of editorial cartooning. If fame and fortune truly are his prime motivation, then he has the wrong mindset because he's basing success on the wrong values. I did not start out drawing cartoons for fame and fortune and in fact, for a long while they cost me money and trolls tarnished my reputation. I drew the cartoons out of a desire to ring alarm bells. I began drawing the cartoons because I saw it as my patriotic duty to help our Republic. I don't want my country to continue its slide toward globalism and socialism. 

Thanks to the ADL's libel I could not get syndicated. Mr. Toonz apparently had no problem getting syndicated--good for him. Yet he remains resentful because has far more twitter followers than he does. My cartoons are seen by far more people than what the average employed and well-paid cartoonist receives. Clay complains about me putting labels on my cartoons (an American tradition) as well as me being a 'propagandist' simply because I balance out the Trump Derangement Syndrome omnipresent in his own work and the cartoons of his leftist peers. Mostly, though, it boils down to jealousy:

"Garrison has over 230,000 followers on Twitter who are just as insane (to be fair, a lot of those followers may be people laughing at him for the wrong reasons). I have a little over 9,000 and I’m a real boy….I mean cartoonist. You can have concerns about the virus while not believing it’ll plant a chip inside you. The most absurd thing is, these people believing in the tracking device probably all have cell phones which do track you. Or at the very least, they’re complaining about tracking devices on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you made tracking easy.-- "ClayToonz

Mr. Toonz says it himself. He's jealous! He even took the time to criticize me in a cartoon, which cracked me up. (see cartoon shown in post)

Despite the endless insults, lies, copyright infringement, trolls, and libel I've faced, my wife and I kept working hard to be able to make a living via cartooning. We're starting to succeed because our message resonates with a great many Americans who believe our constitutional Republic is worth saving. I am a real cartoonist. So is Clay, but message is predictably and consistently simple, overly-insistent, and very obvious, but the style of his cartoons may be what's holding him back. He draws in a flat manner with electric colors. If he drew with the sophistication of, say David Horsey, he'd have far more followers, but Clay's work is harsh and over-exaggerated so much that what he's drawing can be hard to decipher. His Trump is unrecognizable as a human being.

Clay has his own style and that's fine. But if he really wants to get better and evolve he'll need to stand out from the regular crowd of lefty artists who have long dominated the editorial cartooning world. You know, the usual names who win Pulitzers and then become judges and award them to their friends, circle jerk-like. Mostly, ClayToonz needs to ween himself from the lies spewed by so-called news outfits such as CNN. Maybe he'll develop a more original voice and eventually even garner more followers.

I wish him luck.

--Ben Garrison