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I grew up in Cincinnati, and like anybody's hometown, there are certain distinguishing characteristics and local institutions that give the place its character and distinguish it from other cities. Skyline Chili, the Tyler Davidson Fountain, Frisch's Big Boy, Over-the-Rhine, and steep hillsides help define Cincinnati. Along with them is Jim Borgman, who has been the political cartoonist for 30 years at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Today he put down his pen, and will be moving on to other endeavors.

From his blog:

It’s been important to me that my work be of this place, midwestern, blue collar, with a voice from the heartland. My characters are mostly doughy, big-hearted Cincinnatians, wrestling with the news and the way it trickles down into their hard-working lives. I’ve studied you at Lookout Joe’s over lattes, Skyline over three-ways, and at Delhi Frisch’s over breakfast with my mom. You are beautiful, kind and generous people and it has been an honor to share these years with you. There is no place I would have rather invested my life.

When I created Zits twelve years ago with my partner Jerry Scott, my hours behind the drawing board doubled and the weekends turned into weekdays. A body can only do double duty for so long, and mine has gotten soft in the middle. It’s telling me to get the bike down from the garage ceiling and breathe some fresh air again.

I don’t know if I’ll miss this precious real estate I’ve enjoyed and the chance to talk about anything on my mind. I do look forward to reading a newspaper without a highlighter in my hand. Sometimes lately when I watch the news I feel like a butcher looking at a field full of cows. I don’t see the animals anymore, just the hamburger. That’s a good sign that it’s time to shake yourself off and do something else.

I wouldn't call him a flaming liberal, but his cartoons over the years have consistently been a voice of common-sense, and with a few strokes of the pen he's been able to articulate thoughts that take others several paragraphs of writing.

Here's some links to a few notable cartoons, some humorous and some heartbreaking. (I don't think it's kosher to copy them directly here, so you'll have to follow the links.)

McCain's campaign and the Wall Street bailout:

Off the Tracks

Pig in a Poke

John McCain's Bridge to Nowhere

Barack Obama:

Bowling for History

I Never Dreamed!

I Said, Timber!

The Iraq War:

Do it Again

Status Report

9/11:

America Weeps

Broad Brush

Lean on Me

There's many more... Borgman's full archive can be found here.

Best of luck, Jim. We look forward to your future endeavors!

Originally posted to Living in Gin on Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 10:46 AM PDT.

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