back next MSU Spot Drawings © 1974-5-6 Tom Ferguson 9 pages here: In grad school at Michigan State University I worked as a
grad assistant toward an MFA in painting and on the daily student paper, doing political cartoons and spot drawings
(which they called toons). These are the spot drawings. I'd do 2-3 a day, very quickly, having class responsibilities
also, art history, studio and teaching a class each quarter. What distinguishes journalism from more polished writing is
I think, the deadline... you go with what you've got when the deadline arrives.
This is the first drawing I did for MSU. I remember being excited about the assignment and
frustrated that I couldn't quite snag the magic I wanted. It's not so
bad but the horse
is flat and the hills and signs are too off-hand.
I include this one to show how these were "spot" drawings, little illustrations to give visual relief
to the page and picque interest in the article.
This one depicts the idols of the prevailing ideologies.
The editor called me aside one day and said he had a complaint about this
drawing and wanted to know if it was intended as anti-semite? I had
the previous experience with the storm-trooper of the "bad words" Right
when I edited the literary mag and now a visit from the Storm Troopers
of the Jewish Right. The Jewish mom and chicken soup was
certainly on my mind but it's just humor. I used my own mom's
kitchen window and view.