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Culture » Art Watch

The Tomorrow Show: Activism can actually be funny!



You can't stop Donald Trump from occupying the White House (yet).

Betsy DeVos? Hired. Kellyanne Conway? Please.

Too late for all that. But luckily, no one's outlawed laughter. Yet. And parody's still thriving. Who do we thank for this good fortune? You might want to start with cartoonist Dan Perkins, who writes under the name Tom Tomorrow when producing "This Modern World," the blisteringly satirical comic strip seen weekly in the Source.

We asked Perkins, a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist, about art and activism in the modern world:

Source Weekly: To what extent do you think artists like yourself can shape and/or influence the political dialogue?

Dan Perkins: Individually, not at all, but collectively, I think humorists and satirists can have a huge impact in the years ahead. It's clear that Trump has an incredibly thin skin, and this stuff can get to him in aggregate. Every cartoon that portrays him as a baby, or shows (Steve) Bannon running the Oval, or whatever—they're all drops of water, but they all add up, and you just know he hates every bit of it.

SW: Are you truly hoping to inspire your readers to get more involved politically? If so, how?

DP: Political involvement can sound intimidating to people who haven't felt the need to engage previously, but it can be as simple as calling your representatives, or showing up at a protest march along with your friends and neighbors, or whatever else. People are inundated with the awfulness of the current situation, and hopefully that motivates them to get on the phone or out in the streets. My cartoon is just one element in the mix right now, but if I contribute to that in some small way, that's fantastic.

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