It turns out that I'm missing Election Night and American Ill night. It's because I'm shoving off tomorrow for Turkey. I was part of the Aydin Dogan Foundation International Cartoon Contest jury last June. It was quite an experience. Five Turkish cartoonists, one from China, one French, one Iranian, Brad Holland and myself. Wonderful people, interesting cartoons and a nice secular Muslim country (albeit with disturbing rumblings). So they've asked me back for the awards ceremony. The winners, which you can see at http://www.aydindoganvakfi.org.tr/english/index.html, are different than what we generally see here. An emphasis on idea and, to judge by our standards of illustration, less on technique. I had to understand how important this medium is all over the world, especially to people in repressive countries. Some of these are brilliant in their deft philosophical intimation, skillfully getting the point across without being specific enough for a knock on the door at night. Here's a photo from last June: Leng Mu from China, Mustafa Ramizani from Iran by way of Paris, Con Don, our hostess, BH and some guy from New York who thinks this is the way to order a beer in Istabul.
So I'm bringing my sketchbook and will report back with news from a country, like so many that looks to America for moral and intellectual leadership. Here's hoping that by the time I land I will find good news from America; maybe I'll be able to tell what happend by the expressions on their faces. Or maybe that's just the hashish.