The economic disaster of 2008 had precious few upsides, but we got one of them: Cartoonist Paul Laud.
Every Tuesday on MorristownGreen.com, Paul’s illustrated limericks skewer politicians left, right and center. Many of his favorite targets have been collected in a fun new book, Laughing Out Laud, Tripping Over Party Lines (Independent Press, available on Amazon.com and at the Morristown Club for $11.95).
Aspiring pundits and cartoonists–and of course, Paul’s many fans–should check out our podcast (also available on iTunes; search “podcasts” and “Morristown Green”) for his tricks of the trade. Cartoons cited in the podcast appear below.
The Morristown satirist cites another local star, the granddaddy of political cartoonists, Thomas Nast, among his influences.
Nast, a Morristown resident in the 19th century, gave us the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant as well as the jolly Santa Claus beloved today.
Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, Animal House, a shark named Bruce and a Bernese Mountain Dog named Janie also have inspired Paul, 54, who shelved his quill pen for three decades after some cartooning mischief as a Princeton undergrad.
(There was this little food fight, evidently inspired by a certain cartoon in the Daily Princetonian. And an amusing parody of a movie man-eater that, alas, was no laughing matter to Hollywood legal types.)
Paul went into the investment business. When that turned rocky in 2008, he found himself yearning to find his pen again. His Laudable Inkworks series launched last year on MG and in the Recorder newspapers.
Paul’s limericks usually come first and take more time to craft than the illustrations, he said.
Finding rhymes is the biggest challenge. The next hardest part is drawing women and children. Their features are more delicate than men’s.
“To make a guy look funny is the job of a cartoonist,” said Paul, chairman of the Morris Museum. “To make a woman look funny is mean. You have to be careful not to go overboard.”
Paul’s wife Katie, chief financial officer for the nonprofit Homeless Solutions Inc., serves as his editor and keeps him honest, he said.
The cartoonist has no qualms about depicting Chris Christie as one goofy governor.
“He is the gift that keeps on giving,” Paul said.
PAUL LAUD CARTOONS MENTIONED IN THE PODCAST: