Ben Garrison started cartooning in grade school. He began by drawing caricatures of classmates and teachers. His first editorial cartoon was published in 1980 by the San Angelo Standard-Times. It featured Uncle Sam delivering a draft notice to an 18-year-old while simultaneously blowing out the kid’s birthday cake candles and forming a small atomic explosion.
Today, Garrison’s mission is to draw cartoons that expose tyranny and corruption, giving a voice back to ‘The People,’ supporting the freedom of speech, showing how corrupt the establishment of both political parties are and how they are destroying our country and traditions with globalism. Needless to say, he has his hands full right now. Life & News sat down with the “rogue cartoonist” to chat about what makes a good political cartoon, receiving death threats, his distaste for Hillary Clinton and the establishment at large, and who he thinks is going to win in November.
Your style is so unique. Who were some of your influences?
I’d say Oliphant. I still admire his brushwork to this day, but I looked at cartoonists earlier than that. I like those working around the turn of the century. I like the harshness of their messages and the well-crafted drawing. Today, too many cartoonists are forced by editors and syndicates to draw cheap gags and inoffensive, politically correct pap. Publishers don’t like having to deal with irate readers.
What makes a good political cartoonist?
When a cartoonist attempts to be ‘fair and balanced’ and ‘understand all sides,’ they have failed. Too many avoid that altogether and instead become comedians. They take any topic and cast about and ask themselves: “What’s funny in this?” I despise that attitude. Sure, satirical humor is an important element, but not the only element. A good cartoonist need not be funny to be effective. Many of my best cartoons are not funny.
“Hillary Clinton is the very face of corruption and criminality. It’s imperative that she not be rewarded again with the White House for her astonishing amount of egregious misdeeds and criminal acts. She’s incompetent. She’s an accomplished liar. She’s smugly callous. I will continue to expose her all I can.”
You seem to really take aim at Hillary Clinton. Why?
Hillary Clinton is the very face of corruption and criminality. It’s imperative that she not be rewarded again with the White House for her astonishing amount of egregious misdeeds and criminal acts. It’s almost as if she’s not happy unless she’s getting away with something. She’s incompetent. She’s an accomplished liar. She’s smugly callous and laughs when she’s had people murdered. She and her husband should be ashamed to even be on the stage—but, of course, they lack shame. They have no conscience. She represents the status quo. I will continue to expose her all I can.
How has the digital age affected your work and thinking?
When I first began drawing cartoons again in 2009 I really didn’t understand Internet culture or social media. I didn’t expect my cartoons to go very far. I published them on my blog and posted them on a few bulletin boards. By 2010, I was already being trolled by people who thought I was some white supremacist Nazi nut. That’s because the trolls were spreading vandalized versions better than I could my own originals. It took a lot of work on social media, and with the help of my wife, Tina, I finally reclaimed my own voice. It’s nearly impossible to defeat the Internet hate machine, but I was able to overcome it by changing my approach to the trolling.
Where did your moniker the “rogue cartoonist” come from?
I invented it! I’m not attached to any media arm and can draw whatever I like. I wrote a book titled Rogue Cartoonist but it was very expensive for me to get it published due to the color plates. The book had to have a high price and as a result I only got $1 per copy in royalties. People thought I was being greedy by the high price, but not so. It cost me a lot of money. The book was not successful.
What is it like doing political cartoons during a presidential election?
I’m trying to draw as many cartoons as I can. Not for money or fame but because it’s so important that we don’t continue to ignorantly hand our country over to the same elite who rig everything to their own benefit while lying to us.
What’s your daily routine?
I’ve always been a newshound. I worked at newspapers for nearly 20 years. Nowadays, I have sites I visit like the Drudge Report, and I watch TV—even CNN. I want to hear what the propaganda arms are saying. I will visit liberal sites on the Internet, too. I want to read and hear from all sides.
Who are some of your political influences?
I was all over the map in my youth but I did like the idea of being an Independent. I voted for candidates such as John Anderson, Ross Perot, and even for Ralph Nader. By 2008 my mind was made up and I considered myself a Libertarian. I also became a big Ron Paul supporter. He’s the only presidential candidate to whom I donated money.
What kind of feedback do you get from your fans and critics?
A lot of people send me cartoon ideas and many of them are very good. I got a lot of good feedback back in 2010 when I drew one of my most famous cartoons, “The March of Tyranny.” After that the trolls took over and I mostly got hate mail. I’ve had death threats, too. By 2014, the trolling was at its peak and after my book did little good I almost considered throwing in the towel. Instead, I started turning things around and I began getting some very positive email from some terrific people and that has continued to this day. I’d say 95 percent of the mail I receive now is from people who like my cartoons.
Is there one particular cartoon that has gotten you the most attention?
My “Abandon Ship” Brexit cartoon. It was seen by millions and I got a tremendous positive response. I sold many prints. That cartoon helped make it okay for people, mainly in England, to at least question the unlimited influx of Muslim immigration.
“Trump will win in a landslide. Look at the rallies. He outdraws Hillary by 10-to-1. Nobody wants to listen to Hillary cough and sputter her empty platitudes.”
Ok, lighting round. Say the first few things that pop into your head about the following….
Mitt Romney… just another rich neocon with too much money and zero charm. His anti-Trump stance showed his true colors: a globalist, statist stooge.
Barack Obama… is probably a Muslim and a communist. His real daddy is Frank Marshall Davis, the Hawaiian communist and Soviet Union spy. Hence the birth certificate fraud—and that’s exactly what it is. Obama’s grandfather worked for the CIA and couldn’t have a communist on the birth certificate, so it was left blank. Then he arranged for a Kenyan (who was already married) to pretend to be the dad for a while and in exchange he arranged for Obama Sr. to go to Harvard. Barry looks a lot like his “mentor,” Davis, and nothing like Obama Sr.
Donald Trump…. was never on my radar much. I never watched his shows. I just thought he was another billionaire blow hard. When he tossed his hat into the ring, I thought it was a publicity stunt. But out of all the candidates, he stood out. When I saw how he was unafraid of political correctness I was surprised. What a breath of fresh air! I still disagree with him on many issues but compared to Hillary it’s no contest.
Richard Nixon…was another in a long line of globalist-controlled candidates. The last real president we had was Kennedy. Reagan came close. Nixon ended the last ties to the gold standard, thus ushering in a new era of inflation, which continues to rip off the working man to this day. He lied about the Vietnam War. He also presided during the fake moon landings. That was apt. I have no respect for Tricky Dick Nixon.
Ronald Reagan… had the makings of a great president. Sadly, he was shot. Notice that he was shot in the chest and still walked to the limousine. Hillary had to be tossed in hers like a sack of potatoes. I think during the hospital, he was doped up or somehow compromised. He was never the same after that.
George W. Bush… was an idiot. A globalist figurehead installed by his daddy. Cheney was the brains behind that presidency. Now they’re all voting for Hillary. What does that tell you? It’s time to end the Bush dynasty. It’s time to end the Clinton dynasty. We should have a healthy disdain for kings and queens.
Finally, who will win the presidency?
Trump will win in a landslide. Look at the rallies. He outdraws Hillary by 10-to-1. Nobody wants to listen to Hillary cough and sputter her empty platitudes. If Trump doesn’t win, it will probably be due to rigging by Hillary and her operatives. If we get clear cut evidence of election rigging to favor Hillary, then it’s time for another revolution.
Ben’s cartoons and prints can be found at grrrgraphics.com. Follow him on Instagram @grrrgraphics.
All cartoons by Ben Garrison.