Monday, November 20, 2017

Fifty Years

City Hall has a couple of gallery spaces with a rotating schedule of artists featured throughout the year. In October, one of those spaces was given over to a show on the works of Terry Mosher, who works under the professional name Aislin as an editorial cartoonist for the Montreal Gazette. Born here in Ottawa and spending his professional life in Montreal, he has worked in the field for fifty years, first at the Montreal Star before moving to the Gazette. He has recently published a volume, From Trudeau To Trudeau: Fifty Years Of Cartooning as a retrospective, the latest of a good number of books with his work. Aislin has had many honours of his profession, including the Order of Canada, the Canadian News Hall of Fame... and the distinction of being the very first editorial cartoonist denounced in the House of Commons. The entrance featured this whimsical sculpture of the man himself.

Aislin (a spelling variation on the names of one of his daughters) started his career shortly before Pierre Trudeau became prime minister, and now with Justin Trudeau in the same position, his latest book title is fitting. Portraits of him with father and son, decades apart, were also featured at the entrance.

The rest of the space was given to some of his multitude of work, ranging from sports, the city of Montreal, the province of Quebec, the country, and the world. One section featured the devout love Montrealers have for the Canadiens of the National Hockey League.

More works here included contemporary and historical figures, both here and abroad, often with a wink of the eye or a well deserved barb, as the job requires.

Here we have some examples of how Aislin has addressed the Royal Family over time, with a comparison photograph and a formal letter from the Queen's office inquiring as to the meaning of one of them accompanying the cartoons.

My American readers can relate to these two. Apologies to Donald Duck and the pig, both of whom are far smarter and better socially adjusted than Agent Orange.

The previous and totally not missed federal government under Stephen Harper is the focus of these.

Occasionally Aislin has done montages like this large one for Quebec City, carrying his brand of humour throughout.

He has also been the subject of a documentary in recent years.

These have something of an international tone, capturing Vladimir Putin, gun violence, terrorism, and the impact of AIDS in the Third World.

More international material here, particularly American presidents. I have more from this exhibition in tomorrow's post.


  1. I love good political cartoons. Aislin appears to truly be a master.

  2. We all enjoy some political cartoons.

  3. Great coverage of the political cartoons. Don't you think these cartoonists are brilliant?


  4. I think political cartoonists are great.

  5. It looks fun exhibition! I agree Donald Duck and pig are so much smarter!

  6. @Kay: he is!

    @Nancy: so do I.

    @Janis: I agree.

    @Janey: me too.

    @Tom: they're great.

    @Tamago: a lot smarter!

  7. Hello, I love the cartoons! Great exhibit. I am not a fan of Donny, the orange man. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

  8. From what I have seen now, he must be a great political cartoonist.
    They are quite usefull to keep us awake.

  9. What an artist under any name! Some of the best cartoonists have been and are some of the best critics of the politicos who continually mess up our lives and our countries. They have become especially important as more and more of the adults in our countries can barely read or write and have never developed the ability to distinguish between what's true or false. Is Mosher still working for the Montreal Gazette. It might be worth a subscription to make his work available in Ocala!

  10. Aisin is certainly a big favorite of mine. He's one of the best.

  11. It looks like he's a man of multiple talents! How fun to have this little tribute to him. I love the El Presedente statue int he first photo.

  12. Political cartoonists are fabulous William, they can get away with murder.. most of the time 😀

  13. A series of great cartoons here, William !

  14. What a fabulous artist. I am blown away.
    The detail is much like the drawing of Michael Ramirez. I have to spend time to look at his drawings.
    I will be checking out Aisin work later.
    Thank you for the great post today.

    cheers, parsnip

  15. @Eileen: the orange man is a rotten man.

    @Jan: I've always loved his work. We've got a good many Canadian editorial cartoonists who do fine work.

    @Lowell: the editorial cartoonists have no shortage of material these days.

    @Red: he's great at what he does!

    @Sharon: Aislin is a national treasure.

    @Grace: that's true!

    @Karl: he's very talented.

    @Parsnip: you're welcome!

  16. WHat a great show to see! Thanks for keeping me up to date with things going on in Ottawa, William!

  17. Must have been before Trump's time.

  18. I'm intrigued by his professional name Aislin from his daughter's name - its like the Irish Gaelic girl's name Aislinn meaning dream or vision. Seems relevant!

  19. Some great cartoons, William. I like his work a lot.

  20. Wonderful post and tribute to a talented man and neat photos ~

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)
    Happy Thanksgiving coming in USA

  21. @RedPat: you're welcome!

    @Revrunner: the Hulk's a good take on Trump!

    @Christine: that would be the spelling of his daughter's name.

    @Bill: he's got great style.

    @Catalyst: you two could have been twins!

    @Carol: thank you!

  22. my faves are the duck or the pig .. neat pieces. ( ;

  23. Another amazing exhibition, you do have a lot of interesting events through the year.

    All the best Jan

  24. @Mari: definitely!

    @Beth: they're good.

    @Norma: me too.

    @Jan: we do indeed.