Monday, January 7, 2008


The Cincinnati Post recently ceased publication after 124 years of publication. For a brief time in that paper's storied history, just a few months of 1980, the staff editorial cartoonist was Bill Watterson of 'Calvin & Hobbes' fame and post-strip seclusion infamy. I'll try to post more of these in the coming months. The scans are from microfilm and the quality is super-poor, but Watterson's cartooning artistry still comes through.

In this cartoon from August 7th, 1980, Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell is behind the wheel of a bus. At the time, a 1% increase in the county sales tax was being proposed for SORTA (Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority). Mayor Blackwell was opposed to the measure, citing it as "too costly". Watterson depicts Blackwell taking the levy 'out of service'. The proposal ultimately failed.

It's interesting how the cartoon echoes today. In 2006, Blackwell was still in politics, as Ohio's incumbent Secretary of State who made a failed bid for governor. In 2007, Cincinnati had a 1% county sales tax on the ballot to fund a new jail that met defeat.

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