Brought to you by Newscorp Australia

Cartoonist Mark Knight explains the reasons for his cartoon comparing the moon landing and Trump

Mark Knight, July 18, 2019 6:00PM Herald Sun

Print Article

US President Donald Trump in part of Mark Knight’s cartoon. media_cameraUS President Donald Trump in part of Mark Knight’s cartoon.

news

Reading level: orange

In the first of a new weekly series on Kids News, award-winning Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight explains the inspiration behind one of his newspaper cartoons each Friday.

Today he compares the moon landing and US President Donald Trump.

Mark Knight cartoon on Moon Landing and Donald Trump for kids News media_cameraMark Knight cartoon contrasting the moon landing and US President Donald Trump’s outbursts on Twitter.

MOON LANDING AND DONALD TRUMP
Donald Trump is a cartoonist’s dream. Very rarely* does a day go by without President Trump making the headlines.

This week he was causing outrage in a dispute with four US Congress* women over their loyalty to the United States and statements they had made criticising parts of Trump’s America.

As is usually the case, the President made his argument on social media via Twitter, launching an attack by calling for them to “go back to where they came from”.

It is was one of the big stories of the week and one of my requirements for drawing a cartoon is that my subject has to be a story that people are familiar with. This helps readers understand the cartoon.

I have a three-step process in creating an editorial* cartoon:

  1. What is my subject?
  2. What do I want to say about this issue?
  3. How do I say it? Do I use visual metaphors (an image that the viewer is meant to understand as a symbol for something else), multiple panels or symbolism (when one idea, feeling or emotion is represented by something else such as a: picture, character, colour or object)?

There are many ways to tackle this story in a cartoon. The subject I wanted to go with was the President’s style of defence is always to attack. Trump is not a consensus President (someone who makes decisions after talking with other people) and he will fire back when annoyed. But how would I illustrate this?

One technique I use to make a political* point is to compare and contrast* two totally different events that are occurring at the same time.

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing was being celebrated around the world and I was looking at film of the mighty Saturn V rocket blasting off from the Kennedy Space Centre launch pad on its way to the moon in 1969.

It seemed incredible that this happened 50 years ago, an amazing technological achievement for those times. How far has the US come since then, I wondered?

That is when I came upon the idea of comparing and contrasting the historic launch of that rocket with the daily launching of attacks by President Trump on his political opponents.

The two examples side by side, the powerful fury of the Saturn V heading skyward and today’s Trump Twitter bird going ballistic*.

No caption was needed, because as we know a picture paints a thousand words!

GLOSSARY

  • rarely: not often
  • US Congress: the part of the US government that writes up and votes on laws
  • editorial: part of a newspaper expressing an opinion on a topical issue.
  • political: relating to politics and government
  • contrast: to differ in an obvious way
  • ballistic: flying into a rage or relating to flight

EXTRA READING

Moon landing remembered on rare 50c coin

Did Donald Trump fist pump the Queen?

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Why was Donald Trump in the headlines this week?
  2. What social media platform did Trump use to make his arguments?
  3. Where did the Apollo 11 rocket launch from?
  4. What was the name of the rocket?
  5. What image has Mark Knight used to show Trump’s rage?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Caption it!

Cartoonist Mark Knight writes: “No caption was needed, because as we know a picture paints a thousand words!”

Cartoonists such as Mark are so skilled they can convey a lot of complex information in one or a series of drawings without the need for many or any words.

However, Mark’s cartoon was drawn with an adult audience in mind and he knows that most people who look at it will also have read and watched a lot of news stories about both the moon landing anniversary and President Trump. People look at his cartoon with the help of a lot of background knowledge.

Read Mark’s explanation of what the cartoon means again and write two, three or four short sentences, just to make sure you understand what the cartoon is saying.

Using your sentences to help you, write a caption for the cartoon or some thought bubbles or quotes from the people in the cartoon that will make Mark’s meaning clearer for children or people who haven’t been reading the news this week.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Look through the most recent stories on Kids News and choose one to draw a cartoon about.

Use Mark’s three-step process to get started:

  1. What is my subject?
  2. What do I want to say about this issue?
  3. How do I say it? Do I use visual metaphors (an image that the viewer is meant to understand as a symbol for something else), multiple panels or symbolism (when one idea, feeling or emotion is represented by something else such as a: picture, character, colour or object)?

Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

WHAT’S YOUR OPINION: Do you think the cartoon captures US President Donald Trump’s personality and behaviour this week?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.

Extra Reading in news