HALIFAX — Inspired by comics and Mad Magazine at a young age, Bruce MacKinnon’s career started with a passion for drawing faces and getting laughs.
When the headlines are political or remarkable, says MacKinnon the long-standing editorial cartoonist for The Chronicle Herald, he says that makes his job easier.
But lately headlines have been dour, with focus on bullying, suicide and depression, something he says he doesn’t look forward to tackling.
“Anytime you’re dealing with rape, suicide, these are very dark subjects – you have to be extremely careful how you handle them. And for me, they just actually leave a sort of dark impression on me too, they colour your day because it’s sadness.”
Despite the challenges, MacKinnon manages to make an impact with his images. His cartoons are often hits on Twitter and Facebook.
“Ideally in my world I would draw my cartoon and send it out there and whatever happens to it is not up to me, I’ve done my job, I’ve made my comment the more people that listen to that or are affected by it in whatever way , the more dialogue it sparks the better,” he says.
While newspaper circulation declines, MacKinnon remains optimistic about the future of satire online.
“Political satire is thriving certainly on the internet,” says MacKinnon. ”If you’re on Facebook, I mean people are taking photographs and drawing in their own word balloons to make their own gags. Cartoons are really thriving on the internet.”