A renowned Halifax artist’s political cartoon, which went viral last month during Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing, is heading to the United States Library of Congress.
Bruce MacKinnon, an award-winning cartoonist for the Chronicle Herald, sketched a depiction of a blindfolded Lady Justice being held down by Republican hands. One of the hands is covering her mouth, which is how Christine Blasey Ford described an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh in 1982.
MacKinnon told Global News he doesn’t know too much about the Library of Congress, but it’s an honour nonetheless.
“I never expected that at all,” MacKinnon laughed “Every now and then you think, ‘This is a great cartoon,’ or you think you’ve done something fantastic and it goes over like a lead balloon.”
“It was all a surprise to me.”
MacKinnon said he was initially working on a cartoon on Kavanaugh but was struck by Ford’s testimony.
“It was absolutely gripping,” he said. “I was quite riveted, and it really hit me pretty hard, her testimony. The next day I woke up, I was still thinking about it and thought, ‘I really need to do something that hits a little harder here.’”
This isn’t the first time a cartoon from MacKinnon has received widespread recognition. Most recently, he sketched a cartoon in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that shows a hockey player dressed in green and gold slumped over on his skates with the word “Sask” across his back. He is supported by 10 other players dressed in red with the provinces’ short forms on their jerseys.
His illustration depicting bronze statues at the National War Memorial in Ottawa leaning down to comfort Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed while standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the 2014 attacks on Parliament Hill, also received national and international attention.
MacKinnon says his cartoons that receive widespread recognition tend to take off fairly quickly, but when the Washington Post contacted him, he knew it was big.
“I’m pretty bad at predicting these sorts of things. You don’t really expect it, you’re just sort of toiling away with your ink and your mess quietly at home,” said MacKinnon.
“Where it goes after that seems to be out of my control.”
—With files from Andrew Russell