Haiti, this is the first time I ever thought about you.

But now I’ll never forget you. The story and images coming from Haiti after the earthquake were so shocking  and grievous that it didn’t even occur to me to do a cartoon about it. I felt that tragedies like  this couldn’t be summed up in an image or drawing. More importantly, that cartoonists would be respectful of the loss of life.

Maybe I was wrong. And maybe cartoonists can help. I’ve never read editorial cartoons until about a year ago, so I had no experience to draw upon. But cartoonists leaped right into the fray, even as corpses sailed across the tv. In one sense, I guess it was brave of them(the cartoonists.) Here are some cartoons that worked, and some that didn’t. (Cartoons are after the jump.)

I originally read this story in AP, but it’s disappeared now. From Fox News:

All told, some 132 people have been pulled alive from beneath collapsed buildings by international search and rescue teams, she said.

Experts say the chance of saving trapped people begins diminishing after 72 hours. One mother still missing her children said it’s too soon to give up.

“Maybe there’s a chance they’re still alive,” said Nicole Abraham, 33, wiping away tears as she spoke of hearing the cries of her children — ages 4, 6 and 15 — for the first two days after the quake.

Oh, no worry! The entire report was copied from the AP and pasted on Puff Post as if the reporters were working for them.

Only a small number of funerals have been held since the 7.0-magnitude quake struck, with most people buried anonymously and without ceremony in mass graves on the outskirts of the city. An estimated 200,000 people died, according to Haitian government figures cited by the European Commission. The United Nations said Saturday the government had preliminarily confirmed 111,481 bodies, but that figure does not account for corpses buried by relatives.

The LA Times has word from yet another survivor found 11 days after the quake:

He told of passing out in the rubble, dreaming at times that he could hear his mother crying. The furniture in his room had collapsed around him in such a way that it created a small space for him amid the ruins of the house. He had no food. When he got desperately thirsty, he drank his urine.

Also Friday, an 84-year-old woman was said by relatives to have been pulled from the wreckage of her home, though doctors said her condition was critical.

People, don’t give up looking for survivors!!! Especially now that we have Chile with the same problem. I don’t think it’s the rescuers that give up, however, it’s the government. But miracles happen, they happen every day – (thanks to Denny on Gray’s Anatomy – I miss him so much).

Gary Markstein from gocomics.com

I saw a lot of cartoons use this idea of the name of the country with a lot of cracks in it – get it? – the earthquake. I thought the first one was very clever – I never would have thought of it. After a few of them..But remember, most readers see just the one, in their own paper, and think their cartoonist is very clever, and don’t know that a dozen other cartoonists are doing the same concept. You can learn from the Internet, not just imitate, so let’s hope the identical ideas are just coincidence.

I thought this one by Gary Markstein from gocomics.com was better than the other similar ones I saw.

jeff parker from cagle.com

Jeff Parker from cagle.com has an easy, clear style, which I always like, but I picked this one because I was impressed with how quiet and yet effective the idea was, and it’s how most of us get through the day – thinking about something horrific, and then finally acting on it. (I picked this out yesterday, but to my great surprise, Jeff and Steve Kelley (both editorial cartoonists, and Steve is one of my favorite op-ed cartoonists – I have one of his books!) just started a new comic strip today, which isn’t political at all! More on that later.)

john deering from gocomics.com

I am not into scratchy black and white drawing styles from the 19th century, sorry – and they look their worst online. But I thought John Deering from gocomics.com did this difficult idea well – that both the buried Haitians and the UN were having problems with no seeming help.

mike luckovich from cagle.com

Mike Luckovich from cagle.com did a nice visual here. Maybe this is a cliche, or a classic concept, the hourglass, but it’s new to me, and I thought the imagery of the bodies falling to their death was powerful. Sad.

Signe Wilkinson from gocomics.com

Signe Wilkinson at gocomics. com is one of my top 3 political cartoonists! Great style, color, ideas, and she hardly ever misses, which may be the most amazing part of all!

Small World by Tom Briscoe from gocomics.com

Small World by Tom Briscoe from gocomics.com is 2nd only to Ted Rall in popularity in Gocomics. I just noticed that recently, after a year in there myself. I’ve only seen Small World once or twice, but why the subscribers…? This just seems weak to me.

Deng Coy Miel  from cagle.com

I’m a sucker for a good graphic! The hands outstretched is a popular motif, as you can see even from my little collection here, but the bold colors and stylistic font and careful placement of elements make this my favorite. Thanks, Deng Coy Miel from cagle.com !

Thanks to all the cartoonists, and especially to Gocomics.com and politicalcartoons.com that offer some of the best cartoonists in the world, 24-7.