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David Fitzsimmons, Tucson’s most beloved ink-stained wretch.

It’s too much.

As a member of the American Society of Satirists, Editorial Cartoonists, Purveyors of Piffle and Promoters of Pettifoggery, I implore you, Mr. President. Take a breather. Slow down.

Speaking on behalf of cartoonists everywhere, Mr. President, you should know there is only so much ink in the world. I’ve used up so much ink in the first months of your calamitous administration that the art supply stores are all tapped out. I’ve taken to buying squid at the Chinese market in hopes I can squeeze out one more dollop of ink for the cause.

You, sir, are a one-man cornucopia of cartoon gold. You are the gift to satirists that keeps giving. By the hour! Tweet by inane tweet.

I’ve drawn so many cartoons critical of your position on climate change that I’m contributing to climate change. I have used so much paper since January I’ve personally denuded an entire acre of rain forest.

Ask any of America’s 40 or so political cartoonists. As soon as the ink is dry on a Trump cartoon it’s old news, eclipsed by a new scandal, a fresh tweet, another misstep or blunder.

Readers say to me, “You must be having a field day!”

Mr. President, I took a break from drawing cartoons about you to look up the phrase “having a field day” on an online idiom dictionary.

Here’s the definition:

“To experience freedom from one’s usual work schedule; to have a very enjoyable time.”

Really? “To have an enjoyable time?” Believe me, I’m not having an “enjoyable” time drawing you every three minutes. In fact, I’d really enjoy not drawing you every three minutes. I’d love to go a whole day. Maybe even two. Fat chance of that. That would be like you giving up Twitter.

Thanks to you, Mr. President, there isn’t a single cartoonist who has experienced “freedom from one’s usual work schedule” since you arrived on the scene. Thanks to you, Mr. Tweet Storm, I have been tied to my drawing board since the spring of 2016. Hundreds of cartoons and thousands of cartoon roughs litter my studio. I’m exhausted. My fingers are stumps. My drawing arm is in a sling. I have carpal tunnel from Googling “Trump did what?” every 27 seconds. I haven’t left to eat anything for weeks. I’ve been chewing on pencils and eating paper. And I’m still here, inking away and feeding my voracious syndicate.

Mr. President, with you in the White House I should be the happiest satirist on earth but the truth is I’d be far happier if you left the scene and I had less material. I’m an American first.

I expect that eventually the police, alerted by concerned neighbors, will find me. “The smell coming from that house. Something’s not right. I know he’s a cartoonist but still.”

They’ll bust down my door, and dig through the banana peels and mounds of cartoons until they find me, semiconscious, pen in hand. “Cartoonist down! We need a medic now. He looks dehydrated!”

“… Could not leave … drawing board … drank all the Obama Kool-Aid months ago … since inauguration day … I’ve been forced to drink … my own ink …”

“You’re exhausted. Are those horrible nubs your fingers?”


“You poor ink-stained wretch!”

“Tell me about it.”

“Is that a hangnail?”

“The pain is unbelievable. Check out this paper cut on my pinkie. I’ve been cartooning non-stop, ever since —”

“Hey, did you hear what Trump just did? It’s a doozy!”

“What?! No! Not again. Not so soon! I can’t take it! I can’t take it! I can’t —”

This, Mr.President, is when my editorial page editor, Sarah Garrecht Gassen, bursts in and shakes me. “Pull yourself together man! Did Herblock give up because he was drowning in Watergate cartoons? Did Daumier whine when King Louis threw him in the Bastille? Did SNL ever give up because there just weren’t enough Saturdays?”

“You’re right, by gum. I’ve got a job to do. Where’s my Black Barrel Eberhard Faber 0.85 mm Bold Point Felt Tip Pen!”

Perfect for ink slingers, these pens weigh in at a substantial 4 grams. That’s more than double what a paper clip weighs. Try heaving that weapon around day after day and night after long night. And yes, I’ve tried other pens. Quill pens are not “light as a feather.”

Drawing nonstop for months has taken its toll on a number of my peers who have been sidelined by Cartoonist’s Elbow, a debilitating ailment that restricts a cartoonist’s ability to doodle. God bless the brave patriots who doodle on in spite of this terrible malady.

They inspire me, Mr. President. I’m up for this. As long as my nibs are moist. For the sake of our democratic republic I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Mr. President, in the name of humanity. I implore you. Take a breather. We’re only human.

Contact editorial cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at