Vlad the Employer

A Jason Chatfield cartoon in the July 10&17 New Yorker:


The cartoon is amusing as the working out of the absurd pun in Employer vs. Impaler. But it also manages to allude simultaneously to the current Presidents of both Russia and the United States.

Background: Vlad the Impaler. From Wikipedia:

(#2) Ambras Castle portrait of Vlad III (c. 1560), source of the depiction of Vlad in #1

Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler … or Vlad Dracula (1428/31 – 1476/77), was voivode (or prince) of Wallachia [a region of what is now Romania] three times between 1448 and his death. He was the second son of Vlad Dracul, who became the ruler of Wallachia in 1436.

… Vlad’s reputation for cruelty and his patronymic gave rise to the name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.

Background: the President of Russia. Currently Vladimir Putin, often depicted in the West as devious and cruel, and sometimes referred to as Vlad so as to connect him to Vlad the Impaler.

Background: the President of the United States. From Wikipedia:

The Apprentice is an American game show that judges the business skills of a group of contestants. It has run in various formats across fourteen seasons since January 2004 on NBC.

…  Episodes ended with the host eliminating the poorest contributor from the competition, with the words “You’re fired!”

… Real estate tycoon and now U.S. President [REDACTED] was the show’s host for the first fourteen seasons.

Instead of “You’re fired!”, Vlad in #1 exclaims, in effect, “You’re hired!”

Jason Chatfield. The artist is new to this blog. From Wikipedia:

(#3) Chatfield in a self-portrait

Jason Chatfield (born Perth, 1984) is an Australian cartoonist and stand-up comedian, based in New York City. At 23 he became Australia’s most widely-syndicated cartoonist, appearing daily in over 120 newspapers in 34 countries. His art spans the disciplines of comic strip, gag cartoon, editorial cartoon, book illustration, caricature and commercial art.

… Chatfield took over writing and drawing the iconic internationally syndicated comic strip Ginger Meggs in 2007, becoming the strip’s fifth artist, succeeding James Kemsley. Kemsley wrote to the Bancks family to secure approval for Chatfield to succeed him. Ginger Meggs is currently syndicated by Andrews McMeel Universal to 34 countries. Chatfield is the youngest cartoonist to take on the iconic comic strip in its 96-year history.

A Ginger Meggs meta-comic:


(which depends on a character’s explicit recognition that he is in fact a character in a cartoon).

Note from Michael Maslin on his Inkspill blog (“New Yorker Cartoonists News and Events”), appearing as a comment on a recent posting of mine here:

As you see, Mr. Zwicky’s blog is “mostly about language”; when it’s about the language of New Yorker cartoons it will be mentioned here

This could get burdensome. I’ve posted here over a hundred times about New Yorker cartoons and covers; these are indexed in a Page on this blog, with subpages for (so far) 25 specific artists — including one for Maslin himself!

One Response to “Vlad the Employer”

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