J.D. Crowe, Mobile (Ala.) Register

By: J.D. Crowe considers himself a "moody moderate," but many Mobile (Ala.) Register readers think of him as liberal ? especially when he tweaks President Bush in cartoons.

"There are many places his cartoons would not be considered controversial," Crowe notes, but says much of Alabama "is crimson red and populated with Baptists. Anything even slightly critical of the Bush administration is considered blasphemy."

Crowe did the cartoon, which ran six days before the 2004 election, because he was bothered by Bush's "refusal to admit any mistakes. I also found it disturbing that Bush seemed to think his every whim was some sort of message from God." When he came up with the idea for the Oct. 27 cartoon, "I had no choice but to draw it. Maybe it was God's will!"

While Crowe didn't have exact numbers, he recalled that the cartoon generated about triple the usual response ? including "nasty" letters and "blistering" phone calls. "I noticed a few shaking heads as people walked by me in the grocery store," adds Crowe, who takes a support-the-troops approach to the Iraq war. But he also received lots of positive response from Register readers, who he respects for not hesitating to offer pro or con opinions.

The generally pro-Bush Register bumped his Oct. 27 drawing ? like a number of other Crowe cartoons criticizing the president ? from the editorial page to the Op-Ed page. "I think this is a fair compromise," says the Artizans.com-syndicated Crowe. "I would rather have them published than not published." Crowe, who's in sync with the Register on most local and state issues, praises the paper for "defending my freedom" to draw cartoons with which it disagrees.


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