Mike Beckom — a freelance editorial cartoonist from my home state of South Carolina — shared with us the story behind his latest piece that ran in Sunday’s Greenwood Index-Journal.
Mike tells us:
My editor, Richard Whiting, called yesterday and said he was e-mailing me his op-ed and could I come up with a toon to accompany.
I had no idea where to start. So many emotions. I’d seen so many other news outlets posting reports and images of the murderer and I knew I didn’t want to give him any glory. Instead, I wanted to show something about how the people of my/our state reacted. I think it’s shocked the nation….especially in light of the recent violence in Ferguson, Baltimore, etc.
I’d seen photos of masses of folks in Charleston holding hands and praying. That got me thinking about the hands image. I did a quick internet search and found lots of them.
Mike used this Shutterstock image for reference:
I did a quick rendering in Photoshop and added a filter to it to make it pop.
And — more importantly — Mike wrote the poem.
The Index-Journal used this Sunday. Mike tells us…
…and they use the color version. I send out two versions: A colorized and black-and-white version, because all of my papers can’t or don’t publish color editorial cartoons.
Mike is a product of Greenwood County — just down the road from McCormick, where I grew up — and studied graphic design at Piedmont Tech College.
I asked him for a picture of himself and — because it was Father’s Day — he send me one of himself with his kids.
Fun side note: I have that same exact shirt. Mine is a few sizes larger, I’d expect.
Mike works at the Fujifilm plant there in Greenwood and freelances cartoons to the Index-Journal and to four or five weeklies around the state. A few samples of his recent work:
Average daily circulation of the Greenwood Index-Journal is 12,118.