Squeaky Wheels, Grease, Funny Papers ~ And Airlift Mike

Walt Handelsman’s fun take on the whole Bill Cosby tragedy – courtesy the New Orleans Advocate

It’s long been said that the squeaky wheel will always get the grease. You also used to hear in those prehistoric days before the internet and digital, when the Sunday comics really hit home on an issue – “Hey, I’ll see ya in the funny papers!”

I’m reminded of these two thoughts every time I check out the New Orleans Advocate newspaper in print or online, because they’re fortunate enough to have corralled the outrageously and wickedly talented WALT HANDELSMAN.

The art of editorial cartooning has always fascinated me with it’s power, reach and stunning clarity. With it’s unique ability to cut through the bullshit and take us to the heart of a matter or issue – with humor.

Walt’s inspired take on the poker-hot issues of the legacy of Dixie, the flag, and N’awlins own Lee Circle on Saint Charles Avenue

Walt is simply the best-of-the-best in the editorial cartooning field! Accomplished, eerily insightful, and always entertaining, this two-time Pulitzer Prize winning genius plies his trade daily to the delight of New Orleans readers in need of a hearty laugh in hard times.

While these days our interaction seems relegated to Twittering each other (is that legal in LA?), in the ’90s Walt and I worked together at the Airlift Productions now-the-stuff-of-legend Iberville Street location.

Walt Handelsman caricature of that Mike McCann (Ziants) guy on an old Airlift Productions note pad – 1994

He was launching an effort to promote his convention outreach program wherein he would stand in front of a convention crowd with an overhead projector and actually interact with the conventioneers and draw cartoons for them LIVE –  along with their input. 

Yours truly, Airlift Mike, was selected to help tell the tale.

Contracted by Lenny Delbert of Pan Am Communications, I worked with Walt across a remarkable afternoon to narrate his promotional video to help get this idea across to potential New Orleans convention meeting planners. The word “fun” hardly captured the whole experience.

In fact, enough with the introductions, MEET the inimitable genius of Walt Handelsman here ….

Squeaky wheels? Funny papers? Howzabout one more line?

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Yeah, I know, I get that. But this dude has raised it to an art form.

WaltHandelsmanAutographToMichealZiantsAirliftProductionsNOLAAnd, yes, even – and especially –  Walt would appreciate the pun.  🙂

Airlift Productions – helping to tell America’s Great Stories … from NOLA since 1984.



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