O’Brien’s Political Cartoons Now Posted on Website

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Close observers of our website may notice that a new tab – Cartoons — is on our menu bar. Click here and you’ll find Dan O’Brien’s most recent political cartoons published in the print edition of The Business Journal as well as one of his “classic cartoons” (think Jim Traficant!).

“Dan O’Brien’s wit has been the centerpiece of our editorial page for nearly 30 years and we are proud to display his talent and clever observations on our website,” says Publisher Andrea Wood.

The cartoons, often sharp and politically incorrect, sometimes draw the ire of readers, Wood notes, citing some recent caricatures of Donald Trump that prompted one phone call in particular from a loyal reader.

“We like to think that Dan is an equal-opportunity offender,” the publisher says.

O’Brien, a Youngstown native and graduate of Ursuline High School and Youngstown State University, became the newspaper’s cartoonist in March 1987. He began his full-time career at The Business Journal’s sales department and subsequently was recruited by the editorial department after he wrote a story about Village Voice cartoonist Jules Feiffer’s visit to YSU.

“I’ve always loved politics, history, and to draw,” O’Brien says. “I found there was no better way to combine all of these interests than through the art of editorial cartooning. It’s something you can have fun with every day.”

Over the years, O’Brien’s cartoon and caricature work has appeared in numerous editions of The Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, The Plain Dealer, The Washington Monthly magazine, and other publications. In 2003, he was awarded the Cleveland Press Club Award for Best Single Cartoon for his “Greenford Acres” send-up of former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant’s farm during the congressman’s racketeering trial.

“There was probably no other subject more entertaining and provoking to draw in the history of the Mahoning Valley than Jim Traficant,” O’Brien says. “He had it all – the hair, the bombast, and the notoriety associated with public corruption. What more could a cartoonist want? He’s the character that’s landed in my cartoons more than anyone else.”

O’Brien’s cartoons span five – soon to be six – presidential administrations, five Ohio governors, a host of senators and issues ranging from gun control to pet control. “In between are a host of other — let’s call them distinctive – personalities that have graced the Mahoning Valley over the years such as former Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman Don Hanni Jr.; Youngstown Mayors Pat Ungaro, George McKelvey and Jay Williams; prominent business people; city council members – the list seems endless.”

In addition to drawing his cartoons, O’Brien is the associate editor of The Business Journal. His specializes in coverage of the oil and gas industry and manufacturing. O’Brien earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at Youngstown State University, and is an adjunct faculty member in YSU’s and Kent State University Trumbull Campus’ history departments.

Pictured above:  One of O’Brien’s best depictions of the late Jim Traficant. The cartoon was published by The Business Journal in 1987 and is featured on our website as one of his “classic cartoons.”

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