2011-09-09 / Top Stories

Wave Cartoonist Pens ‘After The Fall – 9/11/11 (A Decade @ War)’

By Susan Hartenstein

“Allegory of the Caves,” 2003 editorial cartoon by Robert Sarnoff picturing Bin Laden watching “Joe Millionaire” and an American household viewing the same show, in very different circumstances. “Allegory of the Caves,” 2003 editorial cartoon by Robert Sarnoff picturing Bin Laden watching “Joe Millionaire” and an American household viewing the same show, in very different circumstances. “It is ten years After the Fall, since the world crumbled to Ground Zero, shattering our rose-colored glasses,” says Robert Sarnoff, editorial cartoonist for The Wave. … “The writings, snippets and 200 editorial cartoons [which originally appeared in The Wave over the last 10 years] fill these pages in an attempt to capture and make some sense of the days, weeks, years that render this a decade to remember.”

In what he calls our “grave new world,” we have eyes-in-the-sky cameras watching us, airports x-raying, probing, searching us; in “this different place and time of ours” we have morphed into a world of “drones, droids, uncertainty.” “The question is,” ruminates Sarnoff, “what does this next decade hold for us?” The notations have significance equal to the cartoons.

When the author/artist looked at the body of political drawings, he felt it necessary here and there to flesh out the context and timing of the event or issue that inspired the work. These images and words chronicle the history of a decade.

“When 9-11 happened, I wrote as a way to purge myself of what was going on inside me.” He relates walking past a fire station in Rockaway, describing what he saw, smelled, heard and felt. “Black sashes, somber wreaths, bagpipes crying and the aroma of candles burning filled the air. All this had to be captured, profiled, and recorded.”

“Almost all the editorial cartoons in the book relate to 9-11,” says Sarnoff.

The author/artist gives much credit to Mark Hogan, a member of the art staff at The Wave, for his assistance in laying out the book and researching the times.

Sarnoff recognizes the importance of recording and presenting human history in a way that is accessible and visceral, so it will not be forgotten. “Schools should have the book and teach it, whether as part of the subject of history, political science or current events. The people, the events, the issues are so graphically and succinctly depicted, that the book lends itself to becoming a great source of discussion, research and investigation. I am very proud of ‘After the Fall - 9/11/11 (a Decade @ War)’.”

Hardcopies of the book are now available on Lulu.com.

E-book available: Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader.

The Seaside Library has asked Sarnoff to present three evenings related to “got a minute? – humorous travel tales and tips,” his recent book of some 85 paintings, pen and ink drawings and commentary, now listed in the Library of Congress. This and “After the Fall – 9/11/11” will be jumping off points for a three part presentation at the Seaside Library on successive Thursdays; September 15 and 22, and October 6, 6 p.m.-7:15 p.m.

Emphasis will be placed upon on-thespot visual sketches, contour drawings, caricatures, and notes interwoven into the fabric of the pen and ink works.

Sarnoff contends, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve drawn it.” Participants will create their own drawings and notations. What goes into creating this type of book – sketching on the spot, enhancing the artwork, culling and categorizing, will be discussed.

Sarnoff would like these sessions to motivate people to have fun creating their own journals, books and memoirs.

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