Ask A Cartoonist: National Philanthropy Day!

By Tea Fougner

Yesterday was National Philanthropy Day!

Cartoonists are always looking for ways to make the world around them a better place– anyone who has dedicated their life to making other people laugh is already a step ahead of the game!

Here are some of the ways our cartoonists– and their characters– give back either through charity or volunteering!

Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle:

When I lived in Frome, England, I was a member of Incredible Edible (http://incredibleediblenetwork.org.uk). We took over unloved public spaces and planted herbs, berries, lettuce, beans and anything we thought people would want to eat. They could help themselves to fresh food in the middle of town.

Here in Spain, this seems an alien concept, but, together with a Basque friend of mine, we are trying the same thing. There were some weed-filled planters near some apartment blocks and we have planted them with herbs, rhubarb, broad beans and a variety of seeds. Though the adults view us with puzzlement, kids are curious and when we are planting, they are always happy to get involved. Sometimes too involved… After the kids messed with the beds (now the seeds are coming up VERY randomly), we wrote signs in Spanish and Basque to ask them to look after the plants.

We’ll see what happens!

Marcus Hamilton, Dennis the Menace:

One Christmas I took our two grandchildren (age 10 and 12), with our Methodist Men’s group, to feed the folks at our local Homeless Shelter. It was a humbling experience that I hope the kids will remember for years to come. The next Christmas, for the Dennis panel, instead of the “menace” sitting in a pile of opened presents, he is with his parents and the Wilsons serving a meal and showing the joy that comes from giving.

David Reddick, Intelligent Life:

I love to talk to schools and tell kids they can be whatever they want to be – there’s no better feeling than sharing cartooning and the arts with kids, especially when you see the sparkle in their eye (or hear them say aloud) that says “Wait… you mean I can actually do THAT?”


“Every child is an artist until he’s (she’s) told he’s not an artist. – John Lennon

Jim Keefe, Sally Forth & Flash Gordon:

Earlier this year I got involved wish WishesAndMore.org, an organization that assists children fighting a terminal or life-threatening condition by providing extraordinary experiences, scholarships, and memorials here in Minnesota. This last year’s Winter Ball theme was a “Gathering of Superheroes” so I got some cosplay in.

I also like to contribute to my local High School’s Art Council. They have a gala fundraiser each year where I donate my services to a “Great Gathering” by hosting a cartooning class for kids.

Bill Holbrook, Kevin & Kell, On the Fastrack, & Safe Havens:

Dethany does regular volunteer work on weekends.


Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix:

I had a great time marching in the Pride Parade this year with PFLAG of Westchester.


Then, later in the summer, I traveled with my son Eddie from NY to Eastern Philadelphia to register voters.

And then, whenever I can I drop off food at my local food pantry.

 What are some of the ways you give back to your community?