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Political cartoons: Chuck Asay's work on display in Colorado Springs

Posted at 9:45 AM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 11:45:49-05

COLORADO SPRINGS —  A new exhibit put on by the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) is the kind that will and is intended to spark discussion.

It is a selection of the works by political cartoonist Chuck Asay who retired after decades with the Colorado Springs Gazette and doing syndicated political cartoons.

“My cartoons appeared in probably 80 -100 papers or so around the country,” said Asay.

He started drawing cartoons as a teen to get laughs from friends.

Doing it for free got his foot in the political cartooning door at a paper in Taos, New Mexico.

That lead to a job at the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper, and then the Colorado Springs Gazette from 1986 to 2007.

He retired in 2013 from his syndicated work.

“I think that the ideas of cartoons and politics mesh, because cartoons are supposed to be funny, and politics is a very serious thing,” said Asay

After retirement Asay donated all his original works to the Pikes Peak Library District.

The district has digitally uploaded the more than 10,000 political cartoons.

“They took my cartoons from out of the cold. and now they're sitting in the vault.”

The Names Change, but the Issues Stay the Same, is the title of the exhibit.

“You'll see in these cartoons that some of what he's talking about in the early 80s, we continue to debate and it's very fascinating to see those things come back around again,” said PPLD Photo Archivist, Erinn Barnes.

It will show just over 30 of Asay’s political cartoons.

Not all were published and may raise conversations.

“It is possible for us to disagree and have different opinions, just like Chuck and I both do, but that we can listen to one another and really hear the other side,” said Barnes.

Asay’s job was to push boundaries and provoke thought.

“Every once in a while, just let it go and see what happens. And sometimes what would happen is they would look at my cartoon, and they'd say, I don't see anything wrong with this. And it would get published,” said Asay.

Now, those ideas and editorial statements in the form of political cartoons will bring more discussion with a Pikes Peak Library District exhibit.

The works will be exhibited at library 21 C and the East Library.

The Names Change, but the Issues Stay the Same opens March 6th 2024.


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