Editorial Cartoons (the black & white years)

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  • David Willson became the editorial cartoonist for the Palm Beach Daily News in March of 1992 and continues to chronicle the often bizarre happenings of Palm Beach and South Florida every Sunday. The early cartoons were hand painted in Lamp Black watercolor. David switched to digital color cartooning using a WACOM tablet in 2002 when the newspaper added color to the editorial page. Here are some samples from the black and white years.

  • Miami had multiple strong-arm robbery homicides against tourist in 1993.

  • Florida does not have an income tax, deriving most of its revenue by taxing property owners. The more valuable the property, the bigger the tax bill.

  • The movie Jurassic Park came out just as Donald Trump was developing his Mar-a-Lago Club on Palm Beach's most historic estate amid much controversy.

  • Barefoot troubadour Jimmy Buffett moved to upscale Palm Beach.

  • The island community of Palm Beach was locked into a contract with West Palm Beach for ever increasingly expensive fresh water.
  • The historic Cuban rafter exodus took place at the height of hurricane season.

  • Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club opening turned into a late night bash with models bused in from South Beach. Before the night was over, models in designer gowns were being pushed into the pool. The neighbors called the cops.

  • Despite paying premium prices, fresh water quality from West Palm Beach was declining. So the refined island community started looking into other suppliers.

  • Due to financial woes, management of Palm Beach's secular hospital was taken over by the Catholic run hospital. Then guess what happened.
  • Standing up to Donald Trump became the campaign issue for Palm Beach government office.

  • An Israeli communications satellite, named after Palm Beach philanthropists Joseph and Rosalind Gurwin, disappeared at launch.

  • The romantic potboiler Bridges of Madison County was a national bestselling phenomenon at the same time that two out of the three bridges to Palm Beach island were closed for repairs and construction.

  • The O. J. Simpson murder trial gave us a lesson in how a multi-million dollar dream team of attorneys can turn the American justice system on its head.

  • Um, really it was about pony rides at birthday parties.

  • You can be wealthy neighbors in Palm Beach and not be the least bit alike.

  • The weekend-long Florida lobster mini-season was meant to give recreational divers a chance at the bugs before commercial lobster fishermen. Instead, it created a frenetic free-for-all that attracts every gung-ho yutz with a boat.

  • Donald Trump proposed building a 120-slip marina at his Mar-a-Lago Club, near a bird sanctuary, at about the same time that the movie The Cable Guy was released.

  • For some reason, American Nazi groups love to go to court and force Palm Beach to host their parades and holiday displays.

  • A West Palm Beach middle schooler shot another student on campus.

  • As owner of the pageant, Donald Trump publicly intervened when the reigning Miss Universe started porking out.

  • West Palm Beach mayor Nancy Graham invited hometown boy Burt Reynolds to host his actor training program in West Palm Beach at a city sponsored theater. But during a budget crunch a year later, word got out that the city had dropped a cool million on the project. Graham did a turnabout and pulled the city's support, and publicly shifted the blame for the expense onto Reynolds.

  • In the ’60s and ’70s, condos were built across from the main public beach in Palm Beach. Since then, there has been a steady attrition of access, parking, restrooms facilities and user friendliness.

  • It has become an annual rite of summer. Sea Lice are actually jellyfish larvae.

  • After a high speed race from paparazzi caused the crash that killed Princess Diana, the world's press somewhat hypocritically sought to distance themselves from the predatory photographers. My original concept only had the word PRESS on the hat, but it made the editors a bit uncomfortable.

  • It was a wet year, with a bumper crop of mosquitos and encephalitis cases breaking out.
  • If the public beach in Palm Beach had public restrooms, then it would attract more people. Hence, no restrooms. Welcome to Palm Beach logic.

  • True story.

  • Stephen Fagan, a man who kidnapped his daughters, told them their mother was dead and lived off of rich Palm Beach widows for 20-years under a false identity complained publicly about how the press portrayed him when the whole sordid story came out.

  • America's son was editor of a magazine named after the father of our country at his untimely death.

  • Donald Trump goes on a tirade of insults against his ex-wife and local activists in the press while exploring the possibility of running for President on the Reform Party ticket ... a funny way of looking Presidential.

  • Does anybody remember the sheer panic caused by the "Millennium Bug?"

  • Jesse Ventura encouraged Donald Trump to seek the Reform Party nomination for President. But party founder Ross Perot was not a fan of either. Enter Pat Buchanan with boatloads of leftover campaign funds from his previous bid, and that was all she wrote.

  • Alan Greenspan had a reputation for bluntly telling it like it was during congressional finance hearings. 

  • A community advisory board is formed to investigate the situation with the area's two major hospitals. Yep, it's an emergency.
  • With the "Butterfly Ballot," Palm Beach became ground zero for controversy in the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The poor Florida voter became a laughing stock.

  • When ballot irregularities showed up in Florida, rich with electoral college votes up for grabs, both parties sent hundreds of lawyers in to search for hanging chads.
  • Some deadlines are unavoidable.

  • Locally, Nathaniel Brazill was about to stand trial for shooting his teacher a year earlier. A year before that the Columbine massacre took place. But these were just the most notorious cases in a nationwide breakout of teen violence.

  • Another true Palm Beach story.

  • Still looking into voter irregularities from the 2000 election, officials discover a dog that was registered to vote in Palm Beach County.
  • They don't call it Microserf for nothing.

  • Reality TV shows were a new and popular phenomenon through which America was gleefully celebrating everything venal and petty. Then real reality TV hit.

  • The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and then the anthrax attack at American Media in nearby Boca Raton happened within six weeks. We were worried about airborne spores and even the possibility that someone might have put anthrax in trick-or-treat candy. It was a scary Halloween.
  • Note: More examples from 1992, David's first year of Palm Beach Daily News cartoons, can be viewed in a different gallery here.
  • You can view current cartoons and read David Willson's weekly Cartoonistry blog at PalmBeachDailyNews.com