Lake Highlands cartoonist turns disturbing images of war into art
A famous modern artist described art as the language everyone understands when verbal language separates us.
Colby Jones – a Bryan Adams High School alumnus and Lake Highlands resident – feels it in his bones.
“We have to cut to the chase without all the words a writer or journalist might use,” he says.
That is why he not only talks about the Russian-Ukrainian war, but draws about it.
His recent offering, Interment, touches the hearts of his fans, followers and friends on social networks. The play depicts all-too-real images Jones has seen in the news media — of Ukrainian fighters burying their own in mass graves. The only color in Jones’ sketch is the blue and yellow of Ukrainian flags wrapping around corpses.
“I had seen a video of them dumping the bodies in a trench and it was just awful. I thought, these were people who just a month or two ago were leading normal lives. And, and now this.
Beyond his sympathy for the dead, he says he couldn’t help but think of those who had to bury them. Before drawing, he browsed videos and photographs online.
“I looked at several photos and combined a few to create it. I was really struck by the one where apparently it’s a woman they’re carrying. I noticed they had her legs Tied together with the colored fabric ribbon, I guess it was easier to wear. Just a little thing like that, someone has to do that. I must have moved.
While his day job for decades was with the Dallas Parks Department, Jones – also known by the nickname Sir Colby – has been a draftsman most of his life. He’s no stranger to tough commentary, it’s part of the gig, but in this case he says he wanted to discourage political argument and encourage compassion.
“I usually drive one side crazy, then the other side crazy next time,” he says. “But this one is not political. I just wanted to stay with this particular situation.
Like other skilled cartoonists, Jones has a knack in his political cartoons for locating that place where passionate audiences can find both humor and a hard-hitting message. Take his cartoon called All the men, for example. It shows ‘women’s rights’ activists timidly lowering their placards as a man with a megaphone shouts that ‘all men must stay and fight’.
Like he says, if any of his cartoons offend you, just scroll down. You find him momentarily irritating the other side.
But many of his cartoons, such as Spring in Texas are the ones that anyone here can enjoy.
Learn more about Sir Colby: We interviewed him in 2012. His website is sircolby.com, and his Facebook page is here.