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The Lawn Jockey And Other Cartoons
by Bruce Serafin

AISLIN'S The Lawn jockey and Other Cartoons (McClelland & Stewart, unpaginated, $12.95 paper) is his 20th book, and it's a treasure. There is nothing scratchy or thin here -Aislin's drawings are sumptuous. He uses rich, velvety blacks and dense cross-hatchings to create what are among the most expressive cartoons being drawn in North America, and even those fly- away dots beside the faces of his characters add to the work's brio. But while the drawing is subtle -- all of Aislin's faces have personality, and his caricatures of political figures are outstanding -- the point of the cartoons is always sharp and clear. Aislin has become something of a pet of the left in recent years, and with reason: his work against the free trade deal was formidable. Still, what stands out in this book is not so much the usual cluster of left-wing attitudes as a good-tempered redneck populism. There is a great sexiness in Aislin's drawings, and they are marked by an intense generosity when it comes to showing the lives of ordinary men and women. Everyone will have their own favourites, but one drawing that ought to be mentioned is "Item: 'Thumper' Parizeau wants more babies ..." It shows Parizeau in bed, and his smooth belly and prurient eyelids have to be seen to be believed.

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