Drawing attention to Lititz: New Yorker cartoon causes mixed reactions

By on November 8, 2017

 

This cartoon, created by former Lititz resident Brendan Loper, had no caption when printed in The New Yorker. But even in cartoon form, our town square is pretty easy to recognize. Image courtesy of NewYorker.com

To the typical reader of The New Yorker magazine, Brendan Loper’s no-caption-needed cartoon, drawing attention to America and the NRA, could have depicted any small town in the U.S.

But those who live in Lititz recognized their iconic town square immediately.

“I feel really connected to Lititz,” Loper said when interviewed. “I couldn’t just use any main street in my cartoon.”

To get his message across, he wanted to depict a setting reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell cartoon.

“I chose Lititz because it is so American,” he explained.

Brendan’s family has been in Lititz a long time. In fact, he says, his grandfather was a regular customer at Farmer’s First Bank — another reason why he included it in the piece.

A 2002 graduate of Warwick High School, Brendan gives shout-outs to art teachers Nancy Williams and Beth Fuhrman for encouraging his talents. After graduation, went on to get degrees in painting and studio art and now works full time as a cartoonist.

He always loved drawing cartoons. While living in Lititz, he once drew caricatures for patrons at a Lititz Historical Society antique show.

Brendan sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker in March.

Although he no longer lives in Lititz, he says it will always be a special place to him.

As for the potentially controversial nature of his cartoon and the ensuing Facebook arguments about it, Loper said:

“I like to draw because it keeps me from having to answer too many questions. Hopefully someday I can do a non-political cartoon about Lititz.”

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com.

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