Brian Duffy – Editorial Cartoonist 

Brian Duffy, a world class editorial cartoonist, was born in Chicago in 1955 and educated at The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 1984, Brian began his twenty-five year, award-winning, career at The Des Moines Register, Iowa’s most prominent newspaper, as “the last front page cartoonist in the nation” a distinction he held until 2009. Since his tenure at the Register he has joined a majority of those in his profession and entered into the land of the freelancer.

Brian is most noted for his politically charged cartoons which at times shift off the beaten paths of the headlines towards news that is often overlooked and subjects of deeper meaning to society and the world as a whole. He often uses hidden imagery to make his points and express his humor, with his usual unstated punchline, as well as his passionate indignation. Above all else, beyond the humor or outrage, the goal of his art is to make us all think.

With his unique view of politics, Brian is the unofficial cartoonist of record for the Iowa Caucuses.  Every presidential aspirant has had to pass through his pen since the early 1980’s. From his perch in Des Moines, Iowa he has chronicled the winners, the runners-up, the also-rans, and the ones that never should have run. In between the Caucuses he exercises his wrist by chronicling the events that matter in people’s lives.

Brian is currently the staff editorial cartoonist for KCCI TV, a CBS affiliate in Des Moines Iowa, as well as being the cartoonist for the alternative weekly newspaper, CityView, where he is given his own full page to let his imagination stretch its legs. Brian is also the staff cartoonist for the monthly political newsletter, The Hightower Report.

Duffy’s cartoons continue to appear locally and statewide in 34 Iowa media outlets and in syndication of his work in over 400 newspapers and websites nationwide through King Features Syndicate’s Best and Wittiest package. King Features Syndicate has syndicated his national and international cartoons for over twenty years. The Best & The Wittiest is a weekly offering of at least 25 timely and thought-provoking editorial cartoons.

Brian has done illustrations and posters for many local and national companies. Two collections of his cartoons have been published, A Decade of Duffy (1993) and More of Duffy (1995). He has two books: A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Iowa Caucuses, an event he's covered since 1984, and Ghost Roads: A Collection of Paintings and Essays from a Lost Iowa.

A great editorial cartoonist is a vanishing breed these days, and Duffy's many avid followers think Iowa is lucky to have him. He remains as smart and independent as ever, the lines perhaps sharper these days, the quality of the drawings if anything a bit stronger. His work continues to delight, provoke, and at times infuriate, which is exactly what great editorial cartoons are supposed to do.

We at Playing Politics are very pleased to have Brian Duffy as one of our collaborating artists!

See more of Brian’s work at: