When The Montreal Gazette Swiped Nicola Scott’s Wonder Woman

A recent mayoral election in Montreal saw the city newspaper The Montreal Gazette illustrate their front page with this cartoon, showing victorious the Valérie Plante and first female mayor of Montreal as Wonder Woman in a cartoon by longtime Gazette caricaturist Aislin. But was it really?

Some saw it as a sexist stereotype. Though the politician had said, as her opponent had been portrayed by the cartoonist as Fred Flintstone, that she would prefer to be portrayed as a “happy warrior”. And she got her wish. However, other unhappy folk noted that the work was repurposed art from Nicola Scott. 

Cartoonist Aislin apologised after complaints, saying:

An apology is due here.

A popular way of delivering cartooning these days amongst many of my colleagues all over the world is called “satirical sampling” (much as in music). You’ll find examples everywhere, and it is defined as the recontextualization of found images on the Internet to generally be used in a unique comic way.

Last night, while cobbling together the election cartoon of Valérie Plante that the Gazette used on the front page, I chased down a wonderful DC Comics image of Wonder Woman and manipulated it to incorporate Plante’s face. I should have added an “Apologies to…” as we usually do when artists make use of another’s work in some way to enhance their own – but with the pressing one-hour deadline, I simply forgot.

“Apologies to” usually count for when you refer, swipe, or homage — rather than just cut and paste. But Aislin has contacted Nicola Scott and credit has been added in the online version:

…but still not to Scott herself.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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