Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2006
Sen. Todd Lamb
Mr. Voter Tapped by Senate as State’s Official
For more than half a century, artist Jim Lange has let
a caricature named Mr. Voter speak on behalf of the
public in the editorial cartoons of the Oklahoman. This
session Lange and his creation will be in the spotlight
at the State Capitol as lawmakers decide on a bill to
make Mr. Voter, also known as John Q. Public, the state’s
official editorial cartoon. State Sen. Todd
Lamb is author of the legislation.
“Since 1950, Jim Lange has been the editorial
cartoonist for the Oklahoman. Through the years, countless
Oklahomans have been entertained and informed by Mr.
Voter, in good times and bad,” said Lamb, R-Edmond.
“He’s part of our state’s identity.”
Lange said he started cartooning at a very early age—his
parents would give him a pencil and paper to keep him
quiet in church.
“It was very easy to draw because the people you’d
draw would be either praying or asleep—they wouldn’t
move,” laughed Lange.
He continued to draw throughout his childhood, often
winning poster contests, and in high school he drew
cartoons for the school newspaper and the yearbook.
After serving in the Army Air Corps, Lange attended
the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts on the G.I. Bill. It
was there that he honed his skills as an editorial cartoonist.
His first job out of school was with the Oklahoman where
he’s remained since.
Lange said the idea of an editorial cartoon is to quickly
state a view or opinion on an issue or event.
“A lot of cases people won’t delve into
an issue and do a lot of reading on a particular subject…if
it’s a good cartoon it should get the message
across real quick and you don’t have to read a
lengthy editorial to find out what somebody’s
trying to say,” Lange explained.
When it comes to Mr. Voter, Lange says the character
always stays neutral.
“He won’t come out in a cartoon and tell
you who he’s for in an election until the day
after an election. You don’t put words in his
mouth—you keep him strictly honest,” Lange
Lange’s creation is not simply limited to commenting
on political events. In 1986, Lange, who had had a mutual
friend with the space shuttle Challenger’s commander,
Dick Scobee, drew a special cartoon to be taken onboard
the ill-fated Challenger flight.
“I drew a picture of John Q. Public…sitting
in a shuttle, holding his arm out waving his hat at
the public,” said Lange.
Lange said that was the last he heard of it until after
the Challenger went down, claiming the lives of the
entire crew. A few months later, Lange received a phone
call from Scobee’s widow. Lange learned that as
NASA was recovering shuttle debris from the ocean, a
small baggy containing his cartoon was found. Amazingly,
the drawing was in perfect condition, without even a
water spot on it. That cartoon is now on display at
the Omniplex Science Museum’s Aviation Wing in
“Clearly, Jim Lange’s creation has a unique
place in Oklahoma history in so many ways. I think it
is very appropriate that we name Mr. Voter as our official
editorial cartoon,” said Lamb.
Senate Bill 1613 now goes to the House of Representatives
for further consideration.
more information contact:
Senator Lamb's Office - (405) 521-5632