Hot Docs 2018: Mr Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End

The story of one of the most fearless editorial cartoonists is told in Mr Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End. Dwayne Booth, better known by his pseudonym Mr. Fish, has been a freelance editorial cartoonist for 25 years, with his work appearing in publications such as Harper’s Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Mr. Fish is not afraid to tread the border of political incorrectness, with his work criticizing both the left and right in equal measure. However, this fearless attitude also makes it hard for Mr. Fish’s work to appeal to editors who want just “funny little jokes that offend no one.”

Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End is a film that uses the work of Mr. Fish to comment on the dying industry of editorial cartoons. Mr. Fish once had a fair bit of success with his border-pushing cartoons, but progressively becomes unemployed, as opportunities for him begins to dry up. The film features much of Mr. Fish’s artwork from over the years, as well as interviews talking about their impact.

As a side effect to the downturn of the newspaper industries, editorial cartoons have also begun to take the plunge. Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End shows the artist during a turning point in his life, with it being difficult for him to finding steady work with his cartoons. In many ways, this film is about the return of the starving artist, who now has to struggle for his work to be seen and this is a documentary I definitely recommend seeing.

8 / 10 stars