Dave Elston, a familiar name to Cochrane Eagle readers, has released a book of editorial cartoons, the latest in a series of regional offerings from MacIntyre Purcell Publishing.
Elston, who submits a weekly cartoon to the Eagle that appears on page 14, said previous titles have shined a light on Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba.
“When I was approached by publisher John MacIntyre to do the Alberta version, I jumped at the chance,” said Elston of the book, You Might Be From Alberta If…. “I’m a proud life-long Albertan,” said Elston, “and the amount of material that distinguishes Albertans was just too great an opportunity to pass up.”
Elston’s take on Alberta politics, heritage, sports and social issues have been a part of the provincial media landscape for some time.
A former sports cartoonist for the Calgary Sun for several years, Elston is a born-and-bred Albertan who loves nothing more than to help people escape the negative headlines and make them laugh.
“So much of what we see these days in the news is tragedy and sadness,” Elston said. “I hope people get a few smiles or chuckles out of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of living in Alberta.”
The book took six months to illustrate and write, and Elston said he would do his brainstorming in the mornings, as it ‘seemed to be the time his brain worked best,’ and then he would do most of his drawing during the afternoons.
Elston said that although it may be a cliché, he truly believes that a picture – or in his case, an editorial cartoon – is worth a thousand words, and he is disheartened to see many news publications scrapping editorial cartoons.
“A good editorial cartoon captures the essence of an issue and just hits you in the face, instantly,” he said. “It’s really frustrating because over the past 25 years, editorial cartoons have become fewer and fewer in mainstream media despite images being such an important part of new media platforms.
“Hopefully, it’s just a case of new media managers figuring out that they’re not utilizing a very powerful form of commentary.”
You Might Be From Alberta If… includes 120 pages filled with everything from politics, sports and regional culture, all with a strong focus on the Wild Rose province, as well as a forward by local country musician Paul Brandt.
One of the many people Elston thanks in the book is former publisher and creator of the Cochrane Eagle, Jack Tennant, who Elston had worked with in the media industry for many years.
Elston’s book can be purchased for around $20 at bookstores throughout the province, and don’t forget to check out his weekly cartoon in the Eagle.