The lost children


Newspaper vandalism. It’s a rich, longstanding cultural tradition that’s on the verge of extinction. As newspapers’ circulation spiral into oblivion, so too does the once-proud art of scribbling obscenities on the faces of public persons printed therein.

Not only is this important cultural practise teetering on the verge of extinction, but in most cases, the victims themselves aren’t even aware that it’s happening. Children as old as thirty barely even know that such things as newspapers ever existed.

Many of the children who might be gleefully defacing our national heroes are instead sourcing their cultural expression through digital channels. It’s hard for the old-world, artisanal crafts of the newspaper men and women to compete with the glossy, clickbaited world of YouTube Minecrafters or Kawaii potato.

And yet, some households still pay good money – a dollar a day! – for the peculiarly old fashioned indulgence of having a newspaper delivered to the door. This not only only feeds the insane belief in the customer’s mind that perhaps they’re supporting a journalist somewhere, it also enables hours of holiday-time creative expression for the household infant. Occasionally, the newspaper also delivers reliable information about the world we live in, thanks mainly to the journalist which the newspaper keeps locked in a cupboard.

Here are some recent examples by Stella, aged 7, with commentary.


“I just thought we could cheer him up a bit.”


It seems not all newspaper vandalism needs to be obscene scribble. 


Not sure about Hillary’s Alice Cooper eyes, but I think Stella’s drawn on Donald’s character nicely with the kissy lips: he’s always at it. And check out that hair ribbon. You’d think his stylist would have thought of it. Such an improvement.


“That’s a cat so I turned it into a cute cat.” Who needs clickbait when you can draw your own? Anything is automatically cuter if it’s tongue’s hanging out.


The best newspaper vandalism always works with the material, and not against it. From the ground up, we’ve got kawaii shoes, for cuteness. Exposed knee bones, because models put it all out there. Hairy legs, because she’s only human, after all. A fart, nicely complemented with a happy poo emoji poking out the top pocket. While not necessarily at home in the world of high fashion, the fart makes perfect sense given the slouchy attitude of the model. “I *heart* drugs” is tattooed on the right forearm, and you couldn’t be closer to the heart and soul of fashion than with a statement like that. Elephant ears. Easy. A broken heart, cleaved in two with a stick for good measure, also makes a nice interpretation of the model’s pose. And in the thought bubble, we see that the model dreams of murdering someone who looks a bit like her. Who among us hasn’t felt like that from time to time? Again, overall, a colossal improvement on the original artwork.



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