Too Small to Fail: A (Th)ink Anthology

Too Small to Fail

The prolific Keith Knight, in addition to his daily comic strip and weekly comic panel, also puts out an editorial-style comic commenting on politics and current events called (Th)ink.

Too Small to Fail is the third (Th)ink collection, after Red, White, Black & Blue and Are We Feeling Safer Yet?, and the first including cartoons created post-Bush. The over 120 panels cover such topics as

Too Small to Fail

  • the election of President Obama
  • the recession, unemployment rates, and other economic concerns
  • military presence and international headlines
  • the “war on drugs”
  • health concerns and the American obesity problem
  • and popular culture, including movies and music comments.

Greensboro Four cartoon

The cartoons are loosely grouped by content, providing a more readable flow than the usual chronological reprinting. And every so often, there are the oddities, the illustrated one-off headlines such as a request from a Florida nudist colony to have a clothing-optional voting place or the discovery of cocaine in frozen shark carcasses.

Florida nudist vote cartoon

Knight’s perspective is one not often seen on the comic page, one willing to directly engage the racism of our society, and that’s why I find it refreshing. Some editorial cartoons take the easy path, making similar points to their fellows, but Knight’s work is often eye-opening. I also love his style, bold lines and bulbous noses. It’s great, expressive cartooning with something to say. Here are a couple more of my favorites (although the ones in the book are in black-and-white):

Freshman 15 cartoon

Obama bashing cartoon

The book is only available directly from the author online or at in-person appearances, including the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con.

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