Oak Harbor man's cartoons help Democrats get the picture

OAK HARBOR Kelly Croy is drawing an audience. As a kid growing up in Oak Harbor, Croy started out tracing characters f
May 24, 2010



Kelly Croy is drawing an audience.

As a kid growing up in Oak Harbor, Croy started out tracing characters from the Sunday comics section.

His years of cartooning led to a caricature of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Croy, 37, presented the cartoon to the New York senator during the Ohio Democratic Annual State Dinner on May 12.

"Just to see the look on her face -- she just loved it. That was better than any pay check I get," Croy said.

Croy's caricature of Clinton copies the theme of Rosie the Riveter, a World War II cultural icon of working women.

"Hillary Clinton represents a strong female candidacy, and that's what Rosie the Riveter represented -- the strength of women in America," Croy said. "I'm definitely a critic of her, but after meeting her I was very impressed."

Croy has been the political cartoonist for the Ohio Democratic Party since December. Croy, an English teacher at Oak Harbor Middle School, has pursued his dream of being a political cartoonist since he was a child.

"I've always wanted to do political cartooning," Croy said. "When you're young and flipping through a newspaper your eyes gravitate toward artwork. It always amazed me how some political cartoonists can either make you laugh out loud or infuriate you."

Croy creates two cartoons for the party every month and works on the side creating artwork for book covers and business cards.

"it's not a 'job' job," Croy said. "It's nice to be rewarded for doing what you love."

Croy said that each cartoon sends a message to the public.

"A cartoonist's job is to create a lot of things at once. You're trying to hammer a point across," Croy said. "It's a different way of reporting the news."

Croy considers his style similar to his favorite cartoonist, Garry Trudeau of "Doonesbury."

"He can really capture what the people are thinking," Croy said.

While at the dinner, Croy met Gov. Ted Strickland, who complimented Croy on his Clinton caricature.

"When the governor of Ohio tells you to keep up the good work -- I don't know how much of that is politics -- but I felt great that night," Croy said.

Croy plans to hone his craft and develop an individual style, but that it will take time.

Eventually, Croy hopes to have his cartoons printed in newspapers and possibly become distributed nationally.

"I'm so new at this. I've got to keep working at this, and I really think it can happen," he said. "I'm really enjoying it. I hope it leads to more, but only time will tell."