First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress
Sage, Ink
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An ongoing collection of cartoons by Sage Stossel, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and an award-winning cartoonist for the Provincetown Banner, the Boston Globe, and elsewhere. She is the author/illustrator of the children’s books On the Loose in Boston, On the Loose in Washington, D.C., and On the Loose in Philadelphia, and of the graphic novel Starling, which is now being serialized at

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Sage, Ink: The Stresses of New Motherhood

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation that women be screened for depression both during pregnancy and after giving birth, as approximately one in seven new mothers are thought to experience depressive symptoms.

If anything is going to make a person depressed, the discombobulation of new motherhood would certainly do it (as this cartoonist can attest.) The multi-paneled cartoon below—attempting a somewhat lighter spin on the experience—first appeared in 2014 and became one of most widely shared from Sage, Ink. (A year later, the publication of a study revealing the extreme toll that new parenthood takes on happiness prompted a followup cartoon.)

Sage, Ink: Eating Right

This week, the federal government released a new set of dietary guidelines, recommending a significant reduction in the consumption of sugar and advising men and teen boys to cut back on meat. While the hope is that the recommendations will help Americans to eat better, some note that the government has been fine-tuning and updating its dietary advice for years, while obesity rates have escalated. (Meanwhile, some are already criticizing the new guidelines as too vague.)

The cartoon below originally appeared in 2004, when the USDA issued a call for improvements to the then-prevailing “Food Guide Pyramid.”

Sage, Ink: One More Donald Trump Comment to Mark 2015

Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break during Saturday’s Democratic debate captured the attention of Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, this week. During a speech in Michigan, Trump said her trip to the bathroom was too “disgusting” to talk about and said she was “schlonged” by Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.

The Donald has been known to make controversial comments, so it’s only appropriate that the year would end with at least one more—this time targeted at the Democratic frontrunner.   

Sage, Ink: The Art of Homeland Security

This week, the Department of Homeland Security announced changes to its terror alert system, adding a new category of general “bulletins” to its existing program of specific “alerts.”

How helpful Americans will find it remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely to be considered more confusing than the old color-calibrated system, which was discontinued in November 2010. The cartoon below ran in 2002, when the then-new color alert system got its first adjustment to orange from yellow.

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