In an effort to capture some of the unique aspects of Baldowski's work, the database includes special searching and limiting features.
Baldowski used two stock characters throughout his career: the Rooty Toot and John Q. Public. The Rooty Toot, an overweight man in World War I soldier's uniform, is often part of a group of figures Baldowski associated with conservative opinions. They include an old woman, a stereotypical "Southern Gentleman," and a Ku Klux Klan member. Baldowski's everyman, John Q. Public, is represented by a mild bespectacled man with a moustache.
Early unsigned cartoons
From 1946-1950, a turbulent period in Augusta's political history, Baldowski cartooned for his hometown paper, The Augusta Chronicle. Initially, he submitted his work on a part-time basis. Fearing reprisals from the ruling Cracker Party, he did not sign his work. The Cracker Party, known for political corruption, was later ousted by a reform Independent Party which The Chronicle supported. Upon securing permanent employment at The Chronicle, Baldowski began to sign his cartoons as “Baldy.” Several of the Chronicle cartoons are unsigned and may represent the earliest days of his career as a political and social commentator. The database has been designed to allow users to search for Baldowski's unsigned works.
The cartoons in the Baldowski collection are the original drawings submitted to the paper. On occasion, an original drawing and its published version may not be exactly the same. In an on-going project, staff members compare the original cartoon with its published version. Alterations are noted in the cataloging record. Users may search for cartoons whose published versions differ using the precision search. Please bear in mind that because this research is ongoing and updated on a regular basis, the results may not represent all of the editorial changes.