Massis Araradian’s cartoons were a mainstay on the pages of Asbarez for several decades, as he chronicled our community’s and Armenia’s history through his unique perspective and approach.
On Thursday, the Asbarez family lost one of its own when Araradian passed away. He was 93 having just marked his birthday on December 29.
The political cartoon, and cartoons in general, have played a critical role in print journalism for centuries. We cannot call it a dying art form, but with more publications living a digital existence, that medium is getting less and less attention.
Asbarez was fortunate to have Araradian, and his art, as part of its daily existence. Araradian’s featured cartoons were often a topic of discussion and debate in Asbarez’s newsroom, often in his presence. Those conversations would lead to a discourse about the day’s events and punctuated the daily flow of work at our publication.
Arardian was devoted to his art and equally to Asbarez, whose pages graced his cartoons for several decades. His contributions to Asbarez were strictly on a voluntary basis.
During the celebration of Asbarez’s 110th anniversary, Araradian was honored by the newspaper’s management and editorial staff for his decades of service to the community and to the Armenian press.
Through his efforts, the Asbarez library was named after his father, Mgrdich Araradian, where a picture of him reading the Asbarez hangs on one of its walls.
“The soldier with his weapon, and I with my pencil fight against the Turks,” was Araradian’s famous saying.
He published a volume of his works in 1964 called “The Symphony of Life.” The first volume of a larger representation of his works called, “Smiles are the Light” was also published, with the first volume covering the period from 1947 to 1997 and the second volume, from 1997 to 2012.
He published a small volume, three-by-two inches, that included his rendering of 100 important figures in modern Armenian history.
His last cartoon was published last week in the January 14 edition of Asbarez. Massis Araradian will be missed.
On behalf of the management, editorial board and staff of the Armenian Media Network, which publishes Asbarez, we offer our condolences to Araradian’s family, relatives, colleagues and friends.