David Willson has been the Palm Beach Daily News editorial columnist since 1992, creating nearly 900 cartoons and illustrations, and offering his readers an offbeat, historical perspective of the world.
In a recent column, he talks about his cartoons of the real estate mogul, Donald Trump. “I have probably done more cartoons about Donald Trump than any other subject, with the possible exception of feral cats,” he jokes.
When he began working for the Palm Beach Daily News in 1992, Trump running row with the Palm Beach Town Council over a plan to develop portions of the Mar-a-Lago estate as a subdivision containing eight mansions. The town council was only allowing four lots, so Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the town for unfairly disturbing his property rights, which eventually led to the town’s acquisition of the subdivision plan. He later decided to turn much of said estate into a private club, which raised a whole bunch of new issues, but regardless, Mar-a-Lago was born.
Many of the cartoons that Willson did while the club was being completed revolved around the culture clash that Trump brought to Palm Beach. “The culture clash was so evident that I took to dubbing the club Planet Mar-a-Lago, not out of spite, but to highlight the contrast between Trump’s chic celebrity entourage and dowdy Palm Beach society,” Willson says.
As a cartoon subject, Trump’s public persona is a “volcano that periodically erupts with episodes like the trash-talk fest with Rosie O’Donnell,” illustrates Willson. This is why he made such an intriguing subject for him to draw.
And, going back to the Palm Beach and Trump feud, it luckily concluded with a happy ending for both parties.