*(Alternate title: "Buddy, can you spare a blog post?")
So. This is where we are: We're celebrating Labor Day by having more Americans unemployed, under-employed, or hanging on by their nails than in living memory. US troops are finally leaving Iraq . . . for Afghanistan. Glenn Beck is alternating between delusions of godhood and delusions of Kinghood. Triple-Pulitzer winner and Nixon's enemies list member LA Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad died this week.
And in other news: Bedbugs!
We begin with Daryl Cagle's toon round-up for the week.
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, R. J. Matson, Jeff Parker, John Darkow, David Fitzsimmons, Jimmy Margulies, Jeff Stahler, Rob Rogers, John Sherffius, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best in Show: Bill Day.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation From Another Medium: Pat Bagley.
p3 World Toon Review: Stephane Peray (Thailand), Ingrid Rice (Canada), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), and Pavel Constantin (Romania).
Ann Telnaes is on vacation (yes, cartooning counts as "labor") so the Post is running some of her greatest hits.
Mark Fiore sings: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our Beck."
Why is everyone in Mexico so pissed at cartoonist Daryl Cagle? The answer is here.
The Barry Blitt illustration for this week's Frank Rich NYTimes column reminds us that those who sleep through history class are doomed to . . . well you can figure the rest.
Red Meat's Ted has a close encounter.
Tom Tomorrow wonders if the news is trying to tell us something.
Meanwhile, at The K Chronicles, Keith meets a legend.
Tom the Dancing Bug bring us True Tales of False Romance. It ain't pretty.
Sic Transit Paul Conrad: Nixon and Reagan both hated his guts, which is a pretty good epitaph for anyone. He first made his mark as an editorial cartoonist a generation ago, before "take-no-prisoners" and "realism" got replaced by "zany" and "doodle-chic aesthetics" in Political Cartooning 101. From the LATimes obituary:
Mayors, governors and presidents cringed at the prospect of being on the business end of Conrad's searing pen, while many Southern Californians made him their first stop as they sifted through The Times, the newspaper that was his principal home for nearly 30 years.You can see more of Conrad's work here and here. (And just for fun, here's my favorite Conrad cartoon, entitled Congressional Bipartisanship -- a cartoon so rudely, angrily true that the Times wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. "Loud and profane," indeed!)
While many other cartoonists angled for whimsy or the easy one-off, Conrad "specialized in hair shirts and jeremiads and harpoons to the heart," former Times Editor Shelby Coffey III once wrote. The cartoonist, loud and often profane in person, viewed himself as a champion of the common man and relished combat with those he saw as protectors of the rich and privileged.
His most prominent and enduring foils came in the person of two California politicians who rose to the presidency, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The scandal-plagued Nixon named Conrad to his "enemies list" -- a designation the cartoonist described as one of his greatest honors. Former Times Publisher Otis Chandler became accustomed to his breakfast being interrupted by either Reagan or wife Nancy, furious that the then-governor had been depicted, again, as dimwitted, mean-spirited or out of touch.
(Update: Digby has a nice appreciation of Conrad.)
Sometimes reality is overrated: What would Charlie Brown and Popeye look like if they were living, flesh-and-blood people? You'll find the answers . . . disturbing. (H/t to Wes.)
Portland homeboy Jack Ohman has the scoop.
Here's your girdle! Where's my snood? Our p3 Labor Day Shout-Out to everyone who will have to get back to work Tuesday morning is "Tick Tock Tuckered" (1944), an update of the 1937 Warners short "Porky's Badtime Story"-- moved from black and white to color, sometimes duplicating the almost shot-by-shot, like the Gus van Sant-ization of "Psycho." Bob Clampett directed both versions. This time around, Porky is teamed with Daffy Duck instead of Gabby Goat (who obviously never caught on, but can still sometimes be seen doing half-hour infomercials at 3am on extended basic cable). "Tuckered" puts them at work in a defense plant (there was a war on, you know). The sly double-entendre gag of the rainwater in the bed seems tame now, but was borderline risqué for a cartoon at the time.
p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer notes that some independent political parties are filing a lawsuit in Oregon state court against a proposal by the Secretary of State to print three-letter abbreviations on the November ballot, instead of full party names, and wonders, Where might this lead? (Click to enlarge.)
Remember to bookmark the daily political toon features at Slate's Slate, Time, and About.com.
Test your toon-captioning skills at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)