First, should Lance Armstrong be grateful that the story about Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend broke this week, or should Te'o be grateful that Armstrong did his Oprah Confession Tour this week? Times like this a fellow doesn't know which way to turn.
Speaking of which: Who does the Supreme Being tap for advice now: Ann Landers or Abigail Van Buren?
If it's so hot in Australia that their national weather service had to add two new colors to the national temperature maps (and they did), does that mean that climate change deniers may finally shut up, or that climate change deniers should be shipped to Queensland and New South Wales?
A recent poll showed that cockroaches and lice are more popular than Congress. Should cockroaches and lice feel good about this, or bad?
And if a cartoonist rips off his own work, who suffers? What about when the cartoonist rips off the work of others?
These questions (and even some of the answers) get The p3 Treatment below.
Today's toons were selected a non-existent person that no one ever met, although it doesn't matter now because they're dead anyway, from the week's pages at GoComics, McClatchyDC.com, Slate, Time, About.com, Daryl Cagle, and other fine sources.
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Jack Ohman David Fitzsimmons, Milt Priggee, Steve Breen, Kevin Siers, Jim Morin, Lee Judge, Clay Bennett, Walt Handlesman, Dan Wasserman, Mike Wuerker, Jen Sorenson, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Jack Ohman.
p3 Legion of Honor: Chan Lowe.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Daryl Cagle.
p3 Definitive One-Size-Fits-All Treatment of the Armstrong and Te'o Scandals Award: Rick McKee.
p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: John Cole and .
p3 World Toon Review: Paul Zanetti (Australia), Arend Van Dam (Netherlands), Paresh Nath (India), Ollie Johansson (Sweden), and Cam Cardow (Canada),
Ann Telnaes reminds us that people who fail to learn from history . . . are doomed.
Mark Fiore takes the threadbare Republican mantra that “we should run the government like a family sitting around the kitchen table” to its logical conclusion. (Watch for a cameo appearance by a p3 favorite at the 00:44 mark!)
Taiwan's Next Media Animation brings their unmatched talents to their trailer for the fourth season of “Arrested Development,” coming soon to Netflix after a 7-year hiatus. It's the ineffible meeting the incomprehensible.
The A.V. Club surveys 15 comics that inexplicably launched short-lived TV adaptations, including the cows from “The Far Side.”
Holy True Confessions! Intrepid DC fan Oliver Willis asks -- because apparently no one else will -- who Oprah's next high-profile tell-all interview should be with.
When it's more than just “harmonic convergence:” When the p3 Sunday morning toons kids artists with the “Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence” for publishing similarly themed or similarly laid-out pieces, the explanation is usually no farther away than a joke too obvious to ignore on deadline.
But not always. This week, syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall unleashes on Bill Day, a not-infrequent name here at p3 who appears to be harboring a reputation regarding other people's ideas not unlike the one Milton Berle enjoyed back in his day. Rall writes:
Now cartoonist Bill Day is at the center of an emerging plagiarism scandal. (Disclosure: I publicly criticized Day’s work in a letter to the editor of Editor & Publisher magazine during the 1990s, after he won the prestigious Fischetti Award for a cartoon that, to me, seemed like rank hackery.) This will not come as a surprise within the profession. Rumors that Day was a plagiarist have been around pretty much forever. He was especially criticized, over beers, quietly, over what I call the practice of “self plagiarism” – repeatedly repurposing the same image over and over and over. Despite a Tumblr blog devoted to Day’s shenanigans, nothing was ever done about it.Rall's problem hovers somewhere between “where's the outrage?” and “where's the money?” -- both serious questions in a profession where gainful work is becoming scarce as hens' teeth. (“Self-plagiarism” doesn't sound as awful to me as it apparently does to Rall; if both the artist and the publisher know he's doing it, the audience may be getting short-changed, which says something about the artist and the publisher, but it doesn't seem a direct offense against his colleagues in the profession.)
Michael Cavna at the WaPo's Comic Riffs blog, another regular source around p3, takes a noticeably less harsh view of the scandal.
Obligatory full disclosure: I linked to the story of Bill Day's Indiegogo fundraiser two weeks ago. Depending on how you feel about the story, feel free to vote with your wallet.
Tom Tomorrow's Sparky and Chuckles the Sensible Woodchuck have a sensible discussion about the importance of the sensible idea of setting sensible precedents.
Keith Knight remembers a man who epitomized the best of the Golden State.
Tom the Dancing Bug is watching the political content of this year's Oscar nominees more closely than you are!
Red Meat's Johnny Lemonhead learns an important lesson from Ted Johnson: Always look on the bright side of life. (Insert whistle here.)
When The Comics Curmudgeon uses ”water sports” and “tongue-lolling” in a single, possible NSFW sentence, you know things have taken a turn for the awesome. (By the way, the answer is -- I think -- #2 and #5 [check out the bellybutton, the belt loops, and the shape of the left ear]. But the draftsmanship for that strip is so shoddy you can't tell what “mistake” is deliberate and what's accidental.)
Popeye breaks the fourth wall! I've been looking for this one for quite a while. “How Green Is My Spinach” (1950) kind of freaked me out as a kid, because Popeye gets a royal ass-kicking from eco-terrorist Bluto (who's wearing a different sailor costume for some reason). It's directed by Seymour Kneitel, with uncredited voice work by Jack Mercer (Popeye) and Jason Beck (Bluto). Look sharp at the 5:45 mark for an uncredited cameo by veteran actor Tom Ewell. And why does the kid in the theater refer to the main character as “Uncle Popeye?” What's that about?
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The p3 Big Oregon Toon Block:
Jack Ohman is now officially a Californian, and we wish him the best. Look for him at his comfy new regular spot in the p3 Picks of the Week, above.
Matt Bors hears a sound: Whump! It's not a good sound.
Jesse Springer pays tribute to the sheriffs in four Oregon counties whose whose cafeteria-style understanding of how the whole Constitution thing works is a bit of a non-starter:
Test your toon-captioning chops at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)