Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday morning toons: Special "Bailouts, Political Tools, and Ultimate Questions" edition

We've got a jam-packed review for you today, readers. The political toon topic of the week was, of course, the Big Bailout, with its dubious numbers, stampeding politicians, pissed-off middle class, scurrying CEOs, and bizarre McCain grandstanding. When our leaders [sic] behave the way they have for the last several days, satire flourishes. Time will tell if that's the most we have to show for all this. (Friday night's presidential debate will probably show up more heavily in next week's toon report.)

Let's start off once again with Bob Geiger, who brings us his picks of the week. From a fine field--don't forget Mark Fiore's animation, too--p3 recommends Steve Sack and Steve Kelly.

And it was an especially good week for Daryl Cagle's round-up too, capturing the full range of the week's events, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Actually, it was mostly the ridiculous.

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Lane, Bob Englehart, Jimmy Margulies, Jerry Holbert, John Cole, David Horsey, and Matt Davies.

The p3 Certificate of Déjà vu (or, as Jon Stewart calls it, "Freedom Thoughts"), goes to Joe Heller,

The p3 Speaking Truth to Fear Merit Badge goes to David Fitzsimmons and Scott Stantis.

p3 World Toon Review: Simanca Osmani (Brazil), Oliver Schopf (Austria), Mohammed Al-Rayies (Saudi Arabia), and Frank Boyle.

The Joy of Little Things: Tucked away in the odd spaces of its web page, the New York Times often has clever little uncaptioned drawings like this one by Barry Blitt that caught my eye last week.

Excellent news: Battochio returns with #32 in the Right Wing Cartoon Watch. Here's a taste:

Did you know? The mainstream media has in fact spent a fair amount of their (too paltry) Iraq coverage on the reduced violence in Anbar province. Did you also know? The Anbar “Awakening” responsible for that reduction started in the summer of 2006, before “the surge” was even announced in January 2007, despite McCain’s attempts to claim otherwise.

Captain America: political tool? Not on your life, says Ed Brubaker, who's written numerous stories for Marvel and DC, including Captain America. Many who saw "Iron Man" last spring were liked to latch onto the hints that Tony Stark was skeptical of the military-industrial complex, even though (or perhaps because) his family made its fortune off of it. But when push came to shove in the Marvel Universe, Iron Man sided with the government (which wanted to register superheroes) and against Captain America. Says Brubaker:

I think what makes Captain America work in the modern age isn't so much him reflecting where America's at, but in showing where it should be. In my series, I've had Cap quote Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine and Dwight Eisenhower, because Captain America isn't some partisan tool. His history as a character since the mid-'60s shows that. He can call a lie a lie, and he doesn't care which side the liar is on. I think the United States really needs an icon without those partisan blinders on right now, more than ever.

Of course, it was also series editor Brubaker who killed Captain America off last year:

"What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on and giving speeches on the streetcorner against the Bush administration, and all the really right-wing [fans] all want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam," Brubaker said.

Not to worry; plans to bring Cap back (again) are already well under way.

(Captain America image, by Jack "King" Kirby, via Salon.)

One "dog year" is said to equal seven "human years." Then, as Ann Telnaes points out, there are "Palin years," in which every day feels like a political lifetime.

Bad sign in a continuing series of bad signs: Opus has reached the point where images from his younger days are starting to pop up. Either it's his life passing before his eyes, or it's a low-budget "clip" episode; but either way, it doesn't bode well for anybody

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman thinks McCain may be "parsing" a few words himself.

Feminism and the presidency, Part 36: This 1948 Popeye (actually, a remake of a slightly edgier 1932 Betty Boop) reminds us that, before Sarah Palin, before Hillary Clinton, and even before Geraldine Ferraro, there was The Slender One with her four-foot frying pan. (But whether it was Betty or Olive, Mae Questel still did the voice.)

p3 Bonus Toon: Otherwise it would probably be pretty unusual, but racketeer and gamer of the political system Bill Sizemore is becoming familiar enough to Oregon voters--after years of getting his same handful of right-wing hobby-horse initiatives on the ballot, only to lose, election cycle after election cycle--that opponents are starting to brand his proposals as, e.g., Bill Sizemore's Measure 64". (Heads up to Kevin Mannix, Loren Parks, and the rest of the exploiters of Oregon initiative system: Getting separate billing is what rock stars do just before they leave the band for a solo career. Ask The Raiders.) As this sad side-show drags on, Jesse Springer asks the ultimate question (click to enlarge):

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