Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday afternoon toons: Special "Mythical Beast" edition

Yes, the weather's been drizzly and not-fun lately, but think of it this way: Today, Oregonians will get about a minute and a half more daylight than we did yesterday. And the increase in daylight will continue to accelerate until the first day of spring, at which point we'll still keep getting more daylight until the first day of summer, although the rate of increase will slow down. Daylight. Let's all keep cheering for more daylight.

That doesn't segue very smoothly into today's toon review, but it was in me and just had to come out.

Bob Geiger will be back in February, bringing his weekly toon review along with him. Or at least one hopes.

Daryl Cagle, on the other hand, apparently gets no time off. His toon round-up has a full plate: Hamas and Israel, the ever-tanking economy back home, Bernie Madoff, Roland Burris, and the long-awaited but too-slow ride of George Bush into the sunset.

p3 Picks of the Week: John Trevor, Jerry Holbert, Steve Sack, Gary McCoy, John Cole, David Horsey, and Jeff Stahler.

The p3 "Some Days You Eat the Bear/Some Days the Bear Eats You" Certificate goes to Daryl Cagle. (Refresh my memory: Didn't the current Governor of California originally win his booby-prize governorship by arguing that his predecessor had ruined the state's economy?)

p3 World Toon Review: Cameron Cardow (Canada), Peter Bromhead (New Zealand), Patrick Chapatte (Switzerland), and Ali Delim (Algeria).

Ann Telnaes celebrates a rare moment of clarity for the Bush family.

The Left-Wing/Super-Hero Industrial Complex: It's amazing to think this will fuel the sputtering fire of conservative complaints about the "liberal media" (you'd think they had bigger problems at the moment) but such is the world we live in:

Next week, Marvel Comics will hit the stands with Amazing Spider-Man #538, featuring a story in which Spidey foils a terrorist plot to disrupt Obama's inauguration. Indignant right-wing bloggers are citing this as proof of left-wing media bias, thus confirming the widely held opinion that they need to move out of their parents' basement.

And before we completely rein in our inner comic geeks on this one, we should note this observation, regarding the charge of left-wing sympathizing on Marvel's part:

[Right-wing blogger Ken] Sheperd is just wrong. In a recent comic, Obama appears only to fire Iron Man Tony Stark from national security agency S.H.I.E.L.D, only to hand authority over to Norman Osborn, otherwise known as the Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s greatest foe. Which, if I were like Ken Shepherd, would have me whining about how Marvel obviously supports torture and believes that Obama is destroying our intelligence apparatus. One could interpret the death of Captain America during Civil War as symbolic of the Bush Administration’s disregard for civil liberties, but then you’d also have to take Secret Invasion as endorsing the idea that Muslim extremists are hiding among us, waiting to strike at any moment.

Got all that?

(Image via USA Today. By the way, note to the Marvel artists: I don't particularly care that your Obama doesn't look much like the man--both the grin and the ears seem to have been somewhat, uhm, idealized. But for the love of Pete, who's that supposed to be under that Spider-Man mask? Popeye? Steve Ditko must be snapping the lead off his pencils.)

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman offers an appropriately revised take on George Bush's reputation as a guy you'd like to have a burger with.

From the #48 spot on the Top 50 Cartoons of All Time comes an animated retelling of James Thurber's "The Unicorn in the Garden:"

(For other Thurber "Fables for our Time," go here.)

p3 Bonus Toon: When one part of our economy goes wobbly, the effects are soon felt in other parts. (I think "wobbly" theory was covered in my first semester of econ.) For example, when the price of gas gets high enough to discourage driving, it means the state gasoline tax brings in less money for highway maintenance. And when the state-wide smoking ban in Oregon bars limits the public health costs of smoking, it also cuts into state profits from video poker. Can we find a way out? Jesse Springer says yes, we can (click to enlarge):

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