But Daryl Cagle's toon round-up is open for business and friends, it's really not even close. Sure, there's the economy collapsing, unemployment heading steadily up, people losing their houses at a record clip--and those are all important. I mean, you know, I suppose. But there was really only one story this week: It's the man Letterman compared to an Eastern European gangster, and a NYTimes blogger calls "the sweaty, swollen man in the black, half-buttoned shirt," resembling "a bouncer at a strip club who spent all his tips on one bad outfit".
Don't be coy; you know exactly who we're talking about here: For America's political cartoonists, Rush Limbaugh is this week's "It" Girl. p3 Special Mention goes to John Cole, Adam Zyglis, Steve Sack, David Fitzsimmons, and John Darkow for their work in capturing the Essential Rush.
And for those of you who've had your fill of the Dish of the Day, the management is please to recommend the p3 Picks of the Week, certified 100% Rush-free: Pat Bagley, R. J. Matson, Mike Lane, Michael Ramirez, Jerry Holbert, and Dana Summers.
The theme for this week's p3 World Toon Review is Arresting Image, But Most Americans Won't Get the Reference: Ranier Hachfeld (Germany), Jianping Fan (China), Riber Hansson (Sweden), and Sergei Tunin (Russia).
Ann Telnaes reviews the Republican line-up. It isn't pretty.
Over at The American Prospect's blog, they took a few moments off this week from debating the nuances of Middle East policy and missile defense to defend comic book fandom. Here's a handy rule of thumb: When it's only the second paragraph, and you're already starting sentences with "Not to question what is, I am certain, the vibrant and thrilling sex lives of film critics, but […]," things have clearly left the realm of sober policy analysis.
After the last reporter files the last news story: The future of newspapers, the future of news, and the future of toons, all as foreseen by Tom Tomorrow. (The future of haircuts doesn't look very hopeful, either.)
Here's a bit of news you probably didn't see coming: The Washington Post likes "Doonesbury" better when it's poking fun at someone other then them.
Thank you for smoking: This weekend, I finally got around to seeing "Thank You for Smoking," the dark and funny story of a tobacco industry lobbyist's triumph, fall from grace, and--if you were waiting for the word "redemption" here, you haven't met the character yet. A running bit follows his efforts to create better product placement in movies, including a deal with a Hollywood uber-agent to show Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones smoking in bed after having wild zero-G sex on a space station in a forthcoming sci-fi movie. The price for Pitt to smoke would be $10 million, explains the agent, and the cost of both Pitt and Zeta-Jones smoking would be $25 million. The lobbyist is puzzled--why does it cost more for both of them? The extra $5 million, explains the agent, is for the synergy.
I imagine it didn't cost $25 million for this bit of product placement, but then, everything was cheaper in 1960:
Let the record show, by the way, that this ad never really made me want to smoke cigarettes as a child, although it probably encouraged my dislike of lawn mowing. And if you need a palate-cleanser to get rid of that image of Barney Rubble waving a cigarette around like Bette Davis, here's something a little more wholesome:
Hanna-Barbera were all about the synergy, baby. (Props to my old pal Keith for tipping me off about Pixie, Dixie, and Mr. Jinx. Yeah, yeah, yeah!)
p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer contemplates the future (click to enlarge):