Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday morning toons: Special "Leather Two-fer" edition

Don't forget: It's still April, which means it's still Portland Comics Month. Willamette Week gives a shout-out to PCM guest of honor Jeff Smith--check it out, if only to experience the phrase "shmoo-meets-Disney" in any context that doesn't involve consciousness-altering drugs. (For those who don't remember life before Al Capp quit producing "Li'l Abner" in 1977, this is a shmoo.)

It was a good week for political toons: Earth Day, the credit card mafia, torture memos, getting over our issues with Cuba, unlikely appearances at the UN summit on racism, and a cigar-smoking pig who looks strangely familiar--they all make their appearances in Daryl Cagle's latest round-up.

p3 Picks of the Week: Pat Bagley, R. J. Matson, Mike Keefe, Larry Wright, Bob Englehart, John Trever, John Darkow, David Fitzsimmons, and Mike Luckovich.

p3 World Toon Review: Cameron Cardow (Canada), Thomas Bolton (Canada), Arcadio Esquivel (Costa Rica), Simanca Osmani (Brazil), Stephane Peray (Thailand), and Christo Kamarnitski (Bulgaria).

Ann Telnaes goes someplace dark this week, and returns with a leather two-fer, It's not pretty.

From "Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin" to "Be an Army Energy Super-Hero with Captain Conservo:" Hat tip to Oliver Willis, who uncovered a treasure trove of government-sponsored comics housed by the University of Nebraska. The collection even includes "Bert the Turtle," a lovable and earnest little fellow who taught me as a youngster the virtues of moment-to-moment certainty that my life was about to end horribly. Thanks, Bert.

Guest toon: Tom Tomorrow gives us fair warning: The smaller it gets, the crazier it gets!

Breaking: For those of you who hadn't noticed that "Judge Parker" was gone from the comics page of the Washington Post, he's back. And if you've ever wondered what the ombudsman at a major American newspaper spends his time doing, now you know.

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman contemplates the horror.

Why do they always want to do it the hard way? Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote were paired in five Warner Bros. shorts. The first, "Operation: Rabbit" directed by Chuck Jones in 1952, is the best. By the time the idea was picked up again in 1956, the quality of animation had dropped noticeably and musical director Carl Stalling was gone. Wile E.'s voice is provided by Mel Blanc (unlike the Roadrunner series, where he's mute, limited only to holding up small signs saying, "Help!")

In an odd gesture to the emergent women's movement, perhaps, ABC removed the exploding female rabbit and exploding female coyote gag before broadcast on its Saturday morning shows.

p3 Bonus Toon: Sometimes, as Jesse Springer sees it the best thing to do with a good idea is push it to the limit. Can't say I disagree with him on this. (Click to enlarge.)

And don't forget to browse Dan Froomkin's weekday political toon review.

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