Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday morning toons: Special "Coping with Disaster" Edition

It was a busy week for the political tooniverse: Specter jumped ship and swine flu jumped the border. Obama finally saw the end of his first 100 days in office, and Bush torture memos finally saw the light of day. And, luckily for us, Daryl Cagle's round-up has it all!

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, John Sherffius, R. J. Matson, Bob Englehart, John Trever, Jerry Holbert, Jeff Stahler, Pat Bagley, and Rob Rogers.

The p3 Harmonic Toon Convergence Citation goes to Jack Ohman, Gary Varvel, Walt Handlesman, and Adam Zyglis.

p3 Best of Show: David Horsey.

The p3 Certificate for Best Homage to Bill Mauldin goes to Dana Summers.

The p3 Citation for Best New Use of the "Empty Chair" Meme is awarded to Steve Sack.

The p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium is shared by Nate Beeler, J. D. Crowe, R. J. Matson, and Gary Brookins.

The p3 "It's Not Just Elephants Who Never Forget" Award goes to Daryl Cagle.

p3 World Toon Review: Oddly enough, toonists in other countries weren't so interested in Specter or the First 100 Days. Even the Bush torture memos haven't gotten much notice yet. Care to guess what they are paying attention to? Ask Cameron Cardow (Canada), Stephane Peray (Thailand), and Patrick Chapatte (Switzerland).

Ann Telnaes has two words for you. (Hint: they aren't "buy masks.")

Protecting Our Endangered Toonists: I never saw an official announcement, but it looks like Willamette Week has dropped the syndicated cartoons from its print edition (although they're still in the online edition). So p3 proudly presents the bittersweet yearnings of youth, as remembered this week in Max Cannon's Red Meat. (Thanks to John Sherffius for permission to use his "Signature Loss" image. Click to enlarge.)

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman says Republicans like theirs on the rocks (with water back).

Is it important to color inside the lines now? At first I thought this might have been a well-intentioned idea that just went off the rails; but the longer I think about it the more I think it was off the rails from the moment they first thought of it: FEMA recently took down from its website a children's coloring book featuring images of jets flying into the World Trade Towers on 9/11. Aptly titled "A Scary Thing Happened," the book--which was, we are assured, created by the Freeborn County (MN) Crisis Response Team and not by the staff of The Onion--also gives kids the opportunity to color pictures of floods, tornados, and residential fires. Its stated purpose: to help youngsters "cope with disaster."

"A Scary Thing Happened" stands in a long tradition of government-sponsored messages designed to scare the crap out of kids by reaching them at their own level. There were those snuff-porn movies about auto accidents we all had to watch in driver education class, for example. But for my money, the ultimate example was "Duck and Cover," starring Burt the Turtle. Created by the Federal Civil Defense Commission near the beginning of the Cold War in 1951 and shown in classrooms around the country for a generation, "Duck and Cover" actually managed to make the topic of sudden horrific mass deaths boring. The takeaway lesson for children: Crouching under our school desks could save us from the atomic attack that could strike our town at any second, the shock wave ripping us to shreds from shattered glass and flying brick fragments moments before the fireball boiled away the molecules of our bodies into little whiffs of ozone. Good times. "The wonder years," we used to call them--as in, "Wonder if it'll happen today?"

p3 Bonus Toon: Somewhat along the same lines, perhaps, Jesse Springer marvels that, when the apocalypse comes, at least Oregonians will be eating more sensibly. (Click to enlarge.)

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

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