Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday morning toons: Special "Nothing But Good News!" Edition

It has come to our editorial attention that some readers feel the occasionally-cynical tone at p3 has been edging toward an unfashionable nihilism lately. They hint that our once vibrant skepticism is slowly moldering into lack of faith in anything. They tut-tut that there is no silver lining for which we can't locate the dark cloud.

Well, let's put an end to that kind of talk right now. The theme of the week is Good News!

Good news: The recession's over (for some of us).

Good news: The public option is good to go (with just one final bit of paperwork).

Good news: China is celebrating the 60th anniversary (of secret police and re-education camps).

Good news: Afghanistan is due to pay off (any minute now. Seriously.).

Good news:
Apple has released a new iPhone app (that deploys on impact).

Good news:
Roman Polanski is finally facing the music (after over three decades of very comfortable exile in France).

There. That wasn't so hard, was it?

You can see it all at Daryl Cagle's toon round-up for this week, which is where we're starting out.

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Daryl Cagle, Pat Bagley, Mike Keefe, Larry Wright, John Trever, John Darkow, Michael Ramirez, Rob Roberts, and Brian Fairrington.

p3 Best of Show: Steve Sack.

p3 Award for Innovation: Jeff Stahler.

p3 "Doesn't Take a Weather Man to Know Which Way the Wind Blows" Award: Steve Breen,

p3 World Toon Review: Stephane Peray (Thailand), Cameron Cardow (Canada), Dario Castillejos (Mexico), and Dens Hage (Denmark).

Ann Telnaes notes that "Little Nino" Scalia and his boys just blew into town: "That's a nice Tenth Amendment you've got there--it'd be a shame if anything happened to it."

It's good to be "the King:" A month ago, the Sunday Toons noted that Disney bought up the whole Marvel Comics enchillada for $4 billion. The next shoe has now officially dropped: The children of legendary artist/writer Jack "King" Kirby have announced their intention reclaim the rights to many of the characters that Kirby, along with Marvel empire front-man Stan "The Man" Lee, created in the 1960s: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and The Mighty Thor. (In those days, everyone at Marvel got a thesaurus and a nickname instead of a raise.)

The way the law works: After 56 years, the original copyright owners (or their heirs) can go after the rights of property they've signed away, and can file notice of intent up to 10 years before that deadline. Doing some quick back-of-the envelope addition, that means the Kirby family could claim the rights to the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and X-Men in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. For Disney, whose basic business plan for generations has been to own the rights to everything forever, this is not great news but could have an upside: (See? Upside! It's the new p3, I tell you!) Right now the movie rights to Marvel characters are scattered around Hollywood: Sony has Spider-Man, and Fox has the Fantastic Four. Consolidating ownership of those characters in one place--the Kirby heirs--would probably make it easier for Disney then to acquire the movie rights to the whole Marvel catalog of characters.

Oop! Ack! Pfft! Lending some support to his claim that he became a cartoonist without ever bothering to learn much about the history or fundamentals of the form, Berke Breathed (creator of the flightless water fowl who remains much-missed around p3) used the occasion of the Long Beach Comic Con, where he's promoting an omnibus collection of his "Bloom County" strips from the 1980s, to explain to the LA Times that he considers himself "a fraud and a cheat."

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman considers a real-life death panel.

More good news: The return of Cecil the Turtle! By the time Warner Bros got around to doing a sequel to the 1941 "Tortoise Beats Hare," director Tex Avery had departed for MGM. The 1943 sequel, "Tortoise Wins By a Hare," was left to Robert Clampett. Bugs' look had been somewhat redesigned in the intervening two years, most noticeably the voice and the mouth. (For television, the final gunshot gag was almost always removed.)

p3 Bonus Toon: And finally, via Jesse Springer, good news for the Klamath river salmon, although they may have to hang on until 2020 to enjoy it:

And have you bookmarked Slate's political cartoon for today?

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