Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday morning toons: Special "Stocking Stuffers" edition

Political toonists did, technically, focus on topics other than Afghanistan, Copenhagen, and Tiger Woods this week. But not much.

Let's start with Daryl Cagle's toon round-up this week.

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Pat Bagley, R. J. Matson, Mike Keefe, Larry Wright, John Trevor, David Fitzsimmons, Jerry Holbert, Henry Payne, Ed Stein, and Monte Wolverton,

p3 Best of Show: Adam Zyglis.

p3 Family Values Award: Cal Grondahl.

p3 World Toon Review: Stephane Peray (Thailand), Alexander Zudin (Russia), Paul Zanetti, (Australia), Michael Kountouris (Greece), Christo Komarnitski (Bulgaria), and Cameron Cardow (Canada).

Ann Telnaes wonders: If they're all such decent, upright people, why are they so preoccupied with what goes on, you know . . . there?

Last-minute stocking stuffers: Still looking for the perfect holiday gift for that toonophile in your life? Here are some suggestions to get you started (others nominations welcome):

The Best of Punch Cartoons: 2,000 Humor Classics

The San Francisco Panorama (McSweeney's Issue #33)

The NYTimes books section several comic and graphic novel titles in time for the season.

And don't forget these fine products by artists we're happy to feature here at p3's Sunday toon review:

Thrilling Tom the Dancing Bug Stories, by Ruben Bolling

The Complete K Chronicles, by Keith Knight

The Very Silly Mayor, by Tom Tomorrow

Right to Dye, by Jesse Springer

The Best Political Cartoons of the Year, 2009 Edition, edited by Daryl Cagle and Brian Fairrington

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman asks a question that's needed asking since early in the Clinton years.

"Buggler problems:" "'Fraidy Cat," a 1942 theatrical short directed for MGM by Hanna and Barbera, was the fourth match-up of Tom and Jerry. I've mentioned more than once the beautiful, deep colors and backgrounds in some of the early T&J's; the rich shadowy scenes at the beginning of "'Fraidy Cat" are perfect for a toon about ghost stories. And don't miss the beautiful chrysanthemums in the vase at the 2-minute mark. The appearance near the end of the Mammy Two-Shoes character was laundered out in a variety of ways once the Tom and Jerry library made it to American television in the 1960s. (The version below is from Boomerang, the UK/Ireland/Europe version of The Cartoon Network.) Changes ranged from recording an improbable (but acceptably Caucasian) Irish-accented voice to replace Lillian Randolph's original voice characterization, to eventually replacing the Mammy footage altogether with a young white woman (still shown only from the neck down). Ironically, Lillian Randolph was one of the few African-American women who actually had work in the Hollywood film industry at the time.

p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer will return.

And remember to bookmark Slate's political cartoon for the day.

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