Ask Monte Wolverton, below.
Let's start off, as is traditional, with Daryl Cagle's toon round-up for the week.
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Bob Englehart, Jeff Parker, John Darkow, David Fitzsimmons, Jimmy Margulies, Michael Ramirez, Steve Sack, Henry Payne, Larry Wright, Steve Breen, Bill Day, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best in Show: Ed Stein.
p3 Shiny Reflective Medal of Honor: R, J, Matson.
p3 World Toon Review: Stephane Peray (Thailand), Tjeerd Royaards (Netherlands), Ingrid Rice (Canada), and Cameron Cardow (Canada).
Ann Telnaes says, peel me a grape.
Mark Fiore asks: How did you spend your summer? Was it more fun than talking stuff like boring old wars and unemployment?
Tom Tomorrow brings us this Glox News Update: Which set of invisible, omniscient beings whose existence can never be proven does our current supreme leader truly believe in?
Keith Knight tours the Library of Congress toon collection.
Tom the Dancing Bug asks: If Stephen Hawkings didn’t exist . . . would it be necessary to invent him?
Red Meat celebrates the majesty of the food chain.
Hey, careful, man -- there's a beverage here! Dark Horse Comics brings us the ultimate comic that never was.
Wonder Woman used to say "Merciful Minerva!" but Comic Book Resources has gathered together the five greatest (silliest) exclamation on Superman covers. It goes back to the Silver Age, when DC spent a lot more time digging into his other-worldly background for story material. Didn't work for Doctor Who, didn't work for Remington Steele, didn't work for Superman. Clark's a Kansas boy through and through (although the 1940 Bud Collyer radio version placed his landing/adoption/childhood in Indiana).
But I don't think the original Spider-Man ever said "Walloping web-snappers!" Here's a summit of the comic book gods: Stan "The Man" Lee (creator of, among others, Spider Man) interviewing Bob Kane (creator of Batman).
This is just wrong: The Seattle artist who trigged the "Draw Muhammad" movement last spring has been forced to go into hiding with the help of the feds.
Just toon desserts: An amazingly misogynist cartoon gets remixed (or repaired) by Alas, A Blog, and Amanda at Pandagon liked it so much she turned it into a great contest. But the afraid-of-women dinks who wrote the original cartoon are unlikely to get it.
Portland homeboy Jack Ohman offers a bizarre image of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
Olive? Or Dorothy Lamour? That is the question. In one of those unwise moves that led to Poochie joining Itchy and Scratchy, Famous Studios tinkered around with a new sidekick/foil for Popeye during the 1940s: Shorty, voiced by omnipresent voice actor Arnold Stang. "The Marry Go Round," directed by Seymour Kneitel in 1943, is his second appearance and probably his best. (Dedicated to James the Elder, also a navy guy, who mentioned this week that he gets his Popeye fix from p3.)
(And speaking of legendary sidekick status, years later Arnold Stang played the comic relief foil -- as if that were at all needed -- for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latter's first American film, the magnificently dreadful, the deliciously bad, the sublimely awful Hercules in New York. Odd to realize that, of the two, Stang was the one who didn't become governor of California. But the Shorty character, as you'll see, was drawn to look like Stang.)
p3 Bonus Toon: In his search for the world's greatest self-contradiction, Jesse Springer lingers over "wetless water" and "curveless wheel," finally arrving at this:
Remember to bookmark the daily political toon features at Slate's Slate, Time, and About.com.
Test your toon-captioning chops at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)