Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday morning toons: Batter-dipped and butter-fried

Here are some things you probably didn't know:

The Iowa straw poll is not a test of political organizing or name recognition; it's a system designed to weed out candidates with poor cardiovascular health by making them eat all that deep-fried gunk.

Standard & Poor determines their credit-worthiness ratings using an elaborate algorithm based on what's in it for them.

Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry once appeared in public with his hair slightly mussed up.

Several prominent conservatives promoting the GOP/religious right's anti-gay agenda are actually straight.

And there is no evidence that American labor unions and are responsible for the London rioting.

Believe it or not!

Today's selections were drawn from the week's political cartoon pages at Slate, Time, Mario Piperni,, and Daryl Cagle -- then fried in lard, rolled in butter, dipped in corn bread batter, deep fried in corn oil, rolled in butter again, and covered with powdered sugar (with a side of ketchup, mustard, and, of course, butter):

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, John Branch, Mike Peters, Steve Sack, Clay Bennett, Joel Pett, Pat Bagley, Clay Jones, Jeff Danziger, John Darkow, and Monte Wolverton.

p3 Best of Show: Ed Stein.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Tony Auth.

p3 Legion of Merit: Pat Bagley.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Paul Zanetti and Mike Keefe.

p3 World Toon Review: Ingrid Rice (Canada), KAL (England), Manny Francisco (Philippines ), Deng Coy Miel (Singapore), and Jeremy Nell (South Africa).

Ann Telnaes is on vacation, but -- just in time for the Rick Perry presidential candidacy -- she left behind a slideshow on religion and politics.

Mark Fiore salutes S&P's proud history of making the right calls at very nearly the right time. Seriously: why would we trust these people with a burnt-out match?

Taiwan's Next Media Animation reports that the next generation of exorcists are being trained right now.

Time to demand Kal-El's birth certificate! Three years ago, p3 fearlessly brought you the story of Captain America, political tool. But now (perhaps via leaks by Marvel oppo researchers?) the story can be told of that other red-and-blue hero who's got a track record of serving Big Government that would make Mitt Romney blush. Sure, it's one thing when Superman climbed in bed with the American government to end World War II in about five hours (even if there was that suspiciously un-American-sounding "war crimes" talk coming out of him near the end). After all, that was war, and everyone understands that we have to put aside small-government ideals in time of war -- just ask the GOP during George W. Bush's presidency.

But get a load of this lost record of the Man of Steel in 1952, encouraging Americans to "get on the welfare wagon!" Yes, the Last Son of Krypton took time out to pitch the virtues of "public and private agencies" that "help to protect the welfare of the community." What's next: Superman in his Fortress of Solitude, penning essays on the virtues of a planned political economy?

And here he again, twelve years later, brazenly fronting for the late JFK's Presidential Council on Physical Fitness. (I remember this issue, by the way. The MacGuffin was Superman rescuing a group of American and European exchange students from an avalanche in the Alps. The European students came through it all just fine, but the wussy, out-of-shape American students were bushed. Kennedy then brings in the Man of Steel to front his physical fitness program -- like George H.W. Bush brought in Conan the Barbarian, decades later. I remember one scene from the story in which Superman challenges a group of young runners to touch his cape, as he stays just out of their reach on the track via his super-speed. These were pre-Jim Croce days, of course.)

It's a right-winger's dream: First Superman renounces his American citizenship; and next he's caught pimping for the welfare state! Now, if only there were evidence he wasn't born in this country . . . !

Superman has the Justice League: But what superhero has the "Super Congress?" This week, Tom Tomorrow brings us another moderately exciting adventure MiddleMan.

And speaking of the amazing stranger from the planet Krypton, this week Keith Knight looks ahead to one thing even Superman -- and some cool casting -- may not be able to fix.

Tom the Dancing Bug reminds us: We're all still damned dirty apes.

Comic Riffs picks the top six cartoons on the latest economic downturn.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson comforts his son.

Portland homeboy Jack Ohman pays tribute to one of the last Republicans who didn't want to trash out the system.

It would be a pleasure to expound this economic phenomenon. As I mentioned last week, Looney Tunes produced three animation shorts underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in the 1950s, designed to teach the fundamentals of economics and mass production (with a dose of worker suspicion and American exceptionalism tossed into the mix). Of course, not everyone seems to have been paying attention, but a lot of kids did, for better or worse. From 1954, directed by Fritz Freleng, here's "By Word of Mouse."

(Note to Facebook friends: If you're reading this in FB Notes, you'll need to click View Original Post, below, to see the video.)

No p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer is still on vacation.

Test your toon-captioning chops at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)

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