Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday morning toons: Furlough optics and stranger things

Historians (if they haven't all been wiped out by salmonella, whooping cough, flu, or measles) will one day write about the irony that the rump House Republicans shut down the federal government in a futile, pointless attempt to end the ACA on the very day that the website and phonelines opened for registration and information – and were immediately swamped by callers. House Republicans pointed to this as proof that “Obamacare” was a failure, in much the same way that they pointed to the hours and days that users waited around to download the new iOS was proof that the iPhone was a failure.

Of course, they had more than one thing to worry about: The optics of keeping their own salaries during the shutdown – and even whining that of course they were keeping it, since they had mortgage payments and tuition costs to worry about, unlike the 800,000 federal government workers they proudly furloughed without pay – finally looked so awful that even they realized it, and so they agreed to guarantee back pay for the 800,000 workers, once the government starts up again.

Assuming it ever does.

And on a sadder note, Albuquerque mourned the passing last week of one of its most gifted, if troubled, high school science teachers. Ten million viewers shared their loss.

Today's toons were cooked in an undergound lab and established at 96% purity, from the pages of at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, Politico's Cartoon Carousel, and other fine sources.

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, Jack Ohman, Jim Morin, Lee Judge, Nate Beeler, Clay Bennett, Pat Bagley, Dave Granlund, Randy Bish, Taylor Jones, Mario Piperni, Matt Wuerker, Jen Sorenson, and Monte Wolverton.

p3 Best of Show: Adam Zyglis.

p3 Science! Medal: Mike Ramirez.

p3 Citation for Worst Economic Metaphor (tie): Glenn McCoy and Mike Ramirez.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium (tie): Jack Ohman, Mike Luckovich, Signe Wilkinson, and Adam Zyglis.

p3 World Toon Review: Martin Sutovec (Slovakia), Terry Mosher (Canada), Alex Falco (Cuba), and Mohammad Saba'aneh (Palestinian Territories).

Ann Telnaes introduces Virginia AG (and gubernatorial wannabe) to the the concept of toon physics.

Mark Fiore presents Sammy Salmonella (making his second apperance today; see the p3 Science! Award, above), who assures us, ”We're not trying to kill you; we're just trying to prove a point.

We discussed this topic earlier this week, but Taiwan's Next Media Animation has a retelling of the second battle of Gettysburg for those who like moving pictures and not just words.

Tom Tomorrow admires freedom fighters!

Keith Knight reveals his brush with celebrity greatness.

Tom the Dancing Bug checks in on a beloved childhood friendwho's going through hard times lately.

Red Meat's Bug-eyed Earl has regrets.

The Cartoon Curmudgeon can only watch in horror as The Family Circus embraces the national security state.

Comic Strip of the Day pays tribute to stupid.

King of the Mardi Gras, directed in 1935 by Dave Fleischer, left my young mind confused about the difference between Mardi Gras and Coney Island (Bluto's song mentions both). Also, am I the only one who thinks the opening crowd scenes look like they were directed by Tim Burton? Animators William Sturm and Dave Tendlar are credited, but Eli Brucker, Graham Place, Nick Tafuri, and Harold Walker also did uncredited animation work – I suspect that's because the short featured one of the early uses Fleischer Studio's stereoptical process to create a sense of depth of field. (Also uncredited: Jack Mercer as Popeye, Gus Wickie as Bluto, and Mae Questel as The Slender One, plus musical direction by Sammy Timberg.) In my opinion, the beatdown in this story is all on Popeye; Bluto had a decent act and his own song, which Popeye stole, while Popeye had the chair thing and one cheesy magic act. Watch for Popeye losing and catching his pipe in the roller coaster fight, and Olive making a run for it in her bare feet.

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The Big, Although Not As Big As I'd Hoped, Oregon Toon Block:

Matt Bors has a vision of things to come.

Jesse Springer shares a news item: While the federal government is mired in a hyper-partisan shutdown, Oregon legislators wheel and deal their way to a "grand bargain" on public pensions, tax policy and agriculture in a three-day special session.

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

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