Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday morning toons: We're back! And American conservatives temporarily like Mandela, now that he's dead.

And other ironies, including:

Andrew Snowden wasn't the Time person of the year. The Republicans have a way to make their candidates look like they don't hold women in utter contempt. And a presidential selfie infuriated the most narcissistic politicials and pundits in America.

Today's toons were selected, with exquisite care, from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources.

p3 Best of Show: Stuart Carlson.

p3 Legion of Merit: Ben Sargent.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium (tie): Tony Auth and Jeff Danziger.

p3 World Toon Review: Kevin Kallaugher (UK), Ammer (Austria), Hagen (Norway), and Stavro (Lebanon).

Mark Fiore celebrates the intermix of small government and the free market. Not.

Taiwan's Next Media Animation chronicles a man who gives a different spin to "cat burglar."

Here's a long-forgotten Edward Gorey work entitled The Pious Infant. Righteous adults are undoubtedly sprinting to their local school and public libraries to challenge it, even as we speak. We here at p3 couldn't be prouder.

One of the great injustices of 20th century cartooning was that Charles M. Shulz never owned the rights to his own characters: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, and the rest. The 91st anniversary of his birth was on November 26th, celebrated around the US by Met Life commercials – insurance companies being so popular and all, how could CMS have objected? – and now we have this (emphasis added):

Hold onto your footballs, people. Conservatives just bought Charlie Brown.

Of course, we already knew that despite his iconic status as the world's most famous loser, Charlie Brown -- aka "Chuck" aka That Round-Headed Kid -- has been selling everything from lunch boxes to life insurance for decades. But now the conservative publishing house Regnery, publishing home of profound thinkers like Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter, has licensed him, along with the rest of the Peanuts troupe, for a planned "Little Patriot" series of books for children. Soon, Charlie Brown and his friends will be selling the right-wing agenda.

"Who better than Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang to help teach children about what makes America strong?" reads a press release from Regnery's president, apparently too blinded by the cuteness of the cast to remember that Schulz's strip is mostly about unshakable anxiety and perpetual defeat. "We are delighted to be working with such a trusted and beloved brand."

Wow. "Trusted" and "beloved" are odd words to be used by the publishing house that brought you such "trusted" books as McCarthy and His Enemies and Unfit for Command, the mudslinging "exposé" of John Kerry from a Swift Boat veteran. And The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, sometimes referred to more simply as The Incorrect Guide to Science. Oh, and a book about the Clinton years that was described in The American Prospect as "paint[ing] images of Hillary Clinton hanging crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree."

No wonder the round-headed kid in the zig-zag sweater is so depressed.

And just to piss off conservatives, who loathed Nelson Mandela in the 1980s but want to cash in on his post-mortem popularity now by rediscovering their heretofore unmentioned admiration for him, here's a collection of memorial toons, via Comic Riffs.

Tom the Dancing Bug presents: Oh no, I said the phrase. Interesting factoid: On my Portland to Detroit flight last week, I sat next to someone with two things to say: (1) She and her husband would love to move to Portland to be with their children, but property values in Detroit were in the tank so even if they sold their house they would have to live in a camper van here, and (2) even though her employer made workers say "Happy Holidays" [Made you say it? Seriously? I asked. Yes, she insisted.], she said "Merry Christmas" to her customers/clients anyway, apparently just to stick it to The Man.

Red Meat's Karen and Milkman Dan have the smackdown you've been waiting for.

The Comic Curmudgeon studies the economic basis of feudalism.

Comic Strip of the Day takes the Stuart Carlson toon above and runs with it.

Oh, Santa – this is embarraskin'! With today's animated feature, I reassert the p3 theory that the relationship between Olive and Popeye would be so much simpler if Olive didn't keep her windows open (in December!) so Bluto couldn't hear what they were up to and hatch his evil plots. Still, "Mister and Mistletoe" (directed in 1955 for Famous Studios by longtime Popeye director Izzy Sparber, with musical direction by Winston Sharples, who understudied with the great Sammy Timberg during the golden age of Fleischer Studios, and uncredited voice work by Mae Questel as The Slender One, Jason Beck as the rhyming Bluto, and Jack Mercer as Popeye – who also gets story credit) has its moments, including the vaguely homoerotic moments between the Spinach-Eating Sailor and the Jolly Old Elf. Also notice that there are three nephews this time – not two, not four – who never ask what Bluto's doing in his long underwear sitting by the tree. Makes you wonder what they're used to seeing around the house.

The Big, But Could Be Bigger, Oregon Toon Block:

Matt Bors regrets: They came for the corporations, but he wasn't a corporation, so. . . .

Jesse Springer is proud to memorialize the suspension Pharoh Brown from Oregon's Alamo Bowl appearance for his participation in an incident where students involved an unwilling (retired) UO professor in a snowball fight.

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

No comments: