Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday morning toons: In which my ability to stare into the abyss of naked greed and cynical opportunism without blinking fails me.

I wasn't terribly surprised to see the right-wing media, the Tea Party, and the militia enthusiasts fasten like lampreys onto a deadbeat rancher/squatter in Nevada . 

And I wasn't completely caught unawares when the FCC, a totally captured pawn controlled by the very industries it's supposed to be regulating, started making noise about killing Net Neutrality.

But then, I found out just last night that Warner Bros is going to do three more Harry Potter movies, on the thinnest pretext imaginable. This is the kind of naked, opportunistic greed that can make even major studio executives look bad. "Ars gratia artis," my ass. Even Disney - even Disney! think about that! - wouldn't be making three more Star Wars movies if they couldn't hork up a better justification than this.

Today's toons were selected with no other thought in mind than art for art's sake, from from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Joel Pett.

p3 "The Truth Shall Set You Free" Medal: Darrin Bell.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence (special International Edition): Jens Julius (Denmark), Tom Janssen (Netherlands).

p3 Legion of Merit: Ted Rall. (Note: Former Award recipients include G. B. Trudeau.)

p3 World Toon Review: Gado (Kenya), Petar Pismestrovic (Austria), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).

Ann Telnaes sees a sound reason to do one's drinking someplace other than Georgia.

Wait! What's that? Does Mark Fiore hear a discouraging word?

Taiwan's Next Media Animation has a leaked copy of footage from Star Wars VII. Spoiler alert: Once again, Han fires first.

Keith Knight reminds us that smart only gets you so far in this world.

Tom the Dancing Bug brings us the latest adventures of Lucky Ducky "the poor little duck who's rich in luck!" (As always, the secret origin of "Lucky Ducky," for those of you who still wonder, can be found here. Hint: He isn't the sole survivor of the desruction of a distant planet of supermen.)

Red Meat's Bug-eyed Earl is back – and you know it was going to be bad, just from panel #1. Panel #2 only heightens the sense of dread. And panel #3 delivers. So to speak.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon announces the winner of the Most Disturbing Image in Today's Comics award.

Comic Strip of the Day pays eye-candy tribute to the winner of 2014 Thomas Nast Award, given by the Overseas Press Association, and it is a frequently dropped name around here at the p3 toon review. Hint: CSOT calls him "one of those cartoonists whom I always feel a tinge of guilt over using so often, but who is so often right-on that it's hard to resist."

Mandrake the Magician was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. It seems to have taken an odd turn while I wasn't looking.

Quick! Can you name the only original Marvin the Martian cartoon that didn't feature him pitted against Bugs Bunny? Of course you can, because it's the classic "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century," directed by Chuck Jones in 1953 (I should have held up half as well), with a wonderful score full of menace and mock heroics by musical director Carl Stalling, and uncredited voice work by Portland's own Mel Blanc. It's your typical story of great powers duking it out over some third-world (or, in this case, twenty-fourth-world) craphole for the sake of some strategically important mineral, the strategic importance of which is quickly forgotten once the shootin' starts. So it's left for Cadet Porky to be the voice of resistance against the designs of Empire. (Perhaps your childhood Saturday mornings were different than mine.) Other fun facts: Marvin wasn't named Marvin until they needed a name for merchandising purposes in the 1960s. He was either unnamed, or – as in a Bugs Bunny story the previous year – he was Commander of Flying Saucer X-2. Also, the Macguffin in this story is Illudium Phosdex, the shaving cream atom, not to be confused with either Illudium Q-36 (or Illludium Pu-36), the explosive that figured so unfortunately in a couple Marvin-versus-Bugs stories.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman applauds the priorities of those charged with our safety.

Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen looks at that whole tricky speech-money business.

Matt Bors looks at the upward path in American employment.

Jesse Springer wonders: if they had a heterosexual judge in there, would gay couples be getting married by now?

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

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