Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Morning Toons: The p3 index

Number of murder-suicide events that have occurred at Fort Hood, in Texas:


Number of nanoseconds after the second Fort Hood incident when the right-wing media began scuffling over whether the shootings proved that (a) there were not nearly enough guns at the scene, (b) President Obama should be impeached, or (c) both.


Number of people on the entire planet richer than casino owner Sheldon Adelson:


Number of GOP 2016 presidential wannabes who went to Las Vegas to compete for his private campaign funding, only a day or two after the Supreme Court told us that unregulated campaign money can only lead to corruption if there's some obvious and direct quid-pro-quo arrangement:


A hypothetical amount of money that a donor could now dump straight into a single House candidate's campaign, thanks to this week's McCutcheon decision further removing restrictions on private and corporate donors, that wouldn't be "a heck of a lot of money," according to concurring Justice Scalia:

$3.5 million

The number of sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act by the deadline last week that was cited by conservative opponents of the law as proof that the target figure of 7 million would never be reached:

7.1 million

TV advertising revenue in 2012 for the NCAA "March Madness" tournament:

Over $1 billion

Amount of that paid to the athletes themselves:


But you knew that last one was coming, didn't you?

Today's toons were selected using an elaborate 64-part triple-elimination multiple-seeded bracket system 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: Mike Luckovich.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jim Morin.

p3 Croix de Derriere: Clay Bennett.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium (tie): John Cole (also note Terrence Nowiki's link in the comments!) and Steve Sack.

p3 World Toon Review: Kevin Kallaugher (Engand), Martin Slutovec (Slovakia), and Bernard Bouton (France).

Ann Telnaes presents: Pop goes the Boehner!

Mark Fiore gives us a tour of the Sheldon Adelson Petting Zoo.

Taiwan's Next Media Animation has a story with a moral: Always check the calendar before you jump.

The topic of this week's p3 Point/Counterpoint segment is: New Yorker cartoons – touchstone of western civilization, or overrated and formulaic schlock? Taking the point: Michael Cavna, WaPo Comic-Riffs blogger, interviewing New Yorker's cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, on the occasion of his just-out book, How About Never? Is Never Good for You? My Life in Cartooning.
“How About Never” is more than memoir, though; it’s also an enormous window into the mystery and alchemy behind the creation and selection of New Yorker cartoons. Mankoff even dissects the famous “New Yorker Cartoon” episode of “Seinfeld” to shine a light on all the intellectual rigor and comedic criteria that go into accepting a cartoon.

And taking the counterpoint is p3's Master of Umbrage, Ted Rall, who minces no words, as is his wont: The New Yorker is bad for cartooning.
From the psychiatrist’s couch to the sexless couple’s living room to the junior executive’s summons of his secretary via intercom, New Yorker cartoons are consistently bland, militantly middlebrow, and mind-numbingly repetitive decade after decade. Which is fine. What is not fine is not seeing fluff for the crap that it is. The New Yorker is terrible for cartooning because it prints a lot of awful cartoons, and uses its reputation in order to elevate terrible work as the profession’s platinum standard.

(Warning to patrons: No one will be seated during the terrifying "James Thurber 'Bloodhound'" scene!)

Tom Tomorrow looks at what's simmering just beneath the surface, and it isn't pretty.

Keith Knight recognizes those who perform a thankless task.

Tom the Dancing Bug asks: If corporations are people, can they go through adolescent rebellion?

Red Meat's Ted Johnson weighs his options. (And in fairness to Ted, it was April 1st.)

Comic Strip of the Day investigates what happens when you look at things through a South African filter.

Did you ever see a dream walking? Well, I did. And there you have the title, the main musical theme, the first line of the lyric of the theme, and the basic plot of this little gem directed in 1934 by Dave Fleischer (and, uncredited, Seymour Kneitel who also contributed to the animation work), with uncredited work by Billy Costello as Popeye, William Pennell as Bluto, and Mae Questel as The Slender One, plus musical direction by Sammy Timberg. The work of Warner Bros animation musical director Carl Stalling is still the gold standard to me, but Timberg's playoff of orchestration and animation in this toon is just a wonder to behold. I always like to remember Leonard Maltin blowing off on TV about the rich, deep blues of this cartoon. I suppose that there is a colorized version of this short out there somewhere (it was a not-infrequent practice to colorize them later), but this is the original, in gorgeous monochrome and 2D.

The Big, and Working On a Miracle, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-pat Jack Ohman sees it as an out with the old, in with the new kind of week.

Ex-pat Jen Sorenson signs us up for Obamacare 101.

Jesse Springer looks askance – yes, askance – at the various Oregon municipalities who are using a legal loophole to delay the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in their jurisdictions.

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

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