Lucky us. This week the toon world was heavily into the status of health in America. Not that Obamacare thing: Suddenly the right-wing media is all crickets chirping and the distant tinkle of glassware somewhere near Omaha on that subject.
For openers, it looks like the run-up to Memorial Day is going to be all about the VA's service performance, which is fitting.
Having raised a fortune in 2012 superPAC money with almost nothing to show for it except his own fees, Karl Rove is exploring his new career a TV doctor (he looks at Hillary Clinton and sees possible brain damage, as opposed to Bill Frist who looked at Terri Schaivo and saw the exact opposite! Tricky business!)
And House Republicans have the fever – and the cure is More #Benghazi!
At least it's all pushed Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling farther down the news feed for a little while. Plus, it was the occasion for a couple of good penguin sight-gags. And as loyal p3 readers know, we're all about the penguins here.
Today's toons were selected by a select House panel charged with establishing the scandalous link between political cartooning during the Obama administration and threats to national security from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of toon goodness.
p3 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Chris Bennett, Matt Davies, Walt Handlesman, Jim Morin, Pat Oliphant, Joel Pett, Marshall Ramsay, Ben Sargent, Pat Bagley, Mike Keefe, Matt Wuerker, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Paul Szep.
p3 Legion of Merit: Keith Knight.
p3 Medal of Valor (with Hashtags): Eric Alley.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium (tie): Jeff Stahler and Chan Lowe, with extra credit to Matt Wuerker. (I honestly expected this award to be given out to at least half a dozen variations on "Abbie Normal," but no such luck.)
p3 World Toon Review: Silviano Mello (Brazil), Petar Pismestrovic (Austria), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).
How did this get by us? On April 29, Al Feldstein died at age 88. For three decades he was the editor of Mad Magazine, and created the magazine that every generation thinks of when they hear the name. (And, for the record, I still think this Mort Drucker gag is still the funniest single panel from my glory days.* I can't explain it.)
*And therefore the funniest single panel in all of human history, since as MAD's current editor says in the link above, “For each reader, MAD was funniest when they first discovered it.”
It's like imagining Damon without Pythias. Or Lewis without Martin. Or Rowan without Martin. Or, more to the point, Bugs without Elmer. Here at p3 we've often mentioned Portland's own Mel Blanc, the man of a thousand voices, but we haven't mentioned Arthur Q. Bryant – who made the voice of Elmer Fudd the voice that imitators always hoped for but never achieved. Here he is, in something wholly non-Fudd. And the really cool thing is that he looks exactly like you would have imagined he looks.
Ann Telnaes celebrates the return of Mister Warmth.
Mark Fiore introduces the universal language. (It's like Esperanto, except that William Shatner never made a movie in it. How 'bout that – the Shatman gets two plugs this week!)
Taiwan's Next Media Animation has good news and bad news: It could mean that TASERs and pepper sprays might get phased out by police. The bad news, it's more powerful by an order of magnitude, it's laser-sighted, and it looks so sexy you know they'll want to whip it out a lot more often.
Tom Tomorrow sings a chorus of "They'll never forget you 'til somebody new comes along."
Keith Knight gives a shoutout to something he could get nostalgic about.
Tom the Dancing Bug continues the olde, olde story. (Part 1 was featured last week.) We can look forward to Part 3 next week, if the troll will sanction it.
Red Meat's Johnny Lemonhead faces a true story of the 2014 job market.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon considers the importance of setting reasonable goals, via The Family Circus.
Comic Strip of the Day says: When the going gets tough, the tough go dada-ist.
Chase me: It's pretty damned rare for the Golden-Age snobs here at Team p3 to include any animation produced after about 1957 (unless it's Canadian, of course). And I doubt if the long history of the feature has ever included the words "direct-to-video." But that's what we're featuring today, and it's a beaut. Directed by Curt Geda, with a great jazz score by Lolita Ritmanis, "Chase Me" was a little somethin' extra on the 2003 DVD Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. This time I won't over explain. Just enjoy. (Hat-tip to Oliver Mannion.)
The p3 Sunday Comics Read-Along: Pearls Before Swine, Doonesbury, Rhymes with Orange, Zits, Adam @ Home, Mutts, Over the Hedge, Get Fuzzy, Prince Valiant, Blondie, Bizarro, Mother Goose & Grimm, Rose is Rose, Luann, Hagar the Horrible, Pickles, Rubes, Grand Avenue, Freshly Squeezed, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, and Jumble.
And, while the big O has kept its comics pages alive – and has even moved them to color – things are looking a little ominous back east. Jim Romanesko writes: New York Post Drops Its Comics Section (And Few People Notice).
The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman gives us a bird's eye view of GOP Presidential primary sweepstakes.
Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen (who may not be an ex-Oregonian at all, and we're looking into it, but not in a creepy stalker way) shares gift ideas for the unvaccinated.
Matt Bors explores the many useful possibilities of hashtag activism.
Jesse Springer gets a little teary-eyed as the moment nears when the couple stands in front of the judge and says those magic words. (Look for the announcement on Monday at noon. It's BYOH – Bring Your Own Hankie.)