Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Maybe he fought with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against Franco

By way of background, I have my dad's WWII army dog tags, and I often wear them when I ride. The theory being, of course, that he got home in one piece (which actually makes this a Veterans Day story, not a Memorial Day story), so –

Anyway, a few nights ago, a fellow probably in his twenties (I didn't know him) pointed at the tags and mumbled shyly, "Thank you for your service."

I shrugged and said. "They were my dad's, not mine." He looked a little embarrassed. I suppose I could have left it there, but as some of my readers may be aware, "leaving it there" is not always my strongest suit. So I added, "He was in World War Two."

Now he didn't look embarrassed anymore. He just looked baffled. I think I might just as well have said "He was in the French and Indian War." Or "He was in the second Battle of Bull Run." Would have been all the same to him, I suspect.

Or I could have said, "He fought with Anakin Skywalker and Obiwan Kenobi in the Clone Wars." That might have made a light bulb come on.

You'd think all those years in the classroom, watching that look of gradually-increasing horror on the students' faces as they thought, "Oh lord, he's going to over-explain again!" would have cured me of that habit. Apparently not.

Too bad. I was going to buy him an espresso and tell him the story about my dad hunting wild boar off the back of a jeep with a 50-caliber machine gun in Burma, the country which renamed itself Mayanmar in 1989 as part of the process of throwing off its history as a British colony. Or maybe the story of how I went from 2-S to 1-S to 1-A to 1-H, and how that kept me out of Vietnam.

Yeah, I bet he would have enjoyed that one.

By the way, only two "knowing what you know now" toons made the cut – Jeff Danziger's and Ruben Bolling's, below – because they found something to say other than "hindsight is 20-20."

Today's toons were selected 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: Matt Davies.

p3 Legion of Merit: Chris Britt.

p3 Grandfather Paradox Medal: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Jeff Stahler, Steve Kelley and Ingrid Rice.

Ann Telnaes' animation today makes more sense if you know that training on a stationary bike is called spinning. That being said, it's also about other things we should remember this weekend, aside from the obvious.

Mark Fiore considers the difference between a dynasty and an inherited predisposition.

Tom Tomorrow has an observation about soft targets (and a revelation about white high-tops).

Keith Knight returns to his alma mater for a refresher on media history.

Ruben Bolling takes us into dangerous territory: Jeb's brain.

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl demystifies a common urban sight.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon celebrates the setting of a new record.

Comic Strip of the Day stresses the significance of the clipboard, and confirms in passing my belief that everyone who ever owned a VW bus has a moment when they say they miss it. (A real VW bus, by the way, not this joke, about which the owners of which will never, ever wax sentimental, I promise you. The "new Beetles" may be just a different shell on a Golf chassis, but at least they had a passing resemblance to the original.)

So you wanna be a sailor, huh? Popeye was a civilian sailor – or in the Coast Guard – for most of his early career (not counting a one-off animated "clip" story where he joined the Army to please Olive in 1936). He joined the Navy in this theatrical short released November 14, 1941 – slightly over three weeks before Pearl Harbor. What did Paramount Pictures know, and when did they know it? The attacking ships' flag simply says "Enemy (Name Your Own)," which at least spares us the ugly Japanese stereotypes that are typical of most wartime Popeyes. Uncredited voice work by Jack Mercer as Popeye and Ted Pierce as the Captain. Pierce also had a co-credit as story writer, a job he would later fill at Warner Bros as Tedd Pierce, where he created some classic stories with animator Chuck Jones (hint: "Wabbit season!" "Duck season!") (Nope, that was Michael Maltese. Wake up, Bill.) The part at the end about the Popeye insignia on the Navy bombers was true.

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

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman has a plan to fit all those candidates on stage.

Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen takes us on a tour of the going-rogue gallery.

Matt Bors has a message for bikers: Pull your damned pants up!

Jesse Springer asks a fair question: Rather than look to inefficient and inequitible pay-per-mile fees to replace road-maintenance revenue lost from fuel efficiency, why not just raise the damned gas tax?

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

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