Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday afternoon toons: Consolations

It would be tough to find something new and different about last week's GOP presidential candidate debate, particularly since it was designed and executed in no small part with an eye toward making sure it would have as little that was new and different as humanly possible. At this point, there's not much to say about the pack of candidates, the appetites of the GOP's base, or the short-fingered vulgarian himself that hasn't already been Done To Death, which is why Clay Bennett made a nice showing.

No one has much that's new to say about the Planned Parenthood pseudo-documentary, either, or the fact that the entire GOP field appears to be running on a platform of at least defunding it, if not razing its building and sending its employees to Gitmo.

On the other hand, Michael Ramirez was one of the ones who got out of the gate early with the "canary" joke about Obama's clean energy plan. I don't really agree with him, which is hardly unusual, but I did think this joke was based on the merits of the argument rather than reflexive anti-Obamaism. See what you think.

And while I like everything I've seen from Amy Schumer, including this NSFW fave, almost everything I've seen of her was passed along to me second-hand. Which why I had to make it through more than one toon with a "Trainwreck" punchline before I noticed something was up. I'm in the wrong demographic. What can I say?

And I think I must have passed over all the toons about Joe Biden supposedly trying to stay relevant, when in fact it was really about MoDo trying to stay relevant by floating unsubstantiated rumors about Joe.

And, if nothing else, we learned this week that the name of the late, lamented Cecil the lion is pronounced like the producer and director of epics like "The Ten Commandments," rather than like the turtle that had the rare distinction of getting the best of Bugs Bunny in a series of 1940s Looney Tunes.

Today's toons were selected by a two-tiered, poll-driven selection process 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 (tie): Clay Bennett and Signe Wilkinson.

p3 Legion of Merit: Dan Wasserman.

p3 Most Extreme Elimination Award: Bill Schorr.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Clay Jones and Jerry Holbert.

p3 Award for the Most Amazingly Blunt Cartoon in God-Knows How Long: Chris Britt.

p3 World Toon Review: Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Paresh Nath (India), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).

And although I don't really agree with Jim Morin's take on what Clinton did here (I'm inclined to think it was an uncharacteristically sly bit of concern trolling on the Big Dog's part), I still think this cartoon is pretty funny.

Ann Telnaes doubts the GOP's ability to worry about the right thing.

Mark Fiore points out: Cecil is not alone. There's Shelly, Michael, Vernon, Clarence, and lord-knows how many more – but, bad luck to them, they weren't trophies.

Tom Tomorrow explores the space between classy and presidential. It ain't much.

Keith Knight has a suggestion for those who don't like their climate change neat.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson has a moment that's nearer than usual to the reality most of share. (The first commenter agrees!)

Comic Strip of the Day seems disinclined to apologize.

Weekly animation: Although I did enjoy Tom Terrific when I was a wee lad (arguably too young to know better), I'm on record as having never much liked the work of Gene Deitch. He came through the school of UPA's attempt to turn limited animation, a necessity beginning in the early 1950s, into a virtue. And some of his independent work was really interesting. Just don't let him near anything that had an already-established direction. Putting aside his animation, which seemed crude even by the xerographic standards of the day, he never seemed to "get" the characters he was working with. Tom and Jerry were the most glaring example of this: Deitch thought that there was too much violence, which is a little like thinking there was too much disco in "Saturday Night Fever." Nevertheless, yesterday was his 91st birthday, so here's a little something in his honor (and don't get me started on executive producer Al Brodax): "Weight For Me" was directed by Deitch in 1961, with uncredited voice work by studio stalwarts Jack Mercer (Popeye), Jason Beck (Brutus), and Mae Questel (The Not-So-Slender One). So it actually works better if you listen to it without watching the video.

The "It Is What It Is" Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman catches a local showing before it catches him.

Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen witnesses the tactics of an extremist organization.

Matt Bors has an odd post about priorities.

Jesse Springer notices the range of price points when candidates come calling in the Beaver State. (Although, in Clinton's defense, those who attend the upcoming Sanders rally won't even get a plate.

Do you have the proportional toon-captioning powers of an ant? Find out 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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