Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday evening toons: Let the games begin!

Nobody seemed to have much new to say about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump this week. ("Emails!" and "Servers!" have temporarily replaced "Benghazi!" for the former, and there hasn't even been that much movement on the Trump side of things.) Of course, the media have been combing and currying the locks of a very specific set of tropes for handling Clinton for over a quarter century, while they haven't yet figured out how to get a bead on the Short-Fingered Vulgarian. He's playing by the rules of a game show emcee, bullies any mainstream news critic until they knuckle under, he's such a ratings draw that they dare not ignore him, and while other GOP candidates have to find, audition for, and continue to please their own billionaire sugar-daddies, he could fund his own campaign right up to next November out of his own checkbook. They've experimented with different lines of attack, but so far they haven't put a scratch on him. They might have mussed his hair a little, but who could tell for certain? (See? There are no new Trump tropes.)

But Ted Rall has been having a knock-down-drag-out few weeks (follow forward from that link for more on the story), and it ain't over, although for over a week or so the continuing story is that both the LA Times and the LAPD have gone silent as the tomb. Rall is someone who doesn't walk away from a fight, and the bigger the target the better. So you have to figure there's a part of him that is relishing the daily throwing of jabs at the Times and the LAPD from various internet locations. What make me curious is why the Times would prefer to leave him outside the tent pissing in, rather than inside the tent pissing out.

Meanwhile, a FOX News hack who was 11 years old when Jimmy Carter left office recently got her name recognition factor briefly boosted by making a childishly cruel joke about the former President's disclosure that he has liver cancer. Although I'm not sure what even the best cartoonists on their best day could do to give that dreadful excuse for a human being the treatment she deserves. Not saying it can't be done, and not saying it shouldn't be done – just saying I can't imagine how you could go after her properly without ending up in the mud alongside her. Political cartoonists of America, consider the gauntlet thrown down. Sharpen your tools, and let the games begin!

Today's toons were selected by a secret app found triple-encrypted on a hard drive discovered in the separated-recyclables bin on the sidewalk in front of Hillary Clinton's condo (for Monday-morning pickup), 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 cartoon goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Chan Lowe.

p3 "Can't Un-See This One" Medal: Glenn McCoy.

p3 Norma Desmond Award: R. J. Matson.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Jim Morin.

p3 Certificate of Recognition for Maybe Being Ironic, But Then Again Maybe Not: Jeff Stahler.

p3 World Toon Review: Obi (Mexico), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).

Ann Telnaes presents a ghastly toon on a ghastly subject. Consider yourself warned.

Mark Fiore asks: Which GOP primary candidate's photo-ops will out-gun the rest?

Tom Tomorrow teaches us an important lesson: When life is a dream, even our dreams become dreams. Or something like that.

Keith Knight receives the rarely-awarded p3 Pun of the Week Medallian.

Reuben Bolling presents every NeoCon pundit, former government official, or think-tank celebrity that ever existed, or ever will.

Red Meat's Stubbo gets an all-too-brief trip to Mirror-World.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon contemplates not merely the idea but the cold, hard fact of a 100% Dennis-free Dennis the Menace. (Note to DtM creator Hank Ketcham's literary heirs: It's been done.)

Comic Strip of the Day writes of camels and fig leaves and the humble virtues claimed by those who just stuff up (as well as those so intellectually lazy they don't care).

Weekly animation: This morning I caught a matinee of the new "Man from UNCLE movie." I had been dreading this moment for years, knowing Hollywood's track record with the TV of my youth, yet knowing I would have to see it anyway. To my shock and delight, it was a very well-done treatment perfectly captured not only the mood and tone (and women's fashions) of the series: Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo was spot-on without being at all a Robert Vaughn parody. In tribute, here's "The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R.," a 1967 Tom and Jerry spoof directed by Abe Levitow from a story by James Ogle, with uncredited voice work by Portland's Own Mel Blanc (although that amounts to little more than the occasional maniacally evil chortle from Tom. "UNCLE" jokes, puns, and references abound – starting with the title and continuing on to a secret HQ entrance in a cigar store (rather than Del Floria's tailor shop in Manhattan's east 50s 40s) and more. For the sharp-eyed, there's even a James Bond reference and a "Get Smart" gag. Music director Dean Elliot has a great time with the music, including a wonderful parody of Jerry Goldsmith's original "Man from UNCLE" theme. (Interestingly, IMDB lists Goldsmith, and only Goldsmith, as the uncredited theme music composer.) Watch "The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R." at OnlinePlayer.

The Value-Sized Oregon Toon Block:

Did Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman slip the word "sucking" in this one as a deliberate nudge-and-wink to bygone Clinton stories? It caught my eye immediately. Perhaps that's because I'm currently reading this.

Rumored Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen looks at the better parts of a Trump presidential legacy.

Matt Bors celebrates one of the most lethal euphemisms of our time.

Jesse Springer concludes that the consciences of gun sellers will be the last line of defense against gun buyers who would likely not pass a background check, since state agencies say they don't have the resources to enforce the state's new background check. Wonderful news.

Test your toon captioning kung fu 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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