Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Yooge and Obviously Very Classy

If your cartoon used "political correctness" as a term of opprobrium, you have been played by the right and you didn't make the cut today (even if you're a cartoonist whose work we've been happy to feature before – you know who you are).

If you really think that throwaway coffee cups are an important part of the national conversation on anything except throwaway coffee cups, you missed the cut by a country mile. (If, on the other hand, you get the irony of complaining about that in the first place, you may very well have gotten one of the coveted p3 golden tickets today.)

If you regard the ISIS terror attacks in Paris on Friday as a great opportunity for the US (at least those parts of it that don't contain your friends and family) to get its war on, you didn't make the cut. At least in the old days, there was the assumption you'd at least be willing to buy war bonds (link goes to an image with a casual WWII-era racial slur; consider yourself warned). In fact, if your take on the Paris attacks is summarized in any of these, you didn't make the cut.

And no, that's not <air quotes>political correctness</air quotes>, nor is it censorship. Shush. (Nope. Not censorship either.)

Today's toons were selected, based on how they were polling in Iowa last week, from the 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: Chan Lowe.

p3 Legion of Merit: Darrin Bell, John Deering, Jerry Holbert, and especially Rick McKee.

p3 Award for Best Repurposing Of A Disturbing April 1976 National Lampoon Cover: Henry Payne.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation From Another Medium: Daryl Cagle

p3 "If You Think There Are Invisible Rats and Bugs on the Wall, You're Ray Milland in "The Lost Weekend," But If You Believe an Invisible Hand Guides All Markets Toward Optimal Outcomes, You're a University of Chicago Economist" Medal: Matt Weurker.

Today's p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence will be presented by Comic Strip of the Day.

King Features Syndicate is celebrating its 100th birthday with a special comics insert for local newspapers. From Krazy Kat to Rhymes with Orange, Prince Valiant to Flash Gordon, from Popeye and Betty Boop to Hi and Lois, it's a fun historical tour. But you won't find it in today's Sunday Oregonian.

Ann Telnaes live-sketches last week's GOP presidential debate, and discovers the Jack Lemmon lurking inside of Jeb! Bush.

Tom Tomorrow says it's all about the post debate ritual. And, of course, the "But Later."

Keith Knight reflects on a missed opportunity.

Reuben Bolling says, Have a nice day, Citizen! You have been warned!

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl been hangin' out in the park all mornin'.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon's Google search history will never be the same – and he has Snuffy Smith to thank.

Comic Strip of the Day reviews the immediate post-Paris options: sorrow and bluster.

Speaking of King Features, Popeye, and Betty Boop: He was already a hit in the comic pages when Popeye's first theatrical appearance (and Olive's, and Bluto's) got a kickstart from the already-established Betty Boop in the 1933 "Popeye the Sailor," directed by Dave Fleischer, with animation by Seymour Kneitel and Willard Bowsky. (Kneitel kept his animation and, later, directing duties all the way through the low-budget made-for-TV Popeye cartoons of the early 1960s.) Uncredited voice work by Billy Costello (Popeye), Bonnie Poe (la Boop and The Slender One), and William Pennell (Bluto).

The music department had a good time on this one: In addition to "Strike Up the Band (for Popeye the Sailor)," a shameless borrowing of the 19th century song "Strike Up the Band (Here Comes a Sailor)", this cartoon introduced the song that would eventually be Popeye's theme (loosely borrowed by songwriter Sammy Lerner from Gilbert and Sullivan and, if Wikipedia is to be believed, written in two hours), plus brief quotes from "The Sailor's Hornpipe," "The Volga Boatman" and "Bollocky Bill the Sailor," the latter of which was repurposed from an old and off-color 19th century drinking song into the theme for Bluto's role as Barnacle Bill the Sailor in the 1935 short "Beware of Barnacle Bill."

There are occasional internet references to this short as having been "banned," which is a bit of a stretcher. The casual racism (consider yourself warned) of one scene and the hanging-by-a-thread quality of Betty's lei and grass-skirt hula wear did cause some TV stations to keep it off the air for a while after they were syndicated in the early 1950s (the sexy Boop performance was probably more of a problem at the time than the "darkie" sight gag, unfortunately; and of course the ritual violence against Olive wasn't a problem until much, much later).

The Yooge and Obviously Very Classy Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman made me laugh.

Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen has a dream, in which green M&Ms figure prominently.

Matt Bors explains that whole Syria thing. It'll definitely put your mind to rest. 

Jesse Springer captures the moment: While surveiling #BlackLivesMatter for potential threats to police – and that should have been enough to make somebody stop and rethink things, right there – Oregon's Department of Justice wound up targeting their own Director of Civil Rights. Well played, OR DOJ. Well played.

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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