With a technical exception or two, this will be a Star Wars-free post.
A number of friends have already seen it, of course. One saw it in 3-D the first night, then came back hours later to see it in 2-D (What time is the 1-D screening, I resisted the temptation to ask.) Seriously, he was like a 13-year-old with a Visa card. Everyone should be as happy as he was the next day. And I guess I do envy him, at least a little, for the innocent fun he's having. I remember vividly when and where I saw the first three movies. I think I remember where I saw the first prequel, but I'm not even sure I saw the next two in the theater rather than on cable. (Here's the definitive, but NSFW, take on those, to which I can add nothing.) Ruben Bollings slipped in this morning because I can relate to his multi-generational take, which is more about fans and history than about the movie. And while I have some confidence in J.J. Abrams, at least for the first film in a reboot series or the first season of an appointment-TV series, the relentless water-torture hype and merchandising of this thing has been too much for even my cynical soul – which is why Jen Sorenson also got in under the wire. I'll probably wait to catch it, one way or another, until next year.
And the latest well-hidden Democratic presidential debate was last night, so the only way any cartoonists could have anything out this morning was to respond to the furor about the DNC's database screw-up and the temporary lock-out of the Sanders campaign (and the fact that the story, rather than getting handled quietly in-house inexplicably found its way into the mainstream media). And that story is too twisty-turny for anyone to get a good bead on it so early on. (Although Gary Varvel got out of the gate early with his general take on the process.)
So put those together and you won't be surprised that this is sort of a scattershot day. I'm working on making the p3 Sunday toon reviews more thematically unified, but this isn't going to be one of those weeks where that works very well. Blame it on the season. I vaguely recall Aristotle saying that every great category system inevitably involves one category that amounts to None of the Above. This may be a NotA week.
Today's toons were selected from among the week's offerings standing in line outside the local multiplex at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of toony goodness.
p3 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Gary Varvel, Scott Stantis, Darrin Bell, Tom Toles, Lisa Benson, Dan Wasserman, Jeff Danziger, Matt Wuerker, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Ted Rall.
p3 Legion of Merit: Robert Ariail.
Ann Telnaes looks at Cruz's new path to the nomination.
Mark Fiore says, "You keep using that word 'compromise.' I do not think it means what you think it means." Oh, and by the way, Ted: Shut up. Really.
Tom Tomorrow imagines a world where the laws of cause and effect no longer apply!
Keith Knight is right: Anyone who would say "We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense" is worthy of remembrance.
Reuben Bolling gets what happens when a pop culture cult goes on for 40 years.
Red Meat's Ted Johnson confronts his wife. I'm not sure which is more disturbing: the limits of the turtle-shell analogy, or the thought that he's been trained to stay awake long enough to trigger a psychotic episode.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon digs into a strip so depressing it beggars the name "funnies."
Comic Strip of the Day tells the story of how a 14-year-old film reviewer got to see That Movie two days before you did.
Dis is a day for peace on Oit! We're featuring "Seasin's Greetinks!", directed in 1933 by Dave Fleischer with animation by Seymour Kneitel and Roland Crandall, just to piss Bill O'Reilly off (although Popeye does call his gift to Olive "a Christmas presink" and Bluto does wish Popeye "Merry Christmas" right before he sucker-punches him). Uncredited: Musical direction by Sammy Timberg, and voice work by Billy Costello (Popeye), William Pennell (Bluto), and Bonnie Poe (the Slender One). The music Olive skates to is "The Skaters Waltz" (Der Schlittschuhläufer-Walzer), composed in 1882 by Émile Waldteufel. But you probably knew that already. Season's greetings to youse all!
The Oregon Toon Block Awakens! (See what I did there?)
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman celebrates the possibility of clearing the air.
Very Likely Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen articulates the popular rage (or at least articulates my rage, which is just as good because, you know, it's my blog).
Matt Bors serves up one of the darkest toons to make me laugh out loud in quite a while. Not sure what to think about that.
Jesse Springer reflects on the problems of a seller's market.
Test your toon captioning mojo at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.
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.