Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday evening toons: Happy trails, Hans.

So the Sunday morning toon review is late. Sue me.

It was a bad week for beloved and gifted artists and at least one amazingly talented character actor. As a Facebook meme advises, let's all form a protective circle around Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. 

The David Bowie-Alan Rickman coincidence reminded me that the death of Elvis in August 1977 was followed three days later by the death of Groucho Marx, of the p3 pantheon of gods. In that pre-internet world, when the covers of two weekly news magazines could set the agenda for public discussion, coverage of Elvis's death pretty much bigfooted Groucho's – to the consternation of not a few. I'm not sure that Facebook and Twitter have given us a better world (see Matt Bors, below), but they guaranteed that Rickman's death wasn't overshadowed by Bowie's.

And, of course, Bowie remains immortalized in Rule 3b of the p3 Little Drummer Boy competition.

Bowie's death came as a surprise to everyone outside his innermost circle, so cartoonists had to wing it, but any tributes to Bowie that involved looking at the stars or St. Peter at the Pearly Gates almost certainly didn't make the cut – unless you're Clay Jones and you went magnificently meta, in which case you very likely got the p3 Best of Show Award.

And the best Alan Rickman tribute came not from the editorial page cartoonists, but from Ben Schwartz at The New Yorker. The good news, such as it is, is that Rickman will live forever in the hearts of a generation for whom this is the definitive Chrismas movie.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the militia/seditionist takeover of a federal bird sanctuary here in my adopted home state continues to walk the perilous tightrope between ridiculous and lethal. The good news is that the ridicule is becoming more focused on their preposterous legal and constitutional theories, and less on the argument that anybody besides white Christians pulling shit like this would have been dead a couple of weeks ago. So that's good. I guess.

And the President made a speech, as presidents shall from time to time. Several Republican tools didn't bother to show up.

And a generation of Americans who swore they didn't need algebra lined up to by Powerball tickets this week.

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: Clay Jones.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Steve Benson, Stuart Carlson, and Randy Bish.

Mark Fiore answers the question: What does it take to stop a bad guy with e. coli?

I am, for better or worse, old enough to remember when the Mattel toy company, following the zeitgeist, pivoted effortlessly from wild-west guns to secret agent guns in the early 1960s (and yes, that is a young Kurt Russel). Tom Tomorrow sees the next logical step.

Reuben Bolling exposes Ikea as the terrorist front that it is.

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl sees a better day ahead.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon's shot at sad, pathetic bargaining makes me think he's too young to remember when hand-drawn hook-up diagrams were the way people got over with multiple-unit home sound/video setups.

Comic Strip of the Day shares stories about the losing side of the fine line.

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet: "What's Opera, Doc?" was directed in 1957 by Chuck Jones from a story by Michael Maltese. It ranks at #1 on list of the 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected By 1,000 Animation Professionals, and rightly so. Via DailyMotion, here's the original, and a documentary about the making of it. The best 16 minutes you'll spend today. Promise.

The Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman has the view from the best seat in the House.

Maybe-Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen asks an awkward question. (For the record, I love la Bee and Amy Schumer had me at this.)

Jesse Springer points out that, even for militia/seditionists, the job's not over 'til the paperwork's done.

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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