Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday morning toons: Welcome to 2016 – what could possibly go wrong?

You might have gotten in this week if you did a elderly 2015/infant 2016 toon, but it needed something special. (If you did one where the infant 2016 had a Trump comb-over, thanks for playing, see you next week.)

(And am I the only one out here wondering how a billionaire can't manage to have either a decent hairpiece or a decent haircut?)

You could get in the door with a new-year's-resolution cartoon, but again it needed to be more ingenious than straight-up resolving not to do something awful again – consider Jeff Stahler's and Rick McKee's contributions, below.

And I was predicting years ago that the professional pursuers of Bill Clinton's penis were only waiting for the next opportunity pick up in mid-sentence where they left off. I just didn't expect it to be the Short Fingered Vulgarian himself who would open the door. If you went anywhere near the trumped-up (see what I did there?) pseudo-debate about whose record of behavior toward women is sleazier – Trump's or Clinton's – you didn't even make the cutoff for bird-cage liner this week. (Hint: Clinton at least made an effort, years ago, to accept some small measure of responsibility for his behavior, while Trump is constitutionally incapable of such a move on any subject; and even on Clinton's worst, worst, worst day, he never speculated publicly about how hot Chelsea is and how much he'd like to hit on that.)

I was surprised that I found very few attempts to take on the acquittal of the police who gunned down Tamir Rice (one, in fact, and it wasn't really link-worthy), but a combination of deadlines and the mind-numbing frequency with which political cartoonists have to address these things now could easily explain that.

Oh, and one last thing: I'm no fan of Obama's attitude toward the Fourth Amendment, but for better or worse the US, and most other countries, spie on its allies as well as its enemies, which is how the NSA ended up listening in on Israeli prime minister Netanyahu suborning members of the US congress to sabotage Obama's Iraq treaty. If you turned in a cartoon about that bad old Obama "spying on congress" without admitting what congressional reps and their lobbyist handlers were doing on that phone line to begin with, you didn't make the cut.

Today's toons were selected by the most painstaking methods imaginable 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: Darrin Bell.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Dave Granlund and Joe Heller.

p3 Hanging Curve Award: Nick Anderson.

p3 Self-Juxtaposition Medal: Mike Luckovich and Mike Luckovich.

Ann Telnaes braces herself for the next celebrity trial.

Tom Tomorrow presents Part 2 of 2015 in Review. It's disturbingly Trump-intensive – like the year itself.

Keith Knight looks on as the tee-up to a classic Christmas song is ruined, possibly forever. Thanks, Irving Berlin!

Reuben Bolling returns us to a strange world that is not quite the opposite of our own – but is somewhat dissimilar in certain ways.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson and his son are about to cross into that place where you won't even care.

Comic Strip of the Day considers why zombie strips live forever, good strips only live a while if they even get picked up in the first place, and those news/aggregator websites you sometimes visit may have ads that are the web equivalent of radioactive snake vomit.

Oh, boy! I'm wich! I'm wich! Elmer Fudd has Bugs Bunny cornered when he learns he's set to inherit three million dollars – provided he doesn't bwast any more wabbits, ever, in "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper," directed by Friz Freleng in 1942. You can imagine how it goes. (Tom & Jerry had a very similar story, albeit with a different resolution, two years later over at MGM, which I'll probably dust off for you next week. Both cartoons quote the song "We're In the Money" from "Gold Diggers of 1933.") [Update: No they don't. My bad.] This was early on in both Bugs' and Elmer's film career, and you can tell that the animators and story writers haven't settled on the final look and feel (if there can be such a thing) for either character. Uncredited voice work by Arthur Q. Lewis (Elmer) and Portland's own Mel Blanc (Bugs and the telegram delivery guy). "Is that you, Myrt? How's every little thing?" was a recurring gag from the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program popular from 1935 to 1959.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman notes the proper exceptions being made.

Could-be Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen streamlines your experience of the next twelve months.

Jesse Springer fortells the snowballing of a problem that it seems to me we've been warned about regularly since I first moved to Oregon.

Test your awakened toon captioning Force 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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