Was it really only last week that simply everyone was talking about Rubio the Robot?
Nino's death yesterday morning just kicked every bit of conventional wisdom about the 2016 campaign, and the final months of the Obama administration, and the remainder of this session of the Supreme Court, right into a cocked hat. In fact, there are a couple of toons this week that I included today precisely because they became obsolete within a matter of hours, through no fault of the artists' own. So we'll see what we get on all that next week.
I'm not a big fan of Pearly Gates tributes following the deaths of famous people (although I do have my moments of weakness there), but I admit that I like to imagine Scalia being turned away by St. Peter, at which point the latter advises him: Get over it. So, you know, if anyone out there in political cartoon land wants to take a shot at it, you'll have my blessing – and the incalculably career-boosting chance of being next week's p3 Best in Show.
Meanwhile, it's unclear whether the Bernie believers and the Hillary loyalists will do more damage to one another than all the GOP candidates will do to one another in the proudly and traditionally nasty South Carolina primary. In the latter case, it's about rooting for injuries, I suppose.
But that's also part of the reason that there aren't many Valentine's Day-themed toons featured today. When social media-stoked gender arguments start defining the presidential race, for both Democrats and Republicans in their own way, a pseudo-holiday existing only to fuel the chocolate, greeting card, and industrial-grade diamond vendors doesn't give us much to work with. (Compare CsotD's take with the Comics Curmudgeon's, below.) Enough of politically-themed Cupids firing heart-shaped arrows at people. Lucy van Pelt had the right idea: It's all a big commercial racket run by an eastern syndicate.
And, closer to home, Portland has its own environmental safety problems, but let's hope they handle it better than California has. Props to Monte Wolverton.
Also close to home: Happy birthday to my adopted home state.
Today's toons were selected by a room full of mysterious superdelegates from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of cartoon goodness.
p3 Best of Show: Tom Toles.
p3 Legion of Merit: Jeff Danziger.
p3 Legion of Extreme Merit: Pat Bagley.
p3 Could Have Been Different Tomorrow Medal: Signe Wilkinson.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Steve Benson.
Ann Telnaes sketches last night's GOP primary debates.
Mark Fiore reminds us that Hillary has a dreadful track record of campaign surrogates.
Tom Tomorrow gives us a look at an ongoing series of primary questions – watch for the cameo appearance by Chuckles the Sensible Woodchuck!
Keith Knight puts the spotlight of parenthood on that town we've temporarily lost track of.
Reuben Bolling celebrates what can be accomplised without even the most cursory investigation beforehand.
Red Meat's Milkman Dan teaches Karen the fine line between social dominance and letting someone off easy.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon takes a different slant on the whole Valentine's Day diamond thing.
Comic Strip of the Day writes about the world of vitriol and nitwits. Can't say I much disagree. Although, sometimes I think I'm the only one who recalls the brief 1988 presidential candidacy of (Portland's Own) Pat Schroeder taking a lethal pre-Howard Dean-ish hit from her political opponents and the media for going to tears in public.
That's what this country needed all the time – a woming presidenk! "Olive Oyl for President" combines two themes that are charting this week: Politics criss-crossing with gender, and Cupid. Directed in 1948 by Izzy Sparber, it lets Popeye get off with an early-on line that's perilously close to what Gloria Steinem came out with in support of Hillary last week – which ought to make everyone pause and consider. And come to think of it, "two heads for the price of one" is pretty close to the promise that Bill and Hillary offered in 1992. Make of all that what you will. Uncredited voice work by Jack Mercer (Popeye), Jackson Beck (the fat candidate), and Mae Questel (The Slender One).
The Almost Nothing to Do with Valentine's Day Oregon Toon Block:
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman captures a moment so perfectly it'll be a miracle if anyone under 40 even gets it.
Most Likely Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen finds the moment that Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters can rally around.
Matt Bors takes some pro-Hillary claims to their approximately logical extension.
Jesse Springer wonders if Oregon missed its political-tourism cash-cow moment, a la Iowa and New Hampshire.
Test your toon captioning prowess 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.