Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday morning toons: When things get ugly

(Updated below.)

Honestly, I'm about Democratic primaried-out out right now. (I don't mind the Republican primaries so much, because I can at least root for injuries there.) I find myself thumbing past angry or self-righteous Hillary and Bernie posts on my Facebook feed as fast as my aged opposables will go. It all feels too much like spring of 2008. People are even bitching about superdelegates, just like we were eight years ago this week.

Although there were quite a few toons this week linking Hillary to dogs, based more or less on this, and I have to say I don't see it all being worth the candle.

And, sadly, it appears that no cartoonists accepted my "get over it" challenge for the definitive Scalia obiturary cartoon from last week.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump picked a fight with the only the only person who controls more money and has greater brand recognition than himself.

And if you parroted the Trump campaign's rant about the Vatican having walls like what Trump wants to build on the southern US border, you didn't make the cut today.

I'm inclined to let Harper Lee rest in peace while the ghouls who apparently now control her literary estate miraculously discover, as you know – you know! – they will, other manuscripts that she didn't want published and that will simultaneously enrich the ghouls and impoverish her legacy.

And I'm with Apple on the whole back-door for iPhones thing. In fact, I think it disrespects the FBI/OHS plan to call it a demand for back-door access. They want to come in through the front door. The history of technologies we've had but chose not to use on each other, despite the invocation of national security in one or more of its historical forms, is pretty skimpy. Pretty skimpy indeed. The suicide zeppelin, maybe. That's about it.

Today's toons were selected after a flurry of ballot-box stuffing 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: Tom Toles.

p3 Legion of Merit: Clay Bennett.

p3 Marksmanship Qualification Badge: John Deering.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Stuart Carlson and Niels Bo Bojesen.

Mark Fiore watched as Originalism and Constitutionalism stopped on a dime last week.

Tom Tomorrow remembers the good times before this week's untimely passing.

Keith Knight foresees more color than the red carpet at next week's Oscars.

Red Meat's The Old Cowboy, longing for fellowship, hearing voices, clinging to his extremist views – sounds like the people we finally locked up last week here in Oregon.

Comic Strip of the Day pays tribute to the costumed hero who predated Superman and Batman, a favorite of mine from my young days of coasting on my grandmother's subscription to the Lebanon Reporter, back when plots didn't have to make sense. Maybe, before Lent's over, he'll take a swing at the 50's detective strips like Kerry Drake and Steve Roper – and, of course, Rip Kirby.

(Update: Hint broadly, and ye shall be answered! Plus, I'd forgotten Brother Juniper and Grandma -- the latter used to slightly boggle my young mind because the character seemed a dead ringer, in appearance and somewhat less so in disposition, to my own grandmother, in whose paper I read all the strips named above. How did this Charles Kuhn cartoonist fellow know about her and arrange for the strip to appear in her paper every day?)

"'Last rabbit?' Hey, dis calls for stragedy!" To celebrate yesterday's self-congratulatorily ugly South Carolina GOP primary, we proudly present "Ballot Box Bunny," directed in 1951 by Friz Freleng, with voice work by Portland's Own Mel Blanc and musical direction by Carl Stalling of the p3 pantheon of gods. "How ugly," you ask? Apart from this being the first of three uses between 1951 and 1965 of the exploding piano gag with "Those Endearing Young Charms," there's more: According to Wikipedia,
The ending scene where Bugs and Sam play Russian Roulette after both losing the mayoral race to an actual "dark horse mare" was deleted for many years on TV airings (regardless of channel – it has been edited on ABC, CBS, WB, FOX, syndicated networks, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network [until September 2011], and Boomerang) with a fake iris-out after Bugs says: "Dark horse?" and Sam says: "Mare?"(Mayor).[3] Since September 2011, however, Cartoon Network has aired the short with the ending uncut and uncensored.

Watch "Ballot Box Bunny" on DailyMotion.

The Big, But Always Hoping to Get Bigger, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman caught my eye this week with the only great animal caricature of the Senate Majority Leader I've ever seen that wasn't turtle-based. (Well, okay, not counting this one from 2013, which was pretty funny and creative too.)

Quite Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen presents one of the few scenarios that would make the Bush Family Lawn Jockey say Uh-oh – or really anything all.

Matt Bors notices an example of candidate Clinton's dreadful tradition of choice when it comes to campaign spokespersons.

Jesse Springer lampoons the Oregon GOP legislators' silly – if it weren't so irresponsible – effort to block progress in the current short session by insisting that each bill be read, aloud, in its entirety, before it can be voted on. If only their party stood for something affirmative, rather than simply obstruction and failing to rescind.

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.

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