Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday morning toons: The Trump Event Horizon and even scarier things

I'm mostly shying away from feuding of Bernie/Hillary supporters (and trolls and counter-trolls) this week. As Comic Strip of the Day documents, it has a real been-there-done-that vibe to it, and I find that it's leaving a bad taste in my mouth. If I may paraphrase CSotD: Cartoonists who do not remember history are doomed to re-draw it.

And, somewhat along the same lines, I fear we are in orbit just barely outside the Trump Event Horizon, the hitherto theoretical point at which absolutely no light emerges from any new attempt to capture the ugliness and mendacity of the slo-mo exploding citrus's candidacy, and it will take all our energy just to avoid being sucked in until we're crushed by a hyperdense point of matter half the width of a hydrogen atom. (Inspiration for that belabored metaphor here.) His erstwhile GOP enemies, meanwhile, are now sheepishly lining up behind him, and providing a bizarre counterpoint to reports of Democratic fratricide. So if you got a Trump cartoon in this week's p3 review, it means you found a way to do something pretty damned original.

Same with anti-LGBTQ potty laws. We're way past jokes about peeking under toilet stalls.

I'd like to think that Mike Luckovich is now just deliberately goofing on me and my impatience with Pearly Gates toons. Yeah, if only my legend loomed so large, eh?

There is, alas, no Coveted p3 Award for Best Leslie Gore Allusion of the Week, but if there were it would go this week to Bob Gorrell, hands down.

And while the actual subject matter itself is as fleeting as fleeting can be, especially in the 2016 primary season, this toon by Robert Arial deserves special mention for knowing its classical roots. (See the full 1952 Warner Bros animated short, below. I doubt if Graham will get the same happy ending that the little terrier gets, though. Life just isn't that good to him. A Chester Graham is, and a Chester he will remain.)

Today's toons were selected by a vast conspiracy of unaccountable insiders 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 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Jeff Danziger, Matt Weurker, and Monte Wolverton.

p3 Best of Show: Joel Pett.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jerry Holbert.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: John Deering and Jeff Danziger.

Ann Telnaes brings together one of the persons I dislike most and one of the organizations I dislike most – think of it as the Evil Alternate Universe version of the invention of the Reese's Cup. And with a dash of Charlton Heston, for good measure.

Tom Tomorrow presents another edition of What The President Meant To Say. You'll be inspired to circumspection! You'll courageously display caution!

Reuben Bolling has produced one of my new all-time favorites, making me realize why that hair color always seemed so familiar.

Red Meat presents a strip featuring Papa Maoi and Ted Johnson's son in which, as a rarity, the punchline is carried by the art, not the dialog.

The Comic Curmudgeon finds a disturbing Island of Dr. Moreau subtext to Shoe. Are there indeed some doors comic strips were never meant to open?

Comic Strip of the Day is a pretty rigorous drawer of distinctions (must be the Aquinas in him?), and in this post he distinguishes between desperation and hipness.

PANTHER STILL AT LARGE – and if "Tree for Two," a story featuring Sylvester and the too-rarely seen Chester and Spike, directed in 1952 by Friz Freleng, had been a classic Hitchcock black comedy, that headline would be the Macguffin. (Think of the panther as Harry.) This short features one of my favorite musical scores by music director Carl Stalling of the p3 pantheon of gods. (Betcha didn't know that there were lyrics to "The Charleston," did you, Earthling?) Watch "Tree for Two" at DailyMotion.

The Right-Sized Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman gets to slip this one in because of #8. (How's that for a classic click-bait move?)

Documented Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen not only had the same reaction to this news story that I did – meaning, of course, that she's obviously right and therefore deserving of her special place here at p3 Sunday Morning Toons – but she also has a better last-panel punchline than I would have come up with. Ah, the evergreen reductio ad absurdum tactic.

Matt Bors features the return of that major female hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ and fighter for justice. Also nails it with the final-panel punchline.

Oregon got praise from The Nation and Rolling Stone this week for its one-two system of voter registration and balloting by mail – both of which might be fairly summarized as doing the exact opposite of what places like Wisconsin and North Carolina do – but Jesse Springer points to the fly in the ointment: low turnout among Oregon voters in the 2016 primary.

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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