Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday morning toons: What ever became of . . . ?

There are other stories this week than the story that everyone predicted but no one saw coming – the all-but-settled coronation of Donald Trump as the GOP's once and future candidate – but they're tough to find. As so often with stories that suck the creative oxygen out of things, the embarrassment of riches presented by the ascendancy of the Slo-Mo Exploding Citrus, has left us short on the riches and somewhat longer on the embarrassment. You'd think that a story that's been eight months in the obvious making would give time for some more creative responses. Ah well.

I enjoyed Jeff Danziger's sidelight, below, which has a nice Tom Lehrer vibe to it.

It was an on-again, off-again week for cartoonists. Turkish President Edrogan took exception to being compared to an ape – as did, one might surmise, apes. Iranian political cartoonist Atena Farghadani was freed, while Iowa small-market cartoonist Rick Friday was fired – and gained a much larger readership in the process. Check out Comic Strip of the Day, below, for more.

And, again, for the next week or two I'm keeping my distance from my friends in Oregon Democratic politics, who insist that every primary must be an excuse to get in touch with their inner Heathers. There are still people out there with Party Unity My Ass bumper stickers from the Obama – Clinton battle of 2008, and others holding a grudge about how somebody voted in the Novick – Merkley Senate primary from the same year.

And finally, no – the GOP is not dead just because they nominated someone who has never held office and has no real connection to the party other than limited understanding, anger, and money. It's doing fine at the state level – and will continue to do so at least until after the 2020 census.

Today's toons were selected despite the concerted efforts of GOP establishment insiders fearing for their phoney-baloney jobs 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: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jim Morin.

p3 Croix de Guerre (with Golf Shoes): Milt Priggee.

p3 "It's Not Just a River in Egypt" Medal: Matt Davies.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Pat Bagley and Bill Bramhall.

Ann Telnaes wonders if Trump can clean up his act for the general election. Nah.

Mark Fiore tells the story of the common man's billionaire in one minute and nine seconds.

For those Americans who are envious of Doctor Who's meddling in all of British history, Tom Tomorrow puts the last twelve months in their proper trans-temporal context. Be grateful for what you have.

Keith Knight raises a good question: Why is Zoe Saldina, the go-to actress for exotic characters – being cast as Nina Simone? It parallels the apocryphal objection that, if we really must put Harriet Tubman on a twenty-dollar bill, can't we at least agree to use an image of her that makes her conventionally pretty? I mean, come on.

Reuben Bolling discharges an unfortunate duty.

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl wonders what the world is coming to.

Cinco de Mayo is a pretty lame-ass idea for a holiday to begin with but, as The Comic Curmudgeon points out, it's possible for one of my sentimental favorite strips to make it just a little bit worse.

Comic Strip of the Day celebrates the triumph of, among other things like the Visigoths, two well-known political cartoonists – well-known if you spend more time off the comics page of your local daily – who shared the 2016 International Editorial Cartoons Prize from the Cartooning for Peace Swiss Foundation.

But they're not "gay" anymore! As long as we're acknowledging the ways in which America misremembers Mexican history and culture this week, let's look at an excerpt from one of Disney's famous efforts to support some of the less-attractive aspects American foreign policy. "The Three Caballeros" was a feature film produced by Disney in 1944, and features the work of several p3 semi-regulars, including Clarence Nash (Donald Duck), Sterling Holloway, and Pinto Colvig.

The More or Less Right-Sized Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman presents his Grand Unified Trump Conspiracy Theory.

Documented Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen examines the womb whistle and its natural enemies.

Matt Bors worries, and perhaps righty so, when the jokes write themselves.

Jesse Springer has, in my memory, done only two caricatures: Governor John Kitzhaber (which was pretty good), and Kitz's 2010 GOP rival Chris Dudley, who appeared only as a pair of long legs that extended up out of the frame. (Go here, for example.) But he's making another shot at it with the presence of the Slo-Mo Exploding Citrus in the Pacific Northwest this week. I suppose one could quibble – Is that the direction that his bizarre combover goes? And of course, his hands do look a little big. – but the image works for me, and the punchline is outstanding.

Test your toon-captioning superpowers 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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