Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday evening toons: Decisions, decisions

Do we focus this week's toon review on the continuing problem with guns in our violent country (in contrast, Nice had a truck problem; will the NRA say this proves everyone at the celebration should have had a truck too?), or do we turn our attention to the circus of D-list celebrities, political neverwozzers, and Trump family members who are filling the stage at the Republican National Convention this week – a scene with its own promise of violence?

At this point, are political cartoonists starting to stockpile shooting-death ideas, just trying to tread water in a world where they've needed three of them since Monday?

An interesting sidelight to both the police and civilian deaths in the last couple of weeks is that several of the civilians shot (or shooting) had carry or concealed carry permits. Apart from the fact that this didn't keep anyone safe (or change the score), police – who've never been fans of concealed carry for everyone – are starting to be more upfront about their opinion that the free-fire zone approach isn't making their jobs easier. It would be interesting to see a cage match between the NRA and the police unions – although I shudder to think how much worse things might have to get before that happens.

Oddly enough, beyond Jesse Springer having some Oregon-themed fun with it (below) there wasn't much in the way of Pokémon Go this week. Are cartoonists too cool for it? Or were they so busy shuffling down the sidewalk, head down over their phones, bumping into things, that there just wasn't time? (And may I say that the arguments about the health benefits of walking around playing Pokémon Go have to be just about the silliest thing I've ever heard.) Steve Breen's in the neighborhood though, with a good one about our (d)evolving idea of how to vacation. (Shorter version: No pix or it didn't happen!)

And while Jeff Danziger got wrong-footed by Trump's screwy VP selection process (if it deserves the term, since it appears that the decision wasn't so much "made" as it was "congealed"), it's a fabulous image so I'm including it.

And by the way, the Notorious RBG was right and she shouldn't have apologized. Jack Ohman (below), Ann Telnaes (below), and John Cole all address that this week, Ohman going for the outrage, and Telnaes and Cole going for the laugh. And I'm working on a piece to go up in the next day or two. But in the meantime, just so we're all clear: apology, wrong.

Oh, and one other thing: Because I held off last Sunday's toon review until Tuesday evening in the naïve belief that we might get a break in all the shooting, it threw off the timing for several regulars around here who publish weekly. They'll be back next week, now that I'm back on schedule. Promise.

p3 Best of Show: Rob Rogers.

p3 Legion of Merit: Robert Ariail.

In a bit of a turn-around, this week Gary Varvel gives, rather than receives, the p3 "Mr. Congeniality" Award.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium (tie): Jerry Holbert and Matt Weurker.

Ann Telnaes watches in glee as the Notorious RBG gives the vulgar one a trimmin'.

Keith Knight notes America's five-year economic boom, of sorts. Thanks, Obama.

Reuben Bolling wonders: What's wrong with this picture?

Carol Lay tells a beautiful story with an ending that's so her.

The Comic Curmudgeon stumbles on a notion in Hagar the Horrible that is deeply, deeply disturbing.

Comic Strip of the Day hits the Friday comics perfecta, though he just misses the trifecta. But for a good reason.

What a zany! What a knucklehead! What a dope! What a – yipe! A nation that spent the last week walking around staring at their iPhones looking for fictional creatures clearly needs to be reminded of the simpler pleasures, like burlesque and vaudeville. (Did you say Farmville? No! Shush!) "Stage Door Cartoon," directed in 1944 by Fritz Freleng from a story by Michael Maltese, with uncredited voice work by Portland's Own Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny) and Arthur Q. Lewis (Elmer Fudd), and great musical direction (also uncredited) by Carl Stalling. Watch the expression on Bugs' face at the end of the piano gag. That was when animation was animation. Also watch for an early version of the character who would become Yosimite Sam. Watch "Stage Door Cartoon" at DailyMotion.

The Exalted Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman draws a dark comparison.

Documented Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen points to the next public health crisis. But there may be a cure.

Jesse Springer has some pocket monsters you may discover here in the Beaver State:

Test your toon-captioning powers 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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