Monday, August 29, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

If you've been relying on my cartoons for your news and current events, you might be wondering whom the Democrats have nominated for President this year.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August, 1916: Putting a Smile in the War

Sashayback Saturday returns yet once more to the cartoon pages of World War I a century ago this month. Having no particular urge this week to devote a great deal of time to my usual research, I was delighted to discover that the August 28, 1916 issue of The Independent magazine included a whole page of European cartoons under this banner:

So here are all six of them with a minimum of explanation. Embiggen at will. This one is from an uncredited cartoonist in neutral Netherlands, characterizing the war as a sort of dance of nations:
"The European Quadrille" by an unnamed cartoonist in Die Amsterdamer, Amsterdam, August, 1916
Calling the dance in the cartoon is Marshal Joseph Jacques C├ęsaire "Papa" Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the western front.

I'd characterize the remaining cartoons as less editorial and more topical.
Mauryce Motet in Le Pele-Mele, Paris, August, 1916
Nowadays, we call the wall "distressed," and consider it quaint and picturesque.

"Prepared" by A.E. Horne in Today, London, August, 1916
If you were closer to the front lines, you might not think chemical warfare was quite so funny. Better to poke fun at the food shortages reputed to be rife on the other side of the trenches:
"The Obliging Mirror" by E. Brod in Le Pele-Mele, Paris, August, 1916
German food shortages likewise surely seemed the safe topic for this Polish/Russian cartoonist -- although, as I've noted before, Russian cartoons just ain't funny.
"A Dire Dilemma," by Mucha, "Moscow, late of Warsaw," August, 1916
But the Allies had shortages too; the difference being that the British could have a sense of humor about it (as long as they could apply some national stereotype to the joke):
"In These Hard Times" by A.E. Horne in The Passing Show, London, August, 1916

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Q Toon: The Protectionist

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Aug 25, 2016

As it turns out, Donald Berzilius Trump spent much of this week trying to attract Black and Latino voters with his new slogan, "What Have You Got to Lose." (Considering the priorities of states controlled by Republicans, The Right to Vote comes to mind.)

But earlier this summer, Trump tried to use the Orlando massacre as the basis of an appeal to LGBTQ voters, awkwardly pausing partway through the five-letter acronym. Perhaps he was having difficulty remembering the whole thing. Perhaps he gets out of breath saying five-syllable words. Better page Dr. Harold Bornstein.

As a cartoonist, it's a daunting challenge to come up with things for Cartoon Trump to say that are more outrageous than the things that come out of Reality Trump's mouth. One imagines that Trump's spokesschmucks are taking Botox injections to avoid the inadvertent looks of terror when they contemplate having to explain what they are hearing.

P.S.: This story broke this week.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

If You Must Visit North Carolina

Photo by Jape Trostle
If you happen to be in Durham, North Carolina this summer, do stop in at the Horse & Buggy Press Bull City Arts Collaborative to see the exhibit of cartoons and installations about the Tarheel State's HB2 (the "Bathroom Bill"). I see one of my own cartoons over the shoulder of the guy in the checked shirt in J.P.'s photo above.

The show will be up in the gallery on Foster St. in Durham through the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists' convention in September.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The 1991 Soviet Coup

Sovietback Saturday this week recalls the attempted coup d'etat in the Soviet Union 25 years ago this week.

On August 18, 1991, conservative members of the Soviet politburo attempted to put an end to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of glasnost and perestroika. As far as they were concerned, Gorbachev's reform efforts had led to nothing but the loss of their puppet states in Eastern Europe and mounting disorder at home as citizens of non-Russian soviet republics clamored for independence from Moscow.
There is an unexpected link to current events in the cartoon I drew for the Racine Journal Times immediately after the coup. The Latino-American Chief of Police in Milwaukee was meeting a great deal of resistance from the rank and file to his attempts to modernize and humanize the force after decades of Chief Harold Breier's Old School, racist, authoritarian approach to law enforcement.

Resentment toward Chief Philip Arreola would boil over a month later over after he suspended the two police officers who had foiled the escape of Konerak Sinthasomphone from Jeffrey Dahmer, returning the naked, drugged 14-year-old Laotian boy to his killer.

But that's another story. This is supposed to be about the coup in the Soviet Union.
With Gorbachev held captive in Crimea by coup plotters, it fell to Russian President Boris Yeltsin -- elected in June over Gorbachev's preferred candidate -- to lead the resistance to the coup. Yeltsin's stirring speech from atop a Soviet tank won him worldwide admiration and respect and made him a hero at home. Three days after it was launched, the coup collapsed.

Gorbachev was returned to office, but the center of power was now with Yeltsin. And many of those anti-reform politicians were put out to pasture.