Tuesday, June 28, 2016

You Brexit, You Buys It

As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

Monday, June 27, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek


We've got The Donald living bigly in the works. Be sure to tune in laterly this week!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

100 Years Ago: War with Mexico

100 years ago this week, the Wilson administration's election slogan that "He Kept Us Out of War" was in trouble. You may recall an Australian cartoon that ran here a couple Salsaback Saturdays ago anticipating imminent war between the U.S. and Mexico.

You can always click to embiggen these images, but only so far; so here's a close-up of the above Naughton cartoon:
C.F. Naughton for Duluth Herald, June 24, 1916
The first thing to establish when going to war is that your adversary has no business being in charge of itself. Racism (witness any vocal Trump supporter) is an early tactic:
July, 1916 Cartoons Magazine cover after a cartoon by Nelson Harding in The Brooklyn Eagle
Virtually all the U.S. cartoonists I saw published predicted an easy thrashing for that upstart south of the border. The first Mexican-American War was more or less of a cakewalk, and was a distant memory (as distant as World War II today, but without the movies). The Spanish-American War was fresher in memory, and how much more difficult could the Mexicans be than Spain had been?
May for Cleveland Leader
Luther Bradley for Chicago Daily News
C.F. Naughton for Duluth Herald, June 26, 1916. (Unsigned, again!)
There was at least one editorial cartoonist, however, who seems to have suggested that the "Punitive Expedition" hadn't been such a piece of cake so far.
Charles H. "Bill" Sykes for Philadelphia Evening Ledger

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Q Toon: Danse Macabre

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jun 23, 2016

On the evening after the Orlando massacre at Pulse, Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California told his congregation:
"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um, no, I think that's great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight. ... There’s no tragedy,...I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.” 
After a terrorist attack, you expect the nut jobs at the Westboro Baptist Church to crawl out of their cesspool to insult the victims. When the victims are LGB or T, the Westboro cult has its share of company among so-called Christians.
"The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves.” -- Pat Robertson, 700 Club, Christian Broadcasting Network
"The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay? Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed." -- Pastor Steven Anderson, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Arizona
“These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now. And I’ll take it a step further, because I heard on the news today, that there are still several dozen of these queers in ICU and intensive care. And I will pray to God like I did this morning, I will do it tonight, I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children.” Pastor Donnie Romero, Stedfast Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas
Meanwhile, in Buford, Georgia, someone decided to spray paint over a hate message against gays and transgender persons that had been out front of The Back to the Bible Holiness Church for weeks before the massacre. Pastor Bobby Weeks bizarrely claimed that "I haven’t cursed anyone. I haven’t called anyone a name" with his sign which read "God created man and woman. Satan created gays and transgender." He further claimed that everyone is "welcome" in his church.

I suspect that the vandals possessed the same degree of restraint, love, and charity as Mr. Weeks.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

So You Want to Be a Cartoonist

It's been a long, emotionally draining week. Personally, we here at Sketchback Saturday think it's time to lighten up a bit, if only for a moment.

Putting together some of these collections of 100-year-old cartoons, I've lately been scouring Cartoons Magazine from the era, enjoying the cartooning advertisement section. I wouldn't want to say anything disparaging about the K. Rickett Practical Cartoon Lessons, but I'm afraid that neither James Jordon nor Fitzgerald Nassue made a lasting name for themselves in the world of cartooning as far as I can tell.

For only a fifth of the cost of K. Rickett's Practical Cartoon Lessons, one could just purchase some cartoon ideas from the MacKay Studio in Philadelphia. Astound one's audience by turning a four-leaf clover into a bobbed hair-do, or a music stand into a rear-view of an elephant taking a bath!

The reader would be advised to act fast; there was not to be much of a future in vaudeville cartooning.

Kind of like newspaper cartooning today.

The future, we cartoonists are told, is in animation. Editorial cartoonists Ann Telnaes and Mark Fiore have moved all but exclusively from print to animation, for example; but W.L. Evans was way ahead of them.

Oh, to have lived in the days when there was a Big Demand for Comic Artists. If animation wasn't your thing, the Landon Course of Cartooning promised that Comic Series Drawing was A Growing Field:

Appearing in the lower left corner of the Landon ad, "Freckles and His Friends" was still running in the local newspaper when I grew up, although the Freckles I knew was completely different from the kid in the 1921 advertisement. He was a teenager, for one thing, nearly indistinguishable from Archie.

Freckles started out as a seven- or eight-year-old kid, and at first, cartoonist Merrill Blosser let his title character grow up; in the 1930's, Freckles was a star of his high school football team. But at that point, Freckles stopped aging; so in the 1950's, Freckles (seen here in the black sweater) was still hanging around the Shadyside malt shop:
Merrill Blosser: "Freckles and His Pals," May 19, 1954
After Merrill Blosser retired from cartooning in 1966, Henry Formhals, Blosser's assistant since 1935, continued the strip for another five years. Freckles never grew his hair long, smoked pot, or protested the war. Given his advanced years, he must have had a deferment of some sort.

But I digress. Returning to the topic at hand, here's a cartoon by a cartoonist not trying to sell aspiring cartoonists on the opportunities of cartooning a century ago:
Jim Navoni for Cartoons Magazine, June, 1916

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Q Toon: The Grim Sower

Today's cartoon uses a very peripheral sidebar to the Orlando massacre to comment on an aspect that isn't at all peripheral. But to begin with, the antiLGBT Lieutenant Governor of Texas tweeted the text of Galatians 6:7 on Sunday morning after the Orlando nightclub massacre. He deleted the tweet later that day, explaining that he didn't mean to say what it seemed to say about the terrorist victims.

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jun 16, 2016
If the gun-lovers in this country refuse to connect the dots between easy access to weapons of mass murder and mass murder itself, terrorists are more than happy to connect those dots.

I've seen plenty of arguments that the real issue is not assault weapons, and Republicans immediately looked for other ways to frame the issue. Donald Trump wasted no time congratulating himself for having called for quarantining the nation indefinitely (yeah, right: "until we figure out what's going on"). And Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's sorry excuse for a Senior Senator was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN this week:
“The AR-15 that was used in this terror attack, killing 49 people, you wouldn’t describe that as an assault weapon?” Blitzer asked. “You’re differentiating between that and a fully automatic assault weapon? Because that weapon certainly did kill a lot of people.”
“So do bombs,” Johnson replied. “So there are other ways that terrorists can slaughter people. It’s their ideology. Their ideology calls for the slaughter of innocents. That’s the root cause. It’s not law-abiding gun owners that are the problem here, it’s Islamic terrorists.”
Republicans have decided that real problem is that President Obama refuses to utter the words "radical Islamic terrorism." But even if saying "radical Islamic terrorism" somehow had a Rumpelstiltskin effect against those who inspired the slaughter in San Bernardino and Orlando, we'd still have the radical Christian terrorists who inspired the slaughter in Charleston and Oak Creek. And all the radical gun-worshiping terrorists from Littleton to Sandy Hook in order categorical.

There is a meme going around which attempts to counter the NRA argument that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" with a photograph pointing out all the armed "good guys" around President Ronald Reagan just before he was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. It somewhat misses the point in that Hinckley was indeed stopped by some of those good guys — after he had wounded four people, yes, but he did get stopped.

Hinckley was armed with a .22 caliber Röhm RG-14, and only hit Reagan at all because one of his six bullets ricocheted. Had he been able to get his hands on a a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle, or any of the other assault weapons made readily available to "bad guys" since 2004, Ronald Reagan's presidency would have been a historical footnote tucked between those of William Henry Harrison and James Abram Garfield, and there would probably be a monument somewhere in memory of many "good guys," photographers, and by-standers who were in front of the Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981.