Saturday, September 26, 2020

The News or the Blues, Depending, of Course, on Your Perspective

Smokeback Saturday takes a break from the 1920 election campaign this week so that I can dredge up share a few of my cartoons from September, 1990.

in UW-Milwaukee Post, September 4, 1990
1990 was an election year, too — not for the presidency, but for Congress and several governorships including that of my home state, Wisconsin. The liberal student newspaper at University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee asked me to draw a cover for their election feature section; I've stitched together four scans of the poster-sized (17.5" x 23.5") sheet.

I have no idea what's the deal with the blue guy in the foreground, or that bunch of people sitting under the traffic light. Whoever did the colorizing of the cartoon did just fine with some of the African-Americans in the crowd, while others could use a little yellow shading. 

I guess blue lives matter, too.

in UW-M Post, Sept. 13, 1990
Meanwhile, the George H.W. Bush administration was enlisting our NATO allies to go join us in declaring war over Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein's idea of diplomacy was to keep NATO citizens from leaving his country.
in UW-Parkside Ranger, Sept. 20, 1990

By coincidence, Republicans had an opportunity to replace one of the Supreme Court's most liberal justices with a conservative thirty years ago this month. Justice William Brennan had resigned from the Court in the summer, and George H.W. Bush nominated David Souter to replace him. Despite Bush's claim not to know where Souter stood on abortion, affirmative action, or other divisive issues of the day, liberals suspected that Souter would prove to be a right-wing ideologue in the mold of William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Robert Bork. But Souter made it through his Senate confirmation hearings without saying much of anything controversial, and handily won confirmation.

To Republicans' dismay, within the next decade, Souter tended to vote with the Court's liberals more often than its conservatives on closely decided cases. He voted in the minority in Bush v. Gore, and generally left precedents stand in the cases Republicans hoped to overturn. He left the Court in 2009 and was replaced by Obama nominee Sonya Sotomayor.

Souter now lives in New Hampshire, and celebrated his 81st birthday Thursday of last week.

in UW-M Post, September 25, 1990

With social pressure against smoking depressing domestic sales, Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco, the two largest tobacco sellers in the U.S. in 1990, secured deals to export more than 34 billion cigarettes to the USSR. No such social pressure existed in the Soviet Union; in fact, demand for cigarettes exceeded supply.

It may have been a quickly forgotten news item, but gosh darn it, I spent a good long time with a straight-edge and ballpoint pen on all that tedious shading, and I liked how this cartoon looked in the end.
in Journal Times, Racine, Wis., October 3, 1990
A couple months ago, I included a cartoon about the local shopping mall refusing to allow the city bus system to have a bus stop at its doors. In September, 1990, the city of Racine had its way, getting the stops on route #7 moved in from the ring road around the parking lot's perimeter. (The Journal Times ran this cartoon in October, but my cataloguing notes indicate that this was the penultimate cartoon I drew in September.)

Someone at the JT must have decided that Mayor Owen Davies, speaking in the cartoon, needed a label. Maybe they thought that readers would confuse him with Christopher Columbus. Or Sir Francis Drake. I used white-out, ballpoint pen and felt-tip pen to add a medallion bearing his name around Davies's neck; everything else in the cartoon, including the shading, is drawn with India ink.

I dunno... I thought it was a reasonable caricature of Hizzoner.

The headline for today's post, aside from referencing the blue men in today's color cartoon, pays homage to a Milwaukee radio institution, the late Ron Cuzner. His phrase led every one of his hourly news breaks.

But of course, you don't care. 

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