Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Yap Flap

A tiny island group in the western Pacific was a big deal 100 years ago.

"Once We Couldn't Find Yap with a Magnifying Glass" by Homer Stinson in Dayton Daily News, April, 1921

Chances are that most of my non-Filipino readers couldn't find Yap on a map, either. (It's a cluster of four islands in the Carolines at 9°32′N 138°07′E, if you must know.) Pertinent to our discussion today, Wikipedia reports that:

Yap was a major German naval communications center before the First World War and an important international hub for cable telegraphy, with spokes branching out to Guam, Shanghai, Rabaul, Naura and Manado (Sulawesi's North coast). It was occupied by Japanese troops in September 1914, and passed to the Japanese Empire under the Versailles Treaty in 1919 as a mandated territory under League of Nations supervision.
"He Wanted Only One Thing..." by John T. McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, ca. April 23, 1921
The U.S. and Japan had fought on the same side in World War I, but their pre-war military and economic rivalry in the Pacific was quickly rekindled afterward. U.S. commercial concerns worried that they would be frozen out of commercial rights at the island; and as a cable communications hub, Yap played an vital role in the American administration of the Philippines as a colonial possession.

Meanwhile, the month-old Harding administration had just made official U.S. rejection of the League of Nations and with it the Treaty of Versailles, so McCutcheon's Uncle Sam ought to have considered himself lucky that he got a table in that restaurant at all, to say nothing of trying to order a la carte.

"Yapping" by Daniel Fitzpatrick in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April, 1921

"Jingoes" was the name for self-styled patriots vocally pushing for war, in this case over that little Pacific island group. You would think that so soon after armistice was declared in The Great War, people on all sides would have a healthy aversion to war talk... and you would be right.

"Suppose We Close the Window..." by Haydon Jones in New York Evening Post, April, 1921

So, at the risk of dredging up some hateful images of Asian/Pacific islanders, who were those American Jingoes, and what were they drawing?

"The Lengthening Shadow" by Wm. S. Warren in Chicago Tribune, April, 1921
Judging from this cartoon, as well as John McCutcheon's above and a Carey Orr cartoon I had posted last month, the isolationist editors at the Chicago Tribune were nevertheless content to rile up their readers against the "Yellow Peril." This is hardly an original image (see Homer Stinson's cartoon here), but it is one that would come up again and again over the next 24 years.

I believe that this cartoonist was William S. Warren, described in a news report of his death as having been an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, Buffalo Evening News, and Philadelphia Public Ledger. He retired from newspaper cartooning in 1939 to draw children's books, and, according to the October 20, 1968 Long Beach, CA Independent Press Telegram, committed suicide at age 86. 
"Don't Overlook This Frog" by Orville P. Williams in New York Journal, ca. April 2, 1921

Anti-Asian hysteria at Hearst newspapers goes back long before U.S. entry into World War I; we've shared some cartoon doozies from Harry Murphy, for example (and spared you some others). If the tune in Orville Williams's cartoon is as catchy as it looks, small wonder that it is completely unfamiliar today. There is a similar quotation attributed to Mark Twain, although I can't vouch for his reputation as a singer.

"The Importance of Yap Island..." by J.N. "Ding" Darling in New York Tribune, April 28, 1921
Well, as I hope you already knew, the U.S. did not go to war with Japan over the isle of Yap; even in World War II, the U.S. bombed the island, but did not attempt to occupy it. A 1922 treaty between the U.S. and Japan guaranteed American commercial rights on the island, and it returned to its status as someplace most Americans could not locate on a map.

The tedious business of drawing crowds is a topic that comes up often in cartoonist circles (Jeff Parker brought it up this week with a Facebook memory of a 2014 "Dustin" Sunday cartoon set in a busy airport). Perhaps the task was easier in a day when everyone wore hats, but this cartoon is still pretty impressive work.

It does depend on one's being able to draw hats.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Q Toon: Casscoe at the Bat

The Arkansas legislature overwhelmingly overrode a veto by Governor Asa Hutchinson of its new punitive bill banning any and all therapy for transgender youth in the state. The vote in their Senate was 75 to 25; their House voted 25-8.

Hutchinson, no friend of the LGBTQ community in the first place, complained that the law steps over the line: it contains no "grandfather" provision for transgender persons who have already begun treatment, and it is antithetical to the theory of small government.

Perhaps the governor fails to appreciate that "small government" ideals appeal only to conservatives who want the government out of their own business. Conservatives have been only too happy to have government intervene in the affairs of other people.

But what really bothers me most is how easily I could simply repurpose this cartoon to be about state governments in South and North Dakota, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Iowa, North and South Carolina, Tennessee — and I haven't even gotten to the states that do have Major League Baseball franchises.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Kurds in the Punchbowl

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., April 18, 1991

Continuing last Saturday's review of my cartoons from April thirty years ago, this post mortem on President George H.W. Bush's stratospheric post-war popularity starts with my one and only ever Brackets cartoon.

Bush looked unbeatable going into April, 1991. Doubters of his invasion of Iraq had expected a long, drawn-out desert war on the model of the 1981-1988 Iran-Iraq War, but the difference this time was that Iraq didn't have the benefit of U.S. support. Quite the opposite. 
in UW-Parkside Ranger, April 4, 1991

Quickly yielding Kuwait to the U.S.-led coalition forces Bush had meticulously assembled, Saddam Hussein almost immediately turned his toxic attention to the Kurds in his own country's north. During the Iran-Iraq War, Hussein had answered a Kurdish rebellion by gassing the town of Hallabja, killing 5,000 residents. 

in UW-M Post, Milwaukee Wis., April 18, 1991

My cartoon here was a play on Bush's "New World Order"; but if Bush didn't actually place this order, he did, in fact, encourage Iraqi citizens "to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside..." 

Once Hussein's army no longer had to defend Baghdad against foreign forces, they quickly went to work brutally putting down uprisings in the Kurdish north and in the south. Unable to hold onto cities and villages, the Kurdish militia holed up in mountains and caves, eventually protected by U.S.-enforced no-fly zones.

Unpublished. Hey, lookie! A world premiere!

I drew this cartoon for the UW-M Post's April 25 issue, but they re-ran a year-old cartoon about northern Wisconsin protests against Chippewa fishing rights instead. Whether this cartoon was spiked or simply late for deadline I don't remember.

Hey, thank you for coming along with me trudging through the sands of time. Look for some older than dirt cartoons next Saturday at this same dusty corner of the internet.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Q Toon: Just As They Am

This argument came up in a couple different on-line discussions about transgender rights on Transgender Day of Visibility last week: God created you as your birth gender, so it's sacrilegious to change to another gender.

Since the people who made that argument have nothing to do with each other, I have to assume that it comes from the right-wing media echo chamber. Given how readily right-wing politicians parrot their given talking points, I've made the logical leap that some Republican office-holder somewhere has repeated it.

Whether they care about not appearing to bully transgender persons is debatable. Republicans like to pretend that making it more difficult for darker-skinned persons to vote isn't racist (why, they're making voting more difficult for college students, people who don't drive, and recently married women, too! See?), but I guess they're more proud of being anti-trans.

Now, I realize that this week's cartoon might rankle members of the differently-abled community who are proud to be born this way or that. For that matter, LGB persons have used "Born This Way" and "God Doesn't Make Mistakes" to push back against the canard that we are unnatural, or not living as God intended.

So allow me to clarify that my imaginary Republican here is talking about conditions from the cosmetically challenging to the life-threatening. From cleft palates to congenital heart defects — if God doesn't make mistakes, you have to wonder what sort of god would think they're a good idea.

I referred a few weeks ago to this Twitter thread by a biologist explaining why there are any number of freaky things that might happen on a chromosome level to complicate whether a person is biologically male or female. We don't think of a piece of an X-chromosome breaking off as being a birth defect, but isn't their a degree to which it's as consequential as other chromosome changes?

And if so, isn't legislating against transgender individuals as wrong as legislating against persons with Down's syndrome?

I'm looking at you, Arkansas Republicans.

And wondering what's wrong with you.

Monday, April 5, 2021

This Week's Sneak Peek

 I had an unusual cup of tea with breakfast yesterday.

It's something called lapsang souchong, a smoked black tea. Twinings prints a warning on the package: "Dare to try one of the world's oldest and most distinctive black teas." It is certainly an acquired taste.

Just one cup made our kitchen smell as if we'd been grilling smoked sausage in the house, and the taste was about what you'd expect from the smell.

It might be suitable as a breakfast tea if you were out camping in the woods. I suppose you might enjoy it if you were the designated driver at a tailgate party.

My better half didn't like it at all. There's not much chance of having it in the house again unless it comes in another assortment package.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gonna Cartoon Like It's 1991

Our Saturday flashback will begin after this brief public service announcement.

in Journal Times, Racine Wis., April 1, 1991

For today, I'm just going to dig up some of my old cartoons from 30 years ago this month. This selection of cartoons from a generation ago is more or less random. Here is probably the one and only cartoon I have ever drawn about Albania.

in UW-M Post, Milwaukee Wis., April 4, 1991

Remember when we could ridicule foreign countries for their elections? Oh, what good times those were.

But there were serious issues back then, too. Crime was a big deal, and there was serious talk of Congress doing something about guns. The Brady Bill, named after the Press Secretary for President Ronald Reagan who was seriously wounded in the assassination attempt on the president ten years earlier, included a provision requiring a seven-day "cooling off" period for the purchase of a firearm, in part so that a serious background check could be run before the weapon changed hands. And the National Rifle Association was seriously alarmed that the bill might pass. I'm serious.

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., April 11, 1991

The U.S. government started collecting data on hate crimes in 1991, although by the end of the decade, half of local authorities were not complying with the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. Democrats proposed additional hate crimes legislation in the 102nd Congress, which failed to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

UW-M Post, April 16, 1991
I misdated the above cartoon and for years had a photocopy of it in the wrong folder in my files. (The original had disappeared from the Post offices by the time I delivered my cartoon for the April 18 issue.) Only after trying to find it in the UW-M Post on line archives when I was putting together another one of these retrospective posts last year did I discover my mistake. 

Maybe the original got sucked into a temporal anomaly.

Anyway, a letter writer to the Post had quoted then Congressman Thomas Petri as having answered question about gay-bashing by boasting, "I was one of the ones who voted against legalization of homosexuality. It's wrong. You know, you do have to set some standards." The other Wisconsin Congressman in the cartoon, Jim Sensenbrenner (who just retired Congress this January), was then and remained until retirement opposed to federal hate crimes legislation to protect LGBTQ citizens.

in UW-Parkside Ranger, April 25, 1991

A generation ago, the nation was bracing itself for a high-profile trial of Los Angeles police officers accused of brutality against a Black man. Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind were indicted on March 15 for beating and kicking Rodney King, who had attempted to flee a traffic stop and had led them on a high-speed chase, on March 3. The assault, which continued well after King was lying on the ground, was filmed by George Holliday, a resident of the apartment building where King had finally stopped his car.
A year later, a jury found all four officers innocent of almost all charges (the jury failed to reach an agreement on one excessive force charge against one of the officers), sparking five days of rioting in L.A.

We now have another high-profile chance to see whether things have changed at all a generation later.

I'll have some more cartoons to share from 1991, but for now, let's break for another word from our sponsors.

in UW-M Post, April 30, 1991

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Q Toon: Erase to the Finish

Requblican-ruled states, especially in the South, have been rushing like mad to pass legislation against their LGBTQ+ citizens. New laws forbidding transgender students from participating in school sports have gotten a lot of attention; and Arkansas is the latest state to create a right of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs and other medical workers to deny health care to us.

On another front in Requblicans' culture war, Tennessee State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) proposed a bill last week to ban public schools in his state from authorizing any kind of educational materials that in any way address LGBTQ+ history, health, literature, current affairs, etc., etc., etc.:

 “LEAs (local education agencies) and public charter schools shall not locally adopt or use in the public schools of this state, textbooks and instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender issues or lifestyle,” the bill reads.

When I first pitched this cartoon to Q Syndicate, what was being reported to Mr. Griffey in the third panel was going to be the tearing down of a Confederate general's statue, a common controversy last year. As I sat at my drawing board, however, I changed it from tearing down statues to renaming schools because I thought that made for a better analogy. And that was before I read about exactly that generating controversy in Florida this week.

As a Trumpster firebrand, Mr. Griffey has proven to be hotter than his own party's leadership is comfortable handling ― the Speaker of the Tennessee House, a fellow Requblican, kicked Griffey off all his committee assignments this week ― but his bill is merely one of many in Tennessee that the Human Rights Campaign calls a "Slate of Hate" ("Cancel Culture" having been already claimed).

Today, the Tennessee House passed HB 1182 (SB 1224), a discriminatory bill that aims to prevent transgender people from using restrooms aligning with their identity by requiring businesses with ‘formal or informal’ policies of allowing transgender people to use the appropriate restroom to post offensive and humiliating signage. This bill, along with the anti-transgender sports bill that Governor Bill Lee signed into law last Friday, are part of the 2021 “Slate of Hate” — anti-equality bills pushed by national extremist groups and peddled by lawmakers in Tennessee in an effort to sow fear and division.

In addition to these two anti-transgender bills, the legislature is considering SB 1367 (HB 1233), another ‘bathroom bill,’ HB 578 (SB 657), an anti-trans medical care ban, SB 1229 (HB 529), an anti-lgbtq parental notification bill, HB 800 (SB 1216), a bill that would prevent schools from providing an LGBTQ-inclusive education, and HB 372 (SB 193), a bill to permit all government employees, including teachers, first responders, and public officials to opt-out of diversity training.

And you thought editorial cartoonists weren't going to have anything to draw about once Donald Joffrey Trump was gone.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Holy Week's Sneak Peek

First of all, Happy Passover to all my readers of the Jewish persuasion, and a Blessed Holy Week to any others what's been persuaded Christianly.

Second of all, Mike Peterson's Sunday entry over at the Daily Cartoonist alerted me that in my post on women in 1921 comics the day before, I somehow managed to overlook completely the contributions of  Edwina Dumm (1893-1990). 

Female cartoonists were an extreme rarity 100 years ago; Edwina Dumm nevertheless was the all-purpose cartoonist for the Columbus Saturday Monitor starting in 1915, then penned a respectably successful comic strip, "Cap Stubbs and Tippie," from 1918 until her retirement in 1966. It was originally syndicated by George Matthew Adams Service until that syndicate folded in 1965; it was distributed through the Washington Star for its final year.

"Cap Stubbs and Tippie" by Edwina Dumm, for G.M.Adams Service, March 29, 1921

Here's the March 29, 1921 installment of "Cap Stubbs and Tippie," which seems a typical example of Dumm's gentle humor and easy story-telling style. You can also find a 1949 specialty drawing of hers featuring the strip's title characters at Stripper's Guide here.

I hope to have the presence of mind when Women's History Month rolls around next year to have a better tribute to Dumm, Fay King, and whatever other women cartoonists whose work I can find from 1922. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Mansplaining Women's History Month

'Tis spring, and a cartoonist's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of millinery.

"The Worried Weather Man" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, March 26, 1921

I had thoughts of putting forth a post in honor of Women's History Month sometime in March, yet events of 100 Marches ago seem to have given cartoonists but one inspiration on women's issues. It wasn't just Clifford Berryman's weather forecaster; here's a cartoon I almost led last Saturday's 100-year-old post with:

"St. Patrick's Day" by Magnus Kettner, March 17, 1921

On the other hand, there was a brand new First Lady to draw about, even if she was not yet a familiar face.

"A Voice from the Attic of a House in Marion" by Harold T. Webster, March 3, 1921

And guess what cartoonists did know about Florence Harding! Her hat!

"She Wants What She Wants When She Wants It" by Wm. Donahey in Cleveland Plain Dealer, ca. March 28, 1921

So I turn to the funny pages, where, happily, the men drawing the cartoons had —mostly— run out of hat-related gags. I found there, however, a curious coincidence among several of the comic strips that had women in the title role.

"Polly and Her Pals" by Clifford Sterrett for Hearst newspapers, March 6, 1921

"Polly and Her Pals" was the popular creation of Cliff Sterrett, running from 1912 to 1958. Yet here at this fairly early date — the focus of the strip seems to be not Polly Perkins, but her father, Paw. 

Again and again, Polly exists only to set up Paw Perkins's predicament in the first panel — here, two weeks later, she's setting the poor old sap up yet again to humiliate himself musically on the local vaudeville stage...

— returning only in the third-to-last panel in which her mother reports that their ethnically something-or-other houseboy, Neewah, has bought up all the rotten eggs in town.
Excerpted from "Polly and Her Pals" by Clifford Sterrett, March 20, 1921

Sterrett could just as easily have had Polly herself running around town buying up those rotten eggs. Was she not as much fun to draw? Oh, sure, Paw couldn't have challenged her to put up her dukes in the penultimate panel; but then again, parental violence wasn't unheard of in 1921. Or she could have been the one to uncover and report Neewah's ovate buying spree. Anything to allow her some dialogue that week!

Heck, Polly was pretty good-looking (she didn't take after either of her parents). Oughtn't she to have been the one going out on stage to display the extent of her musical talents? Couldn't that have been equally funny?

"And Why Do You Weep" by Nate Collins in Cartoons Magazine, March, 1921

We turn now to the working girl.

"Miss Information" by Wood Cowan for George Matthew Adams Service, March 19, 1921

Women in the labor force was nothing new in 1921. For eons, women toiled on the farm, in the shirt factory, in the schoolroom, and doing whatever Cosette did in Madeleine's factory before having to turn to the World's Oldest Profession. Taking over the previously male occupation of office clerk, however, was novel, and contributed to the popularity of cartoons about secretaries.

Like Polly Perkins, the title character of "Miss Information" did little but set up the punch line for the boss or the office boy — which may explain why the strip was later retitled "In Our Office."

"Somebody's Stenog" by A.M. Hayward for Public Ledger Co., April 1, 1921

Some comic strip heroines, on the other hand, took center stage. Compare Cowan's Miss Information to her fellow office worker, Miss O'Flage, the title character of Alfred Hayward's "Somebody's Stenog." (A while back, I featured one of Hayward's other strips, "Colonel Corn.") O'Flage's starring role was helped in that Hayward stretched some story lines over several days at a time; here, she testifies in a lawsuit her employer has filed against a supplier.

"Somebody's Stenog" by A.M. Hayward for Public Ledger Co., April 9, 1921

Most of the time, neither O'Flage nor her co-worker Mary Doodle display much of a work ethic — O'Flage drives The Boss crazy skipping out of work for frivolous reasons — but he wouldn't have kept her around if she didn't get the job done.

Ask your grandparents about "carbon paper."

From working women, we turn now to Maggie Jiggs, arguably the most quintessentially 1920's cartoon female (after Betty Boop).

"Bringing Up Father" by George McManus, March 27, 1921

The Jiggses, he a bricklayer and she a laundress, won a million dollars and settled into the lifestyle of the nouveau riche and fabulous — the American dream of the Good Life and Easy Money. Her husband seemed to be more or less content with whatever his lot, but Maggie craved the status she felt should come along with riches. This set her up for repeated come-uppance, thus setting her apart from the comic strip heroines who blithely created chaos for the menfolk in their lives.

"A Well Dressed Wife" by Walter Wellman for Cartoons Magazine, March, 1921

It's a bit late for a spoiler alert or trigger warning, but I hope you didn't read this far hoping to find feminism and wokeness in 1921 comics. These cartoonists were, to a man, men, after all.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Q Toon: Couples Counseling

So the Roman Catholic church reiterated its opposition to marriage equality last week, and it was news.

The Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex marriages, no matter how stable or positive the couples' relationships are, the Vatican said on Monday. The message, approved by Pope Francis, came in response to questions about whether the church should reflect the increasing social and legal acceptance of same-sex unions. ...

"The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing," the statement said.

LGBTQ Catholics, such as DignityUSA, have occasionally gotten their hopes up that Pope Francis will bring a breath of fresh air to the stale atmosphere in the Vatican. His "Who am I to judge?" response early in his papacy to a question on the topic seemed to indicate that he wouldn't be as rigid as his immediate predecessor. Last year, he avered that same-sex and non-traditional couples deserve legal recognition in the form of civil union laws.

But he also wrote, in his 2016 treatise "Amoris Laetitia," "[T]here are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family."

So the Catholic Church's message to LGBTQ believers is this: You are loved by God and you deserve to be in a loving, happy, healthy, mutual, and legally protected relationship.

But not in our house.

Monday, March 22, 2021

This Week's Sneak Peek

 The bishop turned his head so sharply, even his mitre didn't have time to catch up.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

World News

 Come with me on a quick world tour in 1921, won't you?

"St. Patrick's Day Dream of Tomorrow" by Bob Satterfield for Newspaper Enterprise Assn., March 17, 1921

Since we've just made it past another St. Patrick's Day, we'll start with Ireland; where their British overlords celebrated the holiday by hanging six Irish Republicans convicted of killing British intelligence officers.

"Peace and Permanent Settlement" by David Low in London Star, Jan./Feb., 1921

Sir Edward Carson was the Conservative MP given the task of finding a peaceful settlement to Britain's Irish problem. His was the novel observation that if Irish Catholics and Protestants would just stop killing each other, they wouldn't have to live in fear of each other. 
"The Dove of Peace" by Jon Cottrell in Chronicle, Manchester, ca. March, 1921
Coming to England from Australia, David Low saw the issue of Irish independence (and Indian independence as well) differently than most of the other cartoonists on that Blessed Isle. According to his memoir, Low's Autobiography, he received some strongly worded pushback from other newspapers and their readers.

"When Are You Going to Pay This Bill?" in London Opinion, ca. March, 1921

Meanwhile, London (and Paris) were insisting upon steep war indemnity from Germany, and had no patience for Germany's protestations that it couldn't afford to pay. 

"The Island of Yap" by Frederick Opper for Star Publishing, ca. Feb. 16, 1921

William Randolph Hearst and his newspapers were eager for the U.S. to call in debts supposedly owed by the major Entente powers and a smattering of other countries around the world. The issue has nothing to do with dispute between the U.S. and Japan over the Micronesian island of Yap, but that didn't stop Hearst cartoonist Frederick Opper from drawing a series of cartoons in which Yap features prominently in merry songs about how nobody is in a rush to repay loans from Uncle Sam.

(I have to apologize for his characterization of Liberia, which appears in all of Opper's "Island of Yap" cartoons. Crude caricatures of Blacks, and, for that matter, foreigners, were the rule in this era, and nowhere moreso than in Mr. Opper's work.)

"Where He Will Be Waiting for Us" by Carey Orr in Chicago Tribune, March 17, 1921

Not every cartoonist thought that Japan staking a claim on the island of Yap was a joke.

"The Sick Man Sees a Silver Lining" by Fred Morgan in Philadelphia Inquirer, March, 1921

Meanwhile, since the Harding administration wasn't interested in governing a mandate over Armenia, the allies decided to let the Ottomans retain control there, in spite of the Turkish genocide of civilians. Between 1915 and 1923, Turkey literally decimated its Armenian population through deportation, forced conversion to Islam, death marches, and outright execution.

"La Civiltà È Finalmente Nelle Nostre Mani," in Pasquino, Torino, ca. March, 1921

Turkey found a new ally in its former adversary Russia. The Bolsheviks, discarding the Romanovs' concern for defending Christianity south of the Black Sea, shared the Ottomans' interest in subjugating their Armenian citizens.

"Who Will Suffer Most?" by Winsor McCay, December, 1920
Any time there was an uprising somewhere in Russia, cartoonists in the U.S. and elsewhere rushed to their drawing boards to proclaim the imminent demise of the Soviet Socialist Republic. March, 1921 witnessed a flurry of such cartoons. What I find more interesting, however, are cartoons like this one in support of Western capitalists who saw financial opportunity in Communist Russia. Winsor McCay was not the only cartoonist who thought the U.S. was losing a potentially valuable market to other countries (especially Great Britain).

Speaking of the class struggle of the proletariat...

"Polonia ha Ordinato Trecento Aeroplani.." in Pasquino, Torino, ca. February, 1921

I have to respect Cartoon Magazine's translation, awkward as it is, of this cartoon by someone whose signature I can't read. (Why, moreover, does the Italian agitator who doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to the Russian leader have "W. Lenin" tattooed on his belly?)

Translating these cartoons isn't as easy as typing words into Google Translate, and here are a couple of cartoons that exemplify that.

"Die Seindlichen Schwestern" by Oskar Theuer in Ulk, Berlin, March 4, 1921

I include this cartoon as one of the earliest cartoons I have come across featuring the Nazi party — the sister seated on the left of her rival, the Deutsche Volkspartei (German People's Party). Both parties were anti-socialist, no matter what that uncle of yours who watches Fox News all night tells you that Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei means.

The caption on this cartoon doesn't seem to translate well; "Die seindlichen Schwestern" is literally "The Enemy Sisters." For all my searching, "Extratour" seems only to translate to English exactly as it looks. I'm only guessing that Oskar Theuer was making some sarcastic allusion to these "enemy sisters" returning to the dance floor in the final panel.

"Desafinação no Continente" by José Carlos de Brito e Cunha in Careta, Rio de Janeiro, March, 1921

I'm similarly stymied by the last word in this Brazilian cartoon, which may mean goals or ends, or, judging from Tio Sam's left hand, it could be a slang term for money and influence.

At any rate, a border conflict between Panama and Costa Rica over the latter's incursion into Almirante presented the Harding administration with its inaugural foreign crisis. Bound by treaty to protect Panama's sovereignty (and because we had seized the isthmus from Columbia in order to build a canal through it), the U.S. did indeed step in to mediate the conflict, and the matter was settled fairly quickly.