Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This cartoon o' mine from a few weeks ago has made its way to former White House economic adviser Greg Mankiw's blog.
Also, reader K. Kim in Seoul has translated the cartoon into Korean:
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Lots of people are calling on Obama to start a new jobs program, but it's supposedly politically impossible. I say try it, and make the Republicans and conservative Democrats actually filibuster -- so their future election opponents can use the video footage in campaign commercials. "Here's Senator Shmuck arguing against job creation." It would be beautiful.
As you may have heard, Goldman Sachs is going to thank American taxpayers for the bailout by awarding $23 billion in employee bonuses. By my calculations, those bonuses could create 766,667 $30,000-a-year jobs. Hmm...
Monday, November 23, 2009
In the letters page of the latest University of Virginia Magazine, an older alumni is disgusted -- yes, disgusted! -- with this cover I drew for the last issue:
Here's the letter in its entirety:
As I am writing this letter, I am looking at the cover of the Fall 2009 issue of Virginia Magazine with disgust. Not with displeasure with the talent of Jen Sorensen, but the apparent lack of mature judgment by the editors for choosing to celebrate the demise of culture, good taste, social behavior and tradition at the University of Virginia. The scene satirically portrayed on your cover is best described in Sorensen’s own words, “I really try to be very empirical and tell it as I see it.”While I am grateful to Mr. Sowder for not impugning my artistic abilities, I am reminded of Dana Carvey's "Grumpy Old Man" character from the SNL of my youth. To paraphrase:
"In my day, we didn't have famous female alumni like Katie Couric and Tina Fey! We had less than one nursing student for every 200 men, and that's the way it was, and WE LIKED IT!
Boy, those were grand old times. We didn't toss frisbees like today's snot-nosed little rapscallions -- we walked on the Lawn wearing bow ties and cummerbunds, saying "Pip pip and tut tut!" and tipping our top hats to gentleman passersby! And that's the way it was, and WE LIKED IT! FLIBBLE DEE FLOO!!!"
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Hey, I drew the cover to this week's Dallas Observer:
It's about the hard-fought governor's race between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Honestly, I kinda feel sorry for the elephant. Hopefully PETA doesn't care about violence against cartoon animals, or my goose is cooked. (Hopefully they don't care about the phrase "goose is cooked" either.)
Cover concept and design by Alexander Flores.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I love it when my cartoons actually reach their subjects. If you'll recall, my recent strip on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize depicted iPhones becoming sentient. Angered by apps like "Cow Toss", which bills itself "the most stupid app ever written for the iPhone," the phones set out to destroy humanity. Well, I recently received this email:
Saw your comic strip, The Terminatrix, and couldn't stop laughing.I'm glad Rod had a sense of humor about my suggestion that he nearly caused the end of civilization. Now, if only I could hear from Obama and Sarah Palin...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A few weeks ago, a college friend of mine who writes about music for the Times tweeted that he was watching the band "Crystal Antlers" at the CMJ festival. Now, I have noticed that every other band these days is naming themselves after woodland creatures; I think it's an extension of the PBR/rustic kitsch zeitgeist. Anyhow, I initiated a brief Twitter conversation about all the animal names, and not long afterward, my friend published this funny "Ten Commandments of Rocking" on the ArtsBeat blog. I like to think I influenced number three. And for this week's cartoon, I thought I'd make that point too. I should have included other bands like Animal Collective, Super Furry Animals, Megafauna, Deer Tick, etc. (Some of these are kind of obscure, but I collect band names like a biologist might collect data on mammals.)
Also, remember that the word "Project" in a band name is code for "noodly guitars."
[UPDATE: Reader Tim B. has alerted me to the existence of another band named after forest fauna: "Frightened Rabbit".]
Friday, November 13, 2009
Just read that the Tea Party nutballs are going to burn my former congressman (until I moved) in effigy. They are literally calling the event "Fired Up For Freedom."
I can't even crack wise about that. This must stop. Please, people.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I meant to blog about this Matt Bors post the other day, and Tom Tomorrow just reminded me of it. Check out this anecdote about a writer's exchange with Sergey Brin of Google:
KURTZ: Did one of the founders -- did I get this right -- of Google ask you why you didn't just publish your book online?Also in media news: my eyebrows leaped at this paragraph in a recent David Carr piece about an internet news startup Texas Tribune in Austin, TX:
The theory is that a group of well-compensated editors and writers (including Mr. Smith, who makes $315,000, with 15 percent of it deferred for two years) will create valuable reporting shared by citizens and other news media outlets, a kind of digital version of public radio.Um, can I get a venture capitalist to fund my website too?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I've been working up to this one for a while, and a few recent events put me over the top. First was the Nell Scovell piece in Vanity Fair which I blogged about earlier and cited in the cartoon. Then I read this NYT article about The Onion which described a recent writers' meeting:
This brain trust was all men — all 10 of them white, most in glasses, about half wearing T-shirts with something satirical printed on them, and at least 60 percent of them with facial hair.I like to think my dude in the first panel captures this essence. I've also been watching standup on Comedy Central lately, and so far I have seen maybe half a dozen wieners and zero muffs. And almost all of them sucked. If I see one more promo for Gabriel Iglesias's "I'm Not Fat, I'm Fluffy," I'll show you something fluffy! (I have no idea what I mean by that.) It's all pretty galling in the 21st century, not to mention the Age of Tina Fey.
And yes, I actually watched "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" while flying back from London in September. You do desperate things when trapped in an airplane for eleven hours. Seriously, only a dude could write a script in which that shlub gets that chick. I demand hottie parity for plain women in film! Of course, I think the last plain woman in a movie was, like, Kathy Bates in "Misery" in 1990.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
As someone who traveled to Washington DC for the million-person (and seemingly forgotten) March for Women's Lives, I am, naturally, appalled at the flaming bag of crap that got attached to the House health care reform bill: the anti-abortion Stupak amendment. That said, I feel the passage of the House bill is more of a success than not. You have to remember that this country is fundamentally INSANE. Trying to do anything in Congress is, as Mr. Slowpoke says, like trying to deal with a crazy aunt who wants to leave all her money to her cats. (Of course, the crazy aunts in the case of the Stupak amendment were mostly guys.)
My rule of thumb on these matters is to ask what will result in the least amount of human suffering. And given the tens of thousands of deaths every year due to lack of health insurance, plus the enormous number of bankruptcies and ruined lives, the bill had to pass. I hope a Stupak workaround can be found later. Until we live in a more enlightened society, well, that's the reality of America.
[Adding: Just to be clear, I'm not saying we should passively allow this stuff to happen just because the country happens to be crazy. Obviously we need to fight Stupak and his ilk every step of the way. Anyone who reads me knows I'm serious about reproductive justice. But I think people on the left calling for Obama's and Pelosi's heads have lost some perspective on the moral equation, messy as it is. Put another way, lack of a health care bill hurts poor women and minorities more than anything.]
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Okay, I realize I probably shouldn't be surprised or even offended by what Joe Lieberman does anymore, seeing as he is a de facto Republican. But as someone desperately hoping for a public option since my other options SUCK, I find his health care obstruction infuriating. The thought of this sanctimonious little Elmer Fudd, flush with cash from the health insurance industry, denying affordable care to millions... well, it just makes me want to draw him as an intestinal blockage.
Nothing is going to really change in this country until we have campaign finance reform to the tune of 100% publicly-funded elections. Anything else is uncivilized.
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