Back when I was a local cartoonist for the now-defunct Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, there was a disaster where a negligent captain allowed his submarine to be controlled by a stupid celebrity who rammed into a Japanese High School fishing boat, killing and failing to rescue many of the kids. I reacted with cartoons strongly criticizing the Navy and the captain of the sub – but I missed the mark. The paper had a second cartoonist, Dick Adair who drew a memorial cartoon with leis floating on the water. Dick’s cartoon was better.

When a disaster first strikes, and people die, mourning should come first. I was thinking about that with the Texas floods as my colleagues were drawing gags and cartoons criticizing Trump’s visit to the scene, or cartoons championing the first responders, I thought I should take a step back and remember Dick Adair’s cartooning wisdom with a flowers on the water memorial cartoon, this time including a cowboy hat to signify Texas. Maybe readers and editors are in the mood for gags, but I’m in more of a somber, sympathetic mood.