An Offensive Mr. Fish Cartoon Fiesta

I had lunch last week with Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth) and we talked about why his cartoons don’t sell very well to general circulation newspapers ““ it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why. Mr. Fish’s saucy cartoons appear in the L.A. Weekly and Village Voice. In fact, Fish was the last cartoonist left after the Village Voice bloodbath where they dropped every other cartoonist.

I did a speaking tour of China last year and wherever I spoke the audience asked about censorship in America ““ they were convinced that censorship for us was no different than in China. I explained that cartoonists in America often complain about editors killing their cartoons, but that is different from China because in China it is the government that kills the cartoons ““ well, not exactly, the editors and cartoonists in China know where the limits are and choose not to cross those limits. The Chinese audience would ask, “isn’t it the same in America?” I’d explain that, yes, we know what the limits are, but American cartoonists are limited by good taste rather than point of view, and if we’re too offensive we know our cartoons won’t get printed. The Chinese would respond, “same here.” I was surprised that I was always explaining what seemed to my audience to be petty differences and the hypocrisy of an American “free press.”

Which brings me back to Mr. Fish, who doesn’t censor himself for taste at all. It works for the Village Voice and L.A. Weekly, but keeps Mr. Fish’s work from being seen by a general circulation audience. I appreciate Fish’s unwillingness to compromise, so I thought I would post a selection of some of my favorite, offensive Mr. Fish cartoons that I would never have drawn myself.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

48 replies on “An Offensive Mr. Fish Cartoon Fiesta”

I thought HIllary's uterus was hilarious. Hard to be offended when there's so much underlying truthiness here. Allow me to contribute a bumper sticker an old friend of mine had in mind: HONK IF YOU'RE WHITE We thought it was offensive, but couldn't figure out exactly who should be offended. We decided that with any luck everyone would be offended. With respect to why Mr. Fish's cartoons don't sell to general circulation newspapers…. I bet that was a very funny conversation. He knows how and why the game is played.

mr fish has some anger issues. i'm wondering if he did any cartoons relevant to the tianamen square anniversary, or if he is a running dog flack of the chinese 'pole star of evil'.

I have to admit, I didn't get some – brain not working today I guess. But the ones I did get were hilarious. Anyway people should grow a thicker skin if they think this is too offensive to go into print.

Mr. Fish, as usual, picks at our wounded consciences with amazing clarity and precise targeting. I am, at once, offended and awakened, disgusted and enlightened by everything he uses to prick at the armor plating we erect to deflect genuine and open contact with other human beings. I was struck by the authenticity of the '50s family watching the televised back of a negro's head, which was so very indicative of the negro's real absence on television then and the virtual invisibility of an entire race in our midst. Talking heads are readily understood; the backs of heads talking is another dimension. The image of the CIC with back turned on a serviceman and his family but sermonizing incessantly about sacrifice blows me away. Keep it up, Mr. Fish, until I laugh so much that I hurt so much I have to do more than laugh.

It's not censorship, why can't you bozos figure out that if we don't like it, we're not going to buy it?

(Oh, that's right, you don't believe that anyone else has a different point of view unless their crazy and/or stupid!…)

Personally I hope fish falls into a mud puddle and drowns….

OK, OK I do have to say the bunny one was funny, but I also have to agree with magnus above. Mr. Fish hiding behind his 1st Amendment right to free speech and the press seems to have a real issue of anger that he himself is blind to. We all appreciate good humor, bbut there is no sense in visciously assailing something as dear assome people's relationship to Jesus Christ. I'm Christian. Graduated from a Christian university with a minor degree in biblical studies and esearch and still laugh my ass off at good jokes regardless of language and context, but I see no reason to deliberately incite the rage of inflict pain upon others.

Now, Mr. Fish, please show you have the courage to make the same disparaging references and images of Buddah and of course everyone's favorite so-called imaginary friend Mohammad. Fear of radical Islam's rage over their favorite false idol and fairy tale should not be a barrier to equal treatment and humorous battery upon all faiths, right? Fear is though, eh?

Mr. Fish, I'll die to protect your right to do what you do, but narcissicism can only take you so far. I'm also sensitive to your pain from having been touched in a bad way by your own father and uncles while your mother made a video of it, but it also explains your rage. Can't say I'll pray for you, but I will continue to laugh at your stuff ocasionally.

What struck me about the Bambi one was that the kids at my sons' school really do mimic their parents' political beliefs right down to the insults. This morning my son said that his nine year old buddy told him our economy is collapsing and china is donating money to the US so we will be able to continue to buy the goods they manufacture. I have heard that Bush is an idiot, what have you, while driving on field trips. Sometimes I agree with what a child says but it makes me nervous that the introduction to the complex world of politics is so full of quips and broad statements based on virtually zero understanding of why such a comment would be made. I love these, by the way and Bambi was hysterical.

I like the comment about the lack of mohammed 'toons. When do you start lambasting the muslims? Or are you too concerned about the possibility running into an IED on the way to the porn shop or your crack dealer?

Mr. Fish, methinks thou dost protest too much.
Even it out a little, wouldja?
I liked the Barack Obama explaining things cartoon the best, because it is the most truthful one.
The religious slams are kind of funny, but I can see that those who follow that religion will not feel that way. Maybe Fish fears the Muslims.
And the cartoons depicting the coffins draped with flags are just too damned disrespectful. I suggest you find a better metaphor. Doing this stuff just makes you an asshole. A worthless asshole, at that.
Why not do one on Sotomayor and her Supreme Court buds dismantling the US Constitution?
Start with the 2nd Amendment and then do the rest of them. If one doesn't apply to the states, then none of them do. Chaos.
I see them tossing the amendments out the window, while all around them the country is in flames.
Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Good point about the self censorship of our society versus any other state. When cartoons such as this can be pointed too it shows that there are some marginalized places where anything goes as long as that is as far as it goes.
What it all shows is how little strays into the mainstream of political correctness.

It does not explain how someone in the media however can get away with calling a legal abortion murder.
Murder is a legal society defined term and impling that someone is getting away with murder is a call to vigilante action. To use that term based on your personal or religious moral beliefs is a violation of separation of church and state.
For some reason there are those that are allowed to grab the spotlight for their politically incorrect views where others self-censor themselves. Things such as "we know they have WMD's and we know where they are!" and we need to go on the darkside and take the gloves of civilization off should not be ignored so easily…especially when they commit us to an unprovoked attack of an unarmed nation…

My name will tell you what I think of
Although fish is usually a total fucking asshole, I had to agree with every one of these.
I'll be sending them on to some of my friends and a few of my

I was nothing before I was born, I'll return to nothingness when I die. Mr. Fish has his head
on straight. There have been thousands of gods. Many of us stopped believing with the
latest one.

It is interesting that these cartoons are posted in relation to an article on censorship.

Since Mr. Fish is presented to us an example of the the freedom of expression, should I assume he has no apparent criticism of Muslim extremists who convince teenagers to blow themselves up with the expectation that they will be rewarded for this "good" deed through the acquisition of 7 servile virgin females, or that his lack of testicular equipment causes him to self sensor?

Speaking of bumper stickers, as euonymous does, I had one made for my wife that says HONK IF YOU'RE GAY. It seems she is a very careful driver, never exceeding the speed limit. Several times while driving on our neighborhood streets at 25 mph, young men would tailgate and honk to show their ire at her lawfulness. But she was too timid to put this on her car. I thought it would be funny for to create a dilemma for these macho boors.

Anyway, I think that Mr. Fish's cartoons are often in bad taste, but do present one point of view. Maybe you just didn't print any of his cartoons about Palestinians encouraging their children to blow themselves up and kill as many Israelis as possible, Muhammed urging his followers to slaughter non-believers, Saudi terrorists hoping to kill fifty or a hundred thousand people in the twin towers (where's the little disappointed Muslim kid with his bag full of coffins empty except for a few traces of ash?), etc.

What if first contact with an ET radio signal turns out to be an Islamic call to prayer?

I suspect there are no cartoons featuring islam because mr. fish is writing primarily to people here in the u.s. who are christians.
when any other population becomes important i am sure he will skewer them as well and as nicely.

I applaud the judgement of mainstream news editors who reject Mr. Fish's poorly drawn, offensive and unfunny cartoons.

Uniformly repulsive! Anyone who likes Fish's stuff is six bricks shy of a full hod. And, Fish himself does have serious mental issues.

Fish appears to be even-handed in his treatment of political issues, so it does seem that he should be as critical of Islamic and Jewish religious superstition as he is of the hypocritical Christian fantasies that are cynically used for political manipulation of ignorant simpletons. His commentary is superb, but does not go far enough.

Oh but that there were a God that could take us to an intellectual climate in which euphemisms such as Cagle's "good taste" were not used as a mask for ideological censorship. I am at least grateful for his willingness to publish some of Fish's art in this blog.

If US papers were half as perspicacious as the Weekly and the Voice and US editorialists a quarter as good as Fish, there would be no crisis in editorial cartooning today. To actually ENJOY someone's editorial cartoons is an increasingly rare treat.

The Menorah tank is a great image. Wish I'd thought of it.

>>Saudi terrorists hoping to kill fifty or a hundred thousand people in the twin towers<<

There weren't any, JK, just as Lee Harvey Oswald didn't kill Kennedy. Your secret government fed you a line of bullsh*t and you bought it.

Don't blame the messenger – get out there, open your eyes find the truth.

Anger issues, and as pointed out by several others, perhaps the courage to only lampoon "safe" Christian targets.

Free speech is essential to our freedom and any type of censorship is a slippery slope, however my respect for your website just took a nosedive with the posting of these cartoons, Daryl.

I enjoy seeing Mr. Fish cartoons–often very creative and "saucy"–good term. You folks who think he or any cartoonist has to even it out and give equal time bashing haven't a clue about satire. (The comment about drawing for his mostly Christian audience was on target).
OK, I know this is the worst thing EVER to ask, but can someone explain the kittens and coffins cartoon? I didn't get it, and so want to because I like the visual incongruity.

I thought these were hysterical. The comments, too; especially people who start to BAWWW over cartoonists who crack jokes regarding their religion. It's as if their God is so small and weak and powerless that a simple joke will negate his existence, so they have to go to extreme lengths to protect their fragile idea of a deity. Come on, people; if you really believe, then you believe that God made this man and you believe that He gave him the talent and wit to make these cartoons, right? Don't burst a vessel; Jesus is a big boy, he can take care of himself.

You won't go to Hell if you laugh at a funny joke. We wouldn't have jokes if we weren't meant to laugh.

My name will tell you what I think of
Although fish is usually a total fucking asshole, I had to agree with every one of these.
I’ll be sending them on to some of my friends and a few of my

Naturally, most people who think these cartoons are "great," agree with the point expressed. It's easy to think they're "great," when it's not your ideas that are being criticized, attacked, smeared, insulted, or offended.

But what happens when it's something you DISAGREE with? Well, lets look at the post just below this one… the anti-abortion comic, in reference to the Tiller murder. Oh… interesting, looks like some people don't appreciate that quite as much.

You're a bunch of hypocritical, left-wing asses… who can only see the world through their OWN eyes… never anybody else's. Fish is trash… and doesn't get published because he is offensive and rude, but most importantly, has opinions that are way outside of the mainstream. He cannot express himself in a respectful manner, and is essentially the same as the man who attempt to debate by saying, “Fuck you!”

You guys can pat yourselves on the back all you want, and tell people that you're "open minded" all you want… but it's a lie. Your only open when your own views are reinforced… but if it's something other than the typical left-wing line, well… somehow that's inappropriate.


I am outraged at these disgusting cartoons! Mr. Fish obviously is holding back and not letting his true feelings out. isn't an artist supposed to start from their own beliefs and experiences? this is just too much pablum for MY kids. they're used to much worse.

Thanks for the laughs Mr. Fish. Some of these will make great holiday cards for my family and friends. I'm sending Joe Lie-berman the Happy Hanukkah card.

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