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California Burger Police

My cartoon today is bound to anger many of my readers, who expect me to draw liberal cartoons consistently. I’ll explain it! (But my readers will still be angry. Sorry.)

First, notice how I made San Francisco Bay into the state’s mouth? (You have to consider his purple tongue as part of the land defining the shape of the bay.)

My blue, California Burger Policeman is yelling a list of War Against Burgers issues that I face when I go out to eat in Los Angeles. Here’s what the burger policeman is yelling about …

Only small cups for soda!
The California legislature is expected to pass a bill soon that will limit restaurant sales of sugary drinks, like Coca Cola, to small sized cups only. A punitive tax on sugary drinks is also expected to pass statewide, following a similar measure in the city of Berkeley that is seen as successful because it has succeeded in getting poor people to drink more water instead of more expensive soda.

Use this paper straw!
Plastic straws are being banned throughout California, replaced by paper straws that get soggy quickly.

Pay an extra waiter surcharge!
The City of San Francisco has passed a law requiring restaurants to pay underpaid waiters much more. Most restaurants have passed the increased costs on to customers by raising food prices, but many San Francisco restaurants have added a separate surcharge to the bill to account for for the extra cost.

Did you request this straw first? NO? Then FIRE the waiter!
Some jurisdictions in California, including Los Angeles, have new laws that impose severe penalties on restaurants that give straws to customers who didn’t ask for a straw first. There are inspectors who go to restaurants to check on compliance with the straw law, and if they find a customer didn’t ask for a straw before the waiter gave out a straw, they sock the restaurant with a big fine –this leaves restaurants in the position of mitigating the risk of big fines by clamping down on employees. I went out to dinner at the Olive Garden last week and the waitress told me that the staff was warned that if they ever handed out a straw, without the customer asking for it first, they would be fired on the spot. Of-course, the law doesn’t require that waiters be fired, but the penalties are so severe that restaurants threaten the waiters with similarly severe penalties to strike the fear of non-compliance in the waiters.

Free the chickens!
California passed a law not long ago, that requires better living conditions for chickens, who can no longer be kept in small, efficient cages, thereby giving the chickens a better, and more costly, free-range lifestyle.

Cow Farts, Styrofoam and Banning Beef
These issues transcend California, so no explanation here.

I’m usually a liberal cartoonist, but I love my burgers and conservative complaints about the War on Burgers resonate with me, unlike the fictional War on Christmas.

My buddy Pat Bagley drew a similar cartoon from the opposite point of view, that is surely more acceptable to our liberal readers …

If I drew conservative cartoons all the time, I would have a much more successful career as an editorial cartoonist.

Really.

I should write a blog post about that.

 

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Rare Cartoon and Big Dark Cloud

Here is my cartoon as it appeared today in the Los Angeles Daily News.  It is rare for me to see my cartoon in the local newspapers in the vast editorial cartoon desert that is Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times, a newspaper with a rich history of editorial cartooning, doesn’t run editorial cartoons and has no staff cartoonist anymore (occasionally they will run a commissioned illustration from a freelancer with a political theme). The larger daily newspapers surrounding The LA Times are part of the Southern California News Group (SCNG) which includes my local Los Angeles Daily News, The Pasadena Star-News, The Riverside Press-Enterprise and The Long Beach Press-Telegram among others; these papers sell advertising more effectively as a group and prepare their editorial pages centrally from The Orange County Registera practice that is becoming more common. The same is true with the Bay Area News Group (BANG) up North, with their central editorial page staff at The San Jose Mercury News.

The SCNG group subscribes to our Cagle Cartoons package but only prints one traditional editorial cartoon per week, on Sundays; they dropped daily editorial cartoons to run the comic strip Mallard Filmore. The strip takes half the space of an editorial cartoon and is reliably conservative compared to liberal-leaning editorial cartoons, making Mallard a more attractive alternative from the newspapers’ point of view. SCNG also dropped their editorial pages entirely on Mondays and Saturdays; sadly, this is also common. (Fortunately, SCNG runs many more editorial cartoons on their Web sites.) Since only one cartoon per week can make it into print, it is rare for me to see my own cartoon in the local newspaper – of-course, one spot per week is much better than The Los Angeles Times with no spots per week and no editorial cartoons on their Web site.

Newspapers are shutting down editorial page staffs faster than they are dropping editorial pages and this sometimes works to our advantage. When SCNG and BANG consolidated all of their newspapers’ editorial page staffs, we picked up newspapers in the groups that we hadn’t been able to sell to before, so that all the papers in the groups could run the same content. A similar thing happened recently with McClatchy in North Carolina and we picked up two new papers, The Richmond News-Leader and The Durham Herald-Sun so that they can run a common weekly round-up of cartoons, prepared centrally by our brilliant cartoonist Kevin Siers at McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer.

I’m often asked what the trends are with editorial cartooning, and my rare cartoon in my local newspaper led to this long-winded answer. We will continue to see newspapers dropping their editorial pages, sometimes dropping only two pages per week, and sometimes dropping the editorial pages entirely. I’m told that editorial pages make readers angry, and papers don’t sell advertising on the editorial page, so editorial pages can be viewed as a costly hassle. Editorial cartoons will continue to lose their newspaper homes.

Newspapers will also continue to consolidate and we’ll see editorial page staffs continue to be cut, with regional groups consolidating their editorial staffs from multiple local papers into central locations; ironically, this is good for Cagle Cartoons as our content is so much better than competing syndicate packages that we continue to pick up more papers than we lose to the consolidation trend –which is a little silver lining on a big dark cloud.

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Randy’s Overnight Parade

Our cartoonist Randy Enos has had a long and interesting career. Here’s another one of his stories …

When I was working as a film designer with Pablo Ferro in the 1960s, every job was an adventure. Pablo was a very innovative guy and he never wanted to do anything like what other people would do. The story I’m about to relate happened when we got a commission to do an institutional film for the “Negro Marketing Institute of Harlem.” Pablo and I went up to Harlem to meet the client and take a tour of the neighborhoods to get the feel of the place, learn some of the slang (such as “kicks” for shoes) and eat some great home cooking at a little out-of-the-way kitchen.

Back home at our studio I started working on ideas for the film. I finally hit on the notion of just throwing a lot of fast images on the screen in various styles in Pablo’s usual quick-cut filming style. To hold the whole conglomeration together I thought we would have a very long parade of drum majors and majorettes and other band members which we would slowly pan while intercutting still pictures that we and others would create.

So, the long process began of drawing many many individual pictures of faces, shoes, store fronts, words and the like. Because we needed so very many images, we enlisted the aid of anyone who happened by our office on 45th Street. This included messenger boys, friends, workmen, our secretary, wives, husbands, and actors like Vaughn Meader and Reni Santoni who often dropped by. We’d hand out pencils, ball-point pens and magic markers to one and all and just beg a picture off of them which related in some far-flung way to our subject matter. One day a girl showed up looking for a job. She was a pretty good cartoonist so we put her to work on it. She had fun just drawing anything that came into her head. She said, “I love this animation business.” I told her that this wasn’t exactly what the animation business was all about.

Meanwhile, I was busy at work on a loooooooooong roll of white paper creating my parade of colorful characters. It stretched out across one or two office spaces.

When we had a real long parade that suited us and a huge pile of assorted, colorful drawings (some professional, some amateurish and primitive) we piled into a cab and rushed down to Francis Lee’s Oxberry animation stand. Francis had a dusty, dirty loft-type studio on the east side near the U.N. building. Dust and dirt aren’t an ideal environment for shooting with animation cels but shooting with Francis had its advantages. He was a visionary, an experimenter, an avant garde explorer of the wild side. He had relationships with the New York underground film makers. He was even a friend of Jonas Mekas the renowned critic who died not long ago. Francis also contributed the famous abstract psychedelic sequence in 2001: a space odyssey. We liked the fact that Francis would go along with any crazy notion that we had.

In later times, after I left Pablo, I would still go to Francis’ stand to shoot films on my own. He would let me unscrew the bolts on the Oxberry so we could spin the table while the big 35mm camera would come sliding down the rails to film a wild spinning zoom. But, I digress.

So, we placed our parade, the unifying element in this minor masterpiece, on the animation stand locked onto the Oxberry pegs, by peg strips we had affixed to it, and started cranking the long strip of paper, increment by increment as we banged off single frames of film. We stopped when we ran out of table length and had to re-position to crank it further. All the while this was occurring, we would interject one of our friends’ drawings every now and then. Pablo and I were working like modern jazz musicians improvising on the spot as the parade and its intercuts rolled on into the wee wee hours of the night and morning.

It finally came to a finish and we sank into chairs exhausted from bending over the table all night. Francis unloaded the film reel and came over to tell us… the bad news. He had forgotten to load COLOR film. You see, this was a time when there were still a lot of commercials and film that was shot in black and white.

Well… back to the drawing board (or, in this case, back to the Oxberry stand).

Randy Enos

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Trump Giddyap

My new Trump emergency cartoon is inspired by the pushmi-pullyu  character from Doctor Dolittle and is something of a cartoon trope. Cartoonists have all drawn this kind of thing before. Still, it is fun to have the Jack-ass be an ass.

Not much different from an old Nickelodeon show I liked, CatDog. I drew CatDog way back in 2002 when HP merged with Compaq.

Things don’t change much.

 

 

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Memorial Cartoons for Gérard

Updated 2/19/19 with new cartoons – Daryl

Cartoonists around the world are drawing memorial tribute cartoons for our dear, departed friend Gérard Vandenbroucke, the founder and president of the Salon at St Just le Martel and long time champion of our editorial cartooning profession. Read my obit here.  I’ll post new cartoons as they come in.

Gérard was also a politician who rose from being the mayor of the tiny village of St Just le Martel to being the president of the Limousin region of France, famous for their brown cows that are an icon of the cartoon museum – that’s why there are so many cows in the cartoons.

This one is by Christo Komarnitsky from Bulgaria

 

This one by Bob Englehart may require some explanation. Gérard was the mayor of St Just le Martel and he championed the cartoon museum and Salon in the tiny village.  St Just le Martel translates to “Saint Just the Hammer.” As the story goes, God told Saint Just to throw his hammer and build a church where it landed; Bob’s cartoon puts Gérard in the St Just role, throwing his hammer to decide where to build the cartoon museum/festival.

 

This one is by Osmani Simanca from Brazil

 

This one is from Gary McCoy

 

Here is my own cartoon.

 

This one is by Ed Wexler!

 

This one is by Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

 

This cartoon is by Marilena Nardi from Italy

 

This one is by Jeff Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

 

By Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune.

 

This is by Firuz Kutal of Norway.

 

 

This one is by Tchavdar Nicolov from Bulgaria’s Prass Press.

 

This one is by my buddy, Robert Rousso, who is the dean of the French cartoonists.

This linoleum block print is by Randy Enos.

 

This one is by Danish cartoonist Neils Bo Bojesen.

 

 

This one is by my buddy, Batti Manfruelli from Corsica.

 

Pierre Ballouhey drew Gérard on the left, resuming a conversation with his two deceased pals on a cloud. In the middle is the priest of the lovely, little, medieval church of St Just le Martel. At the right is the late, chain-smoking, French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Loup, a talented cartoonist who curated the exhibitions at the museum for many years.

Here’s another by Pierre, the Limousin cows paint themselves black with grief.

 

This charming cartoon is by the charming French cartoonist, Placide. The village of St Just le Martel is behind the statue of Gérard, with the cartoon museum in the middle and the medieval church on the right.

 

This cartoon is by Romanian cartoonist Pavel Constantin.

 

This one is by Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle.

 

By Oguz Gurel from Turkey

 

This one is by Cristina Sampaio from Portugal.

 

This Gérard tribute is from Brazilian cartoonist and animator, CAó Cruz Alves

From the French cartoonist, my buddy Noder

 

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Wall Emergency!

President Trump has declared a wall emergency so he can build a border wall after a bruising battle with congress, which rejected his wall plans. We have lots of Declaration of Emergency cartoons! Here’s mine from yesterday.

This is my favorite emergency cartoon, from Dave Whamond

These three are by my buddy, Steve Sack

This is from my buddy, Rick McKee

And my buddy, Dave Granlund

… and my buddy, Jimmy Margulies

 

 

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Our Friend Gérard Passes Away

I was saddened to learn that our dear friend, Gérard Vandenbroucke passed away today. Gérard was a tireless proponent of our cartooning profession.
Gérard started the Salon at St Just le Martel, France, more than 40 years ago with a group of teenagers in the village, who continue to run the Salon. They decided to make a festival for “Press Cartoons” (editorial cartoons) and they invited prominent French political cartoonists to attend. A handful came at first, and the Salon has grown steadily ever since into the worldwide editorial cartoonists convention that CagleCartoonists attend every year.
 
Gérard supported the Salon, along with fund raising and construction of St Just’s lovely cartoon museum, as he rose through the French political ranks, starting as mayor of St Just le Martel, then as president of the Limoges region and then the Limousin region. He has continued to be the president of the Salon all this time, and more recently he was the force behind the founding of the Cartooning Global Forum last year at UNESCO in Paris.
 
It is a sad day for our profession. Gérard was our hero; he was beloved by the cartoonists he loved. He is already missed.

That’s Gerard in the chair next to me, backed by CagleCartoonists.
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The Bullpen

By Randy Enos.
As I entered my final year of high school in 1954, I had lost some of my childhood interest in the cartoons and illustrations in favor of an interest in painting. It was generated by the emerging New York school of Abstract Expressionists. So, I ended up going to the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts to study painting where I met my future wife. The summer that we were married, I was in Westport, Ct with her and looking for a summer job. We were planning to return to Boston so I could continue studying painting and realize my dream of starving to death in a Greenwich Village garret. I had a job waiting for me there at a hotel where I had worked for the two years I had already spent there at school.

So, I applied for a job working on a new highway (I 95) that was under construction. I was waiting to hear back from them when my mother-in-law invited me to accompany her for lunch at her friend Bud Sagendorf’s house. Bud was, at that time, working on the Popeye comic books. He had worked with the creator of Popeye, Elzie Segar, since he was a high school kid and now continued to work on Popeye as did a few others like Bill Zaboly who did the dailies. I was excited to meet Bud.

As we sat in his yard having lunch, Bud told me that The Famous Artists Schools, there in Westport, had hired him away from his post as comics editor at King Features to head up a brand new cartoon course that the famous correspondence school was offering. He asked me if I could draw cartoons because he was looking for teachers. I, modestly blurted out that of course I could draw cartoons … I was a painter. He said that I should draw up some samples to show to the head of the instruction department. To help me along to cinch the deal Bud told me to draw up some stuff using the method they were teaching which featured drawing a center line down a head, for instance, and then an eye-line to locate the eyes etc.. I did as he asked and went in to apply for the job. They said they would contact me in a few days. A few days later I got calls from the highway department AND The Famous Artists Schools both saying that I was hired. What a dilemma. H-m-m-m, sweat all day in the broiling sun in a road gang … OR … sit at a drawing board all day and draw cartoons?

I arrived the next day at The Famous Artists Schools for my summer job. They informed me that they didn’t hire just for the summer and if I took the job I would have to stay there for the rest of my life. I looked around at all the artists working there in the illustration course and the painting course and the new cartoon course and I decided that maybe I could learn something from all these seasoned veterans.
So, being the youngest person (20 yrs. old) they had ever hired I took my place amongst old cartoonists, ex-art directors and middle-aged painters.

I was the first one hired from the “outside” to work in the cartoon course. There was Bud (director), Pete Wells (co- director), Barney Thompson (brought over from the illustration course) and Bill Feeny (brought over from the school’s art department). The five of us worked in a bullpen situation rather than choosing to have separate offices like all the other instructors at the school. We liked to collaborate freely in one room because the course was brand new and we were feeling our way along. I had to learn how to draw cartoons while I was teaching people how to draw cartoons. And I found out that drawing funny was very serious business. The other four instructors became my mentors and teachers and everything I know about drawing cartoons I learned from them.

Young Randy Enos.

Bud, as I mentioned, was doing the Popeye comic books (he hired me on weekends to work with him on them); Peter Wells (who never let you forget that he went to Yale) had come from drawing the Katzenjammer Kids; Barney Thompson had done gags for Life, Judge and even Playboy. Barney taught me how to draw nifty babes. As “Bud” Thompson, Barney had also drawn the Captain Marvel Jr. comics which I had really loved when I was a kid, so I was particularly excited about working with him. Bill Feeny had come from penciling The Lone Ranger. They’re all dead now, but I owe my life and career to them.

Later we hired on a young guy named Warren Sattler and also Frank Ridgeway (who on our lunch breaks created “Mr. Abernathy”). I remember the day he was called at work by King Features when they bought the strip. Frank was also a Saturday Evening Post gag cartoonist. He would work on his gags there at work. Once I said, “Hasn’t that gag been done before?” Frank said, “Yes, but has it been done this week?”

Pete Wells taught me the old cartoonists’ trick of drying up puddles of ink with a lit cigar. Sometimes he and I would sit at work with green eyeshades, puffing on cigars as we wielded our trusty Gillott # 170 pens.

Years and years later, we had a great reunion art show of all the old Famous Artists Schools people. I put in 3 or 4 big fairly abstract color linocuts. I hadn’t seen Pete in a very long time. The minute he spotted me, he ran over. He didn’t say, “Randy, nice to see you”. What he said was, “Randy, QUICK, come over here, somebody has put up some God awful pictures and they put your name on them!

A lot of amazing Famous Artists Schools stories to come.

Randy Enos

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Famous Artists Schools

The Pushpin Debacle at the Famous Artists Schools

The great self-taught illustrator of the 30’s and 40’s, Albert Dorne, was nationally known and making $100,000 a year at the age of 20. He was a great favorite of mine. In 1947, he went on to create The Famous Artists Schools, the most famous correspondence art school in the world. He enlisted 12 of his friends like Norman Rockwell, Al Parker, Ben Stahl, etc. to become partners in the venture and to write the textbooks and assignments which would be critiqued by instructors like little me. When I went there at the ripe old age of 20, I told Al of my love for his work and the huge file I had on him. This endeared him to me and he was always very fatherly towards me. After I had been there for 8 years, he urged me to go forth and become a free-lance illustrator.“You didn’t grow up to be an instructor at The Famous Artists Schools” he said, “Get your ass in New York and get working!” I was already working a little for Playboy, Harper’s and others but it was just the push I needed to go full time at it.

When I first started at the school in 1956, Al lived and worked in New York. Eventually he came to Westport where the school was located. We got half the mail that came into Westport in those days and had a big mail truck of our own.

He bought a lovely house there and the instructors were sometimes invited over. He had a big Ad Reinhardt painting over his bed. You could eat off the floor of his garage. Like my father, Al had grown up a poor boy and became very fastidious, well groomed and excruciatingly neat and clean when he became rich. He dressed impeccably and was always shaved and perfumed as he strode the halls of his empire. He smoked great long expensive cigars but had a pipe rack on his desk which featured a pipe for each day of the week. I never saw him smoke one of them.

One fatal day he summoned the entire staff of the building to his small office to view a purchase he had made. We crowded in there as best we could with many left to gawk through the door from the outside.

He explained to us that he felt bad about not having a drawing board in his office. He said it probably reflected badly on him when visiting students (we had many from all of the country… and world) would be ushered in to meet him. He also pointed out that he did do a drawing at least once a year for the school magazine… SO… he gestured toward his acquisition which was a beautiful mahogany single post drawing board off to the side of his desk. He beamed with pride as we all gasped in envy. He explained that no one was to touch this glowing jewel of a drawing board. He didn’t want anything put on it, taped to it or stuck into it.

Then… he left for lunch with his secretary Pauline Engler (who, by the way, found out, when she applied for a passport that her actual real name, on her birth certificate, was recorded by her parents as “Baby girl Engler “).

There were plenty of jokers in our midst, mainly in the painting department for some reason. One (or two) of them decided to have a little fun with the boss. They took a push pin and cut the point off of it and then dabbed a dollop of rubber cement on the head and gently placed it smack dab in the middle of the mahogany masterpiece.

Dorne returns from lunch and suddenly a huge bellow is heard through the halls of the building rattling the Robert Fawcett’s almost off the walls. Once again, we are all summoned to his office where we find an enraged, red faced Dorne, his plentiful eyebrows furrowed ferociously.

“WHO DID THIS?” he screamed. With mouths gaped open, we were frozen in silence. “Who did this?” No one said a word. Then, Dorne went to his desk drawers, rummaged around and came up with
a push pin. He said, “If it has one hole in it, it might as well BE FULL OF HOLES!” And with that, he proceeded to stab madly at the beautiful mahogany board to everyone’s horror. The stabbing, of course, jabbed the original pin loose and it fell to the floor. He looked at it in disbelief shouting, “I’ll find out who did this and they’ll pay!”

We left in silence like a funeral procession. No one ever fessed up. The staff was terrified. Dorne never found the culprit. To this day, no one knows who did it.

But … I’ll tell you this … It was either Chip Chadborne or Mike Mitchell … or both. That’s for sure.

Randy Enos

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Jeff Bezos and David Pecker

Here’s my new cartoon on the world’s richest man, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and the National Enquirer’s (AMI) CEO David Pecker, who was blackmailing Bezos. Pecker’s AMI was extorting Bezos, demanding that the Washington Post (which Bezos owns) hold back publication on their investigation of AMI, and that Bezos stop a private investigator he hired to look into AMI – otherwise they would publish photos of Bezos’ penis. Bezos was brave to expose Pecker’s extortion.

It is interesting that Pecker and AMI seems to have such success with blackmail that his attorneys didn’t step back to think of what would happen if the person they were blackmailing simply made their emails public.

AMI is looking pretty sleazy these days, with likely links to Saudi Arabia, and a reported safe full of Donald Trump secrets, among other tawdry stuff. So, I took advantage of Pecker’s dickish name and pulled Pecker’s pants down. Some cartoons are fun to draw – even if editors won’t publish them much.

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Chinese Hackers! Ouch!

On Thursday night, last week, we suffered an unusually effective series of attacks from Chinese hackers against our database server that have brought our database and our CagleCartoons.com download site down, along with our PoliticalCartoons.com store site.

Chinese hackers, looking over my shoulder.

On Friday, my valiant editors Brian and Stacey Fairrington, answered over 250 calls and emails from editors to give them the new, emergency, interim Google Drive cartoon download location where we set up a temporary download site for the recent cartoons. Our new columns are available on Cagle.com, see them on the front page at the right. (If you’re a client who needs access to the interim Google Drive site to download the recent cartoons, email [email protected] and we’ll give you the link.)

Our cartoonists should email new cartoons to us at [email protected], which goes to all of us; we will manually add your cartoons to the Google Drive interim download site and we will be sending new cartoons out to the editors who take email delivery through MailChimp until we have a new CagleCartoons.com back up with a new database and server. We’re updating Cagle.com manually for now, so it may be slow to display new cartoons. Payments to the cartoonists who get paid quarterly went out a couple of weeks ago, and the royalty checks for the monthly cartoonists went out this weekend, for January. Don’t worry, the cartoonists have all been paid!

The Chinese hackers, who leave lots of Chinese language files and malware on our database server every time they break in, have been watching as we repair the server and they come back each time repairs are made to tear the server down again. We’ve tried but we can’t keep them out of our outdated system. The hackers win this round. We had to give up on the old server and we’re scrambling to re-write our management system to work with a current SQL server.

Regular readers know how we’ve had continuing problems with hackers attacking Cagle.com, mostly with DDos/denial of service attacks. Thanks to the generosity of Cloudflare, we’re fending off the DDos attacks.  The current problem is that we were using an older database and server for our CagleCartoons.com syndicate site and PoliticalCartoons.com store site, which left us vulnerable. We were too complacent, since the attacks were all against Cagle.com in the past. Our old database system worked so well that I hated the prospect of the cost and hassle of recreating it with newer, more defensible code.  I procrastinated too long.

We don’t keep confidential information online. No credit card information was stolen.

The editors have all been lovely about this and we haven’t gotten any complaints – at least not so far. It has been nice to see the support and goodwill from our subscription clients at a time when they could justifiably be grouchy.

I also appreciate the heroic efforts of our staff, Theo, Brian, Stacey and Rob, who have really stepped up this weekend to make things work through our database crisis.

I hate inconveniencing everyone. Thanks for your patience with this mess! We hope to have new versions of the CagleCartoons.com and PoliticalCartoons.com sites up soon.

Perhaps I’ve been drawing too many cartoons of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh.