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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.

 

 

 

 

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Randy and the National Lampoon

Here’s another memory from our cartoonist Randy Enos

New Magazine in Town

One day in the 70’s, I was trudging along Madison Avenue, doing my rounds, lugging my big black portfolio, when I bumped into the cartoonist Stan Mack. After I helped him to his feet, he told me about a new magazine that had come to town from Harvard, The National Lampoon.

Stan said, “Get over there and show ’em your stuff, everybody’s working for them!” So, I went down the street to 59th and went up to the offices they shared with Weight Watchers to meet the art director Michael Gross. After looking through my portfolio, he gave me an assignment and for the next 15 years, I worked for the humor magazine (long after the founders Henry Beard and Doug Kenney and even Mike Gross had left).

I became very close friends with Mike and his family until his wife and finally, he, died just a few years ago. I worked with him through his stints at Esquire, Mobil Oil, his own design firm, an avant garde, sophisticated porno site and his Hollywood career, producing films like Ghost Busters.

Shortly after I had joined the Lampoon family, I was asked to contribute a comic strip to their new Funny Pages. My strip Chicken Gutz went on for many years. Occasionally I would throw in additional comic strips like my As The Tears Jerk which was a kind of soap opera strip and Specks-the smallest cartoon characters in the world which was a tiny strip consisting of tiny spots which talked to each other.

The work I did illustration-wise for the magazine was different than my regular lino-cut stuff I did for Time, The New York Times, N.B.C., Playboy, etc. in that I didn’t use my own style. Because of the nature of the material, I was required to assume other styles in parody. So, I did Picasso, Robert Crumb, Heinz Edelman (Yellow Submarine), Rube Goldberg etc..

I worked a lot on features written by Michael O’Donoghue, Sean Kelly, Doug Kenney and others. BUT… along with this, I was sometimes asked to pose in photo shoot parodies. One such shoot occurred on a day on which I had delivered a job to them and was on my out the door. I was getting very sick with the flu or something and I wanted to rush home. Mike Gross stopped me and pleaded with me to do this photo shoot. He said, “I know what a ham you are and you’re perfect for this. So … I did it. It was the poster for The National Lampoon Show which Ivan Reitman was producing. It starred Belushi and Radner and others (before Saturday Night Live).

The poster (below) consisted of a large title at the top and then four panels showing a back view of me in a trench coat trying to get a pretty model to laugh.

Panel one: I’m giving myself a hotfoot.

Panel two: I’m tipping my top hat. There’s a rubber chicken draped across my noggin.

Panel three: I’m slamming an ice cream cone into my head (remember, I’m getting very sick at this point). We went through a huge box of ice cream cones (Hagen Dazs, no less) for take after take after take. All through my futile antics, the model is just bored… UNTIL in …

Panel four: I open my trench coat and she dies laughing. These posters were all over New York. Everywhere I went I saw the poster and the creative work done by grafitti thugs who portrayed graphically what the model was looking at.

At that time, my wife was doing a lot of acting in New York and one day she was stepping off a subway train with one of the actors that was in the play with her at the time. He had never met me. As they stepped off, guess what was right in front of them.

Without missing a beat, my wife said, “Oh, by the way, this is my husband.”

Randy Enos

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