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Zits and ISIS-ISIL-Daesh

It is pretty common for editorial cartoonists to draw parody cartoons with the Peanuts characters. Lucy pulling away the football is a political cartooning standard. I wonder why it is always Peanuts, and not other strips that find their way into editorial cartoons – so, here’s my Zits-ISIS-ISIL-Dash-Zits cartoon.

I’m a big Zits fan.  I have two Zits originals, that I bought at charity events, hanging on the wall in my house.  Borgman and Scott are brilliant, although I don’t think they’d ever draw Jeremy joining ISIS, so … sorry about that. Kids and ISIS – always a surprise, huh?

I’m headed off to Ukraine next week and I won’t be drawing cartoons for a while. Hold your breath until I get back!

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Unplanned Growth in Nashville

Here’s my second cartoon for the altie-weekly Nashville Scene. It is about a crazy 38 house development, with 35 foot high houses on tiny lots, planned to be built next door to me. This isn’t just a “nimby” (“not in my backyard”) issue, Nashville is growing like a weed, a stupid, unplanned weed, so I’m drawing a series on the topic. “Dale and Associates” is a former Nashville City Councilman, Roy Dale, who lobbies his old cronies to get big construction projects approved in town – a local version of the same nasty kind of lobbying we see in Washington when legislators retire to K Street.

I may get mad at something else and keep drawing local cartoons when this nimby battle is over, or I may pick at this scab for a while. I regret that local cartoons are so rare these days – local cartoons are the most fun and can have an impact, but they have to be drawn out of passion, rather than business sense.

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Hillary the Commander-in-Chief

Here’s Commander-in-Chief Hillary! Back in 2008 there was a lot of chatter about whether Hillary was up to the job of commanding the troops. Hillary told a story about how she was “dodging bullets” as she flew into Bosnia – a story that would have shamed even Brian Williams.

We also heard a lot about how Hillary thought America would rather she got an emergency call at 3:00 in the morning, instead of Barack Obama. I drew a cartoon similar to this one in 2008, with Hillary’s medals, and I realized that in only seven years, many of the medals have changed, but Hillary is basically the same. Here’s a new, updated version of my military, Hillary golden oldie. Come see our big collection of Bill ‘n Hillary cartoons.

 

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I’m an Altie-Weekly Local Cartoonist Now

I’ve started doing a weekly cartoon for the “Nashville Scene” called “Metropolitan Planning Commission Funnies”.

Nashville is growing like a weed, and though officials talk about planning, they really just approve every stupid proposal. I’m awakened to this by an absurd, huge development of 38 houses, each 35 feet tall, planned for the lot next door to my rural zoned, Nashville house.

In the coming weeks I’ll try pushing the limits on how rude I can be to local public servants – hey, its an altie-weekly, I should be able to get nasty. Here’s the first softball.

1-ColorCellLaugh

 

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Blog Columns Syndicate

Muhammad Cartoon Stimulus and Response … and Repeat

We just saw yet another terror attack provoked by cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, this time at a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland Texas. A competent cop shot two home-grown terrorist gunmen before much damage was done. The event was organized by a right-wing group called “Stop Islamization of America” that was best known for opposing the construction of a mosque in Manhattan. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists them as a hate group, which they deny.

Cartoonist Rénald “Luz” Luzier, who drew the famous Charlie Hebdo cover after the shootings in France, recently decided he would no longer draw Muhammad cartoons. I can sympathize with Luz’s choice, since he’s now “typecast” as the premier Muhammad cartoonist – It seems reasonable that Luz wouldn’t want his career to be boiled down to being the “Muhammad cartoon guy.”

I’m an editorial cartoonist; I haven’t drawn a Muhammad cartoon myself, because I haven’t been inspired to do so. I shy away from drawing cartoons that some people would find offensive. I don’t use four letter words, or the “N-word” in my cartoons. I don’t draw sexually explicit cartoons. Offensive subject matter in cartoons can be so loud that it drowns out anything else I might want to say in a cartoon, except, “Look, I have the freedom to draw something offensive.”

Many cartoonists have drawn Muhammad cartoons, and racist cartoons, and dirty cartoons; that’s fine, that’s their business – but drawing offensive stuff just to draw attention to myself, or to prove that I have the right to do so, just looks like lousy cartooning to me. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were doing more than that; they were addressing issues in French culture that were important to them, and rejecting all religions that they felt didn’t fit with their secular society.

I knew three of the five Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who were murdered earlier this year and I got to know more of them at French cartoon festivals. They have a genuine passion for their issues and our conversations always turned to a discussion of their religion-bashing cartoons. Here in America we’re not faced with the same social pressures and similar cartoons here should seem out of place.

The “Stop Islamization of America” people, who sponsored this contest, are poking the extremist Islamic beast to elicit a predictable response. This violent, cartoon stimulus and response will surely continue to be repeated.

It doesn’t matter that I personally don’t choose to draw Muhammad cartoons, or that most cartoonists don’t care to draw offensive cartoons, all editorial cartoonists are now being seen as recklessly poking surly Islamic beasts. My profession is being painted with the Muhammad cartoon broad-brush.

I was recently asked to speak at a local college, and I met the college president; the first thing he said to me was, “Now, don’t show any of those Muhammad cartoons.” This is not unusual. Casual conversations with editorial cartoonists often start with, “So, do you draw those Muhammad cartoons too?”

Like Luz was typecast, it seems we’re all typecast now.

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Baltimore Media Flies

Like flies attracted to stinky poop, the media is drawn to riots and looting, with little interest in the other issues surrounding the stinky poop.

We have a great collection of cartoons about the Baltimore Riots here.