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New Suit for Manafort

Paul Manafort has lots of fancy, $15,000 suits from the House of Bijan, which seems to be the most expensive men’s clothing store around. Customers shop at this store by appointment only, but I suspect that Manafort had the fancy tailor come to him. Manafort paid clothing bills of hundreds of thousands of dollars by bank wire transfers, from his secret bank accounts on the island of Cyprus. These bank accounts were so secret that Manafort claims to have known nothing about them – at least that’s what he claims to the IRS, not to his tailor.

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Greedy Bankers Devour Cyprus

The banking crisis in Cyprus is great fun and a gift to editorial cartoonists — like me! It is a story of crazy economic collapse, with Russian mobsters laundering money in secret accounts and crooked Cypriot bankers who gambled the dirty cash away on risky Greek bonds, bringing down the economy of their tiny nation.

The sordid tale reminds me of Greek mythology and Francisco Goya’s famous painting Saturn Devouring his Child, that the Spanish master painted on the plaster wall of his dining room at home, charming his guests when they came over for dinner. I love to draw editorial cartoons that deface masterpieces; editors seem to like these cartoons the best, reprinting them much more than my other cartoons.

Saturn knew that one of his children was going to kill him, so, of-course, he ate all of his kids, except for one that his wife, Rhea, hid from him. Rhea slipped a rock into swaddling clothes and gave it to Saturn, who swiftly swallowed the rock, thinking he was eating his son, Zeus.

Years later, Zeus grew up and confronted his Dad, by some accounts slicing Dad’s belly open and freeing his siblings, the Titans, who emerged no worse for wear after their years of digestive confinement. By other accounts, Zeus slipped his Dad something that made Dad vomit up his Titanic siblings — either way, this Greek myth is a perfect metaphor for Cyprus and the EU.

Spurred on by Russian mobsters, greedy, giant, Greek bankers devoured the little economy of Cyprus and soon the EU will slice open the bankers’ belly (or induce them to vomit, depending on which version you prefer) freeing the Cypriot economy which will be no worse for wear from its digestive confinement.

Another interesting element in this mythical cartoon comparison is that Zeus also castrated his father, just as the EU will metaphorically castrate the Cypriot bankers and give those Russian mobsters a “haircut.”

In cartoons, mythology, masterpieces and economics, what goes around comes around.

Daryl Cagle is a cartoonist who runs the CagleCartoons.com newspaper syndicate distributing editorial cartoons to more than 850 newspapers around the world including the paper you are reading now; he is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society. Comments to Daryl may be sent to [email protected] Read Daryl’s blog at www.cagle.com/daryl.

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Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Li’l Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More!

 Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

Saturn/Bankers Eating Cyprus, by Goya and Daryl. Click on the image for a larger view.

It has been too long since I have posted my new cartoons in the blog; so here is a big batch, with some comments.

The Cyprus bank crisis is great fun, and a good excuse for another cartoon abusing an art masterpiece. This time it is Saturn Devouring his Children by Francisco Goya. Of-course, Saturn knew one of his children would kill him, so eating the kids was the obvious thing to do. Goya painted this on the wall of his dining room. A charming, dinnertime feast for the eyes.

Saturn’s son, Zeus, escaped being eaten, came back, cut open Dad’s belly (or induced Dad to vomit, depending on the version of the story) freeing his siblings, who emerged just fine from their digestive confinement. This is an apt metaphor for Cyprus bankers, who consumed Cyprus’ economy, only to have the EU cut their financial belly open sometime next week, freeing the Cypriot economy which will come out of its digestive confinement, looking no worse for wear. By some accounts Zeus also went on to castrate his father, also an apt metaphor for the EU and Cyprus.

GoyaClip Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

A clip from Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Children.

That’s a clip from Goya’s unaltered painting on the left. The problem I had was that I couldn’t just replace Saturn’s child/dinner with a map of Cyprus, because the child and Cyprus aren’t the same shape. And people want to see me draw in my cartoons, not just retouch masterpieces, so I decided to obviously draw over the painting.

What are public domain masterpieces good for, if not a lack of respect?

It is common for cartoonists to use famous paintings as metaphors in cartoons, and I notice that when I do it the cartoons are reprinted much more than any others.  Editors seem to love it – and it amuses me.  So there should be more to come.

My previous cartoon defaced a famous 1632 painting by Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The cartoon mocks the GOP “autopsy” this week by GOP Chair Reince Priebus – it amused me that Priebus chose to use the word “autopsy,” acknowledging that the patient was already dead. It was actually a pretty good GOP autopsy, and the reaction from the GOP old-guard made me laugh.

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The previous cartoon was about President Obama’s trip to Israel, and how I imagined his conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would go. “Overstating the obvious” always works in cartoon.

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Bellicose rhetoric from North Korea dominated the news the day I drew the cartoon below. I enjoy drawing the crazy, comicana cursing. This story doesn’t change much. I think North Koreans and Li’l Kim look for slow news days when they can make crazy threats and get some attention.

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The cartoon below is a Euro-evergreen. When I draw “everyman” characters in cartoons, I try to make them look like real people, rather than big-nosed-nobodies. I thought the girl looked kind of like Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Some readers commented that she looked more like Chelsea Clinton, with a “There’s Something About Mary” hairdo, having lunch with young Nicolas Cage. Oh well …

128609 600 Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

Everyone drew something about Rand Paul’s filibuster. I thought John McCain’s strained reaction, calling Rand Paul a “Wacko Bird” was great fun, and I drew this … I think McCain is hard to draw. His face is like pudding, with no particular shape to it. And, whatever he has to say, he has a “GET OFF MY LAWN” expression on his face.

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The cartoon below is about Obama’s recent “charm offensive” where he invited GOP leaders over for dinner or lunch. We saw lots of smiling faces.

128475 600 Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

This is another “charm offensive” cartoon about Obama’s dinner with Republicans. This was a quickie and I didn’t bother to color it. I got comments from conservatives who thought it was funny that I drew Obama in the role of Jesus at the last supper. hmmm.

128425 600 Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

128663 600 Cyprus, GOP Autopsy, Netanyahu, Lil Kim, the New Pope, Europe and So Much More! cartoons

Pope Francis as a gaucho.

One last one and I’m caught up! I drew this one (on the right) as fast as I could, when the new Pope was announced, and we learned he was from Argentina. I went to Google Images and looked up all I could find on gaucho costumes. So here is Pope Francis as a gaucho.

I won’t fall so far behind again!  I promise!