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Baghdadi Doggie

President Trump recently announced a raid in Syria that killed the ISIS chieftain Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump saved his highest praise for an unnamed, brave doggie that chased Baghdadi through a tunnel, where Baghdadi killed himself along with three of his kids, with a suicide vest. The doggie was injured in the explosion.

It was easy for me to see that the star of this raid was the doggie. Yesterday, Trump released a declassified photo of the doggie, whose name remained classified. It was easy for me to see that the doggie was the star of this story, and I drew this cartoon quickly on Sunday, with the doggie in his hospital bed, wearing his battle medal. My cartoon was the first of the Baghdadi cartoons to be delivered, considering that most cartoonists don’t work on Sundays. I had to guess what the doggie looked like, and with the later release of the photo I saw that I was pretty close – I missed the black face, but close enough.

Here’s another take on the doggie from cartoonist Joe Heller.  To be fair, this isn’t really the cute hero doggie, this is another dog in hell that is at the Baghdadi Welcome Party.

I thought there would be more doggie cartoons in response to the Baghdadi story, but these are the only ones that came in.

I think my cartoons would be more popular if I drew only doggies. Or kitties. All the time.

Here’s a pic of the hero doggie, that Trump posted on Twitter:

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Kurds Screwed!

I’m back from our annual CagleCartoons trip to France!  I’ll post about that soon.  Sorry for the time away from the blog!

While I was gone, President Trump betrayed the Kurds and invited Turkey to invade Syria, setting up a chain of events that essentially hand all of Syria to Russia and Iran. Right when I should have been at the drawing board, I was away, and then bogged down in doing the quarterly artists royalties. Arrgh! Here’s my “Kurds Screwed” cartoon.

A lot of cartoonists drew the Kurds being stabbed in the back. I liked this one by Adam Zyglis …

This is a nice one from Rick McKee

This realistic cartoon by Bart van Leeuwen –I’m not sure I understand this one, but I know how much it hurts to step on Legos.

This one by RJ Matson made me laugh and cry.

Everything by Steve Sack is great …

 

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Trump and Rep Frederica Wilson

The story about President Trump’s awkward condolence call to the widow of a fallen soldier has dragged on for more than a week. I wasn’t going to draw about it, but as the story droned on and on, with more awkward false tweets and statements from the White House, it looks like I can’t avoid this one.

See more cartoons on the topic here. Here are a few of my favorites; the first is by RJ Matson.

Isn’t the hair nice on this Ed Wexler cartoon?

I think the image of Trump throwing paper towels to the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, and Trump’s love of walls struck a chord with Marian Kamensky.

Sean Delonas may be our most conservative cartoonist. Here Sean shows his disgust for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

Our consistently conservative cartoonist, Rick McKee, seems to like Chief of Staff John Kelly’s statement, even though it contained false accusations about the Congresswoman.

Nate Beeler can sometimes lean to the right too …

Here’s one from Steve Sack.

I think this Pat Bagley cartoon is my favorite.

 

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Trump and Refugees

The media is energized by the “ban” on seven Muslim countries: Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Those are seven nasty places. I’d like to see a ban on refugees from all nasty places without regard to a religious test. There are lots more nasty places to add to this list.

Today’s cartoon is an upgrade to an oldie that I drew a couple of years ago.

Here’s the original, drawn when the GOP was opposing President Obama’s plans to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees.

My starting point for this one is this great cartoon from our Greek Cagle Cartoonist, Michael Kountouris, about the European Union.

 

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Orlando Shooting

Such a horror. I drew this one quickly this morning. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

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Trump and the Easter Bunny

There has been a lot of talk about Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisors. Trump says he consults himself on foreign policy issues, which makes for a nice Easter cartoon. The cartoon harkens back to Jimmy Stewart’s “Harvey” the invisible bunny friend.

trump-bunny750

The video below shows me drawing the whole thing, from start to finish in real time!

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Trump, Polls and the GOP!

I drew today’s Trump cartoon live on YouTube. Here is the finished color version.

trump-polls

That’s the GOP’s tarnished image at the right, as Trump rockets up in the polls. To really be going up in the polls, he should be facing to the right instead of the left – and I thought about that for a bit, as you can see in the video, but having Trump go the wrong way is better.

Today’s Trump news, about how he would ban Muslims from coming into the USA until we figure out “what the hell is going on” is great fun, because Trump’s supporters love what he has to say, while mainstream Republicans and the media are offended, demanding again and again that Trump leave the race. That tarnished GOP brand is starting to look pretty crusty.

Living here in red-state Tennessee I see angry Republicans are all around me; they live in their own news bubble, with their own history of the world, reinforced by their communities of like minded, angry, evangelical conservatives. The typical Republican voters are much father right than their knuckle-dragging candidates. Trump has plenty of room to his right to be even more outrageous.

Oh! Today I learned that the government of Pakistan is no longer blocking access to Cagle.com within Pakistan! Welcome to all of our new Pakistani readers!

COME WATCH ME DRAW THIS THING!

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The pundits on Fox News are holding their breath, turning blue, waiting for Obama to say the words, “Islamic Terrorists.” It may be a long wait.

I’ve gotten comments about how there appears to be nothing inside of Obama’s head. I wasn’t really thinking about making him be brainless, rather I was thinking of his skull as something of an echo chamber.

This cartoon was the product of my first try at live streaming the process of my drawing a cartoon. I had some tech difficulties, particularly with the sound. And I see that I will need to develop a new skill set for talking constantly while I draw. I should do a little better next time, solving these problems as I go along. Take a look at the YouTube video of my drawing session below. If the streaming is popular I’ll set up a regular time for it in the future. In the meantime, I’ll announce on Facebook and Twitter when I’ll be going live on YouTube.

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San Bernardino, Guns, Republicans and the NRA

My cartoon today about the terror attack in San Bernardino, inspired by the interesting front page on the New York Daily News.

Standing in a crowed of bloody, murder victims while saying something ironic or hypocritical is a cartoon cliche that every cartoonist has drawn many times. Here’s a similar cartoon that my buddy Pat Bagley drew recently in response to San Bernardino …

This Steve Sack cartoon is probably my favorite San Bernardino cartoon – it is a response to the New York Daily News  prayer front page and the rejection of another gun control vote in congress, with a wonderful rosary.

Here’s another one of my dead field of victims cartoons about Bashar Assar – as fresh today as it was when I drew it some time ago.

Here’s another one where I used the same victims. I traced the same dead crowd, and changed their clothes to Taliban duds.  There was a story at the time criticizing American servicemen for peeing on the corpses of Taliban fighters they had just killed in battle. I got a lot of angry reader response to this cartoon.

This also isn’t the first time I’ve drawn the NRA as a pig. Here is a Cagle classic NRA pig cartoon …

Pigs are a wonderful cartoon standard; they are a symbol of greed. Here’s a standard Cagle piggy oldie …

Pigs and standing among fields of the dead are two of my favorite things! (Maybe that’s another reason why those Islamic extremists don’t like cartoonists.)

 

 

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The GOP and the Refugee Doorway

The Republicans are trying hard to push back against the inflows of refugees and immigrants. Here’s my take. Often when I do cartoons that have muted colors, I get complaints from editors who want brighter colors. Refugees don’t lend themselves well to bright colors.

Often when I do cartoons have have muted colors, I get complaints from editors who want brighter colors. Refugees don’t lend themselves well to bright colors. I’m trying to do more texture in my cartoons now. Here’s a detail.

refugeeDoorDetail

Here’s my rough and dirty sketch. You can see that I fiddled around with the position of the elephant’s trunk before I was happy with it.

Doorsketch

I put a “Thanks to Michael Kounturis” in the lower left. Michael works out of Athens, Greece and he is one of my favorite cartoonists; he recently came back to our CagleCartoons.com newspaper syndicate package after a hiatus. My GOP Doorway cartoon was inspired by Michael’s cartoon below.

I stole a lot from Michael’s cartoon, including the position of the door and the guy pushing back on the door – and the general composition with the doorway poking up, off-center. It is all lovely – so thanks, Michael, and you have my apologies for ripping you off! See more of Michael’s great cartoons here.

 

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How to Fight ISIS? With Cartoons

Pundits like to complain that there are few voices from the Islamic world that condemn terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists. I run a small business that distributes editorial cartoons from around the world. With every major attack, including the recent attacks in Paris, I see a chorus of cartoons from Arab countries condemning the terror. The pundits must not be looking at the cartoons.

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Cartoon by Steve Sack.

Editorial cartoonists are typically the most influential voices in newspapers throughout the Middle East, reflecting the views of their readers. Newspapers remain important in everyday life in the Middle East. Editorial cartoons grace the front pages throughout the Middle East. Arabic language cartoonists are typically anti-American and anti-Semitic, but on issues of terrorism they are largely voices of reason.

I often hear politicians complain about how the war with Islamic extremists is a battle for hearts and minds and we need to step up our role in an information war that we are losing. Editorial cartoons could be a weapon on the
front lines of that battle. By now Americans should see how powerful cartoons can be; clearly the terrorists see this, as cartoonists are among their primary targets. It is difficult for Americans to comprehend that editorial cartoons are important and effective in the Middle East because we view cartoons as trivial jokes, leading us to miss many opportunities.

Until recently, the US State Department had programs that brought American cartoonists on speaking tours to the Middle East to meet their colleagues, and had reciprocal programs to bring Arabic language editorial cartoonists to America. The programs sought to spread common values to countries where persecuted and influential cartoonists typically are barred from drawing their own presidents. These effective State Department speaking programs for editorial cartoonists were dropped at the time of the “sequester” budget cuts. USAID supported journalism education initiatives in the Middle East ignore and exclude cartoonists.

As international respect for America has plummeted, respect for many of our institutions still runs high. American cartoonists are respected around the world, like American jazz musicians and basketball players. Middle Eastern cartoonists are eager to have their work appreciated by American readers and by the star American cartoonists who they respect and emulate. The Arab cartoonists push back against the press restrictions imposed by their regimes and envy America’s press freedoms.

Every act of terror brings new recruits to the Islamic extremists in ISIS; they seek glory, selling an image of bravery, striking back against the arrogant infidels in the West. Brandishing a gun demands a kind of respect. Fighting for religious values, no matter how twisted, demands a kind of respect. ISIS craves respect; what they can’t bear is ridicule. Islamic extremists who are widely seen as the butts of jokes won’t find many eager converts.

priggee-cartoons
Cartoon by Milt Priggee.

Cartoonists are masters of disrespect and are a continuing threat to the Islamic extremists. It is no surprise that editorial cartoonists are prime targets for terror. Along with other web sites around the world, my own editorial cartoon Web site, Cagle.com, is suffering hacker attacks that appear to originate with terrorists and despotic regimes who fear cartoons. Terrorists and despots have a weakness in common; they can’t take a joke.

America needs to wake up, deploy and support the world’s best soldiers in the modern information war, American cartoonists.

This weekend President Obama claimed that he is already doing most of the things that his political opponents demand in the war with ISIS; he called on his critics to contribute new and constructive ideas on what should be done. My recommendation is inexpensive and powerful: bring back and greatly expand the State Department’s shuttered editorial cartoon programs around the world.

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France Weeps

We’ve been receiving a torrent of cartoons from around the world about last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. I’ve been disappointed by most of the cartoons so far, many of which contain graphic pools of blood, depictions of monsters and broken Eiffel Towers. I think the first few days after an event like this are a time to express sympathy, so I went with a weeping Marianne, the French symbol from the Eugene Delacroix painting La Liberté Guidant le People (Liberty Leading the People). 

Marianne2
Delacroix’s Marianne.

I struggled to think of what I wanted to draw, so I wouldn’t be drawing blood, candles, monsters or Eiffel Towers like the rest of the crowd. I like Marianne as a symbol for France and I like that the French embrace her as their own symbol. It was interesting to see so many of the cartoonists drawing the Statue of Liberty this weekend, the statue was a gift from France but she is a symbol of America.

Marianne has some problems: first, she may not be recognizable enough when she is seen out of the context of the Delacroix painting: second, her face exists only as a profile facing left, which can be a little limiting; third, she has one bare breast (or arguably, two bare breasts) and American editors are reluctant to print bare breasts – even though her bare breast is necessary to define who Marianne is in the cartoon. I suppose it is fitting that I had to struggle with this one.

Below is my rough sketch.

FranceLibertySketch700

I started out thinking of more cliches, like the candle and the flag at half staff – both bad ideas. I also ruminated about how to draw the drapery in her dress, which seems to be a heavy fabric rather than a normal fabric, along with her emerging toes. Here she is in black and white. (Yes, the flag pole covers up her nipple – I debated about that too.)

Then I colored her in – and I was disappointed with the result.

france-weeps-cagle-COLOR

Editors and readers always like cartoons better when they are in color, even in cases like this, where the color only cheapens the cartoon. One of my readers on Facebook, Rod Underhill, made the excellent suggestion that I limit the color to the flag; that was a great suggestion – and voila, a much better cartoon (shown at the top of the page)! I deleted the previous color version and sent a correction out to the newspaper clients.

Here’s another Marianne cartoon, a double breasted version. This one was popular in France where they find President Francois Hollande rather annoying.

This interesting Marianne comes from my French cartoonist buddy, Pierre Ballouhey, who includes characters surrounding the recent Paris attacks.

2015-11ballouhey-700

Marianne is much easier to deal with in a goofy drawing. Here’s a nice Marianne by Angel Boligan, drawn after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

This bloody Marianne is from my buddy, Martin “Shooty” Sutovec from Slovakia. With no side-boob, and no flowing ties on her sleeveless, fringeless dress, her new style beret and blonde hair in a different doo – I almost missed her, but Shooty got me to take another look.

shooty-marianne

Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj drew a weeping Marianne with an Eiffel Tower in a pool of blood (perhaps he could have thrown in a couple of candles, terror monsters and the Statue of Liberty to make it complete). Osama obscured Marianne’s profile and bare breast issues, and he lost her beret. hmm. OK.

This Marianne is from Taylor Jones, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Here’s a Charlie Hebdo aftermath Marianne from RJ Matson – looks like this one was a quicky to draw in Photoshop.

Visit our big collection of cartoons drawn in response to the Paris attacks.