This week we heard the news that the Attorney General in New York is filing a suit to have the National Rifle Association (NRA) dissolved because of massive self-dealing by the people who ran the non-profit, who lived crazy, lavish lifestyles on the money they stole from the organization. Here’s my cartoon …
You’re getting a special, advance look at this one. I finished it late on Friday afternoon. They way newspapers work, posting a new cartoon late on Friday means it will be old by the time that editors come back to work after the weekend on Monday, and it is unlikely to get printed. I’ll be posting this one on Sunday for the editors who come in early to put together their Monday editions, and it won’t be too old for the editors who don’t come in to work until Monday for the Tuesday editions. (I know – boring cartoonist wonk talk. Thanks to my brilliant, cartoonist son, Michael, for this excellent gag.)
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Here are some of my favorite cartoons by the other CagleCartoonists about the thieves who run the N.R.A.
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There’s been lots of news about the non-profit National Rifle Association’s recent money troubles – from a $200,000 wardrobe budget for the NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, to a $1,000,000 annual salary for spokesperson Dana Loesch. Infighting forced NRA president Oliver North out of his presidency, after North allegedly blackmailed LaPierre – and there’s an investigation by New York state that might take away the NRA’s tax exempt status, insuring the organization’s demise. So many egos! (I’m guessing that Oliver North is the good guy in the mess, trying to save the NRA from itself.) Here’s my cartoon!
Notice how they are in mirror image positions? When I do something like that I’m bound to get an email from somebody saying “Wayne LaPierre isn’t left handed!” Also, did anyone notice that I only drew the gun and the hand holding it once, and duplicated it another seven times in Photoshop? So lazy. And where’s all the blood?
Here are some of my recent NRA favorites. The first one is by New Zealand cartoonist, Chris Slane, who is one of my favorites!
This one is by our newest CagleCartoons.com syndicate cartoonist, Dave Whamond.
Here’s another collection of my TRUE cartoons about kids!
I’m loading my oldies into our PoliticalCartoons.com database, and making some editorial decisions on what to edit or cut. These TRUE cartoons ran in newspapers back in 1995. It is interesting to see how many of them hold up well over the years. Things don’t change much. The TRUE cartoons that look stale have land-line phones, phone booths, and old style televisions. I’m culling out the cartoons that refer to events and politicians in 1995 – after all, our database is an online store and I don’t think people will be interested in licensing stale cartoons. Political cartoons in general go stale fast, which is both a problem and a blessing for us.
The most recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas was interesting for the contrast with the Parkland, Florida shooting where student survivors rose up to lead protests, making eloquent arguments for gun control. In deep red Texas the response is standard, Republican “thoughts and prayers.” I’m sick of “thoughts and prayers” so this is my cartoon:
There are lots of cartoonists who feel the same way. Here are some of my “thoughts and prayers” favorites …
I’m impressed with the Parkland, Florida high school kids who are standing up to the NRA with impressive eloquence.
A couple of people tell me the kid’s ears are too big. Oh well. With the NRA its always something.
The Tank-Man from the Tiananmen Square massacre is a great metaphor that is seldom used for anything other than China. Standing up and speaking truth to power is what we should all strive for. The NRA likes to argue that they are a civil rights organization, standing up against those who would take away our constitutional rights. In fact the NRA is the establishment, controlling our legislators and putting us all in danger in the guise of patriotism. The kids see through the NRA clearly.
The politicians who oppose restrictions on gun sales, and who support sales of America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, the assault rifles that is used in so many of these mass shootings, like to say that their “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims. I’m sick of “thoughts and prayers” from these murder enablers.
Today’s cartoon comes from a thoughtful fan on Facebook, commenting on my last cartoon, which was also about the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Many thanks to Jerry Moore!
My “Bad guys, watch out” cartoon is a favorite oldie that I updated.
The recent shootings in Texas, where a good Samaritan with a rifle shot the evil bad guy, then chased him down with the help of another good Samaritan, seems to give weight to the gun-nuts’ argument that we’re all safer when more people carry guns, so I thought it was a good time to bring back this oldie.
Now, I suspect we’ll see more people who are motivated to carry their guns everywhere, to be ready in case a bad guy comes along. I may be bringing this cartoon back every few years, as this issue never goes away.
Since the Orlando massacre there has been talk on the left about gun control, while the right seems unmoved by arguments to limit assault weapons or ban sales of guns to people on the “no-fly” list. It isn’t hard to see why.
I like the image of the NRA as a pig in a business suit – much the same image that I often use for Wall Street. The pig is a symbol of greed and the NRA is all about money and self interest around their gun issues. Here’s another one with NRA piggies that I drew some time ago.
and here’s another one …
My pigs are influenced by my old Muppet days and I guess I have a pig style that some people see as too similar to my elephants. Whenever I draw pigs in cartoons I’ll get an e-mail from somebody who thinks my pig is a short snouted elephant – some people must suffer from pig-blindness.
The videos of my drawing the new NRA piggy and doggie are below. Note that I ran into a problem with Photoshop when I tried to put in the image of the $100 bill. I thought using a $100 bill was funny and enhanced the message of the cartoon; it created a natural, visual focal point drawing the eye up to the money. Its all about the money. Photoshop blocks images of bank notes as a barrier to counterfeiters, and this has been a problem for me with past cartoons. In the videos you’ll see me struggle with this again. I use money scans rarely enough that I always forget how I worked around it the last time. You’ll see me struggle a bit and figure it out in the video.
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 …
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.)
This weekend I went to the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Nashville, Tennessee, my hometown. I’m an editorial cartoonist; I sit at home drawing and I rarely go to big conventions. The only thing I have to compare the NRA to is the San Diego Comic-Con, and I thought the NRA convention stacked up pretty well to Comic-Con.
The NRA convention is half the size of Comic-Con. The crowd was certainly different, with the NRA sporting more beer bellies and gray hair than Comic-Con. Both the NRA and Comic-Con are mostly male, and both are full of fervent fans. It is a lot easier to park and get a hotel room at the NRA convention, and it is much cheaper and easier to get into the NRA than Comic-Con, which costs well more than ten times the $25 it costs to join the NRA and attend the NRA convention. Comic-Con sells out months in advance; anyone can go to the NRA at the last minute – like me.
There isn’t much religion at Comic-Con, although it isn’t unusual to hear people exclaim, “Oh my God” when they see the length of the line to meet the cast members of “The Big Bang Theory.”
There’s lots of religion at NRA conventions. The Saturday morning NRA annual meeting began with everyone in the audience holding hands and bowing their heads as someone on the stage prayed about how God has chosen the NRA to lead the fight against the “enemies of freedom” who, we were later told, are President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, in that order.
There are enemies at Comic-Con too; scattered through the crowd are assorted Darth Vaders, storm-troopers, super-villains and monsters. Years ago there were Klingons everywhere, but the Klingons have dwindled in recent years, and now they are rare. My effort to build up my Klingon vocabulary has clearly been a waste of time. “Ghay’cha’!”
There was an anti-gun protest group, in town for the NRA convention, that had trouble making a dinner reservation. I’m told they were unwelcome at nearby restaurants, and their group had to drive thirty minutes out of Nashville, to Murfreesboro, for dinner. It is also difficult to make a dinner reservation at Comic-Con.
The exhibit floors at the NRA and Comic-Con are fascinating. One NRA exhibit I enjoyed featured videos of cool stuff getting shot, including row after row of watermelons, which made impressive explosions. Rows of televisions being shot were much less interesting than the watermelons. The legislature in Tennessee is debating allowing exploding targets. Tennessee already allows for the sale of fantastic fireworks – the aerial kind that would start forest fires if they were allowed in flammable California – but in Tennessee, fireworks are wholesome fun. Explosions are popular at Comic-Con too (the Death Star comes to mind). Alas, real, legal explosions in California are just the stuff of dreams.
Tennessee’s Republican legislature has been pandering to the NRA in the weeks leading up to the convention; they are close to passing a “Guns in Parks” bill that would prohibit cities from banning guns in their municipal parks. Most of the prospective Republican presidential candidates gave speeches at the NRA convention on the first day. At the annual meeting, many mentions of vile Democrats were met with hisses from the enthusiastic, Republican crowd, who were equally angry about Islamic extremists, defending the border with Mexico, and President Obama as they were about threats of gun control. The NRA convention is about much more than guns; it is about a broad agenda that is Republican, conservative, and Christian.
The same mission-creep is apparent at Comic-Con, which should be about comic books, but has grown to be about anything entertainment related, which may have nothing to do with comics. Any TV show. Any movie. Whatever. Are there some TV stars from a detective, procedural show doing a panel? Yes? Let’s go stand in line! My God, the line is so long.