Category Archives: cartoons

Today in Rabbit-People News

Okay, big miscalculation here. My old eyes can’t read the rabbit-talk in this cartoon. So, let me do something about it.

Nope. I can read it now. But that’s the problem. Not only is it not funny, but it’s also sorta racist. But wolves do eat rabbits. Still…

News in the RabbitTown Gazette includes the fact that my son is nearing recovery from COVID 19, and nobody in the house has caught it from him. He gets tested on Saturday so he can return to work if the test is negative.

Of course, the nation-wide news is not so great. This is 2020 after all, even in RabbitTown. The price of carrots is still within reach. But rabbit people are continuing to get sick from the pandemic which will be with us well into 2021.

And the weasel in the really bad weasel-wig that somehow got elected Prexydon’t is still favoring wolf-people, even when they kill an unarmed rabbit. And he blames the rabbits for being mad about how the wolves seemed to get away with murder. He twists the facts to suggest that exercising your right to peaceful protest is the cause of the chaos.

Yes, I am basically a rabbit too.

According to the featured editorial in the RabbitTown Gazette, you should be able to say, “Rabbit lives matter!” without having wolves answer back, “You mean ALL lives matter!”

After all, if you can’t admit out loud that “Rabbit lives matter,” then you really mean the opposite when you are saying, “ALL lives matter.”

Rabbits, whether they are black, white, brown, or red, have unique rabbit qualities, and they all have a basic worth. And I don’t mean as food for wolves.

The paper seems to have only bad news about the economy when you look at it from a rabbit perspective. Sure, the wolves are doing great right now on Wall Street, but that doesn’t help those of us who are not invested in the stalk market. We regular rabbits, and especially poor rabbits, are struggling to keep carrots on the table.

So, it is time for all good rabbits to do whatever a rabbit can. And that’s the way it was today in Rabbit News.

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Filed under angry rant, artwork, cartoons, commentary, humor, Paffooney, rabbit people, racial profiling, satire, surrealism

The Secret Identity of Super-Mickey

Cartoon villains take note; Super-Mickey’s secret identity is Filbert Hazelnut. I make that revelation without worry. After all, Mickey is not really me. So, if the Messmaster, Badnose the Clown, or Daniel Quilp are going to try to apply the Mickian version of Kryptonite, not laughing at the jokes, in order to slay Super-Mickey, Filbert is immune to that. I am too for that matter. If you are a school teacher who uses humor in the classroom, you soon learn that only the smartest kids actually understand the jokes, and half of them are just too cool to laugh when the teacher wants them to. (Although they will tell you years later that they still use concrete details in their writing because you said that if you routinely whack the reader in the head with verifiable concrete examples, they will be totally stunned enough to believe you know what you are writing about. That was, you must understand, a concrete detail I just whacked you with to help you remember what it is, not to make you laugh… even though it was a joke… but you are permitted to laugh if you want to.)

The basic point of this essay is Mickey is not really me. I never went by that name as a kid.

I was always called Michael, sometimes Mike (though they were usually talking about the Other Mike when anybody said Mike in school back then… circa 1963 to 1969). In high school I was given the nickname Superchicken after the Saturday Morning cartoon on the George of the Jungle Show. In college I was given the rhyming nickname Spike by my college freshman roommate because he ludicrously thought I was the opposite of a Spike, like calling a huge football player Tiny Tim, or a midget Big Bad John.

When I started teaching school, they called me Gilligan because I was thin and they wanted to pretend I was a hopeless stumbling fool (Which I was at times my first two years, just as all beginner teachers are.) My classroom became known as Gilligan’s Island on the day in third period when I made the comment, “Gilligan is lucky enough to be the only really eligible bachelor on the same island with Ginger the movie star and cute little Mary Ann. I would find out later that same day that three eighth grade girls in that very class had huge crushes on me and were fighting over which one was Mary Ann and which one was Ginger and, unsurprisingly, which one was the other girl.

And, of course, Rudolfo Hernandez tried to get everybody to call me Batman because I bought a used Ford Torino with fins on the back. But to promote the nickname, Rudy came to class wearing a Halloween Batman mask and afterwords had to learn to live with being called Battyman himself. (I wish i could take credit for calling him that first, but I am sure I did not. I distinctly remember it coming from a girl in his class that made fun of him for every stupid thing he did because she apparently adored him. I just reinforced it about a thousand times.)

Mickey is a name that I have only ever been called by me myself. It was a name I signed some of my cartoons with (using The Little Fool, Le Petit Fou, Leah Cim Reyeb, and Dr. Seebreez on the rest.) It also became the name I use to refer to myself on this blog when I talk about myself in the third person like a crazy person.

I have given myself other pseudo-pen-names in my writing. Googol Marou, as the only first-person narrator of the AeroQuest series, speaks with my voice as the primary storyteller in the tale. In Norwall, the fictionalized version of Rowan, Iowa in most of my other books, Branch McMillan, the writer-character, is actually me. (Like Charles Dickens switched his initials to write the semi-autobiographical David Copperfield, I created that one by switching the M and the B.

Of course, the many me-characters in my fiction books are also basically me. Superchicken is me. Milt Morgan is a combination of me and the Other Mike. Brent Clarke is the football-player me combined with two other football teammates. Certain parts of Todd Niland’s story are really about things that happened to me, and things I was afraid of at his age.

In some ways Tim Kellogg and Dorin Dobbs are me too, though both of those characters are actually based on my eldest son. It is possible, I suppose, that you could consider my actual son to be a me-character too, as people do live on through their own children.

But, while Mickey might be me more than I care to admit, Super-Mickey’s secret identity is definitely Filbert Hazelnut.

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Filed under autobiography, cartoons, humor, novel writing, Paffooney

Flintstone Cures for COVID 19 Blues

The pandemic has been wearing on us all. It keeps us home-bound. It prevented me from making the annual trip to Iowa to visit my octogenarian parents, even though my father is now in hospice care because Parkinson’s is winning the five-year battle he has been fighting against it. My mother got me to stay in Texas by telling me that my father no longer recognizes even her, and it would do him no good to see me through a glass window if he didn’t know me anyway. I may not even get to attend his funeral because of COVID.

My daughter too has been dealt a difficult hand of hearts to try to win a card-game of life with. She missed having a regular high school graduation. This is already her second time losing a grandfather. And she has been desperately worried about me with my six incurable pre-existing conditions catching my death of coronavirus flu just because I go to the grocery store to buy food.

But I am not suggesting that my family is the Flintstones, even though Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles have been a part of my life since the 1960’s. Instead I am showing you how we have been coping with it all. My daughter has taken to doing oil-paintings in her room, and today she registered online with the local Junior College. She has also developed an addiction to Fruity Pebbles cereal. They are putting these blank frames on the backs of her cereal boxes, and I have been addicted to cutting them out and drawing Flintstones characters on them. We have developed happy little artistical quirks to carry on the work of the Church of Bob Ross where we create whatever little worlds with our art that we feel like making today. And it is entirely up to us to make our world however we want it to be, just like Bob always says.

And, of course, we choose to make friends and neighbors a part of that world too.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, cartoons, cartoony Paffooney, family, healing, Paffooney

Polly Ticks

Politics are complicated. Our economic and quality-of-life issues are basically killing us during this pandemic. And you cannot blame it all on the Simian in Chief. Or even on his Mean Monkey Party (GOP stands for Greedy Old Primates). They get a lot more of the justified blame than they are willing to accept without a lot of monkey howls and poop throwing. But not all the greedy evil people are Monkey Party People. There are definite problems with the black spots on the armor of the white knights we were depending on to slay the dragons.

The problems with Herr Twitler, the Chaos Clown have only gotten worse. We failed to hold him responsible for any of the many crimes he has committed. Impeached, but turning impeachment into peachy pie, Trumpalumpa the Oompaloompa is now able to do anything his manic monkey mind can conjure up for him to use against us. We suffer for the crimes of being poor, or a minority, or an immigrant. No matter what he does to us, he will get away with it, and then take away the whistle-blowers’ whistles and turn all Inspectors General into blind-folded privates.

And if I die from Covid 19, the terrible Trumpinator will not exactly be convicted of murder. But he is directly responsible. After Ebola there was an extensive pandemic playbook and procedures and protocols in place for the next health crisis. But because the Trumptastic Trumpaloo detected Obama-cooties on it, he threw it all away and fired the special task force and pandemic office.

And it is not even fun to make fun of him anymore. Nothing that used to be funny can still create even a wan smile. And how much of this is my fault?

I voted all Democrats in the last election. I have called most of my Republican, Trumpatater-loving friends doody-heads enough to alienate all of them (though admittedly I used a number of big words so that they don’t know what they mean). I have explained the problems with Trumpapalama and his minions like Devos and Barr on social media until I’m blue in the face, and purple on the inside. But none of that gets rid of the pumpkin-headed Cheeto-man.

I even need to get some of these dividers for the family dinner table. I am beginning to prefer lyme-disease ticks over Polly Ticks. I have had way too much of my blood sucked out these last four years.

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Filed under angry rant, cartoon review, cartoons, clowns, foolishness, humor, politics

Why We Doo

I remember when Scooby Doo, Where Are You? premiered on Saturday Morning Cartoons in 1969. I was thirteen and in the 7th grade. I had been six during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seven when Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, ten when I was sexually assaulted in 1966, and still twelve when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon in the Summer of 1969. I was obsessed with monsters, horror comics, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the Pirates threatening Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island. I knew what fear was. And I was mad to find ways to combat the monsters I feared.

Don’t get me wrong. I was under no illusions that Fred, Daphne, Velma, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers and Scooby Doo were the answer to all my fears as viable heroes and heroines. They were goofballs, all of them, based on the characters I vaguely remembered from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. I was aware that Shaggy was just Maynard Krebs in cartoon form (the hippie character portrayed by Gilligan’s Island actor Bob Denver.)

One of the critical things about the show for me was the fact that there was a rational explanation for the monsters. They were men in masks, special effects and projector tricks, or remote-controlled mechanical things.

And the way you overcame them and saved the day was by having Shaggy and Scooby act as bait, cause the traps to get sprung at the wrong time, and then fall on the villains, trapping them under the butt of the talking dog.

Villains and horror could be overcome by laughing at them. They were more likely to be clowns than carnivores. And even if they were carnivores, the teeth were not real.

There was a universal truth in that. Danger and horror and fear were easier to handle when you could laugh in spite of those things.

And to top it all off, those meddling kids and their stupid talking dog were with me my whole life. Those cartoons got remade and spun off so many times that my kids learned to love them as much as I did. And those four meddling kids and that talking dog are still making new stories even now.

Give us your creepiest or goofiest smile, guys!

And that is why we do the Doo!

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Filed under autobiography, cartoon review, cartoons, commentary, humor, monsters, Uncategorized

Saturday Art Day Again

Yep, it’s lazy-post time again, where all I do is show you pictures from my media gallery. All of it is original art by me, photographed or scanned by me. I don’t know enough about copyright law to say I hold all rights to this artwork, but I am gonna claim I do anyway.

“The Sucker” 1980
“Superchicken and Sherry”, composited 2015
“Brekka and Menolly and Mickey Mouse Club Music” 2014
“Mr. Reluctant Rabbit, English Teacher” 2015
“The Adventuress” 1992
“the Skater Girl” 1994
“The incompetent Necromancer” 2015
“Scraggles the Old Mouse-Catcher” tooned 2019

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Making Faces for Art Day

Capturing faces and their varied expressions are a key feature of my art.
I gravitate towards happy and innocent faces. Kid faces… Cartoon faces… goofy faces
Mary Murphy with her kids, Little Sean and Dilsey
Mike Murphy and his girlfriend, Blueberry Bates
Fiona (Firefang) Long
Junior Aero
Boris the Mummy
Littlebit the cabin boy.
Anita Jones and her boyfriend, Edward (Superchicken) Campbell
Torrie Brownfield, the Baby Werewolf
Milt Morgan
Le Fou Blanc
The Little Fool who made these faces
Dilsey Murphy
Tim Kellogg

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Filed under artwork, cartoons, goofiness, humor, Paffooney

Friday Foolishness

Moose Bowling

I went moose-bowling the other day with my good friend Doofy Fuddbugg. We don’t do this often, as the moose-bowling lanes are rarely open. (There is a distinct shortage of Bullwinkles willing to grab their ankles with their gloved hands, make themselves into a ball, and then be thrown down bowling lanes by human goofballs who’ve exercised their moose-muscles to the point that they can actually throw a moose. And, of course, as antlers often get tangled up in the moose-ball return, the moose-bowling lanes can rarely stay up and running for a whole evening.)

Doofy, as he put on his bowling shoes, was enlightening me with his philosophy of dating.

“You has ta pick an ugly girl, because ugly girls will appreciate ya more since they can’t get nobody better than you,” Doofy says with a smug smirk on his smiley old puss.

“I have seen this philosophy at work,” I confessed. “I have seen your girlfriend, Green Lillian. She is four-foot-two with a bright green complexion and completely bald. But does it not bother you that her house is made of gingerbread and candy canes, and she eats small children for lunch?”

Doofy Fuddbugg

“Gingerbread-fed brats can be quite tasty with lots of catsup. “

“Don’t you mean ketchup?”

“Naw, Green Lillian makes her condy-mint out of the fur of black cats which she clips off them when they is upset and the fur on ’em is all standing uppity up on their backs.”

“Oh.”

Doofy rolled the first Bullwinkle for a strike. Of course, if you can get the moose to roll all the way to the pins, it is almost always a strike because of the antlers sticking out on either side.

Then the discussion turned to politics as my first Bullwinkle rolled right into the left gutter, then just sat there scratching his moose head and chewing on a daisy he pulled off the flower-patterned wallpaper in the restroom.

“Iddennit great we has a wunnerful prexydent in the White House to do rotten stuff to all the peoples we hates?” Doofy said stupidly.

“I really don’t hate anybody, Doofy. But the current president comes close. Why do you love him now? What terrible thing has he done?”

“He done kilt an Iranian towel-head general in the Iraqi airport. Done kilt him with a drone.”

“Yeah, I heard about it. The Great Orange Face may have started another war in the Middle East in order to get us to look away from the Impeachment trial.”

Doofy bowled another Bullwinkle for a strike.

“I dun’t know why ya allus has ta talk down about the prexydunt, Mickey. He’s a good ol’ boy. And why does ya allus wanna im-peach him fer? He’s a purty peachy guy already. Ya dun’t need to put him IN a peach. Ya oughtta be X-peaching him!”

“Yeah, let’s not talk about him anymore,” I moaned as I rolled a Bullwinkle into the right gutter.

“Eeyup, I win der arguey-mint again cause I jes’ keep repeatin’ the facts until yer pointy liberal head is done ready to explode.”

“Whatever you say, Doof. You can’t argue logic like that because it simply doesn’t exist. How can you argue what doesn’t exist?”

Doofy laughed and laughed as he rolled another moose-bowling strike on his way to a 300 game. 300 to 0. God, I hate moose-bowling.


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Filed under cartoons, foolishness, humor, Paffooney, satire

Sick Humor

Marian Kamensky

My title for today is a bad pun. It is because the phrase “Sick Humor” has two meanings. I tend to get punny when my nose is runny. I have been sick for a week. Not actually flu, but a bad cold that seems pretty close. And, of course, close counts with horseshoes, flu, and hand grenades. I have been stuck at home, able to do little beyond watch the impeachment clown-show. And, of course, by watching, getting punnier and punnier.

rollingstone.com

You get punny enough and you tend to feel bigger than you are, primarily because you get full of natural gas that comes out of your mouth… and of course, out of somewhere else too. And if you let it all out of the mouth at once… where it pollutes the general atmosphere and makes it hard to breathe… or if you let it out of the other place… where it can be potentially explosive… you will deflate a lot, and get very, very small.

But, really, it is a matter of absurd comparisons (and also Republican impairisons) as words are twisted to make them funny (as in “oddly seeming” and not as in “really ha-ha!”) and criminals are called “honest brokers” and the coppers are tarnished as “deep-state delusionals”.

You are supposed to take medicine when you are sick. And laughter is the best medicine. But don’t laugh at idiots. Idiots with lots of money will hurt you. They will hurt you financially. They will hurt you physically. They can’t necessarily beat you up because it looks bad… and maybe because of bone spurs. But they can hire lots of somebodies to do it for them. And they can take over your government.

The sickness in the White House has no cure. The cancer will not be excised. It will kill us all. Sometimes the humor is sick. And sometimes the jokes are not funny. And the biggest joke will be when the Senate declares the cancer not life-threatening. The joke will be on us.

I am sick. I am trying to laugh it off. But it’s tough. Maybe I will look for funnier clowns to watch.

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Filed under angry rant, cartoons, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, illness, pessimism, politics

Mickian Fantasy Art

There is a reason why anything in my artwork starting with a rabbit is assumed to be autobiographical. I raised rabbits as a 4-H project from about the age of 10 and we kept rabbits in pens until I was finishing my undergraduate degree. (Rabbit chores fell to my little brother when I was away from home.) In many ways, I was a rabbit-man. My personal avatar as a school teacher was Reluctant Rabbit.

The panda known as Mandy in my cartoon world is an avatar of my wife, an immigrant from the Pandalore Islands.

There is often an exaggerated sense of adventure in my cartoonally weird Paffoonies, the very name of which is a fantasy word.

I have been known to actually believe gingerbread can be magical enough for gingerbread men to come to life once baked. It is the reason I bite the legs off first, so they can’t run away.

I have been known to see elves, fairies, and numerous other things that aren’t really there. In fact, a whole secret hidden kingdom of them inhabited the schoolyard in Iowa where I attended grades K through 6. They were all mostly three inches tall. The biggest ones, like dragons reaching only about six inches tall at their largest.

Of course I am afraid of death, evil, and… (shudder) mummies.
I think of art and story-telling as a form of music. I am a troubadour whose songs (like this one) are often completely silent.
My fantasy art tends to be more “comic book” than “art gallery”.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, cartoons, cartoony Paffooney, colored pencil, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, surrealism