Category Archives: cartoons

Novel Writing in Novel Ways

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There are many ways to tell a story.  I have yet to try them all.  But I don’t intend to stop trying until I either get a lot nearer, or I am fertilizing the flowers.

So let’s start with the Snoopy way.

We start with a cliche, and goof it up to make it more interesting.

It was a dark and stormy night…  

And that was because the lights went out at George’s house while he was arguing with Mabel.  There was lightning involved.  Mabel got so mad about George watching football that she stabbed the toaster in a fit of uncontrolled anger.  Unfortunately, she stabbed it with a metal fork and it was plugged in.  Her hair never stood up so high and never glowed that particular color before.  Her eyes shown like car headlights.  And she was the main reason it went dark.

Okay, maybe not.  Let’s try again.

It was a dork and smarmy knight…

Sir Jiggs Giggly was a knight from King Percy’s Royal Court, but his manners were so bad that he drove all the women away from the court.  The other knights all decided that their choices were limited.  Either they had to reform Sir Jiggs, or they all had to become gay.  So, they went to the wizard. The wizard’s name was Wizzyfritz.  And Wizzyfritz had a boy working for him who also happened to be his legal ward.  So Wizzyfritz the wizard assigned his Wizzyfritz ward to be the watcher over the wastrel Jiggs. And so, well… that wizard ward was a dork.

Yeah, not this one either.

It was a stark and dormy night…

At Tilbury College in the women’s dormitory, there was a party.  There was lots of beer.  And the local fraternity decided that when they attended the party, they would show up as streakers and be stark naked.  Unfortunately, the Sigma Frakka Pi fraternity were all skinny geeks who wore glasses and had no body hair.  So a large number of women in that dorm died laughing.

Nope, that isn’t it either.

Hmmm…. maybe there’s a good reason this particular story-telling method is always shown in a cartoon as part of a joke.

 

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So the World Ends Dinky Finky Doo

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He says things daily that are provably untrue.  He makes huge messes that nobody is willing to clean up, both internationally and domestically.  He throws fits and Tweets like a Twit on Twitter.  He insults people with impunity and tries to wreak vengeance on those that give as good as they get from him.  How can he possibly be the President of the United States?  Well, he can’t.  If this were an actual democracy, he’d never have been voted in, let alone stay in the office this long without being impeached and removed.  Most intelligent people who haven’t been hitting themselves on the head with hammers of prejudice and party ideology can see that.  Even some Republicans.

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The selfish, orange-headed moron only cares about what affects him directly.  He constantly seeks attention and plays to the camera and to friendly audiences.  He is deliberately provocative because it gets him the attention he craves, whether it is positive or negative doesn’t seem to matter.  His decisions are guided by virulent racism and misogyny.  He will provoke conflict and do irreparable damage to the functioning systems that keep this country running.  And the Republican controlled Congress will let him do it because they got that control by cheating.  All the levers of power are in their corrupt, feckless little greedy hands.  And they will let the monkey throw poop everywhere until we all succumb to poop-related diseases.

I am already today feeling quite ill.  It helps slightly to take out some of the bad feelings on the Nazi clown that is now in charge.  But only slightly.  At some point I’m still going to die.  And we the people are probably never going to be in control of the government again.

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Much scarier than Batman’s Joker, isn’t he?

So I am bummed.  Things are not going well.  I have hand cramps from shooting the bird at the TV news every day, every time Monkey-face Cheetos-head is talking.  Bile is my ruling humor this morning.  And I need a nap so I can feel better.

 

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Mickey Makes Manga Art

I always loved this song.  When I was a boy, it was the song I would sing when I was alone in the darkness.  It made me feel better, able to march toward home in spite of potential spooks and brain-eating zombies.  The weight of the invisible future world could not drag me down if this tune was in my head, filling it with helium and good spirit; it allowed me to fly.

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And when I listened to it playing on the radio…  I always paused and listened to at least a couple of verses no matter what I was doing… I never once thought of Johnny Nash as a black man.  I didn’t know he was black until I first saw a picture of him.  But even then I didn’t think, “Oh, he’s a black man.”  I thought, “Oh, he’s a man like me.”  But, I, of course, am not black.  I’m not really white either.  I am a kind of pale pink to mauve mottled color with dark pink psoriasis spots in random places all over me. It is the man on the inside that is like Johnny Nash, full of uplifting things, and goofy grins, and… hopefully, hope.

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But when I was young it wasn’t only singing “I Can See Clearly Now…” in my goofy farmboy voice that filled my head with air and allowed me to float away from the troubles of the world.  I also learned to draw Manga style, in the tradition of Osamu Tezuka’s Astroboy , filtered through hours of practice copying Walt Kelly’s Pogo characters and various Disney cartoons.

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I copied the over-large eyes and big-headed cutsieness that informed the Japanese idea of the world after the atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I tried to capture innocence and wonder and adventure in drawings that took my mind off the terrible things of my childhood, being sexually assaulted, the assassinations of JFK and his brother RFK, and Martin Luther King Jr, the Viet Nam War, and Nixon with Watergate.  You can reclaim innocence and peace of mind, if you get the lines just right, and the proportions are good, and the character has just the right expression on their sweet little faces.

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Okay, maybe not always so sweet and innocent.  This is not the Dorothy I would want to mess with.  This girl is cocky, sure of herself, and more than a little impish.  A destroyer of wicked witches, that one.

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But that’s what Manga Art is all about.  You whistle away the darkness one drawing at a time.  And there’s plenty of darkness to whistle away anymore, isn’t there?  What with Tronald Dump taking on the NFL over the American Flag and National Anthem, Tronald Dump taking on Jim Kong Oon in an insult war backed up by ICBMs, and Congress busily trying to take away all our access to health care.  (I know I misspelled some names there, but I am tired of talking about that guy that Dorothy told me I should call the “orange-faced poop sack.”  No, Dorothy, I can’t call him that.  Using language like that robs my head of its helium.)  So, what do I do now about the state of the world?  Well, here is the Manga Art I drew last night.

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Catgirl and White-haired Snow White with a ping pong ball in her mouth.

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Tumbling the Trumpinator

It has gone beyond the realm of credibility.  How can a pumpkin-headed orangutan with a belly full of racial hatred and Islamophobia still be nominally running this country?  Has he not committed enough irredeemable sins to be sent to Hell, directly to Hell, do not pass GO and do not collect $200!?  I think he stole all the “Get out of jail free” cards before the game ever started.

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I have never called this Twitter twit-wit my president.  I never voted for him.  He did not win the popular vote.  He would not have won the electoral college without Republican cheating at voter suppression and Russian influence through email chicanery.  But the terrible things he has done so far have not gotten him removed from office.  Republicans still treat him as if he were a rational adult.  And Fox News is not only putting lipstick on the pig, they are covering him in red, white, and blue frosting and molding him into the shape of an American Eagle.  Why do we put up with these tactics?

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Perhaps other cartoonists and I are the only ones who see him for what he really is.  He’s an ignorant con man put into a position of power by billionaires so they can foist their evil agenda on us and have him rubber-stamp it with faux legitimacy.

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The betrayal of the DACA Dreamers was fifteen straws beyond the last straw for me.  Who is planning to remove him from office immediately?  I want to help.  I don’t believe in solving problems with guns, but I can throw a mean banana cream pie of satire and sarcasm.  I’m actually Hell at pie-whacking faces.   I can attempt to hurt him with rotten tomatoes of jokery and the silly string  of mockery too.  But even the image of this buffoon in cheap clothing with long red ties is immune to the assaults of mere humor.  He never gets the joke, and it is never on him.  It is on us instead.

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He hurts too many good people by taking away things that they need.  He may have damaged the way sick people access health care to the point that many, including me, will die for lack of funds.  He de-values human life by pardoning racist criminals like Arpaio and praising malevolent dictators like Putin.  He puts human life at risk by taunting another irrational man-baby who also has nukes to play chicken with.

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And no effort to remove him from office for crimes which he obviously committed and shows no signs of anything but guilt about will be made by the party now in power.

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So what will you do to bring back our country and our supposed sanity?  Tell me.  I want to hear a plan.  I stand ready with foam rubber whack bats to take the best shots I am capable of to help.  And I am not the only one.  (Truly, I drew none of the cartoons in this post myself.  Good cartoonists are legion in this day and age.)

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Lazy Sunday Silliness

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Imagination is always the place I go in times of trouble.  I have a part of my silly old brain devoted to dancing the cartoon dance of the dundering doofus.  It has to be there that I flee to and hide because problems and mistakes and guilt and pessimism are constantly building un-funny tiger-traps of gloom for me to rot at the bottom of.  You combat the darkness with bright light.  You combat hatred with love.  You combat unhappiness with silly cartoonish imaginings.  Well… maybe you don’t.  But I do.

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When reading the Sunday funnies in the newspaper on lazy Sunday afternoons, I spent years admiring Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes for its artistry and imaginative humor, believing it was about a kid who actually had a pet talking tiger.  I didn’t get the notion that Hobbes was actually a toy tiger for the longest time.  That’s because it was basically the story of my own boyhood.  I had a stuffed tiger when I was small. He talked.  He went on adventures with me.  And he talked me into breaking stuff and getting into trouble with Mom and Dad. It was absolutely realistic to me.

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I have always lived in my imagination.  Few people see the world the way I view it.  I have at least four imaginary children to go along with the three that everybody insists are real.  There’s Radasha, the boy faun, my novel characters Tim Kellogg and Valerie Clarke, and the ghost dog that lurks around the house, especially at night.  That plus Dorin, Henry, and the Princess (the three fake names that I use in this blog for my three real children).

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Have you noticed how Watterson’s water-color backgrounds fade into white nothingness the way daydreams do?  Calvin and Hobbes were always a cartoon about turning the unreal into the real, turning ideas upside down and looking at them through the filter-glasses of Spaceman Spiff.

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Unique and wonderful solutions to life’s problems can come about that way.  I mean, I can’t actually use a bloggular raygun to vaporize city pool inspectors, but I can put ideas together in unusual ways to overcome challenges.  I almost got the pool running again by problem-solving and repairing cracks myself.

 

So, I am now facing the tasks of working out a chapter 13 bankruptcy and having a swimming pool removed.  The Princess will need to be driven to and from school each day.  I will need to help Henry find another after-school job.  And the cool thing is, my imaginary friends will all be along for the ride.  Thank you, Calvin.  Thank you, Hobbes.  You made it all possible.  So, please, keep dancing the dance of the dundering doofus.

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Synonyms for Modern Republicans

I promise not to use profanity and other assorted bad words, which will probably affect the accuracy of my synonym picking.  But it is has come to my attention that people really just don’t know how to label modern Republicans.  Fortunately, I am in a position to offer you warning labels that are at least somewhat useful if you ever have to buy one in a store (assuming, of course, that you have millions to invest and reasonable prospects of using the hard-to-label-accurately products to make even more millions).

Anti-Ironical

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Yes, the modern Republican cannot identify irony.  Irony is when the opposite of what you were led to expect would happen is what actually takes place.  For instance, when a political candidate expresses the will and the plan to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capitol, and then, when he wins, he hires a racist crocodile as Attorney General, a slimy Wall-Street snake as the Treasury Secretary, and a brainless bayou woodpecker as Secretary of Education, and the average Republican voter applauds the choices as the most expertise and experience for the job.  Who better to control criminals and thugs than a former master criminal?  And you can’t actually accuse Republicans of having a sense of humor and get away with it.  They will punish you for it.  They want to endlessly debate every political cartoon you post on Facebook.

Notzactly Generous

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If you have to ask the fateful question, “Are Republicans generous to others?”  The answer is always a resounding Notzactly!  They are willing to give great gobs of wealth to certain select individuals.  That would, of course, be the Walmart heirs, the Koch Brothers, Mark Cuban, assorted other billionaires, and, inexplicably, Jay-Z.  But when it comes to food stamps in the SNAP program, why, those lazy individuals don’t deserve hand-outs just because they cannot feed their families on the income from two full-time jobs.  They should get another job… or two, and pull themselves up by their own  bootstraps (a metaphor which apparently breaks the law of gravity, in the total absence of anyone willing to throw a rope from above).

Undoo Obama-ist

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Any idea that is tainted by snowflake commie Democratic Obama flavor must be overturned.  If the previous administration passed a healthcare reform law borrowed from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney’s successful Massachusetts healthcare plan, then it is the worst disaster ever and must be repealed even if you leave the people with nothing to take its place.  If Obama changed the curtains in the Oval Office, they must be changed again for gold ones to please the orange one who took Obama’s place.  And if Obama passed a regulation to prevent pouring coal-plant waste directly into rivers, then the regulation must be de-regulated because we obviously need more coal plant waste in our rivers.  Anything done by Obama or Democrats during the last administration must now be immediately undone.

Loud-angry Voice-inators

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No matter how stupid or destructive an idea is in the modern Republican party, it can be pushed through easily because it is backed by the loudest, angriest voices spewing their gaseous brain products through the media and government platforms.  Take for instance a particularly loud and bug-eyed red-faced crank like Congressman Steve King of Iowa.  His message gets through to voters.  Everybody knows his name.  He has achieved this by saying cruel and racist things from his bully pulpit.  You probably remember how he claimed that Mexicans that had calves like cantaloupes were carrying hundred pound backpacks full of drugs across our borders.  And, of course, this is an important message to Iowans because of Iowa’s long border with Mexico.   But the message was loud and public enough to have a Tea Party impact on the national dialogue, where ideas are repeated often enough to be taken as fact, no matter how stupid and destructive they are.

So here are a few words that are synonyms for modern Republicans.  And to them, these will probably not be taken as insults, because they agree with the definitions if you explain them well enough.

 

 

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The Big Golden Banana-Eater’s Very Sad Day

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I have spent some time on this blog avoiding making fun of Donald Trump.  He has, as Fearless Leader of the Pottsylvania Republic that America has become, done innumerable things that have impacted my life already.  I am a diabetic who can no longer afford insulin.  I can’t breath the city air in the city I am living in.   And my wife still has a green card after twenty-two years of marriage.  He could’ve hurt me more than he has already if not for the fact that the monkey can’t keep secrets for very long, and the harder he tries, the more Pandora’s boxes he opens up.   But the more I leave him alone, even though he’s such an easy subject for practicing humor and satire on, the less he seems willing to leave me alone.  So forgive me for taking joy from his misery.

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Don Dumb-o Jr. managed to convict himself in the press by Tweeting emails that aggressive political journalists had been pursuing for months.  Seriously, I always knew he was something of a bird-brain, but who’d have thought that Dodo birds weren’t extinct after all?  He published the very Russian collusion transcripts that Trump had made all kinds of nasty faces and Obama-hate-Tweets in order to keep under wraps.

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So, while I am happy that the truth is coming out and the old windbag liar can’t stop it from coming out, I have absolutely no faith that the problem will get solved.  The government is still in the strangle-hold grip of the vile and greedy modern GOP (Greedy Old Party).  They are quite likely to continue to excuse and protect the orangutan we elected because the monkey-man will continue to let them get away with everything their greedy old party wants to do in robbing the poor to make the rich richer.  My Republican friends who support Trump are kinda quiet for the moment, but they still support Trump and believe whole-heartedly in every nasty little thing he wants to do to me… with the help of the Russians, apparently.

Oh, well…  He has at least stopped incessantly tweeting bird poop on Twitter for the moment.  So let me enjoy it while I still can.

 

 

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