CSotD: Over-the-Counter and other Points

I’ve subscribed to Counterpoint,” a new weekly compilation of political cartoons, which you can, too, by clicking that link and then selecting “subscribe” at the top left.

It includes Nick Anderson, Kal Kallaugher, Mike Lester, Rick McKee, Michael Ramirez and Rob Rogers, which is, I think, an accidental mix of three from the left and three from the right, but, while it has buttons to let you subscribe by email or RSS, read past issues and even to translate the intros to each cartoon, it doesn’t have an “about us” button and I really don’t know who’s doing it or how it is expected to generate income.

Perhaps someone will (please) enlighten us in the comments.


Meanwhile, here’s a Kevin & Kell from 2001 to outline the issue.

I’ll repeat my oft-repeated opinion that, if you like comics at all, you should certainly pony up $20 per year per site for Comics Kingdom and GoComics. That’s kind of bare-minimum support but it matters because cartoonists do get some income that way.

Patreons and other forms of support are a step up from that, but unless you’re an eccentric billionaire, you can’t offer that kind of help to everyone. Still, picking a few favorites is a good thing, a bit like supporting newspapers and public radio stations. You’re not required to support them all.

A more interesting point is that building pages at Comics Kingdom or GoComics allows you to choose the cartoons, and cartoonists, you like, while Counterpoint and Politico’s Cartoon Carousel give you a mix of liberal and conservative views, some of which you will like and others of which you may not.

In the interest of transparency, I will admit that, while I devour a whole lot of cartoons every morning, I don’t read everything. In political cartooning, I subscribe to a mix of liberal and conservative views, but I draw a few lines.

At the extreme left are people, mostly young and idealistic, who don’t seem to know how systems work.

At the extreme right are people who are unclear on the difference between insults and argumentation.

And then there are cartoonists who draw well but don’t seem to do a lot of research. And a few who do neither.

Which is to say that you can’t read them all, nor should you, and it’s worth $40 a year total to be able to tailor your intake.

And as long as I’ve gone halfway through my word count for the day without posting a lot of cartoons, let me just kvetch over one more thing: Newspaper sites that feel obliged to put headlines over their political cartoons.

The chief benefit of this, so far as I can tell, is that it proves my point that editors don’t understand cartoons. Not that the headlines don’t accurately sum up the cartoons, but good cartoons don’t require being summed up and have more impact if they are permitted to explain themselves.

A good headline is the name of the cartoonist.

A bad headline is a spoiler, something like

Our cartoonist says tariffs are bad for farmers.

It reminds me of the bumper stickers that said, “Don’t Drink And Drive: You Might Hit A Bump And Spill Some,” but were then followed by copycat stickers that read “Don’t Drink And Drive: You Might Hit A Bump And Spill Your Drink.”

If you don’t see the difference, you may be qualified to be an editor. If you feel the second version is more clear and is therefore preferable, you may one day win awards as an editor.

Enough. Here are some cartoons you’re not paying for, but I always feature links to a site where you can see more work by the cartoonist and perhaps become a fan, a Patreon supporter and a purchaser of books.

It’s happened before.


For instance, you might not even know that the NYTimes has a cartoonist, but here’s Patrick Chappatte commenting on both Trump’s trade war and his string of broken promises and unfulfilled policy initiatives.

Only that link is not to his NYTimes site, but to his own website. Here’s his NYTimes page, which doesn’t include this cartoon but has some others.

And which could be problematic if you’re not a NYTimes subscriber, since they have a somewhat robust paywall.

(I subscribe to the Times and to WashPost, plus having a local news feed which I’d pay for if the guy who compiles it asked me, though I kinda hope he doesn’t read this and decide to. I am also a sustaining member of our local NPR station. Responsible voters support responsible journalism. )

As it happens, the trade war and tariff issue is hot right now, and four out of the six Counterpoint artists also addressed it.

Since you are already honor bound to at least go there and have a look, if not to subscribe, I’ll post a complementary four-way

Juxtaposition of the Day

Nick Anderson


Kal Kallaugher


Mike Ramirez

Rob Rogers

Nor are they the only cartoonists harping on this topic.


Clay Jones, like Chappatte, uses one Trump line to emphasize a different issue, but — typically of Jones — this one is darker. Which, as a rural dweller, makes me like it a lot, in large part because I’d like to believe that it’s not true, that hurting farmers will finally break Trump’s hold on rural voters.

Unfortunately, while the good news is that a lot of my old friends are pro-union anti-Trumpers, a lot of them aren’t and I don’t know what, if anything, could turn them around.


Though, oddly enough, Jeff Stahler picks up on something that hadn’t occurred to me but that will impact rural areas: The cheap stuff in dollar stores is largely from China, and those stores have become commercial bulwarks of small rural towns.

It may raineth alike upon the rich and the poor, but the rich have umbrellas and their roofs don’t leak. Smart Democrats should keep an eye on how trade wars impact red America.