CSotD: Help with the Homework

Lalo Alcaraz pretty well sums up the response to Mueller’s testimony the other day, though I might like it better if he’d set it in an elementary school, with the audience as the press.

Which is to say that he came close to a cartoon I’d have drawn, in which a kid asks for help with his homework, and then, as his father begins to explain how to do it, admits that what he really wants is for his dad to just do it all for him.

And by college you should have outgrown that 9-year-old attitude, but, hoo-boy, apparently you can keep it going and make a living as a cartoonist or a columnist.

I guess I wasn’t disappointed in Mueller’s appearance before Congress because (A) I knew what to expect and (B) I’d done the reading.


Adam Zyglis appears to have gotten Mueller’s message.

Yeah, it’s repetitive.

So is “Don’t drink and drive.”

So is “Practice safe birth control.”

So is “Vote for the candidate of your choice.”

And maybe it’s pointless. Maybe the people who are going to listen have heard it and the others can’t be reached no matter how often you say it.


But Jim Morin is right: It’s been laid out, it’s obvious, and yet people are wandering around unable to see it.

My quibble here is that he’s focused on Congress; I’d spread the willful blindness further, but he’s not wrong.

What I wish we knew, and what I know Mueller wouldn’t have told anyone, is how many investigations are ongoing and when are they expected to wrap up?

If Pelosi knows the answers to those questions, it would explain her thinking, but the issue of when they’ll wrap up is probably unanswerable and I think things are moving forward fast enough that she’s going to have to either get on board or get out of the way.


Meanwhile, Mike Luckovich was able to focus on what Mueller said rather than on whether he’d make a good reality TV star.

And Jennifer Rubin took off the gloves and explained it plainly for all the geniuses who focused on Mueller’s choice of neckties:

The “failure” is not of a prosecutor who found the facts but might be ill equipped to make the political case, but instead, of a country that won’t read his report and a media obsessed with scoring contests rather than focusing on the damning facts at issue.

Fact is, I might have pulled almost any quote from her furious, well-written piece. Go read it.

Meanwhile, to repeat what I’ve observed before but which hasn’t changed, the pundits criticize themselves after each election for “horse race coverage” but here we are again citing polls instead of policy proposals.

I’ve been on both sides of the interview process and there’s nothing more frustrating than being “interviewed” by someone who’s already decided what the story is and just needs a couple of quotes to flesh it out.

But that’s how we’re covering the run-up to 2020: This candidate is winning and that candidate is not telegenic enough and that other candidate wore the same tie Bob Mueller wore, so he’s out for sure.


And F-Minus wanders over into the political side of cartooning with this pretty good analysis of where we’re at.

(I note that he’s got that Ari Melber/Chuck Todd “I’m too sexy for my razor”  thing going on. Don Johnson’s hipster stubble is back in fashion, the difference apparently being that, instead of maintaining a perpetual two-day length, you grow a five-day-drunken-bender demi-beard, then shave it clean again.)


International news

Speaking of being too sexy for the room, I happen to know where Madam & Eve is landing next, but I guess we’re not supposed to say.

I haven’t quite followed the strip for all of its 27 years, but I’ve been a fan for quite awhile. In fact, I remember walking through the breakroom at United Media about 17 or 18 years ago and seeing an M&E collection on a table. They’d been thinking about picking it up, but, I assume, decided it was too local to South Africa.

I can’t imagine broadening it to a less local flavor: It’s solid roots are what has made it great.


Though it has touched on international issues from time to time.


And I have to admit that the complex rounds of corruption in the past few years have been harder to follow than were the end of apartheid, the return of Mandela and the re-integration of the nation, simple-but-profound changes that allowed for some major laffs.


In fact, this is still one of my favorite cartoons of all times and, trust me, it was even funnier in 1994. Mother Anderson’s long contemplation is absolute genius, both as humor and in summing up the nation’s adaptation to a post-apartheid society.


Madam & Eve have ridden out a lot of changes in South Africa and this latest shift in placement is hardly on a level with what else they’ve seen. (Which is to say that it tells us more about the Mail & Guardian than it does about the comic strip.)

Stay tuned.


Plus this

On a related note, King Features recently ceased hosting individual websites for cartoonists, but Rhymes With Orange has re-established its own site, not for the cartoon itself (which is housed at Comics Kingdom) but for books and some non-King features that Hilary Price and Rina Piccolo produce.

Including the Charming-But-Infrequent-Newsletter wherein you can find all sorts of news items and cogitations, like when Hilary is next going to pop up at a Moth gathering, mothing being something she’s rather good at.


And this

Terri Libenson has also broken free, but her site, which offers a link to Pajama Diaries over at Comics Kingdom, is more oriented towards the middle-school books with which she has been establishing a whole other identity.

Cartoonists need to branch out, and, while I understand KFS’s desire to keep everything under one roof, it’s not “branching out” if it’s not independent.

We sure live in fascinating times.



2 thoughts on “CSotD: Help with the Homework

  1. Maybe it;s just me, but when I follow any of your links to a newspaper, I get blocked unless I subscribe.

  2. Paywalls make it problematic to link to NYTimes, WashPost or Boston Globe in particular. Sometimes they let people through, however, and I haven’t figured out a pattern. Still, the snippet gives you a clue.

    (And you ought to subscribe to one of the national papers, so there’s a Russian Roulette factor to it.)

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