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CSotD: What’s New?

Mo is content to put up her feet and gobble popcorn (go read the whole thing here), but her creator and other political cartoonists need to focus because things are beginning to speed up.


Of course, some cartoonists habitually work hard and file often, and Clay Jones has posted a dozen-and-a-half sketches of things that recently came to him and went undeveloped, not all of which are impeachment-based.

It’s an interesting look into the mind of someone who does not appear to sleep, much less to slack off and comment on things like saggy jeans and people who stare at their phones.


I have some compassion for conservatives, among whom there seems to be a consensus that everything coming up in the hearings is “hearsay.”

Out of fairness, I checked the filing date on this Gary Varvel accusation of empty, distorted gossip, because new information emerges so fast that a cartoon drawn a few days ago may be outdated quickly.

However, while this is a fine tribute to Norman Rockwell’s famous image, it was filed 11/17, the same date that the testimony of David Holmes eliminated all but one of those exchanges: While no testimony had been that distant to start with, suddenly the person telling the committee what the President said was the actual person who heard it.

I’m no lawyer, and I don’t know how the concept of “hearsay” is factored into extortion, where the crime is essentially verbal.

But I do know the difference between an investigation and a trial. Maybe nothing anyone heard the President say will be admissable if this comes to a trial, but it’s certainly valuable as part of the current investigation.

Which I think the Republicans know, since they appear more focused on attacking the witnesses and their Democratic colleagues than on refuting the testimony.



Juxtaposition of the Century

(Bill Sykes, 1919)

(Steve Brodner, 2019)

The President’s health is a legitimate matter of public concern, and, in Paul Berge’s blog, he includes this Bill Sykes cartoon among those from a century ago.

Berge comments, correctly, that it refutes the historic myth that the public did not know about Wilson’s stroke. In fact, in going through the papers of that era, there were recovery updates from time to time, and, if they underplayed the impact, they didn’t particularly sugarcoat it, either.

Meanwhile, Brodner mocks the idea that a healthy man would, on a Saturday evening, suddenly decide it was an excellent time to run the first part of a routine checkup.

Certainly, there has been downplaying of presidential health issues: JFK’s various problems were largely unreported, as were FDR’s, though, in the latter case, everyone knew he’d had polio, while the seriousness of Reagan’s wounding in the Hinckley attack was genuinely covered up and Eisenhower’s heart attack was similarly downplayed.

It’s possible that, in the next few days, we’ll get a straightforward explanation of that trip to Walter Reade. And it’s possible we won’t.

Meanwhile, secrecy breeds theories.


Juxtaposition of “I guess you had to be there”

(Chris Baldwin)

(First Dog on the Moon)

Otherwise known as “two really esoteric things you might want to see or perhaps not.”

Chris Baldwin has been working on this comic book about Glens Falls, NY, for the past four years and I think folks in Glens Falls are really, really going to like it.

I doubt it will be of much interest to anyone else, and I say that as someone who lived there for six years. I’ve put it on my daily browse, but mostly because I’ve worked with Chris so many times that I’m interested in whatever he’s doing, though I read Spacetrawler on its own merits.

But here’s why you might want to read along: He got a local grant to produce this and, while he’s still driving his vintage Toyota and not a new Lexis, I’m quite sure it was a nice chunk of change.

Granted, his work all those years on Bruno made a sort of graphic walking tour of Glens Falls a natural for him, but cartoonists wondering how they’re going to get by should be looking into whether their own local community would like something like this.

Which is to say that, if I were a cartoonist in need of $$$, I’d read this every day and study it as if it were the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As for First Dog’s trip to the 2019 Huonville Agricultural Show, it’s probably good that he captured it as a one-off piece because I wouldn’t tune in every morning for the next exciting installment and, personally, I adore little county fair sorts of things, the smaller the better.

In fact, I took Chris Baldwin to the Cornish Fair a few years ago.

This one is small enough that, whatever else was going on, it featured a contest in which dogs jump over an increasingly tall wall, and I’m not sure anything could be more exciting than that.

Perhaps “exciting” was the wrong word, but he’s attached a series of very short videos that are irresistible.

Yes, dogs really can jump over walls, but also the crowd isn’t taking it any more seriously than the dogs are and the results are spectacularly appealing.

However, those aren’t the dogs that got my attention, because I wondered if a “Dagwood Dog” and a “Corn Dog” were the same thing and research showed they are, but research also showed that at least some Aussie slang is as impenetrable to them as it is to us.

It also showed that they apparently believe calling corn meal “polenta” will elevate this appalling dish, but then they put ketchup on it, which lowers it beneath “appalling.”

And, BTW, who needs a recipe? You don’t make them.

Making corn dogs would be like buying a cat. You don’t buy cats; cats just happen to you.

Corn dogs, and I’m sure Dagwood dogs, are like ferris wheels — the carnies bring them to town at night, and then the fair is over and, in the morning, they’re gone.



Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
@ 8:53 am

Thanks for the h/t!

Hey, I love polenta, but to put ketchup on it? Blecccchhh. Polenta calls for marinara or bolognese.

#2 P.J. Terryberry
@ 8:55 am

Let’s put the “us” back in Lexus

#3 Brian Fies
@ 9:59 am

I make excellent corn dogs. Quick and easy. Some Sundays there’s a football game on, and you’ve got wieners in the fridge and corn meal in the cupboard, and 15 minutes later you’ve got bite-sized nuggets of heaven under a little squirt of mustard.

Doesn’t matter what anyone else says, you’re right about polenta. I’ve had it mushed, mashed, cheesed, sliced, fried, and smothered under marinara sauce. I’ve even made it myself on the theory that everything tastes twice as good if it’s home cooked. It’s terrible in all its disguises–even worse than tofu, which I occasionally find edible. This is a cultural difference about which Karen and I have agreed to disagree, though I won’t pretend it hasn’t stressed our marriage.

It’s nice to see Baldwin’s work again, thanks for keeping us up to date.

It’s funny how rumors and conspiracy theories about politicians’ health only seem to flow one way. Hillary or Joe turn an ankle and they’re covering up a debilitating neuromuscular disease; Dear Leader gives up a valuable golfing afternoon to visit the hospital and not a peep. Curious. He’s an old man and could certainly have a routine old-man complaint to check out. His cover story could even be true. But I like the theory that he’s setting up his only honorable out: resigning for health reasons.

#4 Herman Roozen
@ 10:04 am

“… but cartoonists wondering how they’re going to get by should be looking into whether their own local community would like something like this.” A few years back I made a small book on my childhood memories in a small town, just for fun, and it was a huge success. Sold all 74 of them. The success is that everybody liked it, including the local press, library, etc. Plus the book stirred up more stories than it contained. Had a very heartwarming release party in that small town.

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