CSotD: Home News From Abroad

We’ll start our look at cartoons from overseas with one from over the river: Bruce MacKinnon (Halifax Chronicle-Herald) cracked me up with this reversal, in which, rather than Trump exploiting racists, it’s the racists taking advantage of his accommodating-one-might-almost-say-submissive nature.

Which is to say, if he were any more delighted with praise, he’d pee on the floor.

Yesterday, he explained that, when he told the Proud Boys to stand by, he didn’t actually know who they were. There aren’t a lot of politicians who seek to excuse their misstatements by explaining that they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

Trump has been compared before with a student trying to bullshit his way through a classroom discussion when he hasn’t done the reading, and it’s funny, except for that whole nuclear codes thingie.

And that whole thing about encouraging armed psychopaths to crawl out from under their rocks.

And that whole thing about cartoonists in other countries having fun at our expense, and knowing we deserve it.


To stay with today’s foreign-cartoonists theme, let’s call Mike Thompson (Detroit Free Press) a cartoonist from suburban Windsor, so we can feature this commentary, in which he points out who really benefited from the spectacle, and reminds us that, while we are distracted by the feces-throwing monkey, there remains a serious investigation into Russia’s influence on our politics.

And that, among the many things asked-but-not-answered was a remark from Biden about those bounties, which ties into the question of how much money Dear Leader owes to whom, which brings up the trivial fact that every time someone mentions Deutsche Bank, I think of the scene in Casablanca where Rick refuses to let the German banker into the gambling room.

We could use a man like Rick Blaine who knows where the bodies are buried and, for all his protests about not sticking his neck out for anyone, declines to take belly rubs from them, either.


I’ve been pleased that, although several American conservative cartoonists are trying to play “They both do it” to explain the horror show, many voices are refusing the cop-out, including Dave Brown (The Independent), who not only accuses Trump of destroying America’s fundamentals, but does it with an inventive use of the KKK head covering, which has been featured in a lot of “wear a mask cartoons.”

Those cartoons are amusing, but maybe “amusing” isn’t where we need to be right now. This is a far more devastating application, condemning Trump’s vile racism as the corrosive toxin it is.

And, speaking of familiar tropes, here’s a

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Peter Brookes – Times of London)


(Paul Thomas – freelance)

Both of these statues are overused, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be used well.

One problem with political cartooning generally is that there are a lot of people who simply don’t understand metaphor (and they’re not all newspaper editors, either).

In order to be clear, you have to approach them with obvious symbols, like the statues of Liberty or Lincoln, the American Eagle, the British bulldog, the Russian bear.

But serving them doesn’t require pandering to them, and whether you use our symbol of racial equality or our symbol of welcoming refugees and immigrants, you can make a general, accessible point and still add a dollop of additional significance for those able to see it.

Just because a trope has been used before, and even used often, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it well. One of my favorite literary criticism terms comes from the Russians, and is to “make new,” by which they mean to describe something familiar in a way that brings out fresh aspects and makes the reader see it as if for the first time.

It’s a challenge political cartoonists should embrace.

There’s no place like somewhere else for the holidays

Graeme MacKay (Hamilton Spectator) reminds us that Thanksgiving is coming up in less than two weeks, though not perhaps as we remember it.

Canadian Thanksgiving is October 12 this year, which is ironic, I suppose, since down here we call that Columbus Day or Indigenous People Day or something, and then we celebrate the mystical love of Pilgrims and Indians next month.

The good thing about Canadian Thanksgiving is that it isn’t laden with a lot of significance and mythology. It’s a simple harvest tradition that, for some reason known only to God and Rita MacNeil, takes place during harvest time instead of a month later where we’ve stuck it.

Canadian Thanksgiving brings back a lot of memories, because my uncle’s roommate at the University of Toronto was from Newfoundland, which, at 1300-some miles away, is way too far for a weekend trip, so he would come the roughly 200 miles to our house in Northern New York instead, with his GF and his little sister and sometimes a few others, and we’d have an extra holiday dinner with a houseful of people with Irish brogues who said “eh?” more than most other Canadians do, eh?


And if it’s not traumatic enough to find out that Canadians have their own Thanksgiving, it appears, according to Jeremy Banx (Financial Times), that the British have stolen our tradition of Christmas.

Well, okay, they had that first, but we invented turkeys, dammit. Eating turkey at Christmas is cultural appropriation and I won’t stand for it.


Anyway, apparently what is the same the whole world over is that this pandemic is going to screw up everybody’s holidays, which brings us back to the United States and Dave Granlund (Cagle), and I don’t think very many parents will be sending their kids door-to-door this year.

But I’ll buy twice as much candy, just in case.


If you can’t afford a quarter, then you ought to give a dime.


Jeffery Koterba recently lost his cartooning job at the Omaha World-Herald after more than 31 years. He’s just set up a Patreon for himself, which reminded me to update and repost our list of places you can help support cartoonists and cartooning.

If you like cartoons, dig in and support them, and, if you’re a cartoonist with a fundraising link and aren’t on that list, leave a link in the comments there or drop me an email (teachup (at) gmail.com) and we’ll add your info.

Here’s where I stole that heading:

3 thoughts on “CSotD: Home News From Abroad

  1. Bad enough the shops are stocking Christmas crap, but now Thanksgiving’s in two weeks? Before Halloween?

    The time really is out of joint.

  2. Canada’s Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks on October 12. Graeme MacKay works for a Canadian paper.

  3. SMH @Brad Walker…

    There ARE other countries in the world – albeit completely insignificant compared to yours – and we would be so grateful if you could take that into consideration from time to time. Thank you.

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