CSotD: Variety Pak

Dave Granlund offers an above-average obituary cartoon for Bishop Tutu. He doesn’t try to say too much, but points out an important factor: Tutu and Mandela fought together against apartheid with sunny good spirits that encouraged people to make common cause with them.

It’s a reminder of the Biblical admonition to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, but it’s also a reminder of how very rarely anyone manages to master the stalwart effort required without projecting bitterness, and to maintain an inviting, sunny personality without backing down from principles.

South Africa was fortunate to have two such personalities arise at a time when the whole world was watching. Both the Olympics and international rugby began boycotting South Africa’s racist government in the ’70s, and there was a long list of entertainers who refused to tour the country.

Conservatives in this country insisted that divestment and sanctions would do nothing to end apartheid, but more open souls disagreed, and this debate was taking place while Mandela was still in prison and Tutu was not yet well known.

I don’t particularly believe in heavenly reunions, but I certainly believe that South Africa was blessed by the pair on Earth, and Granlund’s tribute rises above most tributes I’ve seen.


Most tributes, that is, because Paul Berge is more pointed, noting Tutu’s long-time championing of equality for all people, including the LGBTQ+ community, among whom Berge is numbered and which he makes a major theme of his cartooning.


His obituary cartoon is specific about Tutu’s profound dedication to all people, not just those most directly impacted by apartheid, and is strengthened by this 1998 cartoon that shows his appreciation for the bishop nearly a quarter century before his death.

It takes some appetite for trivia to recall the midgets surrounding that giant, but I’m picking out Reggie White, Pat Robertson, Trent Lott and Dick Armey, along with the Taliban. Archbishop Tutu towered above them, despite his lack of physical height.

Berge’s discussion is worth reading, if only (spoiler alert) to learn that the patron saint of tailors and seamstresses really is named Homobonus, which, as Berge notes, is a lovely coincidence, though it should be noted that his name formally translates as “Good Man.”

A title he apparently deserved. Go thou and do likewise.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Lee Judge)


(Deb Milbrath)

This is certainly a far less monumental topic, but the disruption of the football season by the coronavirus is a visible element of what it’s doing to a whole lot of businesses and people.

It’s no surprise that Lee Judge, an unabashed sports fan, would comment on this, but I was surprised to see Deb Milbrath chime in, since her topics are usually centered around social justice.

The NFL season, however, is in tatters: Sports writers are filling Twitter with reports of which players and coaches are out for the coming week, and, in terms of teamwork and consistency, the league might as well just choose healthy players at random, put them in uniforms and hope they can learn the plays during the coin toss.

And ditto for college bowl games, at least five of which have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

To which I would point out that even those who don’t follow sports should appreciate what those bowl games mean to the people who work at them and the local merchants who count on the crowds.


Wiley Miller hit a nerve with this morning’s Non Sequitur (AMS). There’s a left-hand turn on the way back from the park, which means I hit it twice a day and never, ever when it’s green.

Since I drive a standard myself, I’m indulgent of people needing a second to (literally) get into gear, but about the fourth or fifth second, I suspect they are, like this big gorilla, sitting there checking their email.

I also watch the space between cars as they pull out into that left turn. There seems to be an overabundance of people on the road who got an A in driver’s ed for leaving 15 or 20 car lengths between them and the person in front of them.

We’re country folks, so we don’t lean on our horns, but it can be a real challenge to avoid channeling my inner Ratso.


And speaking of You Tube (well, we were if you hit that last link), Dave Blazek seems tuned into their latest policy, which is to carry their advertising over into social media, so that, if someone posts a video on Twitter or Facebook, you have to watch the ad, or, as the father on Loose Parts (WPWG) notes, at least part of it.

Well, it’s their stuff, I guess, though I’d think I’d get a pass for being a paid subscriber to their TV streaming service.

Funny part of that being that, at the moment, any time someone posts a video, what I see instead is Serena Williams poised to do her Matrix thing for Direct TV’s competing service.

Good thinnin’, Baba Boy.


Buz Sawyer (KFS – Vintage) has just concluded a short, light-hearted adventure on vacation with his wife, Christy, and is being sent out on what will presumably be a more serious story arc. Knowing Roy Crane’s politics, it will likely be staunchly anti-communist, while knowing his art, it will be wonderfully drawn.

In any case, it provides an opportunity, in this week of deciding on New Year’s Resolutions, to remind you that cartoonists need your support as well as your applause, though, granted, Roy Crane himself doesn’t anymore.

But times are genuinely tough in the business, with newspapers firing their political cartoonists and cutting back on the strips on their comics page and editors also becoming timid about offending their remaining subscribers by running anything that isn’t pretty much the same as what ran in that space yesterday.

Comics Kingdom and GoComics both offer very, very affordable yearly packages, and there are a lot of good cartoonists with Patreons and other fundraising programs. 

You can’t support everyone, but, as a fan of the medium, you ought to be supporting somebody.

They need your loving every day.


One thought on “CSotD: Variety Pak

  1. The left turn and car spacing commentary is dead on. It happens to me every day while I am working my little delivery job. Sometimes multiple times per day. And on the way home from the grocery store I get to enjoy both events at one particular traffic light in one visit. God forbid that I am the fourth car in the line if I am in a hurry…then again, I try to never be in a hurry. Happy and Safe Days to you sir.

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