The Rare May 34th Roundup

JD Crowe newsletter; Doug Pike novella; Stephen King and The Far Side; News Deserts and Ghost Papers; Castigating Rick McKee and Celebrating Gilbert Shelton; The 2023 Stanley Cup Finals are playing where?

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© JD Crowe editorial cartoonist JD Crowe has a weekly newsletter, Crowe Jam.

Crowe Jam will take you behind the drawing pad and into JD’s brain each Wednesday morning. Expect some rough drafts, half-thunk thoughts and other sketchy stuff.

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Did The Horrors of Freelancing Cartoons Inspire Him?

For over three decades, Doug Pike made a living as a syndicated member of the National Cartoonists Society, seeing his cartoons published in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. 

He recently decided to dip back into novel writing when he debuted “The Terror Below”

Alex Gallagher, for The Scottsdale Progress, interviews Doug Pike about his new horror book and the effort to get it published which was not without some trepidation itself.

King of Horror’s Favorite The Far Side Cartoon

In his foreword to The Far Side Gallery 2, King waxes rhapsodic about The Far Side, claiming that even in an age where newspaper comic strips were at the height of their popularity and quality, Gary Larson was “uniquely unique.” King goes on to pick out his favorite of Larson’s work, selecting a strip in which…

Robert Wood at Screen Rant tells of the fearful fantasy.

More Horror: News Deserts and Ghost Papers

In “The Expanding News Desert,” UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, Penelope Muse Abernathy, maps two paths that lead to a “ghost newspaper.” The first, she proposed, diminishes a news brand through acquisition by a larger enterprise, which then changes the nature of the publication …

“Between 2004 and 2018, almost 600 once-stand-alone newspapers — or one-third of the 1,800 papers that the country lost — became advertising supplements, free-distribution shoppers or lifestyle specialty publications,” Abernathy explained.

The second path sees staff cut until it becomes impossible to “adequately cover their communities,” Abernathy suggested.

Gretchen A. Peck, for Editor and Publisher, cover the second path of skeletal newspaper staffing.

Newspaper Reader Takes Umbrage at Rick McKee Cartoon

The cartoon featured in the “Cartoonist’s Take” section of this paper on June 1, 2023 was not only offensive, it was downright hateful.

© Rick McKee

The Chico (Ca) Enterprise-Record upset a reader with a Rick McKee cartoon.

This cartoon makes absurd the very real struggles that trans people face. There is no corner of the universe where people can “identify” as anything that is objectively verifiable without censure.

The Wonder of The Fabulous Gilbert Shelton

© Gilbert Shelton

For my money, there’s no funnier man in comics, at least on such a consistent, sustained level, as the extraordinary Gilbert Shelton (born May 31st, 1940, in Houston, TX).

A few days ago people were celebrating Gilbert Shelton‘s birthday, here’s Who’s Out There? from 5 years ago.

Canada Celebrates The 2023 Stanley Cup Finals

© Patrick Corrigan

The Toronto Star and cartoonist Patrick Corrigan bemoan that the The Stanley Cup Finals this year will alternate between a tropical swamp and the desert southwest.

feature image of Pogo by Walt Kelly is © OGPI

4 thoughts on “The Rare May 34th Roundup

  1. I emphatically agree with the (anonymous?) reader of The Chico (Ca) Enterprise-Record, on the subject of the offensive cartoon by Rick McKee. As an “out” Trans-woman (lo, these last 30 years), I have been alarmed and deeply upset by the sudden, opportunistic crusade by right-wing sadists in the U.S., against everyone and everything related to transgenderism. The deliberate misconstrual of people “identifying as” something — a woman, for example — is obviously intended only to make trans-people’s description of their situation look ridiculous.

    Do I even need to explain? Well, as a Trans-woman, I will tell you that I did not suddenly (or even gradually) take a notion to start relating to the world as a female. No, it took me until I was in my early 40s to even understand that I was transgendered, and then I had to shyly start saying so, and then I had to spend three years on the complex process of reconstructing the visible shell I live in. (Spent a lot of money, too.) I didn’t decide to do this as a fun project. I realised I had to do it. It was either that or die. Trying to live as a man had proven to be excruciatingly painful, and impossible. Nothing voluntary, or crazy, about any of this. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: I was born this way.

    Because of Transphobia, I lost my career, and pretty much all my friends, and most of my family. I’ve had my life threatened a couple of times. But I’m still glad I did it. I’ve been living “the rest of my life” as my real self. I’m lucky to live in Canada, and not the U.S., because here the governments are supportive of Trans people, and hatred is counted as a crime. Of course there are Haters here, too, but the prevailing atmosphere is generally humane. I don’t think that Rick McKee could find a publisher here.

    Last word: to D.D. Degg for posting that cartoon, and for obviously understanding the offensiveness of it.

    1. I think I’m a grizzly bear. I got thick brown hair all over me, I’m pissed off all the time, and I really love salmon. Plus I sleep a lot in the winter. Am I a trans-species man, or some idiot that thinks I’m something I was never born to be?

    2. Thank you for sharing your story. As the mother of a trans man in America I am frightened of the country he is facing. Cartoons like this one just remind me of how far we have to go.

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