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California and Saint Serra Statues

My cartoon today depicts the bear on the California flag pulling down a statue of Junipero Serra, the controversial Catholic saint who oversaw the opening of nine missions in colonial California. Serra participated in the Spanish Inquisition and enslaved native Americans, imprisoning them at his missions. Statues of Serra have been vandalized recently as many protests toppling statues commemorating racist historical figures have swept the nation, and the world, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

The California bear is something of an “everyman” character. I like seeing the movement to purge symbols honoring racist, historical figures; perhaps it is a bit of wishful thinking on my part to see California’s “everyman” tearing down Serra since there is quite a bit of support for defending the many Serra statues that dot our state like a pox. President Trump is using an executive order to boost penalties for defacing racist, historical monuments. My depiction of the California flag today is more a symbol of hope that these protests succeed than than a depiction of today’s reality.

The statue is based on one located in San Juan Capistrano that was relocated recently to protect it from protesters. I lifted Serra’s robe a bit so that I could get some Saddam Hussein action going with his ankles.

When I was in third grade I was required to build a model of a California mission and I was taught a false, fairy tale story about Padre Serra.  Thirty years later my kids went through the same thing in school. California students have been required to build those models and have been fed a whitewashed version of history for many decades. That may be changing now as the protests continue. Maybe our “everyman” bear will finally tear down that statue!

Scroll down to see some more of my favorite “everyman” California bears.

California always has a drought …

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Sometimes the drought is worse …

Even when it floods, we still have a drought …

We have fires too. And heroic firemen …

And we have legal marijuana …


And California was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage …

And president Trump doesn’t like California’s auto emissions standards …

See two more of my California Bear Flag cartoons, about coronavirus, here!


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Don’t miss our most popular cartoons of the week collections:
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The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
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The Most Popular Cartoons of the Pandemic (as of May 4th)
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The Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)

The Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
The Most popular Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
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Newsletter Syndicate

Notre Dame Fire

4/16/19 A bunch of new Notre Dame Fire cartoon favorites are added below. –Daryl

It was such a horror, watching the fire consume Notre Dame. I drew a cartoon as fast as I could –a teardrop cartoon. It was the best I could come up with on short notice. The editorial cartoonists think teardrop cartoons are trite, but we all do them. Readers love the teardrop cartoons at tragic times. I went with the Charles Laughton hunchback. So sad to see this unfold.

Here are some new favorites, from the day after, 4/16/19 …

This one is by my friend, French cartoonist Robert Rousso


This one is by Sean Delonas.


This is by Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle.

This one is by Jeff Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

This is by Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.


The first Notre Dame cartoon that came in to us was from my buddy, Randy Enos.

This one is by RJ Matson.

Blog Syndicate

Trump and California Fires

Last week I drew this cartoon of Trump badmouthing burning California. Trump blames environmentalists and California’s mishandling of water resources for the firs.

Trump’s solution to our fire problem is to allow his logging industry pals to take out all the lumber they want from protected forests. There are lots of dead and beetle infested, diseased trees in the forests, but those aren’t the healthy trees the loggers want.  The larger problem is the flammable brush (or chaparral) that comes up to the edges of housing developments throughout California. My solution is goats. A zillion goats to eat the brush and leave the healthy roots to hold the ground against mud slides. Goats are a serious solution; they have been tried and have been successful in clearing large areas of brush, but there is no goat lobby and goats don’t make political contributions to the Trump swamp in DC.

Goats are cute, though.


Blog Syndicate

TRUE Devils, Angels and YUCK!

Here’s a new collection of my old TRUE cartoons about devils, angels and yucky stuff!

I’ll be posting more TRUE cartoons soon.

Want to see more collections of my TRUE cartoons?  Here are some cool links:










Blog Syndicate

Peace in Gaza

The “peaceful” protests in Gaza have been quite dramatic, with both sides blaming each other for the violence. I thought it would be interesting to draw the peaceful protesters as doves of peace. Those are olive branches in their mouths.

My personal view is that there is no solution to the Israel/Palestinian issue. Someday soon we may look back on these ugly times as the good old days. If I could play God and impose my own peace plan, it would be to force everyone to give up their religion.

When I started this I thought I would draw all of the doves with no pants, Donald Duck style, with bird legs and feet. The problem is that birds have knees that go backwards and it was difficult to put them into the action poses without suffering some strange compromises, so I went with a different compromise: human knees, feet, pants and shoes, and birdie hands on the ends of their wings.

Cartoons about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict often invite angry email. I’ve drawn militant doves before –here’s one that got me lots of angry email …

The angry mail for this one came from Israel supporters who thought the cartoon was anti-semitic because they thought the helmet on the Israeli soldier looked like a German Nazi helmet; they also objected to the Star of David on the helmet, arguing that it signified Jews rather than the complete Israeli flag with stripes, signifying Israel.

Cartoons about the conflict don’t please anybody and are among the least reprinted cartoons –but cartoonists don’t get to choose the news.

Blog Syndicate

Cosby Convicted!

Bill Cosby was convicted today and faces up to 30 years in prison for sexual assault. We dusted off my old Cosby cartoon from his first trial and it looks just as appropriate now as ever!

And, as far as I know, I’m the only cartoonist so far to draw Cosby in Hell – but somehow I think there will be many more.

Here are three of my favorite Cosby cartoons …

This one is by Taylor Jones

This one is by Rick McKee


And this one is by RJ Matson

Blog Syndicate

California Wildfires, Horses and Celebrities


The fire is most dire in my neighborhood today. At 12:30pm today it is very close. I hear that there are fire crews stationed at every house in my neighborhood. Here’s my most recent report …

The fire danger is much worse today, and the evacuation areas were broadly expanded westward and into the city of Santa Barbara. Here’s the new map (my house is in area MTO2, North of highway 192 and East of Parma Park on the evacuation map):

That said, the giant #ThomasFire has given firefighters an unusual week’s warning to assemble and deploy an army of firemen, and time to prepare battle plans – something that didn’t happen in the recent, faster moving Northern California fires. Their first plan failed yesterday as the fire crossed their defensive lines, moving West at San Ysidro canyon, just to the east of us.

The Santa Ana winds will be kicking up dramatically today and tomorrow, in our direction, which is why it looks dire today. Here’s the satellite hotspot map but it currently shows the fire location from yesterday:…/interactive-map-southern…/

News reports about California wildfires often seem to focus on horses, celebrities and schadenfreude. Sometimes fire victims suffer a second time from the crazy news coverage.

There is a mandatory evacuation now in my neighborhood in Montecito, California, as the huge Thomas Fire creeps closer, filling the air with acrid smoke and dusting everything with ash. The evacuation order is expected to last through the week. The fire has already claimed over seven hundred homes.

I’m a political cartoonist and my house is filled with my own art and a big collection of cartoon artwork from my colleagues. My son and I got back into the house on Monday to grab more family photos, papers and artwork. I saw that many of my neighbors had the same idea. I took the opportunity to water the yard, clean the rain gutters and move things away from the house – things that probably made little difference, but relieved my stress. My house is still filled with artwork as the fire bears down.

I was raised in Montecito. I inherited the house my schoolteacher mother bought in 1964 for $28,000, an amount that seems ridiculous by today’s standards. Montecito is filled with normal working people who have lived in the neighborhood for decades as property values soared, helped by the low property taxes of California’s Proposition 13. It was a normal place in my childhood, now Montecito is expensive, known as the place where Oprah Winfrey has a house, along with a long list of other Hollywood notables. I don’t know where those celebrities live. They don’t come by to say “hello.”

In 1977 my mother’s house burned in the Sycamore Canyon Fire that claimed around 250 homes; she chose to rebuild. Why do people rebuild after a fire? Because it is home, and after a disaster we see mistakes with what seems to be clarity. The house had a wood shake roof, and the 1977 fire seemed to claim only houses with wood shake roofs. Now the house has a concrete roof, no attic vents and a concrete yard. We have regular inspections by the local fire department and we follow their advice, but today’s superfires seem to claim anything in their paths, no matter what roofs are made of, and no matter what advice is followed.

I was a college student, living at home when the 1977 fire suddenly swooped in. I watched as the news media was filled with reports of horses in danger and rich celebrities fleeing their homes. I remember a segment sometime later, on Britains’ popular Spitting Image TV show, a cartoonist’s favorite, where screaming celebrity caricatures were running around, engulfed in flames as the audience roared with laughter.

The media’s trivial obsessions had a tangible effect in 1977. President Jimmy Carter refused to declare Santa Barbara and Montecito a federal disaster area, noting that the people here are wealthy and can take care of themselves. A disaster declaration would have meant that my mother and I could have lived in a FEMA trailer for a year, while our house was being re-built.

A few months later there was a similar fire in Malibu; for some reason, the media didn’t focus on celebrities that time and Carter declared a federal disaster area, even though the average income of the Malibu fire victims was higher than the income of victims of our Montecito fire. Media coverage made all the difference with Carter.

The new tax bill, that Congress may soon pass, takes away the deduction for losses that fire victims suffer. There is little sympathy for celebrity fire victims. Horses get more sympathy, and they don’t file income taxes. Perhaps people who rebuild in fire prone areas get the least sympathy of all.

I fear we’ll see the same international media response if the wind shifts in the next few days. The dry brush of celebrity schadenfreude is ready to burn … along with my mother’s house.

Blog Syndicate

Caduceus Campfire!

President Trump pulled the funding rug out from under ObamaCare, which may not have been failing before, but is much more likely to fail now. Trump supporters claim that this is to light a fire under Congress to fix the problem – more likely, it will just light a fire under the healthcare system, leaving it scorched – like a marshmallow over the campfire.

I love the caduceus symbol for medicine, with the two snakes and the little wings at the top of a pole – it is a wonderful cartoon cliché that allows me to do healthcare cartoons without words. As healthcare poses existential political issues that divide the Republicans, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to bash the elephants with caduceuses.

Obama took a bite out of the Republicans by pushing ObamaCare through congress without a single Republican vote.

Obama took a moment to gloat.

Republicans can’t agree on healthcare, and likely won’t get anything done, leading Trump to blow the system up. Perhaps congress will be more willing to clean up a big healthcare mess of Trump’s making; they can always blame it on Obama.

More likely, I think healthcare will be the issue that sinks the Republican party.


Blog Syndicate

Trump as Nixon

Here’s my Trump as Nixon!

I just got back from a National Cartoonists Society/USO trip to Bahrain, drawing for the troops. Next week I’m off to Belgium for the Festival in Virton and an exhibition of my work.  Sorry for all the time away. I’ll draw lots of cartoons in June. Really. And I’ll do another blog post about my Bahrain trip.

Of-course, whenever I’m away there is lots of news and I wish I was here drawing cartoons. Trump firing FBI director Comey was big news everywhere and the obvious cartoon to draw was Trump as Nixon, while the pundits on TV were making references to Trump and Nixon’s famous “Saturday Night Massacre” firing the Watergate Special Prosecutor who was investigating Nixon, along with a couple of Attorney Generals. A combo Trump/Nixon was the obvious cartoon to draw and I expected that a lot of other cartoonists would draw the same thing at the same time. It is fun to draw.

One issue we have with “yahtzees” or cartoonists drawing the same obvious image at the same time, is that the cartoon that is obvious to cartoonists typically isn’t obvious to readers or editors – and it is usually the cartoon that editors really want. There’s an old saying among cartoonists, “If one other guy drew it, you’re a plagiarist, if three other guys drew it, you’re a hack, if five other guys drew it, you’re following a great tradition.”

I sketched this one up on the plane back from Bahrain and expected to see some other Nixon/Trumps when I got back to the USA. I wasn’t disappointed. Still, I’ll bet all of these get a good rate of reprinting. Here is how some of my other favorite cartoonists handled their Trump/Nixons. This first one is by Taylor Jones

Here’s one by Jeff Darcy of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer …

This one is by Trevor Irvin from Florida …

The next one is by Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle …

This one is by RJ Matson

This one is by Jeff Koterba of the Omaha World-Herald …

Here’s another from Mark Streeter from the Savannah Morning News …

There are lots more Nixon/Trumps on our site and other editorial cartoon sites. Collect them all!


Blog Syndicate

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Gets the Boot

I’m not too happy with my Putin and Bernie in this one, but Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is great fun to draw. Her hair is fun. Somehow I’m guessing she’s be around for a while in one way or another.

Here I am drawing this one live (as of 1:00pm Pacific Time Tuesday, this had another hour to finish uploading – come back later if you are early!)

And here I color it in real time …