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Hawaii Missile Alert

The missile alert in Hawaii last weekend was pretty crazy, with people calling their loved ones to say goodbye, and others jumping into sewers.

I spent my first years as an editorial cartoonist working for newspapers in Hawaii doing local cartoons, first for the Midweek, then for Gannett’s Honolulu Advertiser – now my cartoons run in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaiian politics are wonderful fodder for editorial cartoons. I miss those days.

I used to fill my cartoons with local details. My wife went to Punahou school with Barack Obama, back in the day, and she would translate my cartoons into pidgin so I wass able to fool everyone into thinking I was a local. The missile alert was a horror for Hawaii but was a bit of cartoon nostalgia for me.

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Kick Me!

Trump, Li’l Kim, Xi and Putin are a funny ensemble. One problem with editorial cartooning is that we can only draw characters that readers already know from the news, and if the cartoonist isn’t a sissy, he or she won’t label the characters but really try to draw caricatures. As the world goes down the tubes we have more characters and more opportunities to eschew labels. Life is good.

This cartoon is based on an oldie I drew about nine years ago, featuring Li’l Kim’s daddy, Li’l Kim Jong Il.

Sorry that I haven’t been drawing or posting much lately. I’ve been holed up in my office doing annual bookkeeping and quarterly artists royalties.  ARRRGH! I have more to do. I’ll try to poke my head out of the muck more often. In the course of all the accounting madness, I neglected to post the grim reaper cartoon below from about three weeks ago when the story of the moment was the GOP’s ugly healthcare bill.

I thought I was being clever at the time – until I saw that dozens of cartoonists were drawing grim reaper cartoons. Great minds think alike.  ARRRGH!

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Red Lines!

Here’s my new cartoon on “red lines” in Syria. President Trump seems to have embraced “red lines” and we’re hearing that Trump may order new attacks in response to other, non-poison gas related atrocities in Syria.

The thing I liked most about Trump during the campaign was his often-sated promise to keep us our of Middle East wars. Now Trump owns the crayon.

I did this one as a live stream – but the drawing was pretty minimal, and the conversation during the short video wasn’t very entertaining, that I decided to skip uploading the video this time. I’m also behind on posting cartoons and I need to catch up! Too much to do – sorry!


Obama’s Big, Manly Pen, Again

Fox News is aghast and aflutter about President Obama saying he’ll unilaterally enter into an international agreement on Climate Change.  Obama touts that he has a “pen and a phone” to do business without congress.  The pen amuses me.

Barack Obama,pen and a phone,congress,GOP,Republicans,elephant,ink,Climate Change,environment,global warming
President Obama’s pen annoys the GOP.

Like almost every cartoon I draw, I think the black and white line version looks better – and it is what most people will see in the newspaper …

President Barack Obama, phone and a pen,GOP,Republicans,elephant,Climate Change, Global Warming
Black and white always looks better, huh?
My Obama has grown to be gray-haired and weary.

I realized that kids these days might not be familiar with fountain pens, and how they would occasionally squirt by mistake. I was reading Classic Peanuts recently as Charlie Brown was writing to his pen-pal with a fountain pen, squirting all over the page. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter on paper, or the last time I used a fountain pen. Charlie Brown is a classic, but the strip seemed to define the elderly audience of the newspaper.

At the right is a close-up detail view of Obama’s head from this cartoon. Over the course of his presidency I’ve been drawing Obama more gray haired and more weary looking. He’s having a visual transformation in cartoons as well as in reality. Also, in his news conference yesterday Obama was wearing a light tan suit. I’ve never seen Obama wear anything other than a black suit! For cartoonists the tan suit should have been the big story of the day.  I like to draw pinstripes and I’ve gotten comments that Obama doesn’t wear suits like the ones I draw him in – artistic license – the cartoon above would have been lousy with a black suit, the composition needs the black pen and black ink to work – a black suit would ruin it.

The renewed talk about Obama’s “pen” got me thinking about a cartoon I drew when the “pen and phone” talk first came out …

Obama with his manly, phallic pen.
Phallic Putin by Taylor Jones.

My new Obama-pen cartoon is also phallic.  Editorial cartoonists love to make phallic references in their cartoons. At the right is one of my recent favorites from Taylor Jones.

International cartoonists draw a whole lot of phallic cartoons. A recurring image is a warlike character holding a missile in a manly position.  Below is one by South African cartoonist Jeremy Nell …


The charmer below is from German cartoonist Rainer Hachfeld …

International cartoonists make me feel subtle.

And yes!  We now have a cartoon about Obama’s tan suit from Nate Beeler. I knew that tan suit would find its way into cartoons.

Tan Suit by Beeler!











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