Blog Syndicate

Fathers Day at the Creation Museum

On Sunday, for Fathers Day and my birthday, my wife took me to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, outside of Cincinnati. I expected this to be a strange excursion into a foreign culture, and it was, but one I was prepared for after living in Tennessee for a couple of years. That’s me below with an exhibit.

Here I am with an exhibit at the Creation Museum.

This is a kids’ museum with lots of animated, life-size dinosaurs accompanied by exhibits explaining how the theory of evolution is wrong, the Bible is right, and dinosaurs are not so many years old after all. There are zip-line adventures through the lovely grounds, an ambitious petting zoo, and lots of shows. It is a place to bring the kids. I heard the same conversation everywhere in the museum as parents explained to their kids, “your teachers lie to you” and “don’t believe what they tell you in school.”

The photo below shows an exhibit where cave-kids are playing alongside the dinosaurs, much like in The Flintstones. It was explained that, in the beginning, animals were all vegetarians and everyone got along with the animals. It was only after Eve ate the forbidden fruit (depicted as berries) that the dinosaurs and other animals starting eating meat and getting surly.


Many of the exhibits are organized as rebuttals to science, contrasting man’s “theories” with God’s truth, and offering alternative explanations to rebut popular misconceptions – like the notion that Earth’s geology formed over millions of years, or that canyons are carved out by rivers. One recurring theme is the refutation of the scientific method, since the Bible gives us the truth as a starting point and the truth is not to be refuted. We learned that “natural selection” is OK, but “evolution” is wrong, a distinction that they seem to think is very important.

There is a lot of space devoted to the mechanics of Noah’s Ark, with descriptions of how the animals all fit into the ark and how they were probably cared for and fed while on the ark (for example, all the animals were likely young, so they would be small and easy to manage). There was a giant replica of a portion of the ark, and lots of talking, animatronic Bible characters. Methuselah was particularly chatty. There also was a lot of space devoted to how long these characters lived and how Adam and Eve’s kids had sex with each other, and why that was no problem. Different times. The museum also had a nice looking mural of the Skopes Monkey Trial from 1925 – the good old days when the government in Tennessee understood that evolution was a sham.

Here’s a typical display showing “Man’s Word” or science on the left, and “God’s Word,” refuting the science on the right. Most of the museum has this theme.

An interesting part of the museum was styled to look like an urban ghetto, with graffiti on brick walls; a heading on the entryway says “Scripture Abandoned in the Culture Leads to Relative Morality, Hopelessness and Meaninglessness.” Much like the attendees at the museum, the urban area featured no minorities. Peering through the broken windows on a blighted building there were videos of middle class white folks doing terrible things, like discussing how they were considering having an abortion. This was the chamber of horrors for the Creation Museum.

My math teacher wife tells me that her science teacher friends in Nashville get lots of blowback from students who call them liars. She said the museum made her sad. There is a big sign on the front door of the museum warning that anyone who acts disrespectfully, or who wears a t-shirt with a disrespectful message, will be kicked out. This is no place to argue. The docents seem hardened by many encounters with disrespectful visitors in the past; they have a stern attitude until they discern that the person they are talking to isn’t arguing, then they open up and are quite friendly. I didn’t test getting on their wrong side.

The museum has nice pizza, movies with impressive special effects, and a cool array of zip-line adventures. Also, as a father visiting on Father’s Day, my admission was free!

That’s me at the entrance with a nice looking dinosaur. Kids love dinosaurs. At the Creation Museum dinosaurs introduce kids to God and science – the museum hosts Summer science camps for kids, where “Science meets Truth,” encouraging kids to enter STEM careers. God help us.


Blog Syndicate

Nashville’s Churches Could be BIGGER

Here’s my latest local, altie-newspaper cartoon for the Nashville Scene. Nashville is called the “buckle of the Bible Belt” because the place is full of colossal, mega-churches and giant church corporate headquarters. The scale of these churches is stunning. I’m from California where people don’t talk to each other as often as chatty Tennesseans. Often, the first thing I hear in a conversation with a neighbor, or someone I don’t know, is “where do you go to church?”


Blog Syndicate

Freedom Bakery!

Republicans are very concerned that bakers have the freedom to refuse service to gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land, our attention is turned to the poor, abused bakers.


Cartoon Revenge Through Hacking

Want to help? Visit We need more heroes.

There was a time when readers who are offended by a political cartoons would write a letter to the editor. Now angry readers rant online; they demand apologies or retribution for being offended.

I run a “syndicate” that distributes editorial cartoons and columns to about 850 subscribing newspapers in America. I’m perceived to be the “boss” of the cartoonists, and I get angry demands that I fire cartoonists I work with, who drew cartoons that offend. Just draw about abortion, the Confederate Battle Flag, gun control, religion, Israel or the Palestinians – and the cyber outrage will flow.

The Sandy Huffaker cartoon that inspired the CAIR flame campaign to punish the cartoonist.

One of our cartoonists drew a cartoon a few years ago that showed an Iraqi soldier holding a book titled, “The Koran for Dummies.” The cartoon motivated a group called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to put a call out to their members to e-mail me, demanding that I punish the cartoonist; I received many thousands of crazy e-mail threats in response. Whenever there is a big response to a cartoon, it is usually because some group is organizing the effort.

Recently my political cartoon web site at has been getting hacker attacks. New, crazy, huge, sophisticated, brute force, distributed denial of service hacker attacks, from IP addresses all over the world, focusing on taking us down.

The hackers succeeded in breaking through to erase data on our hard drives on our servers and bring our site down. Luckily, we had an unconnected backup in the cloud, and this attack had us down for only a day rewriting the hard drives. We don’t keep credit card information or salacious emails about movie stars online, so there isn’t much for hackers to do except to take us down.
The new attacks started before the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, back when we were featuring cartoons about North Korea and the Sony Pictures hackers. is still going down occasionally as the hackers change their strategies. I suppose this is the new reality for editorial cartoonists, who have never been well paid by newspapers that are continuing to cut their budgets. Editorial cartoons seem to be the new flashpoint for a clash of civilizations, even as we tighten our belts.

The bottom line is that our site is now expensive to host as the attacks continue to become more costly and time consuming for us. We thought about dropping the site and concentrating on our little newspaper syndicate, but we’re trying something different.

We’re putting up a plea to our readers to make contributions to help us keep the site online. I see lots of other sites with “donor” buttons, including opinion sites like and, but this is new to us. Visitors to will see a pop-up window this week, asking for support, and offering lots of nice perks for different levels of support.

We’re hoping the love and support of editorial cartoon fans can overcome the costs of the evil editorial cartoon haters.

Want to help? Visit We need more heroes.


The Cartoon That Facebook Won’t Let You See

My buddy, cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani, an Iranian cartoonist who escaped from probable imprisonment by the Iranian Regime and was given asylum in France, posted this funny cartoon that was censored by Facebook (Facebook also blocked his account for 12 hours). I thought I would post it on Facebook too, and sure enough, they censored my posting too. The cartoons is below.  It makes me laugh, and it makes a religious/political point that I would expect, from Kianoush’s point of view.  See my buddy Kianoush here.

I’ve been blocked from Facebook for the next twelve hours.  Ouch!

Facebook censored my cartoon The Cartoon That Facebook Wont Let You See cartoons

Here’s what I got when I posted it – a double Facebook removal …

DoubleCensorKianoush The Cartoon That Facebook Wont Let You See cartoons


Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville!

Here I sit in my new Nashville, Tennessee apartment, trying out a new restaurant for every meal, and finally drawing cartoons.  I finished my second cartoon in Nashville today – a busy, crowd scene cartoon about Obama and foreign aid to Egypt.  Here is my rough pencil sketch.
EgyptAidSketch600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

I drew this first with a light, hard, #5 pencil to get the people in the crowd into the right composition, so they are interacting with each other, have expressive body language, their faces aren’t obscured, the feet and arms are on right … all those details need to be thought through for each figure; better to do it in a sketch than on the fly in in finished art.   The line art is below.  I debated whether to go with just line for the black and white version that most people see in the newspaper.

136479 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Here is the gray-scale version.  I thought it read a bit better with tone.  I do the gray-scale separately.  It isn’t just a gray version of the color cartoon.

136480 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

I usually avoid doing crowd scenes.  When I was an illustrator, I used to do a lot of crowd scenes.  I think art directors would sit in a brainstorming meeting and come up with a list of too many things that they needed to put in an ad – so they would call a cartoonist to jam it all into one piece of art.  Cartoonists get these jobs because the lists are too long, so the art has to be crazy. In fact, crowd scenes are usually not very effective compositions.  The most effective compositions show powerful character and expression, which is better done with large figures and faces.  With too many little figures in a crowd, the power of the expressions and body language are lost to tiny details.  That said, I hate to admit that sometimes a concept calls for a crowd scene.

Here’s the color cartoon …

136481 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

This one suffers from low resolution on the web, and will look much better in print, with crisp lines and texture in the tiny characters.  Here is a detail.

aiddetail Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

One funny thing about cartoon crowd scenes; when readers send me unsolicited ideas for cartoons, the ideas are almost always for crowd scenes.  The reader wants to say so much in his cartoon idea, that he comes up with a list of junk to include, just like the sloppy advertising art directors.  Some ideas I get start with, “draw an army on the left, and another army on the right …” or the reader will write, “fill the sky with helicopters …” Not only am I too lazy for this, all the tiny details would be ineffective in the composition, and the cartoon would be lousy.  For people who think in words, not images, these list-cartoons make perfect sense; to cartoonists, they are nonsense.

The previous cartoon is another Egypt/Arab Spring drawing.  Here’s the rough pencil sketch.  Notice that I drew Obama too low and made a note to move him up.  I make lots of mistakes.  Mistakes are easy to fix.  Better to make lots of mistakes and have no fear of mistakes – at least in cartoons.  I wouldn’t give that advice to my dentist.

AmericanSketch600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Here is the line art version that most people will see in the newspapers.  No gray version for this one.  I like to keep them as line art if possible – there is something more elegant about not having to rely on tone.

136409 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

And here is the color …

136415 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

This cartoon is similar to one I drew a week earlier, with Obama and the Republicans.  I like the yellow ochre texture background for dirty fighting scenes.

135857 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons


Obama doesn’t actually wear pinstripe suits.  He wears plain black and blue suits, which are no fun to draw.  So I take some artistic license.  This recent Detroit-in-the-toilet cartoon also uses the yellow ochre, grungy theme that I’m fond of right now.

136000 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Another recent one I neglected to post is this one about the chilly relations with Russia – not much of a cartoon, just an illustration of chilly relations.

135924 600 Egypt, Obama, Putin, Detroit and Nashville! cartoons

Sorry, with the move to Nashville I’ve fallen behind.  I’ll catch up soon.

Nashville is starting to grow on me.  I’ll get used to it soon – when it cools off and the humidity goes down.




Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court!

Here are my latest three cartoons – hot off the drawing board and Wacom tablet!

The Supreme Court heard two gay rights cases this week, California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The pundits seem to agree that these cases will likely be decided by 5 to 4 votes, so I drew the four, ugly conservatives on the court angrily brandishing their gavels at the cowering gay couple on the cake. Fortunately, the ugly conservatives on the court are also the easiest justices to caricature!  Here is my rough sketch.

ScotusSketch600wide Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons


Drawing caricatures like this is so much easier now than it was years ago! All I have to do is type some public figure’s name into Google Images and I get a page full of great thumbnails. In the old days I had to cut photos out of newspapers and magazines and save them in a “morgue” in case I ever needed to draw a caricature. Technology is grand.

Here is the black and white version of the cartoon, which most people will see in newspapers that still print in black and white.

129230 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

I draw everything at about 11″ x 17″ on vellum in pencil, and I scan at high contrast so it looks like ink. Then I color it in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet.  Here is the color version.

129286 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

Next I drew a Republican elephant flogging himself as his intolerant views about gay rights do nothing but give him a sore back. Here is the rough sketch.

FlogSketch600wide Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

And here is the finished drawing, in pencil on 11″ x 17″ vellum, with the gray tones added in Photoshop.

129309 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

It is better if a drawing holds up as just line art with no gray tones – but sometimes I have to resort to gray. This one needed a little tonal substance. Here is the color version.

129398 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

Lite Great Wave off Kanagaw Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoonsThe most recent cartoon is another riff on an art masterpiece – these seem to be the most popular cartoons I draw. This one is based on a famous 19th century print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, titled the Great Wave off Kanagawa (pictured on the right).

This image made for a popular Yahtzee, in editorial cartoons, after the Japanese tsunami. One thing that is interesting about Japanese prints is that the Japanese read from right to left, so the boats in the Hokusai print are sailing from calmer seas into the big bad waves. Of-course, editorial cartoons must read from left to right, with the set-up on the left and the gag on the right.

I printed out the Hokusai image and sketched a little GOP elephant to the right for my rough sketch.

WaveSketch600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons


I drew it up like this, then I noticed that the elephant was too big – he needed to be smaller for the wave to look more threatening. Here is the finished line drawing with a smaller elephant.

129467 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

And here is the color version.

129473 600 Gay Marriage, Prop 8, Republicans and the Supreme Court! cartoons

That Hokusai wave is a wonderful wave!


Better not Insult Adam and Eve

Note to editors : The cartoon referenced in this column follows the text.

It didn’t take long for the new Islamist government in Egypt to start acting like other nutty Islamic regimes when it comes to political cartoons.

The latest wacko religious intolerance comes in response to a cartoon by Egyptian editorial cartoonist Doaa El Adl that shows an Egyptian man with angel wings lecturing Adam and Eve. The three characters are on a cloud beneath the infamous, forbidden fruit tree. The angel is telling Adam and Eve that they would never have been expelled from heaven if they had simply voted in favor of the draft constitution in the recent Egyptian referendum.

The cartoon ridicules proponents of Egypt’s constitutional referendum who were quoted saying that a “‘yes vote’ guarantees one a spot in heaven, while a ‘no vote’ guarantees one a spot in hell.”

The cartoonist, one of very few women cartoonists in the Arab world, is being sued by Egypt’s new “Secretary General for the Defense of Freedoms,” Khaled El Masry along with her editor, Yasser Rizk, and businessman Naguib Sawiris. The Secretary General Masry claims that the cartoon insults Adam, who is considered a prophet in the Muslim religion. Egypt’s Attorney General has ordered an investigation.

I met Doaa El Adl at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention a couple of years ago in Florida, shortly after the revolution in Egypt. She was the only woman cartoonist in a large group of Arab cartoonists sent by the U.S. State Department to visit their colleagues in the USA. In our conversations she was beaming with pride and optimism about Egypt’s revolution and had high hopes and expectations about Egypt’s future. I was impressed with her.

In Egypt, editorial cartoonists are especially important. There are lots of popular, thriving, competing newspapers in Egypt, and most of the newspapers run their editorial cartoon in color on the front page. Editorial cartoonists are the most important voices in each newspaper, and clearly the most threatening voices to Islamic, extremist politicians.

I doubt that Doaa is being sued, and possibly prosecuted, because of insulting Adam; she is being sued to chill her voice, and make it costly to be a cartoonist who is critical of Egypt’s new religious junta.

This is a shame. Doaa is talented, brave and eager to seek a better future for Egypt — just what Egypt needs right now. Read more about her case on the Cartoonists Rights Network site at

Daryl Cagle runs the newspaper syndicate distributing editorial cartoons to more than 850 newspapers around the world including the paper you are reading now; he is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society. Comments to Daryl may be sent to [email protected] Read Daryl’s blog at

Blog Featured

Santorum feeds hungry Republicans

Here’s my newest cartoon about everyone’s favorite birth control warrior, former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum (view more Rick Santorum cartoons here). For a man who not afraid to tell voters what’s on his mind (no matter how looney), Santorum now regrets saying he wanted to “throw up” after watching John F. Kennedy’s speech to Baptist ministers in Houston in 1960.

Just for the record, here’s what Kennedy said in his speech:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

Wow, Kennedy didn’t want The Pope to control American politics. Harsh.

You see, Santorum wanted to hurl because despite what our Constitution says, he doesn’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

“The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country,” Santorum said on Sunday.

Blog Featured

Five Frothy Rick Santorum Cartoons

It’s make-or-break time for Rick Santorum (who still can’t escape the infamy of his last name on Google). The culture warrior has risen in popularity among the Republican base by throwing out red meat pertaining to religion, birth control and slamming the president’s value system as a “phony theology.”

Can Santorum not only win the GOP nomination, but somehow unseat President Obama from office? Our cartoonists sure don’t think so. Here are five recent cartoons that sum up their thoughts…

David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star (click to view more by Fitzsimmons)
John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Cole)
Jeff Parker / Florida Today (click to view more cartoons by Parker)
Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News (click to view more cartoons by Zyglis)
Jimmy Margulies / The Record (click to view more cartoons by Margulies)

Click here to view more Rick Santorum cartoons