Friday, February 17, 2017

Harry Bliss Comic Offends, Readers React; Cartoonist Responds

Harry Bliss' daily panel "Bliss" depicts a man trying to stop Dracula with a Star of David in his February 10, 2017 syndicated comic.

The Boston Globe has an article about "a few readers" writing to express their displeasure and offense.

Here's a sample:

"The cartoon seems to imply that the Shield of David is not a true symbol of God, or that Jews and their symbols are less godly than Christians and their symbols, or that Jews are too stupid to know they are supposed to use a Christian symbol to ward off pagan vampires.

"Perhaps Harry Bliss is not thinking about the wave of anti-Semitism inspired by our new president and his strategists, but printing this comic helps normalize a hateful agenda. I am deeply disturbed and disappointed that the Globe would sanction publishing such an offensive cartoon."

I remember a similar gag from LOVE AT FIRST BITE, a 1979 comedy movie with George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, and Richard Benjamin about a fish-out-of-water Count Dracula in modern day America. I don't remember any outrage. The bit occurs at about 1:13.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Glenn McCoy Betsy DeVos Editorial Cartoon: "“I’m surprised that you see ‘hate’ in this cartoon"

Glenn McCoy's February 13, 2017 editorial cartoon about Betsy DeVos has been divisive.

Glenn has made a statement on the Belleville (IL) News Democrat newspaper's site:

“My cartoon was about how, in this day and age, decades beyond the civil rights protests, it’s sad that people are still being denied the right to speak freely or do their jobs or enter public buildings because others disagree with who they are or how they think,” he wrote. “I’m surprised that you see ‘hate’ in this cartoon when I thought I was speaking out against hate. It’s a woman passively walking while being protected from angry protesters. Isn’t that what went down the other day when DeVos visited a school to do her job? You may disagree with her on issues but I didn’t see any hate coming from her. I did, however see hate going in the other direction which is what made me think of the Rockwell image. That was the only comparison I was drawing. The level of toxicity in today’s political climate has reached ridiculous levels.”

Read more here:
My take: Glenn says that billionaire Betsy DeVos is a victim of hate; that she is just like six year old Ruby Bridges, the little African American girl, in the iconic painting by Norman Rockwell, "The Problem We All Live With" (1964).

Ruby Bridges is on her way to her first day of school at the William Frantz Elementary School. She is six years old. She will be the first non-white student attending that day. The four U.S. Marshals are there to ensure that the desegregation laws are adhered to.

Betsy DeVos is a white, 59 year old billionaire who was confirmed by the Senate in an historically close vote as the new Secretary of Education on January 31st, 2017. She has been heavily involved in Republican politics since the 1990s.

Glenn equates the N-word with "conservative" here, and anger at DeVos as being the same as bigots and white supremacists.

I disagree with this cartoon fundamentally. There is no comparison.

But, I believe in Glenn's right to draw it and sell it. And he has. He sold it to his paper, the Belleville News-Democrat. Universal Press has it on their site and it's available thru their syndication services.

Cartooning is a commercial art. If there is commerce for a certain sense of humor, a certain viewpoint, then the market will reward it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Howard Shoemaker RIP

Howard "Shoe" Shoemaker passed away on January 28, 2017.  He was 85.

He lived in Nebraska. He used to work for the Omaha-based Bozell & Jacobs advertising agency before cartooning full-time. Mr. Shoemaker was a decades-long contributor to Playboy Magazine, among many others.

In 1964, he created a book of Porsche cartoons, which is now a collector's item commanding hundreds of dollars a copy today. 

From the Omaha World-Herald obituary:

He had six children, 13 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids. Shoemaker’s daughter Mareaeric Campagna said the family car was a Porsche. There would be outings in the hills of Council Bluffs, or Shoemaker would wake up his kids and take them out in the car to make the first tracks in fresh snow.
The house was filled with jazz, the Beatles and dance parties, his daughter said. Shoemaker’s drawing board was in the middle of the living room of the house in the Field Club neighborhood.
He jotted down ideas on napkins or his hand — a trait he passed down to children and grandchildren. And he drew cartoons on everything. Bar napkins, tags, cards and envelopes, which amused post office workers. All are treasured now, his daughter said.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Remembering Charles Schulz

Remembering Charles Schulz, who died on this day 17 years ago. How we love him.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Video: STAR TREK Mashup: "Anger is Illogical"

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss 3 minutes goodbye. One of the best TREK mash ups/parodies I've seen.

Thanks to OneMinuteGalactica for this -- and take a look at their YouTube page for more stuff!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

True Story: Grocery Store Lothario

Here's a short true life story I over heard while at the grocery store last night. This was definitely a "How Not to Pick Up Girls" moment for this fella. Clean up in aisle two!!!

Drawn freehand, no penciling. Ink on paper with a watercolor wash, 5.5" x 8.5" (14 x 21.6 cm).

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

July 14 - July 21, 1962 SATURDAY EVENING POST Cartoons

Snowed here yesterday, and today's it's almost 50 degrees. Then, 8 more inches tomorrow and we are back below freezing for the time being. So ... it's nice to see this Post cover reminding me of a sweet, old timey vacation.


George Hughes paints this cover to the July 14-July 21, 1962 SATURDAY EVENING POST. Mr. Hughes would paint 115 POST covers for fourteen years beginning in 1948. He was its most prolific cover artist. This would be his next to last cover commission (the final one would come nine years later, in 1971) as the magazine transitioned into using more and more photographs.

Here are all of the cartoons from this issue:

We begin with a topper by Henry Syverson:

Jack Markow with an animal gag:

The prolific Bil Keane, who was in the early years of producing his FAMILY CIRCUS panel, was still creating gag cartoons:

Below: a great Jerry Marcus gag.

Boris Drucker:

And we finish with another unsigned illustration by Syverson:

-- Edited from an original November 25, 2011 blog entry.