Cartoon: “Too Much Foam”

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This is one of a couple of cartoons I’ve  recently written on the subject of abled people putting the disabled up on a pedestal. (After getting some feedback from some disabled advance readers, I’m rethinking how to write the other one). In this case, I ended up focusing on privileged anxiety, always a gold mine for comedy.

Lately, I’ve been doing life drawing from nude models (there’s a place near my house which has a monthly drawing session), and I’ve been using brown paper and drawing with both black and white ink. (You can see a couple of those drawings here.) I’ve enjoyed having the white for highlights so much, I’m trying to bring that approach into my cartoons.

The coloring approach in this cartoon is very similar to last week’s. I want to include color – it really helps make a cartoon pop, and many readers prefer color. But I also don’t want to cover up the black and white linework, which is my favorite part. And I don’t want to do “this object would be brown, so I’ll color it brown” literal coloring, because once I do that my cartoons look so similar to other people’s cartoons.

So I’m always trying to find a way to eat my cake and have it too, when it comes to color. I hope you like how it looks (but let me know if you don’t).


Panel one shows a woman in a polka-dot dress sitting in a coffee shop, glaring down at her cappuccino.

WOMAN (thought): Aw, darn it. They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

Panel 2 shows a bald man in the foreground, sitting at a different table, reading something on his smartphone. He is sitting on a power chair, and he has no right arm. There’s a cappuccino in front of him. In the background, we can see the woman from panel one, staring at the bald man with a shocked expression.

WOMAN (thought): Oh wow – that guy has no legs and only one arm! How does he even get out of bed in the morning?

Panel 3 shows the woman, head in hands, looking aghast.

WOMAN (thought): He has to psend every minute of his life figuring out how to manage with just one arm… and I’m thinking about foam! I SUCK!

Panel 4 shows the bald man again. He has picked up his cappuccino and is looking annoyed.

MAN (thought): They put too much foam on my cappuccino!

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Disability Issues, Disabled Rights & Issues | 10 Comments  

Cartoon: Welfare vs Wealthfare

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Another collaboration with Rachel Swirsky!

I don’t have much to say about the politics of this issue that isn’t covered in the cartoon. Accepting help from the government is seen as morally shameful for the poor – but routine for the ultra-wealthy.

The script for this one was one of those back-and-forth collaborations in which it becomes difficult to recall who wrote what. The initial idea came from Rachel, and the idea for the specific format and layout came from me. The particular gags were written by both of us. I remember that I wrote the kicker gag as “Queen of England,” and Rachel changed it to “Beyonce,” which definitely made it funnier.

Oh, and if anyone’s wondering, there really were thousand-dollar bills once, but the government hasn’t printed any since 1945. If you happen to come across one, it’s still legal tender – but you’d probably get more than a thousand dollars by selling it to a collector. Several different designs were used for thousand dollar bills, including one featuring Alexander Hamilton.

A special thanks on the sidebar to patron N.K. Jemisin, who – among many other accomplishments – recently won the Hugo Award for “best novel” two years running. Rachel and I are both big fans of N.K.’s novels, and you should check out her website.


At the top of the cartoon, in large letters, is the title “WELFARE vs WEALTHFARE.”

Below that, the cartoon is divided into three columns. The columns on the left and right show regular cartoon images; the middle column only contains a caption for each row. The left column is underneath the word “Welfare” in the title; the right-hand column is underneath the word “Wealthfare” in the title.


Welfare Panel: A man holding a grocery bag is startled by an angry man in a necktie yelling at him.
NECKTIE MAN: Let me see those groceries! You better not have spent your food stamps on anything nice!

Wealthfare Panel: A well-off looking man in a jacket and tie stands looking aloof, with his arms crossed and his nose up in the air. Behind him, a man wearing a tie is kneeling on the ground and begging.
KNEELING MAN: PLEEEEASE let us buy you a new stadium! We’ll give you $200 million dollars!


Welfare Panel: A woman stands at a pay phone, the phone held to her ear. She has luggage with her, and an anxious looking ten year old son.
VOICE FROM PHONE: Sure, we can help with housing. Looks like we’ll have space for you in… Four years.

Wealthfare Panel: A wealthy-looking older couple, wearing sunglasses and casual-nice clothes, stands in front of an enormous yacht.
WOMAN: We legally declared our million-dollar yacht our second home.
MAN: So now we deduct its mortgage from our taxes!


Welfare Panel: A building with a sign, which says “welfare office.” Voices come from inside the building.
FIRST VOICE: Pee into this cup.
SECOND VOICE: But I don’t use drugs!
FIRST VOICE: Exactly what a druggie would say!

Wealthfare Panel: A wealthy looking businessman sits in a large executive chair, reading some papers. Behind him, two younger, slightly nerdy looking people talk to his back, looking anxious.
NERD 1: Look at all these crimes! I’m sorry, but you’ll have to pay a modest fine.
NERD 2: But you can deduct it from your taxes!
BUSINESSMAN (unconcerned, barely paying attention): Uh-huh.


Welfare Panel: A security guard in a brown uniform lounges in front of a house, leaning on a sign that says “For Sale By Bank.” A father holding an infant, and his young daughter at his side, look aghast.
GUARD: The bank says “thanks for the swell house!”

Wealthfare Panel: Another businessman, seated behyind an enormous desk; the desktop is mostly empty, although he does have a laptop and a desk calendar. Behind him is a big window with a cityscape view.
BUSINESSMAN: Hello, government? I gambled away billions of my bank’s assets. Give me my bailout in thousand dollar bills.


Welfare Panel: Uncle Sam has his back turned towards a mother carrying an infant. His expression shows contempt. He holds out a tiny check to her like it’s a dead fish. A line from the check points to a little ¢ symbol.
UNCLE SAM: Take your welfare, MOOCHER.

Wealthfare Panel: A smiling wealthy man looks on as a smiling Uncle Sam brings in a wheelbarrow overflowing with piles and bags of cash.
UNCLE SAM: Here’s this month’s delivery, sir!

Kicker panel at bottom of strip
We see the necktie man and the food stamps user from the first panel. The necktie man is yelling again.
NECKTIE MAN: You have a refrigerator AND a cell phone? What are you, Beyonce?

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Economics and the like | 10 Comments  

Cartoon: Radfem Clubhouse

If you enjoy these cartoons, please help there be more by supporting my Patreon. A $1 pledge really matters.

You can read lots more cartoons, for free, here. Or click here to see a bunch of lgbt themed cartoons.

(I wonder if I’ll lose any supporters over this cartoon? If so, thanks for your support, and goodbye.)

I used to be part of the no longer existent Ms Boards, back in the dark ages of the web (2003 or so). It was a active and fun forum for feminists, found on Ms Magazine’s website. Eventually, of course, it turned into a morass and grudges and anger, because that’s how the internet works. (But we didn’t know that yet).

But before Ms Magazine mercifully pulled the plug, and before things went bad, the Ms Boards were really important to me. I spent an embarrassing amount of time on the boards, discussing, socializing, arguing.

What most hastened the Ms Boards’ decline was when the largest contingent of radical feminists on the boards (who called themselves “radfems” for short) became openly dedicated to rejecting transsexual women.

It was a wave of ugliness and sometimes gleeful bigotry that I responded to with my reflexive “keep it mild, keep civil, try to see all sides” approach. I really regret that now; from my position of privilege, it took me too long to understand how gross and damaging that group of radfems were to our trans friends and the entire community.

Over the time, that genre of radfem developed into what’s now called TERFs – short for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist” – and, much as they poisoned the Ms Boards, they’ve poisoned much of radical feminism. A feminism that stands for bigotry against one of the most oppressed and marginalized groups in society is not viable.

Of course, many radical feminists – including some of the best known, such as MacKinnon, Dworkin, Judith Butler and (eventually) Gloria Steinem – have rejected bigotry against trans people. Being anti-trans is by no means a universal position among radicals

In the early seventies, some feminists thought lesbians needed to be excluded from feminism. That view was eventually rejected from feminism, and I believe trans-exclusionary feminism will go the same route.

This cartoon is a straightforward expression of my anger at what TERFs have done to some of feminism. But artwise, it’s my little tribute to the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” in the proportions of the figures and in the use of the treehouse setting. I also experimented with using a rougher brush, to get a bit closer to the wild and awesome lines Bill Watterson uses.

Of course, I can’t draw nearly as well as Watterson, one of the greatest cartoonists in the world. But it was sure fun trying to ape his style.


This cartoon is colored mostly in a desaturated orange, except for dark orange shading and white highlights.
On a woody hillside, a light-haired woman in a black tank top and a skirt stands in a crude treehouse, which is nestled in the crook of a tree, ten feet or so above the ground. Slats are nailed to the tree trunk to form a crude ladder up to the treehouse. The light-haired woman is talking to a black-haired woman wearing glasses, who is standing on the ground looking up at the treehouse.

GLASSES WOMAN: I want to join your radical feminist club! But only if it has no Jews.
TREEHOUSE WOMAN: What? NO! That’s NOT what our radfem club is about.

GLASSES WOMAN: To be radical feminists, we must put WHITE feminists first and sideline feminists of color.
TREEHOUSE WOMAN: No, NO! WE might DO that, but never EVER say so aloud!

Panel 3
GLASSES WOMAN: As radical feminists, it’s our duty to align with the Christian right to oppose lesbian and gay rights!
TREEHOUSE WOMAN: STOP this! Our radical feminist club does NOT stand for bigotry!

Panel 4
In contrast to her stern, angry expressions in the first three panels, the treehouse woman is now smiling broadly, opening her arms in welcome.

TREEHOUSE WOMAN: Except for that bigotry. Welcome to our club!

Small kicker panel at the bottom of the strip:
A new character, a woman with short hair, talks to the treehouse woman. The treehouse woman yells back at her.
SHORT HAIRED WOMAN: Lots of key radical feminists are pro-trans! Look at Andrea Dworkin.
TREEHOUSE WOMAN: Dworkin was a FAKE feminist!

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Feminism, sexism, etc, Transsexual and Transgender related issues | 55 Comments  

Open Thread and Link Farm, Abe Lincoln Disguised As A Beggar Edition

  1. Trans Women Face Extreme Levels of Abuse in Men’s Prisons.
    “For trans women in prison, it’s often the abuse by the guards that is the most abhorrent, and that abuse doesn’t stop at misgendering or inappropriate strip searches. According to a 2012 Department of Justice survey, 16.7% of trans inmates have experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of a prison staff member.”
  2. Let’s Stop Comparing Campus Sexual Assault Proceedings to Criminal Trials — Konidaris Law
  3. #Me Too is about more than stopping rape. We demand more | Jessica Valenti | Opinion | The Guardian
  4. (89) Dinner Discussion – SNL – YouTube
    Sketch about some friends at dinner being scared to discuss Aziz Ansari. I think there’s something to this – people are too scared of messing up.
  5. Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to ‘prompt conversation’ | Art and design | The Guardian
    The article explains that this artificially created controversy is intended to be a conceptual art piece, and that the gallery intends to resume displaying the painting at some point. I’m skeptical of the value of this exercise at all; critically examining the painting is fine, but doing it this way seems designed to generate more heat than light.
  6. Give all immigrants the right to vote
    “Between 1776 and 1926, Hayduk’s research shows, up to 40 states permitted immigrants to vote in local, state and federal elections.”
  7. Turning a Unicorn into a Bat: the Post in Which We Announce the End of our Marriage | The Weed
    A Mormon couple, one of whom came out as gay five years ago, reaches a turning point.
  8. Achtung Baby by Sara Zaske, reviewed.
    “…contemporary German parents give their children a great deal of freedom—to do dangerous stuff; to go places alone; to make their own mistakes, most of which involve nudity, fire, or both.”
  9. But see also Jane Yager’s comments on that German parenting article.
  10. This four minute video by a Palestinian Israeli, of his encounter with a Jewish family, is very striking.
  11. The Weaponization of Nostalgia: How Afghan Miniskirts Became the Latest Salvo in the War on Terror – Ajam Media Collective
  12. The Dark Art of Stealing from Self-Checkouts – The Atlantic
    In my twenties, I definitely would have shoplifted something via the self-checkout, because I was poor, and just because I could. But now, it honestly didn’t occur to me… until I read this article. (Still won’t do it, though.)
  13. Kansas Scrambles To Change Rules After 6 Teens Enter Governor’s Race : The Two-Way : NPR
  14. Single Mothers Are Not the Problem – The New York Times
    “Ultimately, there simply aren’t enough single mothers to explain our high poverty. Even if they all married or never had children, poverty would not be substantially lower.”
  15. All of Groundhog Day shown as a single Groundhog day.
    “I wanted to see what it would be like if the events of the movie Groundhog Day all took place simultaneously. The film shows 37 separate days from Phil’s thousands of Groundhog Days in Punxsutawney.” The video is a half-hour long, and is oddly compelling… or at least, it is to met I’ve seen that movie a kazillion times.
  16. Nigel, the world’s loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved – The Washington Post
    He built it a nest.
  17. A new Vox poll reveals surprising nuance in public opinion on abortion
    “…18 percent of Americans, like King, pick “both” when you ask them to choose between pro-life and pro-choice. Another 21 percent choose neither. Taken together, about four in 10 Americans are eschewing the labels that we typically see as defining the abortion policy debate.”
  18. I’m sort of obsessed with this The Invisible Man poster by Jonathan Burton. I tried to buy one, but it sold out in two minutes. I can still get it on Ebay for four times the price….
  19. What no politician wants to admit about gun control – Vox
    The very mild measures that Democrats have proposed, would probably have only mild effects on the gun death rate.
  20. She killed 115 people before the last Korean Olympics. Now she wonders: ‘Can my sins be pardoned?’ – The Washington Post
  21. GOP lawmakers take aim at WHO agency over Roundup ingredient
  22. First modern Britons had ‘dark to black’ skin, Cheddar Man DNA analysis reveals | Science | The Guardian
  23. North Korea: what war with the US would look like – Vox
    “A full-blown war with North Korea wouldn’t be as bad as you think. It would be much, much worse.”
  24. N.Y. landlord obliterated dozens of graffiti murals. Now he owes the artists $6.75 million. – The Washington Post
  25. I Spent Two Years Trying to Fix the Gender Imbalance in My Stories – The Atlantic
  26. This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe – The New York Times
    “Before about 25 years ago, the species simply did not exist. A single drastic mutation in a single crayfish produced the marbled crayfish in an instant.”
  27. The Minimum Wage And The Price of Comics.
    The real cost of buying a comic book has been going up much faster than the minimum wage – or the cost of going to a movie. No wonder sales have plummeted.
  28. Speaking of which, I wrote a thread on Twitter arguing that it’s ridiculous to think that the sales problems of comics are due to more diverse characters and a few pros being rude on Twitter. This is in response to #ComicsGate, which is an attempt to take the failures of GamerGate and the Rabid/Sad Puppies and make them happen for comics, too.
  29. Why this economist thinks public education is mostly pointless – Vox
  30. Former Slaves’ Folklore of Abraham Lincoln in the South – The Atlantic
    “They said he came in disguise as a beggar or a peddler, bummed free meals off his unsuspecting white hosts, snooped around to find out what slavery was like, and told the slaves they would soon be free.”
  31. Trump slump? Remington files for bankruptcy amid declining gun sales. – The Washington Post
  32. What’s the difference between sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape?
  33. And another twitter rant from me: A thread about the misuse of trans suicide statistics by Ryan Anderson. Anderson just wrote a book about (well, against) trans issues, called “When Harry Became Sally,” so it would have been nice if he’d at least read the studies he cites.
  34. Woman Adopts Senior Dog, Who Turns Out To Be Her Childhood Pet – The Dodo
  35. Trump concocted a story about a border agent’s death. The truth won’t catch up. – The Washington Post
  36. We had a great day at the park with our autistic son, until someone called the police – The Washington Post
    His hair wasn’t brushed and someone was worried that his parents weren’t taking good care of him.
  37. You Can Call Yourself Fat – Kiva Bay – Medium
    “I worry that fat activism has begun to build a new version of the Good Fatty, that within fat activism there is a certain excessive pushback against fat people who don’t perform their fatness with as much purity as we would prefer.”
  38. Artist creates bizarre characters by getting models to bend over and drawing faces on them

Posted in Link farms | 79 Comments  

Cartoon: The Puerto Rico Loop

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The ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico is being mostly ignored by virtually all institutions on the mainland. It’s impossible to imagine that the crisis would have been allowed to go on so long, with so little attention, had it happened in Connecticut.

The cycle of no attention is frustrating and it makes me feel helpless – which usually means, time to draw a cartoon. I’ve done cartoons before in which the last panel repeated the first panel, implying a loop, but this time I wanted to try drawing it as a literal loop.

I’m pretty pleased with how this one looks – big heads and lots of cross hatching is increasingly becoming my jam.

Transcript of cartoon.

The main body of this cartoon shows three groupings of figures. Large arrows point counterclockwise from each group to the next group.

At the top of the loop, a balding man in an expensive suit speaks directly to the readers, while shrugging.
SUIT DUDE: We can’t put tax dollars into helping Puerto Rico if the voters don’t care about it.

A big arrow leads from the man in the suit, to a television set, showing two news anchors, a man and a woman. They are both shrugging and looking into the camera. The anchorwoman speaks.

ANCHORWOMAN: If the government does nothing about Puerto Rico, there’s nothing for us to report.

A large arrow leads from the television set to a man and a woman standing on a hillside. The man is wearing a plaid shirt and scratching his head in bewilderment; the woman, wearing a hoodie and a skirt with a dotted pattern, looks directly at the reader and speaks while shrugging.

WOMAN: If it’s constantly on the news, we forget it exists.

A large arrow leads from the two people, back up to the politician in a suit.

At the very bottom of the cartoon, a small “kicker” panel shows a fat man with a beard and glasses speaking directly to the readers.
BARRY: There’s no way to break out of this cycle! …Unless the victims are white.

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Media, Media criticism | 8 Comments  

Open Thread and Link Farm, Painting Marie and Louis Edition

  1. To understand why America’s opioid epidemic keeps getting worse, just look at this map – Vox
    The existing medical treatments we have for opiod addiction aren’t available in huge swathes of the country.
  2. Moira Donegan: I Started the Media Men List
    “In October, I created a Google spreadsheet called “Shitty Media Men” that collected a range of rumors and allegations of sexual misconduct, much of it violent, by men in magazines and publishing…”
  3. Everyone Can Make AI-Generated Fake Porn Now – Motherboard
    What worries me about this software isn’t just the ability for people to convincingly put person x’s face on porn star y’s body, but what this will mean for the future of “fake news” – both the ability of people to create convincing fake videos, and the ability of people to convincingly claim that real videos are fake.
  4. Dan Harmon’s apology for sexually harassing Megan Gatz is worth listening to, and actually helped Gatz feel relief and vindication.
  5. In The Midst Of #MeToo, What Type Of Man Do You Want To Be?
  6. The reaction to the Aziz Ansari allegations shows #MeToo is more measured than its critics claim.
  7. Dr. Larry Nassar Sentenced to 40 to 175 Years for Sexual Abuse – The New York Times
    “The sentencing hearing itself garnered much attention for extending over several days, streamed live on the internet, to allow for what are known as victim impact statements from girls and women who he is accused of molesting over the years…. The final three of 156 victims spoke on Wednesday.”
  8. Gymnastics scandal: 8 times Larry Nassar could have been stopped – NBC News
    “I told somebody,” Boyce said. “Instead of being protected, I was humiliated and told that I was the problem.”
  9. Bring on the Conservative Debate for Immigration | The American Conservative
    “Many of Western civilization’s great thinkers believed in the free movement of peoples.”
  10. Do We Code-Switch Our Laughter? (Yes.) – Atlas Obscura
  11. Over the past 18 months, the New York Times has dedicated 21 columns and articles to the subject of conservatives’ free speech on campus, while only three covered the silencing of college liberals or leftists.
  12. Where Did Animals With Tail Weapons Go? Here’s a Back Story – The New York Times
  13. (75) The Actual Forgotten Working Class |Full Frontal on TBS – YouTube
    Did you know that many working class people aren’t white? If so, you know more than the media seems to.
  14. BBC – Future – Do men and women really have different personalities?
    A slightly more detailed discussion of some of the research Gracchi referred to in the “Toxic Masculinity Stew” comments.
  15. Vulgarity Isn’t Praxis | Noah Berlatsky on Patreon
    “The fantasy of stuffed shirt effeminate wealthy pearl clutchers opposed by virile brave cursing truth tellers is in fact a fantasy—and a dangerous one. Once you’ve convinced yourself that vulgarity is a sign of authenticity, then anyone who uses vulgarity becomes an avatar of the working class.”
  16. Stop Listening to Seth Abramson’s Hack Trump-Russia Theories :: Paste
  17. BITTER HARVEST – The Washington Post
    The WW2 Japanese Interment camps were motivated as much by profit as by anything else.
  18. Pennsylvania’s Death Row Prisoners Argue That the Right to Execute Does Not Include the Right to…
  19. State by state, here are the most binge-watched TV shows of 2017 | The Seattle Times
    The most binged watched on Netflix, anyhow. Still, it’s interesting. Several most-binged shows are ones that I hadn’t heard of, but which sound really neat (like “American Vandal”).
  20. Why don’t dreamers just become legal citizens?
  21. How the far right has perfected the art of deniable racism | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
  22. Scott Walker Is Literally Preventing Wisconsinites From Voting | The Nation
    Scott Walker is refusing to call elections to fill empty seats in the legislature, presumably because he’s worried that Democrats could win those seats. Given Walker’s enormous prominence, the lack of Republican party opposition to Walkers anti-democracy policies should be seen as approval.
  23. | Border Patrol arrests ASU instructor who gave food, water to immigrants
    The instructor is part of “No More Deaths,” an activist group that, shortly before the arrest, released video of border patrol agents deliberately destroying water meant for migrants. He was arrested for harboring. This is just sheer evil.
  24. Cow runs away from farm and spends the winter with a herd of bison – BBC News
  25. Why You Shouldn’t Think for Yourself | Noah Berlatsky
  26. Don’t Be Accountable to Nazis | Noah Berlatsky on Patreon

Posted in Link farms | 7 Comments  

My Ten Best Political Cartoons of 2017

Of course, “best” is subjective; these are just my ten favorites, presented more-or-less in order of publication. Click on the title of any of the cartoons to see a transcript of that cartoon.

If you like these cartoons, and can spare it, please support my Patreon! Every $1 pledge means a lot.

Continue reading

Posted in Cartooning & comics | 3 Comments  

Rachelle Escamilla’s Interview with Me On “Out of Our Minds” on KKUP Cupertino | San Jose

I had the pleasure last week of spending an hour talking with Rachelle Escamilla, who interviewed me for her poetry radio show, “Out of Our Minds.” We talked about many things, including the politics of the canon, of race in the classroom, and the sexual politics of poetry readings, but I was, of course, most happy to talk about my two books of poetry, The Silence of Men and, my newest book, Words for What Those Men Have Done. I got a chance to read “Gender Politics,” a poem I have only read out loud once or twice before, and the title poem, “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer.” I also read a couple of love poems from The Silence of Men. I hope you’ll consider giving a listen.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment  

Cartoon for MLK Jr Day

This cartoon was posted today on The Nib.

If you enjoy my cartoons, and can spare it, please support them on Patreon! A $1 pledge means a lot.

The legacy of MLK Jr. is awe-inspiring, but cannot be summarized in a single line. He was a radical who somehow, in many Americans’ memories, has morphed into a moderate.

Or even, in some cases, a right-winger. The specific thing that inspired this cartoon was a Facebook post from Sarah Palin. This was in 2014, so the president she was addressing was Barack Obama. Here’s what Palin posted:

Happy MLK, Jr. Day!

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.

Oy vey.

Transcript of cartoon:

A Black woman sits in an armchair, holding a little baby. The baby is crying.
CAPTION: MLK Jr was born.

A young Black boy sits up in bed, in a dark bedroom, clutching his blanket.
CAPTION: Then he had a dream.
BOY: I had a dream that someday our children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin! So stop playing the race card!
OFF-PANEL VOICE: Martin, go to sleep!

Panel three shows a graveyard, The gravestone in the foregound has, carved on it, “Martin Luther King Junior. “Stop Playing The Race Card.”
CAPTION: And he NEVER said or did anything else EVER. And then he died. The end!


Posted in Cartooning & comics, Race, racism and related issues, Racism | Comments Off  

Cartoon: Our (Shit)Whole Immigration Policy

A new cartoon on Spliter today!

If you enjoy these cartoons, and you can spare it, please support my Patreon! A $1 pledge means a lot.

This is definitely a strange month for me! Normally four out of four cartoons I do each month are only published on my social media – here, Patreon, Twitter, Facebook. But this month, as it turns out, three out of four are being published elsewhere! (I have an MLK-related cartoon coming up, which I suppose they’ll post tomorrow.)

This cartoon was published today on Splinter. And, in a first for me, I didn’t pitch the idea to Splinter – instead, Splinter reached out to me and asked if I could do something for something on Trump’s “shithole” comment. It’s not something I ordinarily do – “shithole” is very much a story-of-the-week, and I prefer to do cartoons on more lasting issues – but it was so nice to be asked that I said “yes.”

Aside from Trump’s use of a swear word, what struck me is how much Trump’s statement puts the lie to the frequent Republican claim that they’re in favor of merit and judging people as individuals. Trump said that we shouldn’t be accepting anyone from some nations – basically, from majority Black nations – a view that is the polar opposite of merit and judging people as individuals. So I decided to try and get at that in my cartoon.

Some people might say that this is Trump, not the Republican party. But as far as I’m concerned, Trump IS the Republican party. When you elect someone President, you’re also electing them to be the face of your party; if the GOP had wanted someone else, they would have chosen someone else. And although Trump expresses it crudely, it’s clear that he’s saying nothing about immigration that the Republican base doesn’t agree with.

That’s why I drew a random Republican spokesman here, rather than drawing Trump himself. We don’t want to fall for the illusion that Trump is something radically different from the GOP, rather than the long-existing garbage in a cruder bag.

Artwise, I had to draw this fast – I actually did this in one day. (A long day – I was scheduled to eat dinner at a friend’s house that night, and brought my tablet and finished drawing it at their dining room table! – but still just one day). A strip like “Toxic Masculinity Stew” I spent ages drawing, but you can’t do that when an editor has asked for a cartoon to be delivered fast.

So I chose a single figure standing at a podium – which is just about the easiest thing I could draw. But, having chosen that, I did my best to work hard on the single figure – doing his suit by careful cross-hatching instead of just solid black, trying to make his expressions and hand movements varied and animated, etc. It’s simple, but I can still try to do a good job with it.

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
A middle-aged or older man, handsome in a grandfatherly way, stands behind a podium wearing a brown suit. He looks stern and serious, and raises his left index finger into the air as he speaks.

MAN: Republican Immigration policy is NOT racist! “American first” is not racist! “Merit-based” is not racist!

Panel 2
A close-up of the man, who is now smiling genially, and shrugging.
MAN: The Republican policy isn’t about anything but MERIT! We want immigrants who can contribute to our society and grow our economy! Judging people as individuals is NOT racist!

Panel 3
Final panel. The man makes a fist and is now scowling angrily.
MAN: Oh, and we don’t want anyone from Africa, Haiti or any of those SHITHOLE countires. That’s it. Bye now!

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Immigration, Migrant Rights, etc, In the news, Race, racism and related issues | Comments Off