Help me make more cartoons by supporting my Patreon! A $1 or $2 pledge really helps.
I usually post my cartoons on Patreon a week or two (or more!) before I post them in public (like on “Alas”). It’s a way to say “thank you” to the folks supporting my cartoons.
The exception is when I do a cartoon about a current news story. Which I usually don’t – my “beat” is less daily news than it is long-term social justice issues. But sometimes, I really want to comment on something in the news… like with this cartoon. And in those cases, I do post the cartoons in public and here on Patreon on the same day. (I think my patrons would also want a cartoon like this seen while it’s timely.)
I do think looters are a legitimate news story – but they shouldn’t be the story. They’re a part of what’s happening, but a relatively small part. But hoo boy, does the mainstream media looooove them.
I thought of this cartoon on Monday, after reading a tweet from writer/comedian/actress Ashley Nicole Black. She wrote:
I keep seeing news anchors say “It’s unfortunate that the looters are taking attention away from the real issues” while they, the media, talk about looting instead of the real issues.
I sketched out the cartoon Monday night, putting in way too many words, and then my friends Becky and Kip helped me pare it back. (Thanks, y’all!). Then I drew and drew and drew until my shoulder hurt. And here we are!
As always, thanks to my patrons for supporting these cartoons. I really, seriously, honestly couldn’t do this without you.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. All four panels show a news show of some kind, with an anchorman who has very carefully combed hair. In panels one and four, we see the news show on the screen of a smartphone being held in someone’s hand; in panels two and three, we only see what’s on screen. At the bottom left of the screen in every panel is two rows of chyron text, a small block of text on top of a larger block of text.
A smartphone is being held in a hand. On the phone’s screen, we see a news anchor talking seriously, straight to the camera. A graphic on the upper right shows a hand in a striped sleeve holding a bag with “$” on it.
ANCHOR: And worst of all, looters take attention away from real issues!
ANCHOR: Here to talk to us about those issues is Denise Johnson of “Police Accountability Now.” Welcome, Denise.
CHYRON TEXT (upper): We think for you! #News12
CHYRON TEXT (lower): Looters! Live in fear!
The news screen is now in a split-screen, divided by a vertical line in the middle. On the right, the news anchor is talking with an inquisitive expression. On the left, a middle-aged Black woman, dressed in a professional fashion (blazer, black shirt, necklace) is speaking, with a friendly expression.
DENISE : Thank you for having me on.
ANCHOR: We’ve been talking about looters all day – but what about the underlying issues?
CHYRON TEXT (upper): There’s no #News12 without “ew!”
CHYRON TEXT (lower): Are Looters Outside Your Door?
The same shot. Denise is now speaking with a serious expression, her hands raised in a “I’m explaining” gesture. The anchor is suddenly angry looking, fists and shoulders raised.
DENISE : Okay. The first big reform we want is demilitarizing the police. Studies-
ANCHOR: Yes, exactly! It’s so frustrating that looters take attention away from proposals like that!
CHYRON TEXT (upper): #News12 is your only friend
CHYRON TEXT (lower): Looters Stole Your Housepet
Denise has been replaced by a black screen with a little electronic “blip” in the center, indicating that she has disappeared from screen. The anchor is smiling at the camera as he talks.
DENISE: Um… Okay. As I-
ANCHOR: Sorry, Denise, we’re out of time. Next up: Footage of looting!
CHYRON TEXT (upper): #News12 is your mom
CHYRON TEXT (lower): Looters Looters Ratings Looters