This cartoon is a collaboration with Kevin Moore.
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I get a lot of suggestions for cartoons, and I take almost none of them. But once in a rare while…
Back in August, patron Brian Balk wrote:
Hey Barry, I hope you’re well. I’m just writing to share a cartoon idea I had, of police officers using CPR training dummies to practice choke holds.
I wrote Brian back saying, essentially, “maybe.” But the idea kept coming back to me, and I mentally played with structuring the gag a few different ways. When one of the ideas made me chuckle, I wrote a script for it and put it in my “to be drawn someday” folder.
I offered it to Kevin Moore to draw – his slightly grotesque style seemed to fit well with these slightly grotesque characters – and, happily, Kev said yes.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. In addition, there’s a tiny fifth “kicker” panel under the comic strip.
A middle-aged politician-looking dude wearing a suit and tie, and with thick hair neatly parted in the middle, is standing behind a podium with microphones on it. Behind him, we can see a building with a large sign above the entrance saying “City Hall.” Let’s call this guy “Mayor.”
MAYOR: The protesters say the police cannot be reformed – that police culture is beyond saving. That we must abolish and start over.
A couple of hands are holding a tablet; on the tablet, the mayor, raising a finger and with a very serious expression, continues speaking.
MAYOR: The protestors are wrong! Nothing’s wrong with police culture. We don’t need major reform, just some slight adjustments!
Another panel showing the mayor at the podium. This is a wider shot, and we can see that the “City Hall” building behind him is just a flat image on a backdrop. In front of him is a large professional looking video camera, and next to the camera a man with a mustache is grinning and giving the mayor a “thumbs up” signal. The mayor is grinning and pumping one fist victoriously in the air.
MAYOR: For example, the city just purchased new CPR dummies for police to train on. We will show people that police can be heroes and healers!
We’re in a new location – a large empty room with wood-paneled floors (or vinyl with a wood pattern, more likely), like some gymnasiums have. There are three men here, all wearing blue police tees and shorts. The nearest cop is holding a CPR dummy in a chokehold. Next to him, another cop, wearing a helmet and visor, is raising a nightstick to hit the CPR dummy with. In the background, a third cop is watching and taking notes in a little notepad.
FIRST COP: Okay, let’s train! I’ve got the dummy in a choke hold… Harry, you beat it with your nightstick.
HARRY: Can’t I shoot it instead?
SMALL KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP
The third cop from panel 4 – the one who was taking notes – is asking the mayor a question. The mayor looks at the cop with a somewhat distressed expression.
COP: Do CPR dummies come in Black?