If you like these cartoons, why not support them on Patreon? It’s because of lots of patrons pledging $1 or $2 that I get paid – and then I can pay Kevin in turn. And I think Kevin supports my patreon, too? And come to think of it, I support his. It’s like a virtuous cycle of small amounts of money moving around in circles.
We’ve been seeing more Kevin around here lately because I love Kevin’s style; it’s expressive, grotesque and a little old-school in a way that reminds me of the better “Mad Magazine” artists.
Normally, on these collaborations, I do the lettering and draw the word balloons. Kevin chose to do all that himself, this time. I don’t think most readers will notice – good lettering should mostly go unnoticed – but to my eye the lettering looks hugely different on this one.
This cartoon is about maternity leave, which should be the easiest, least controversial issue in the world – of course people should have maternity leave. We need maternity leave just to make the world a bit fairer to people having children.
But it’s also really good for everyone. Because all of us, even childless folk like me, need there to be children so there can be a next generation to grow up and support my Patreon.
(And also keeping society running generally. I suppose that matters too.)
But this cartoon is also about the sky-is-falling overreactions we always see for anything that regulates business or benefits workers, no matter how sensible. Soccer players have learned to play the refs by faking agonizing injuries if a player from the other team so much as gently bumps them. Corporations have learned a similar strategy. Absolutely everything is, in the rhetoric of corporations and their apologists, an existential threat to business.
(Geez, if capitalistic businesses are that frail and tenuous, maybe we need a more robust alternative?)
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. All four are set in a mall; we can see a hot dog place, and in the background is a mall kiosk with a sign that says “Kitsch Empire.” There are three characters: A male executive in a suit and necktie, and two pregnant workers, both dressed in food court uniforms (but different uniforms, so presumably they work for different food outlets). One of the workers has a nametag, and the other has a ridiculous tall chef’s hat striped in the same tacky colors as the sign for the hot dog place.
The executive has his back to the workers, but is turning back to bark at them.
NECKTIE: Maternity leave? Why do you people hate liberty?
SILLY HAT: What?
Necktie now has a hurt expression on his face. Nametag replies with a skeptical expression.
NECKTIE: When you force a corporation to give maternity leave, you take away its freedom!
NAMETAG: But what about our freedom to…
A close up of Necktie, who is now wailing like an infant, crying and balling his fists.
NECKTIE (yelling): Would you clip the soaring eagle’s wings? Would you gag the might lion’s roar?
Necktie, still sobbing, has dropped to his knees and is hugging Nametag around her legs. Nametag pulls back, taken aback. Silly hat holds up a hand to whisper a comment to Nametag.
NECKTIE: SOB! Just let business be free! Waaaaah!
SILLY HAT: And they call us needy.
This cartoon on Patreon.