Archive for September, 2009

Missing the Civility Lesson…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, September 14, 2009

I kind of make it seem like this actually happened. To the best of my knowledge, it didn’t. But it could have. And “could have” is all you need in the cartooning world. (Have you noticed that the world is becoming more and more cartoonish every day?)


If the Recession Is Indeed over…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, September 7, 2009

Actually, the first metaphor that came to mind for this didn’t involve vampires. Rather, I thought of moles that occasionally attack my yard. Well, “attack” is perhaps needlessly inflammatory — I guess it’s really more of a herd migration. A slow, underground herd migration. Not very majestic, but let’s move on.

When the moles show up, there was a time I would try to battle them off with traps, poison pellets, castor oil, and occasional curses. I fought the good fight and had some minor victories, but — being unwilling resort to intense chemical warfare, the moles generally ate what they came to ate and then left. Now that’s how it goes. When the moles get tired, they leave. And we have so many dang trees, my yard has limited areas of mole-preferred feeding grounds so they aren’t around for long. But, that said,  it’s much easier to think of the recession in terms of vampires than moles (and much more fun to draw), so that’s the way I went.

Slightly off-topic, but still comics related. I read a blog called The Comics Curmudgeon. The blogger (bloggist?) is a guy name Josh Fruhlinger and the idea is that he reads newspaper cartoons so you don’t have to and explains what’s going on. Generally these are the older serial strips like Mary Worth, Apartment 3G, Mark Trail, etc. But he also opines on “funny” strips. And by “funny,” I mean “funny” (the quotation marks with the full intent of indicating the word has the opposite meaning). This is of course a recipe for the sort of snarky, tedious blog that drains the soul. But Josh is an excellent writer and actually pulls it off quite well.

The reason I tell you this is because I was another bout of “why in God’s name are there so many crappy comic strips still cluttering the newspaper pages when there are clearly infinitely better ones available (Frazz, Speed Bump, Pearl Before Swine, Cul de Sac, to name a few) to replace them?” Today’s entry — and the particular comic strips he chose — seemed to illustrate my thoughts.


What Has the Government Ever Done for Us?…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 31, 2009

The easiest crowd-pleasing editorial cartoon to draw is the one with a sketch of something horrible or stupid, then slap a “government” label on it. Yes! Stupid, horrible government! Always messing up EVERYTHING!!! Government dumb-heads! We mock you because you are stupid and horrible all of the time!!!

Which is fine for editorial cartoonists. We’re under deadlines, and we really can’t be expected to think up new ideas all the time, can we? But, you… you not-editorial cartoonists! When you default to an “all government is bad” diatribe, well, that’s just being intellectually lazy.

And while I would love to spend a couple paragraphs taking you to task, I have some work to do so I can pay all of my money in taxes to the stupid, horrible government! But I leave you with this classic from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, “What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?”


“An Idle Moment” vs. “Soul-crushing Boredom”…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, August 2009


Mr. Fitzthrower and Ms. Pantybunches…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 24, 2009

Mr. Fitzthrower is a surly toe-cramp of a man who figured out the answer to everything 30 years ago and is just aching for somebody to express a view remotely to the contrary so he can unleash the pack of nonsensical expletives he kennels in his soul. Ms. Pantybunches is a rigid scanning-electron-microscope of a woman whose senses are entirely narrowed to detect that which she might take offense for the sole purpose of delivering her case for said offense in such excruciating detail that your internal organs race to escape through your ear canals. They meet, fall in love, and wacky hijinks ensue.

Anyway, that’s my idea for the next great American sitcom. What’s yours?