June 13, 2010
After Tuesday's primary, nobody had sharp eyes, ears, fangs and pencils at the ready like California cartoonists. Steve Greenberg zeroed in on spotty voter turnout — no, not the electorate but the candidates. Lisa Benson's stoked-up elephantine beach baby successfully surfed the big-money pipeline. But, as Rex Babin showed, those cash undercurrents can be tricky. His money-grubbing PG&E superhero wiped out, despite being amped up on a $50-million jolt of advertising. Bitchin'!
June 8, 2010 |
The whimsical children's book "Pete & Pickles" tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two mismatched characters: a free-spirited circus elephant and a strait-laced pig. The theme also applies to the odd pairing of the book's author, the irreverent cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, with the buttoned-down French company that has bought the rights to his book. Technicolor, the longtime film processing company and world's largest producer of DVDs, is venturing into an improbable new business of producing animated TV series, starting with an adaptation of "Pete & Pickles" and, eventually, feature films.
May 30, 2010
As Europeans watched their economies go south (all the way to Greece), their cartoonists revisited the classics. Ireland's Peter Schrank penned a mythical Medusa from whom the euro, ahem, shrank. Wouldn't you know, Norway's Roar Hagen deployed the obligatory Trojan horse (wooden, you know). But the Netherlands' Joep Bertrams topped both with his disarmingly simple depiction of a nation unable to pull itself up from financial calamity. Certain symbols are timeless — and cartoonists will still be using them when this crisis is ancient history.
May 13, 2010
Cartoonist Daniel Clowes, creator of "Ghost World" and "Art School Confidential," will present his new graphic novel, "Wilson," with a slide show. Comedian Dana Gould will act as the Q&A guest moderator, and Clowes will sign copies of the new book. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Fri. Free. (323) 660-1175. http://www.skylightbooks.com.
April 25, 2010
April 22 marked four decadent decades since the declaration of Earth Day, and the cartoon footprints were everywhere. Signe Wilkinson penned a simple but sharp, small-is-beautiful sentiment. (Less is always more in cartoons; I'm green with envy.) Nate Beeler aired his anti-regulatory grievances as political fallout kept coming from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption. And I pictured the anthropomorphic laments of songbirds and bees, great apes and big cats. After 40 years, we're still debating the fate of the Earth rather than doing much about it. Which means these cartoons could all be recycled for years to come.
April 18, 2010
The 2010 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning went to Mark Fiore, a San Francisco freelancer and online Flash-animation pioneer. Once a first-rate ink-on-pulp guy, Fiore was shortsightedly let go from the San Jose Mercury News in 2001. Pulling a cartoon from his past shows that time marches on but the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal perversely perseveres. Also chosen as Pulitzer finalists were 1976 winner Tony Auth, who trashes his un-energetic uncle in the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and, for the second straight year, Matt Wuerker, who tackles burning economic issues for Politico.
April 4, 2010
When we're positively weary of the negative (terrorism, famine, political polarization and the inevitability of debt and taxes), cartoonists can always fool around with sexual politics, taking strange political bedfellows to task. Tom Toles whipped out a piece punishing Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for some GOP extracurricular clubbing. I wondered if the right wing would ever get it right on gay rights. And Mike Luckovich discovered links between golf and the Vatican pedophilia scandal.
March 28, 2010
Healthcare reform cartoons hearkened back to the New Deal, the Fair Deal and, of course, Joe Biden's Big Expletive Deal. But at the epicenter of the historic and hysteric histrionics over womb-to-tomb care, once again, was abortion. Chuck Asay was stupefied as antiabortion Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) rolled over and played dead. Abortion rights advocate Signe Wilkinson took a hard line against a dysfunctional Congress and erectile dysfunction. I chose the middle ground, wondering when we will ever move beyond this most profoundly personal and divisive of do-or-die political issues.