Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold toons

As I freeze my tuckus off this morning, I thought I'd post the drawings that ran in the Wisconsin State Journal over the weekend.

At this time of year, I look back at the cartoons I've drawn in 2008 and I think this is one of the better ones. The idea is just great, even if the drawing isn't the best.

What's sad about this cartoon is that the fact that a Wisconsin lawmaker got busted for drinking and driving has barely cracked the headlines statewide. This is sad for two reasons. One is demonstrates the state continued tolerance for drinking and driving. Two the incident illustrates that people really just don't care about state government in Wisconsin. If we did, this would have been bigger news.

The other illustration went with Rick Horowitz's yearly political christmas carol column. I must say I really liked the illustration, but it definately didn't reproduce as well in color in the newspaper, as it looks online. The purple I used in the background got muddy, the yellow highlights on the faces didn't blend nicely, and the yellow backgrounds started to look the same color as my new son's poop. I really wish I had had the opportunity to look at this before it went to the presses, because with 5 minutes in photoshop I could have really helped the colors. Oh well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More 911 Mess

More emails are being released about the Dane County's 911 call center's mishandling of the Zimmerman phone call. Apparently the dispatcher who mishandled the call wrote several emails to her superiors complaining about the equipment at the center, and most interesting the Madison Police Department's attitude. While the equipment complaints seem bogus the local media outlets have focused on that, but what is interesting to me is the dispatchers complaint that police don't like being dispatched to GPS locations, and not full addresses. (Zimmerman called from a cellphone, and the dispatcher couldn't pinpoint her exact address, only her general location). This is contrary to the Police department repeated claim that they only if they would have been dispatched they could have caught the killer.

Now both sides are playing the blame game, and the case doesn't appear any closer to being solved.

Old Cartoons

Here a couple of cartoons I drew last week.
The idea is a little obvious, but boy did the drawing just turn out spectacular. I just love the child-like glow in Doyle's eyes.
And this cartoon was for the Tampa Tribune:

I think the caricature of Crist is my best so far, but I really wanted to this cartoon:

But it was too radical for the conservative Tampa Tribune.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here is my most recent editorial cartoon for the Wisconsin State Journal.

This was supposed to be a quick swipe at the Yankees for stealing the Brewer's star pitcher, and it turned into a multi-day fiasco, of back and forth squabbling with my editor over the drawing of the cartoon. In the end this turned out OK, but it was a serious pain in the butt.

Here are some of the earlier incarnations.
This was what I originally sent my editor. He thought it wasn't quite clear enough and too hard to read (he was right). So I had rework the Grinch and C.C. Sabathia in about 30 minutes. Which led to this:After I was happy with the new drawing I added color and some little details (like this Homer sweet homer sign) which I thought added to the atmosphere of the cartoon, but some folks at the paper thought it was distracting, so that had to go as well. And of course I had to make many of these changes in both the black and white and color versions of the cartoon. I guess I have to learn to keep it simple stupid.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Below is today's cartoon.

Blagojevich seems like the sleeziest in a long line of sleezy Illinois governors. Sometimes when a politicians actions are so disgusting and reprenhensible, it's nice to contrast that behavior with the innocense of children.

I set this cartoon in a wintry scene because Madison and the rest of the state of Wisconsin got dumped on yesterday, not to compare Blagojevich's actions to the purity of the driven snow. I am in no way that deep. Thank God!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Leckrone BS

I am really starting to get sick of folks defending Mike Leckrone and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. For those of you not privy to the goings on of Wisconsin's favorite Marching Band, for the second time since I've lived in Madison (since 2005) the marching band has come under fire for it's disgusting hazing rituals.

The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison's daily newspaper, which regularly publishes my editorial cartoons, condemned Leckrone in an editorial last week, calling for his firing if the band steps out of line again. Then the shit hit the fan.

Whether it's on talk radio or in the Capital Times, people all across madison are crawling out of snowbanks and defending Leckrone, and condemning the State Journals editorial board. The problem is all of these defenders are relying on faulty argument.

The argument goes something like this: "The band is being unfairly punished, because athletes do bad things all the time, and nobody talks about firing Bret Bielema, Bo Ryan and Barry Alverez."

Here is what Dave Zweifel said recently on the Capital Times website:

"If Mike Leckrone's job is to be held hostage to what a few of those 300-plus band members might crudely do, then let's make coaches and other athletic administrators equally responsible for the students under their tutelage.

After all, Leckrone's kids didn't beat up their girlfriends, didn't start a fight outside a local pub that broke noses and loosened teeth, didn't drive drunk down Langdon Street, didn't buy drugs at a local crack house or commit any of the other infractions of a small minority of UW athletes. Many of those resulted in actual criminal charges."

The problem is these athlete's that are behaving badly are not HAZING, they are just acting like idiot punks. What the immature idiots punks in the band are doing is using the artificial hierarchy to exploit younger members of the band. There is a huge difference.

Individual bad behavior needs to be punished individually. Hazing needs to be handled systemattically because the hazers are using the school sponsored system to exploit there peers.

I am in no way trying to defend UW athletics. UW athletes who break the law should be punished.

Hazing on sports teams needs to be addressed, but I really doubt it's a huge issue for the big ticket sports that are always being attacked. What kind of the idiot would haze 260+ lb. freshman tailback John Clay, really.

Monkey-ing around

For some reason both of the cartoons I drew last night prominently present primates, even though the cartoons will run on opposite sides of the country.

Here are the 'toons.
This cartoon for the Wisconsin State Journal deals with the 911 center's inability to explain how they botched a call from girl who was reported screaming on the phone, and was found dead about 1 hour later. 911 did not dispatch police to the scene, and have been hesitant to admit any wrong doing.
This cartoon deals with Mel Martinez's coveted U.S. Senate Seat. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is considering running for the seat and would easily win the Republican nomination if he chose to run. Ironically, part of the reason Senator Martinez is retiring, is because he was too closely linked the George W. Bush administration, and that made him unpopular. But in Florida, President Bush's little brother Jeb is stil surprisingly popular.

I think I need more practice drawing monkeys but these cartoons turned out OK.