BP Oil: when everyone knows your name, but nobody likes you.

BP Oil Spill Cartoons

A lot of very busy, important sites have linked to me in the past for some reason, but I was amused when I was linked on Google’s finance page for BP Oil for my recent cartoon on BP. I loved the high volume traffic from this, but there’s a reason editorial cartoons are on the OPINION page, and not in the Business section! I was one of the first 2 or 3 cartoonists to have a cartoon out on the oil spill, since I seem to be one of the only ones interested in animal rights and environmental issues. So I was furious at British Petroleum. But still, I am a capitalist, and it seems odd that a cartoon would end up on their finance page, when they are in business, as sleazy as it is this time…

Los Angeles Times roundup of oil disaster cartoons

So, anyway, back to the cartoons I’ve edited for this week’s LA Times roundup. (I explain how and why I do this roundup over here. Because the Times needs me, they really, really need me.) As I promised last week, we have a theme this week of the oil spill disaster. There were some really great, moving cartoons, and even the usual old-fashioned guys who still think the world is just black and white, look good with this subject.

This is a gorgeous cartoon by Steve Breen- really more of a poster or illustration look. It reminds me of botanical illustrations in a way. I’ve seen a couple exhibitions of them – it’s so inspiring, the way they marry science and art! The stiff way these animals are all profiled, and the fact that one is half way out of the picture is interesting, too. And on a personal note, birds are kind of my thing, so I picked live rather than dead ones for these cartoons. This drawing is not reminiscent of SoCal beaches – well, maybe down in Oceanside a bit – but birder culture is very big in LA, and growing here.

I picked Drew Sheneman’s cartoon right away, because it really made me laugh! Whoever said Republicans don’t have a sense of humor must have been a Dem. I don’t know Sheneman’s work that well, but Gocomics says he is on the left. So is he making a leftie jab at Republicans? Or did he know how funny this was when he wrote it? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt! Funny. This cartoon would probably have looked better in color, but this at least has lots of shades.

Signe came out with this cartoon very early after the disaster. It just makes a good point in an effective way. I didn’t get why it was 2 panels at first, as I would have done just one, but that’s probably because she’s much more experienced than me, and won a Pulitzer, too! This is a great cartoon. And I’ve seen cars here and there in LA /sarcasm, so I think the Times readers will get and appreciate this one.  

Ah, Cummings, another cartoonist with just one name. Cummings is one of 3 honorable mentions this week, for an excellent and attractive rendering of a sad situation. (Back to note above: yes, this crawfish is dead, but we can’t see any details, so still okay.)

Another cartoon that made me laugh! It’s rare that I find 2 cartoons a week that make me laugh. It’s this guy’s expression and his flyaway hair and relu

Political cartoons for the LA Times for May 10, 2010.

I’m a little late for my roundup of last week’s best cartoons. Okay, way late.

I think I’m on the other side, though. And I couldn’t let the whole week go by without pointing out the best cartoons of the week…for the Los Angeles Times crowd, that is! (Speaking about editors and awards, I used to write bitter posts here about Time Magazine’s Cartoons of the Week. I don’t bother anymore. Turns out Time chooses cartoons from only 3 syndicates – BORING – and so their choices are extremely limited, and are only what they pay for. Like every newspaper in town. So their famous award…not so meaningful now.)

Aside from the BP oil spill – which according to my own stats, ranks right up there with Tiger Woods in the public’s interest and concern – not that many big stories last week. The headline on USA Today for Friday’s big news was about the weather: Gloom predicted in several states. That says it all.

As it happens, all my picks this week come from Cagle Cartoons, which is the most local syndicate to Los Angeles, anyway.

What a great looking cartoon! Cameron Cardow is not only pretty, but has combined two issues in one: both the oil spill and the Goldman Sachs dustup (piggy activity).  Even though we are home to movie stars (and of course, oil wells, if you remember Beverly Hillbillies) all of us here know that even the stars love a good bargain! Why do you think  swag bags proliferate at every single event? And so, the LA Times gets a double header with this cartoon.

Great colors, limited gradient or fade tool (my least favorite effect in Photoshop) and super concept. Funny, there are an awful lot of Goldman Sachs rear ends in this cartoon…  

(I love this cartoon, but there are so many good oil slick cartoons out right now that I think I’ll also make it the theme for next week.)

I just love a little mythology thrown into the mix! Kind of like Lost does, but Lost is rather sucky this season, so let’s concentrate on Icarus. I knew Icarus was a Greek hero who made his own wings and flew too close to the sun and died, very sad. But Wiki also adds that he could have been the person who invented sails on boats, which is somewhat like flying, I guess, since roller coasters hadn’t been invented yet, and then he still died by falling out of the boat and drowning. (like Fate, in Lost…)

Political oil, immigration, Facebook cartoons for the LA Times for May 2, 2010.

Of course, the two big stories this week are British Petroleum’s lies-and-dereliction-of-duties oil spill, and Arizona’s bill to curb illegal immigration. (Oh, and my car accident, but that’s big only to the people involved, and certainly won’t be mentioned in this week’s news for the Los Angeles Times… )Also, the Greek economy meltdown. I didn’t even know about it until I started reviewing cartoons for my competition here, and it’s kind of obvious that the American cartoonists don’t understand any more about it than I do, so hopefully we can include that next week.

The oil spill got me the maddest, so let’s start with that. The media kept calling it An oil spill, as if it were natural, and not a huge MANMADE disaster by BP, which is cleverly hiding its name: British Petroleum.

Some very good cartoons are starting to come in – Signe Wilkinson perhaps the best so far, and certainly more moderate than mine on Friday! – but I chose this one by Davies for the Times. I just love a little sarcasm with my coffee! And Matt Davies’ style certainly matches the subject. I would have dropped the labels, which I’m sure he added just out of habit. I mean, who can’t tell it’s oil? Nice round edges of the thick chemical crawling up the beach.

It’s funny, Daryl is quite mild-mannered in person, and also reasonable and fair. He’s a good person to run Political Cartoons.com, and I’ve told the Times he would also make an excellent cartoon editor there. Yet his cartoons are often rather violent, so there may be another side to him! Here is an excellent example, with a huge nail embedded on the stick held by Arizona, and the destroyed pinata looking like a possible corpse with a sombrero… Daryl is very liberal, and, well, you’ll have to interpret this one for yourselves.

Great colors and design, Daryl! And we certainly need more cartoons about candy.

I found this cartoon amusing! This is the 2nd cartoon of Michael’s that I’ve chosen – he was the last editorial cartoonist for the LA Times before they decided to drop cartoons as a regular, important feature.  Immigration is a huge issue in California, of course, and both Daryl and Michael are locals, so I think it’s only fitting that their cartoons are spot on for this Times roundup. (Michael Ramirez is conservative, and I wanted a take opposite Daryl’s, so that’s why there are 5 cartoons in this collection rather than 4.) Michael is Hispanic himsel

Editorial cartoons for LA Times, April 2010.

Last week Joel Pett included a cartoon from Pulitzer Prize 2010 winner Mark Fiore in his selection of cartoons for the LA Times. He had to go back 10 years to find a cartoon by Fiore. This is because Fiore is an animator now, not a cartoonist, and hasn’t done cartoons for years. Is the Pulitzer Prize committee so terrified of the direction of journalism that they have to give an editorial prize to a MOVIE? Apparently, yes.

(Animation is included in the Academy Awards because it is a movie. It’s not in print anywhere, because it’s a movie. It has pages of dialogue, sound, music, voices, and much movie software because it’s a movie. It’s only in a handful of venues online because it uses up a hella lot of bandwidth, since it’s a movie.)

It looks like the Pulitzer judges can no longer be trusted to judge cartoons. I’m going to look into this further, and if this is the case, I’ll do my own judging for the Pulitzers next year, thanks.

Back to this week’s REAL cartoons that I think are best for the Los Angeles Times!

Dan Wasserman of Gocomics has a sly sense of humor! I liked one of his for last week’s roundup, too. Of course, he could have included a woman in the lineup, but that would just be icing on the cake. I am so ticked off at Goldman Sachs I could scream, as my grandmother would say. Humor is just a way of quieting the rage, while still drawing an excellent picture of how Goldman Sachs screwed the public. Again.

Here’s a great wordless cartoon by Arcadio Esquivel, of Mexico, I think, from Cagle Cartoons. Look at how the olive green and muted red bounce off each other! The cell phones look kind of dated…from 5 years ago? I wonder if priests really wear lemon colored tunics in other countries… No matter. Great illustration and comment. Since whites are now a minority in LA, I imagine Catholicism is the biggest religion, though I’m too lazy to look it up. Even so, the LA Times hates skeevy and anything too controversial, ev

Obama, pedophile priests, political Cartoons for April, 2010.

It’s Sunday, so it must be time for the Los Angeles Times Choice Awards! For editorial cartoons, that is!

I had to wade through a lot of elephants saying no to Obama (for Supreme Court nominees), and a lot of  Tea Party ridiculers, and of course Sarah Palin haters, before I found these gems. (I think Glenn McCoy and I may be the only cartoonists who even attempt to shed light on the liberal wussy left.)

I’ll start off today with a cartoonist who is firmly conservative, however: Lisa Benson from Gocomics.com.

Lisa is very local – lives somewhat to the North of LA, and is the cartoonist for a California paper. She usually attacks Obama, rather than political issues in general, as is true in this cartoon. For instance, one (like me) might target the evil bombing countries, but she prefers to blame the President! I picked this cartoon because the Nuclear Summit was in the news this week, and Obama’s facial expression and casual whistle as he walks away made me smile!

I guess I’m not always the best critic, because at first I thought she was saying Obama did a good job! But since the bomb is National Security, I guess not. Still, good cartoon (even though I don’t agree with the point of view) and she draws a credible Obama. Some other cartoonists might want to practice him, since he’ll be around for a while. :)

I picked almost all captionless cartoons this week. I prefer words, in general – no Wordless Wednesday for me! Also, I’m not a fan of black scratchy pen scrawls in online cartoons. Perhaps it looks better in the paper, which usually pays the bigger cartoonists like Mike Luckovich, so I see why they don’t want to change their style.  But nowadays, most people will see it online.

However, I couldn’t resist this one  of the Pope sweeping the pedophile

Op-Ed cartoons for the LA Times, April, 2010.

It’s Sunday, and time to choose the best cartoons for the LA Times Opinion section! This time, I’ve gone to the well of Political Cartoons, too, known as Cagle Cartoons, owned by Daryl Cagle, a fine cartoonist himself.

As happened last week, as I start going through the week’s cartoons I always start thinking – there aren’t enough good cartoons here. Uh-oh. And by the end I’ve picked more than I can use, and I feel very happy that there are so many great, entertaining cartoons out there! In spite of the economy, the foolish newspapers who have let their Editorial Cartoonist go, or use less cartoons than ever (LA Times, I’m looking at you), cartoonists are like crocuses, popping up even in the snow. Very proud to be part of the gang.

It’s funny, I don’t like foreign movies at all, but I do like some of the international cartoonists very much. Look: I’ve never seen an editorial cartoon that is completely wordless! You could use this for Wordless Wednesday! No labels, perfect.

This cartoon is not only quite charming, in a French 1950’s textbook way –  it explains a complicated, sensitive international news item in a way everyone can appreciate. I can’t speak for the cartoonist, but I read this as Ahmadinejad waiting for scraps to fall from the table of the bombs Obama and Netanyahu? are dismantling.

In Los Angeles, we’re of two minds about cats: we pass laws that they can’t be declawed, but also don’t want feral cats to just die…Anyway, I think it’s usually a dog who waits for scraps from the master’s table, and this looks more like a monkey, but the point is clear. Thanks, Christo!

I thought news teams did a great job this week investigating the Massey scandal of ignoring safety violations in the coal mining disaster in West Virginia. I read one story where one of the men who died, Josh Napper,  had a premonition the weekend before the disaster and wrote letters to his family – perhaps stimulated by gas leaks so bad the day before that the miners got out of work early. UGH to this disgusting company! And I’ll have my own cartoon on coal mining up tomorrow on Slate and Yahoo.

Joel of Goc