Star Trek for Mother’s Day?

Star Trek cartoon and Wolverine cartoon for Mother\'s Day cartoon
"Should we take Mom to see Wolverine, or Star Trek?" © D. Barstow

Apparently my Slate cartoon didn’t post properly today, so my work was for naught. One of the joys of online commerce…

So here it is. Almost too late for Mother’s Day, but not too late for Wolverine and Star Trek fanciers.

Cartoon caption: 2 kids talk about movies. One of them notices a sign on a store saying Happy Mother’s Day (because obviously, he never would have remembered on his own) and says to his brother, Should we take Mom to see Wolverine, or Star Trek?

I like pigs, but not to eat.

My swine flu cartoon (H1N1 cartoon), up on the first page of Slate today, has gotten some attention from Google, new followers on Twitter, and my first hate mail. See, now this is being a REAL editorial cartoonist.

Well, the cartoon is about swine flu and Mexico, really, and I concentrated on Mexico, because swine flu in the US looks to be about the size of a head cold. It seems to kill only in Mexico – so far. But I’m not a physician, and am not very interested in disease. However, I couldn’t help but notice in the LA Times a few years ago, how the only incidences of tuberculosis in LA County were from Latino immigrants. The Times is a very liberal paper; it must have just killed them to admit this fact.

Slate cartoon on swine flu and MexicoWell, anyway, I have to report on the news, not wild hypotheses like 8 kids in NYC had a sniffle. And Mexico has been in the news lately for other sad things, has it not? Think of me as the sundial for cloudy days.

Thanks to Mashable (on Twitter!) I found this article in CNN on
Swine flu creates controversy on Twitter:

Some observers say Twitter — a micro-blogging site where users post 140-character messages — has become a hotbed of unnecessary hype and misinformation about the outbreak, which is thought to have claimed more than 100 lives in Mexico.

For example, some Twitter users told their followers to stop eating pork, he said. Health officials have not advised that precaution.

Etc.

That will be nice, won’t it, when the USDC has some actual facts. Besides calling it H1N1 flu, to try to make it look like they’re working on it.

Okay, let’s go to my mailbag -or hate mail, in this case – OOPS, just got another one.

Yeah, I hate AIG, too.

AIG, the worst insurance company of the year, and they have some tough competition. And there’s a dog in it for you, too.

This was for Slate, and I did it right before the big news broke about AIG asking for even more money, for those f-ing bonuses. On the day I did this, it was just “normal” money they requested.

I thought AIG was an insurance company, but some cartoonists were doing it as a bank…I think it’s an insurance company FOR banks. But this whole idea that the world’s economy will collapse if AIG dies is a bunch of baloney. Too big to fail? I don’t believe it for a minute, and I’m sure I’ll do another cartoon on that idea. And when did insurance companies get such a stranglehold on America, anyway?

Anyone can make comments on GoComics, where you can see this same cartoon, (Sorry, no links now. Uclick threw away 2 years of my cartoons on Slate, Gocomics and Yahoo News when they kicked me out of Gocomics.) with comments, as well as archived cartoons. And you can check out Slate to see all my editorial cartoons as I finish them.

I only use Paul Newman’s legendary salad dressing.

I heart Paul Newman! Not so much for his movies, although he was great – but for entering my own life by doing movies on location, where I found him in person.

I was dating the special effects guy on one film, and I remember he had to build a special sweat hut so Paul could sweat off all the beer he drank each day and still look trim for the film. (What, no Paul Newman beer? I think I saw a beer in his hand most of the time.) Another time, I was with some friends who went to a car race in Pennsylvania, and there he was, glowing on the track. He did have that star sparkle, and good for him.

He passed away this year, shortly before I started doing cartoons for Slate. You have to realize, I never even read editorial cartoons until the last year. Not ever.  So I was suprised and pleased that they also do cartoons about holidays (not just war holidays, like Memorial Day, but Easter, too) and also note when interesting or important people pass away. I would surely have done one

The Cartoonist Who Cried Wolves! Wolves!

Right after Obama took office he cancelled Bush’s plans to rewrite the Endangered Species Act, affecting wolves, among other animals. I took note of that, knew I wanted to do a cartoon on it, but then put it aside because I wasn’t sure if the EPA was already done, or just thinking out loud. Once you have to write about the news – and believe me, as an editorial cartoonist I’ve become a better journalist – you notice how much of the news is really stuff that might happen, or will happen. Then they report it all again when it does happen, as if it’s fresh meat!

So as I was saying, it actually did become law last Friday. Only Obama RESCINDED his protection promises for wolves, and turned them over to the lawless states, not the Federal government any more! So Bush’s original plan succeeded.  

The LA Times reported this in a very neutral, uninteresting, boring tone. In a blog there, not in the paper. Oh, and they left some things out. The NY Times gets it:

Jenny Harbine, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Bozeman, Mont., which has sued to keep the federal protections, said, “We’re disappointed.” She added, “Idaho has shown an eagerness to kill as many wolves as possible, and they are drawing up plans for killing wolves

Dancing With the Stars leeches off of The Bachelor. Thanks, ABC.

Why I Did It:   It’s a brand new world. Now I have to read the newspaper – I mean the bits besides interesting murders, the funnies, and local stuff that makes me mad. Because my syndicate, Uclick, is waiting for more, more, more cartoons, with hungry maws. (and I just used that word in a cartoon recently.)

And I have to send in the cartoon by 6 PM my time, so there goes my Sunday afternoon, unless I do it in advance. Today I didn’t know yet what I would do. I had some ideas: that wolves can now be killed in many states (Obama said he would protect them with the ESA, which lasted, oh, about a month) , Obama’s continual pouring out of money into sinkholes, etc. But you know what I was most excited about today?  TV reality shows, people! ABC did a mashup of The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars.

About the Cartoon:   One of the things that I’m loving about my new gig is trying different styles. I didn’t want this cartoon to be too busy, as it has two panels already, and text in each. I could have colored each item, but why? And how fun to just have this red jagged sonic boom thing (pointing at the words sonic boom) and really making the whole black and white thing pop! I’m really pleased with this one!

More: People leaked the new “Star” in