Political cartoons for teh LA Times for February 2011.

And we’re back.

I know you guys are dying for some Charlie Sheen cartoons. I know I’m NOT. At first I was curious what he was going to do after Two and a Half Men was cancelled, but then he spun way out of control, and aren’t druggies boring!? The cartoons I’ve seen on him are pretty lame so far – many compare him with Gaddafi, which is just stupid. I’ll cover both of them later in the week.

Best cartoons of the week for the LA Times

I talk about why I’m editing these cartoons at the end of the post.

This cartoon by Bob Englehart from cagle.com is an effective simplification of the brouhaha in Wisconsin and other states over collective bargaining power – or, unions, if I may speak directly. (And why doesn’t the media?)

I don’t begrudge unions – I’ve been in IATSE, in the movie studios, and the National Writers Union, which is affiliated w/ the UAW (auto workers!) – and in the studios, especially, unions are really necessary for safety and health issues.

But with state unions, with benefits paid by taxpayers? The rules are different. (The LA Times current “editors”, btw, would never choose this cartoon – it’s too simple. They prefer obscure cartoons, fancying their readers to be like NY Times readers. But since they’re not (after all, I am one of them!) here is a cartoon they SHOULD be using.)

I haven’t paid much attention to Dick Locher’s cartoons, even though he was on Gocomics with me for 2 years, until I was fired. But I like political cartoons that take place out of the office. Why not the kitchen? And I admire how he managed to fit all that teeny tiny lettering on the milk carton (or milk cartoon!) and still have it be legible.

From this cartoon, it’s not clear where Dick actually stands on the issue of pensions and jobs. Is he saying most companies don’t have p

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

Editorial cartoons for the Los Angeles Times Opinion section.

Doesn’t the LA Times have their own cartoons? Not during the week, no. The LA Times is one of the top 3 national papers, but they use hardly any editorial cartoons since they laid off Michael Ramirez. They have less cartoons than any of the top 20 papers in the country.

They do have 3 cartoons on Sunday, however, here and in the paper (tiny). But they’re edited by Joel Pett, a cartoonist in Lexington, KY. Lexington, really?? As far as I know, Joel has never lived here, and is Lexington in any way similar to Los Angeles? Well, they both begin with L, I guess. Anyway, Joel only chooses cartoonists in his particular cartoon group, which leaves out 15 or 20 of the top editorial cartoonists in the country.

I’m the only New Yorker cartoonist who also does editorial cartoons, so I have a good background in both. As an award-winning cartoonist and editor, and since I’ve been a cartoonist for the LA Times for 6 years, and, maybe, most importantly, actually live IN Los Angeles, I decided it’s time I stepped up to do the job myself. :)  Now, let’s pick today’s winners!

Tony Auth on coastal oil drilling

Tony Auth is a great cartoonist. I picked this one for several reasons: he was first out of the gate on this issue,  on the new coastal oil drilling Obama just approved. (boo, hiss, even though I don’t have all the environmental facts yet. Just because I don’t trust Obama.) It seems to be pretty common that editorial cartoonists will pick a name or word and then decorate it like an insane calligrapher. But he did a good job here, and the oil spatters are truly dramatic, spilling over the name itself.

People from other states (like Kentucky) might not realize that in LA oil rigs are common. Not out to sea, but they have baby ones like 12 feet tall in people’s backyards! They call them grasshoppers or some insect, and they are SO CUTE bobbing up and down. I hate driving to the airport, but I take the long way just to watch them.  I love industrial things. (more cartoons below.)

Is the LA Times trashy?

I get the paper (4 days a week) but I don’t check it first thing. So I was shocked when my friend Bruce told me he cancelled the Los Angeles Times today. He’s one of only a couple of friends who still get the paper! Oh, no! We can’t exchange complaints and info!

I asked him why, and he said “Johnny Depp is on the front page.”

“I don’t understand. I don’t like him either, but…”

“No, his face was all over the front page. They did this once before, and it just makes the paper look so trashy.”

johnny depp on LA TimesI had no idea what he meant, but I wanted to tell him about a trashy editor of a woman’s magazine who had been so rude to me today, so we changed the topic.

Now I just heard John and Ken on KFI talking about the same thing! I ran to get the paper out of the plastic bag, and, um, it does look pretty bad. It’s a fake front page, with a hideous photo of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in the new release of Alice in Wonderland. (Does Johnny Depp have a big space between his teeth? Euwww. His hair is wild orange like Carrot Top.)

The photo and the ad, all in color,  covers the entire front page, except for a few paragraphs on either side and the top pretend masthead. It really looks like the front page – they call it a cover-wrap.

Unattractive, but this is an industry town. I’m not offended.

Oh My Gah, I just saw that the NY Times reported on this!

People who don’t read a newspaper are dull.

One of the sites that I never go to -oh, perhaps once every couple months, if I must – is Huffington Post. Or as I call it, PuffPost. I remember when it started – Arianna Huffington had parties out here, got bloggers together. But it was super-liberal, so I never paid much attention to it.

All they do is rewrite real journalists, or use the news verbatim published elsewhere, and slap a provocative (and usually misleading) title on it. Now PuffPo has gone local, with a Los Angeles subsection. Watch out, LA Times, for plagiarism and attribution without links.

But the part I take personally is that they don’t pay anyone!! They are the biggest blog in the country now, if not the world, run by one of the richest women. Check out this article in the LA Times. Arianna Huffington is quoted:

Huffington said ads will run on the site, and the Huffington Post and Causecast will split the ad revenue. Any money donated to any cause goes directly to the cause, with nothing coming out of it.

Her site continues to expand, reinvesting its proceeds in the product. “We’ve had a very, very good advertising year,” she said. “We would be in the black if we were not expanding. Whether you are profitable or not depends whether you’re standing still or expanding. This is a window we need to take advantage of.”

The article is about how the PuffPost is adding a bunch of news about causes, called Impact, because they’re so liberal and they want to help. Well, wanting to help is a good thing. Yet…her own writers and worker bees get NOTHING, NO MONEY, in their best year yet!  Yet she wants them to donate from their non-existent wages. This doesn’t sound liberal to me, it sounds like a medieval caste system. Ugh, PuffPo is pathetic.

huffington post cartoon

It’s been a cliche for a few years now – everyone online loves to write how they never read a real newspaper anymore. Like this is something rare, unusual, and quite cool. They have Twitter, all the news websites, social media, etc, and newspapers are dead. Um, yeah, right.

Obama won Nobel Peace Prize in spite of himself.

Obama gets Nobel cartoon

The LA Times had a very interesting article about how they decide to write an opinion piece. (This was far more fun than most opinions they actually run. And, hint, Meghan Daum is one of the worst.)

The Times editorial board meets three times a week to discuss what we’re going to say in our editorials, but sometimes news breaks between meetings and we scramble to reach a consensus through e-mail. The announcement that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize is a case in point.

Oddly enough, considering how rabidly liberal they are, the majority of them decided, like I did, that Obama didn’t exactly deserve this Nobel Peace Prize. Regardless of whether the Nobel committee decided this back in January, a couple weeks after he entered the office – which is what I read – or more recently, he just hasn’t had time to do anything to deserve this. And I’m not so sure that he will anyway. Promises, promises.