Sunday, April 30, 2017
There were Just so many hats on the front page today that they could not---would not---be ignored. Funny pope hats, funny chef hats, plain jane baseball caps, you name it, it was on there. Well, at least if you named one of those three it was. Plus, the main image above the fold was a perfectly lovely illustration by Chris Gall. And what do you do when your illustration project unexpectedly finds somebody else's illustration as its subject matter? You steal their hat, that's what you do.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
We all know that today is the 100th day milestone/nonmilestone (depending on where you live on the spectrum of acceptance) of Trump's Idiot Variety Hour. There are plenty of entertainment options out there for you to turn to that'll get you through this dark night, but not here. At mixed media daily, we're taking the high road. We're just gonna replace the heads of religious leaders with craps dice. Hey, did you know that there's a Golden Arm Club at many casinos for craps players who can throw for over an hour without hitting seven? I sure didn't. Not until today.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Here in the greater Los Angeles area---just like regular folks elsewhere---we like to acknowledge the anniversaries of significant events in our town. This month we are revisiting the '92 LA riots, which means we are, collectively, temporarily obsessed with them. We are talking about whether they should even be named "riots," or if "civil unrest" or "insurrection" or some other term would be a name that better fit the circumstances. Today the LA Times worked the story from a pretty great angle: the pastors in South LA who spent those fraught days trying to cool down a lot of overheated people on both sides. I mean, 25 years was a long time ago, but are those guys still working? Because we might need them again, only this time for the entire nation.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Today we're celebrating filmmakers here at mixed media daily because, well,l that who was on the front page today. Up top we have Justin Chon, who just released a film about the Korean American experience during the 92 LA riots (did you know that this year is the 25th anniversary of the LA riots?). Down below we have Jonathan Demme, who passed away recently, and who of course directed a quiet little film called "The Silence of the Lambs," which pretty much makes him a goddamn national treasure. Also in local film-related news, the WGA might go on strike next week, which, if you're not in the entertainment business, will affect you not at all, but for me, well, let's just say that if it goes down I might have a lot more time to put into these drawings.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Ah jeez, look who showed up on the front page today. To be fair, I haven't had to draw the tang creeper in a while (19 days, to be exact! That's got to be a record here at mixed media daily). Trump's 100 day mark is coming up, so of course there are a lot of job performance think pieces popping up, including the one today in the LA Times whose accompanying photo provided the fodder for today's drawing. As a bonus I've included my own assessment of Trump in the illustration. Feel free to quote me on that.
Monday, April 24, 2017
I have to go iron some shirts and generally get ready for my day tomorrow, but let me mention the big story above the fold today: Marine Le Pen is in the French presidential runoff. Hey France, remember how all of us here in America joked around all through our presidential campaign after Trump won the Republican nomination? And then you remember what happened after that? So, um, don't let that happen in your country. Be smart, France!
Sunday, April 23, 2017
We move from Syria to Iraq for today's installment of "Cities that Are Living in Total Fucking Hell." Mosul absorbs a lot of ordnance from both sides of the Isis conflict, which is just a roundabout way of saying that our people have accidentally killed a bunch of Iraqis while trying to free them from Isis. War ain't pretty, but it also shouldn't be taking lightly. Or used as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from your shitty poll numbers. You can't see it, but I'm looking in the White House's direction.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
The day's activities were full of promise (the March for Science, Earth Day, and Record Store Day all took place today), but the front page was not having any of it. Instead it implored you to take a long, hard look at Aleppo as it begins to return to whatever passes for normalcy in a city like Aleppo now that one of the fightin' sides has tucked it firmly within their sphere of influence. But fear not; if that article sent you into dark places, right next to it was a little story about some weird burger being served on North Korean airline flights. "North Korean Burger," by the way, would be an awesome name for a 7" record store day exclusive release. Ty Segall, I'm looking at you.
Friday, April 21, 2017
I don't know if there's ever been a point in history when labor hasn't been embattled, but that time certainly is not now. Whatever his campaign rhetoric might have been, Donald Trump is clearly, glaringly, anti-labor (in every sense of the word, really. How many trips has Trump made to Mar-a-Lago since taking office? And how much has that cost us as taxpayers?). I hope that one day we will have a real deal union renaissance, but we're most likely going to have to wait at least one election cycle.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Apparently vast quantities of trees here in Southern California are dying off due to a variety of invasive insect species. That and the fact that many species of trees that grow here are not suited to our bone dry climate are quickly ushering in a horrible new era of treemageddeon, or the treepocalypse, or some other such cutesy portmanteau. Speaking of gnarly old trees that sexually harrassed much younger trees (that's what we were talking about, right?), Bill O'Reilly has been fired. And then handed $25 million dollars for being fired. Because America, I guess.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
So it turns out that the USS Carl Vinson was never headed for the Korean peninsula. Between Kim Jong Un not being able to fire a missile without it blowing up in his face and Donald Trump having no clue where our warships are, I'm thinking maybe, just maybe, we will survive as a species because of good old-fashioned ineptitude. I for one am intrigued by our future of bookless libraries (!) and community choice aggregation programs.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
There's a lot of yelling on the front page today: Erdogan is yelling at Europe, Mike Pence is yelling at North Korea, a bunch of Trump-supporting miscreants are yelling at anybody within earshot in hopes of getting into a fight, border agents are yelling in support of Trump. If the question, "is anybody listening to these asshats?" just popped into your head, allow me to answer it: no, nobody is listening to these asshats. But don't expect them to stop yelling.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Meet Don Cameron, the manager of a farm in Helm, CA, who's pioneering a method of reclaiming some of our storm water runoff by letting it flood his fields and slowly drain back into the soil, and thus into the San Joaquin Valley aquifer, where many of the central valley farmers get their water, and which has been overpumped in previous drought years. Kudos to you, Don! I hope you can get many of your fellow farmers to follow your wise example. And let me tell you, it's always nice to devote my sketching to things that don't make me angry. So I'm going to stop right here. But first I'll mention one other interesting California story on A1: there's been an Assembly bill proposed that would add tax on alcohol in order to eliminate sales tax on diapers and tampons. Needless to say, I was completely absorbed by these two stories. I'm sorry, I had to do it. But I'm finished now.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Happy Easter/vernal equinox/wickerman-themed blood orgy/whatever you people do to blow off some steam this time of year. If you're a North Korean soldier with unwavering commitment to the motherland, you probably did hours of fascist lockstep marching. If you hate Donald Trump and all the shitty things he stands for, you maybe whipped up a sign and went to one of the many tax day marches that took place around the country. If you're one of Trump's cronies, you probably spent some time defending the administration's decision to keep all the White House visitor logs secret. And, in all likelihood, you were probably yelled at/laughed at for your pathetic attempt. But hey, that's just a hazard of your job. The important thing is that you spend your time and energy defending a person who lies so much that he really can't distinguish fact from fiction anymore, and in fact he doesn't care about that distinction anyway. That's the honorable path. You just stick with it. It's all gonna be fine.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
All right, we are all still here (I say that with only about 20% snark). Now we can get back to worrying about long term, slow burn endgame scenarios, like climate change and, uh, bullet trains. In all seriousness, California's bullet train project seems to be a rich tapestry of poor financial planning and inept logistics. It's almost like we hired the North Korean ICBM team to design and build our high speed rail system. In any case, let's call it a night, go color some eggs, and reconvene here tomorrow for, hopefully, another day.
Friday, April 14, 2017
This weekend is both the opening of Coachella here in sunny California and the Day of the Sun celebrations in North Korea. That is a broad spectrum of pageantry, my friends. Of course the performance roster at only one of these events might trigger all-out global nuclear annihilation. And I know you're all sitting back and saying, "I know, Lady Gaga, right?" But that's not at all what I'm talking about, you shallow bastard. If North Korea goes through with their incredibly stupid plan to conduct a nuclear test this weekend, and if Donald Trump decides to go with his incredibly stupid plan to launch an attack at North Korea if/when they do test a nuke, then I don't know---I guess if you die at Coachella while watching Father John Misty perform "Pure Comedy," you get a perfect score for activity/apocalypse synergy.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The Punch and Judy show that currently passes for American foreign policy kept on keepin' on today. We dropped an enormous bomb on Afghanistan. We thoroughly freaked out North Korea. Russia's mad, or they're pretending they're mad so we won't catch on that they're totally making out with Trump behind the tool shed when no one is watching. China is just like, "We find your leader too dumb to work with. Is there, um anybody else we can talk to? Do we have to go to fucking Florida every time we want to discuss matters of state?" I guess all we can do in these troubled times is check in with the folks who hold the keys to preventing all-out nuclear holocaust: how's that Trump-colluding-with-Russia investigation thing going, Comey?
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
I was half expecting to be drawing the poor guy who got thrown off of a United Airlines flight for having the audacity to buy a ticket, but he did not appear (although a story about the incident did). Instead I got a wooden bridge, which, hell, I'll take it! And fine, I'll draw Gorsuch's stupid hand, too. And what's going to tie these two disparate things together? A school shooting, of course, because we live in America.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Well, hey, mixed media daily is proud to present the 100th drawing of this project today! The big stories for our sort-of-special day are the Isis bombing of Coptic Christian Churches in Egypt and Trump's plans to slash the budgets of the U.S.'s international health initiatives, because he cares so much about all those beautiful babies out there in the world. Even conservative hardasses like Bill Frist find the White House's proposed budget cuts heartless and potentially devastating to the citizens of developing nations. But still, maybe when those defunded populations start to die off Trump will launch some missiles at Malaria's airfield. To show he cares.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
It's Sunday, there's been a lot to process in the past week, so here at mixed media daily headquarters we're gonna kick back and enjoy the spring wildflowers. Well, we're going to allude to President Xi's surprise stop in Alaska. Speaking of Alaska, we're going to to read that story about how Exxon Mobil was working behind closed doors to retool their business to deal with the effects of the climate change science they were denying and disparaging in public. And hey, they're not the only climate change-denying assholes on the front page today; there is, of course, a story about Trump. But still, we're gonna spend some time admiring the poppies, and we encourage you to do the same. Just don't you know, walk all over them while you're admiring them.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
More than representing a picture of presidential power, the front page photo of Donald Trump meeting with President Xi Jinping of China in some ridiculous, garish, sad Palace of Versailles knockoff room in Mar-a-whatever the fuck it's called, his romper room for stupid people with too much money, is more a portrait of tastelessness and pathetic posturing than anything else. I doubt the Chinese were intimidated or impressed. I'd love to hear all the jokes they passed around among themselves after visiting that place, though; there's probably some comedy gold in there. In lighter news, Mr. Fries Man popped up on A1! I mean, if you want to impress some out-of-towners, get them a box of Mr. Fries Man shrimp and lemon garlic sauce fries. That's how you do it, Don.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Now I don't pretend to know the late Don Rickles' political leanings, but I can't imagine he wouldn't look at the tableau of political power couples on the front page and just be like, "Well, civilization was nice while it lasted." I mean, maybe I'm just projecting. In any case, rest in peace, Mr. Warmth; may your one-liners forever shake the heavens with laughter.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
There were plenty of stories on the front page to deal with today---visa scams, Gov. Brown's transport tax plan, Trump fawning over the authoritarian strongman currently in charge of Egypt---but sometimes the events of the day bleed into the drawing. To be fair, there was a story on A1 about Trump hinting that he would respond to the Syrian chemical weapon attack. But then, an hour or two later, I was listening to live NPR coverage of the Tomahawk missile bombardment of a Syrian military airbase, with the article still in front of me on my desk. I don't find anything comforting or correct about this bully and unrepentant liar dipping his toes into the act of waging war. I also find the timing awfully convenient, considering how much hot Russian espionage garbage is piling up around this administration. So I guess what I'm saying is, let's not all be distracted by a bunch of shiny missiles blowing up an airstrip in a war-torn country.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Man, some weeks this project just feels like a rogue's gallery of Trump Administration scumbags. On that note, meet Jared Kushner, the dead-eyed mannequin/Trump son-in-law who seems to now be in charge of a variety of enormous government projects he has no knowledge of and/or prior experience doing. Also, he's touted as the "people guy" by White House officials. I love this trend where people who don't know anything about the things they were elected to run get other people who are equally clueless to be in charge of those things for them. I was getting tired of seeing seasoned professionals lend their expertise and hard-earned wisdom to the business of running our vast, complicated democracy. This new way is much better. Yep.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
You know, if you were ever tempted to think that maybe not much has changed fashion-wise since the early 90s, all you need do is look at a yearbook photo from that time and you'd be like, "Oh. Oh, jesus. So much has changed. I was insane for even entertaining that notion." I only bring this up because today's front page featured an early 90s yearbook photo of White House bootlick and Central Valley congressguy Devin Nunes. But let's be clear: I'm not faulting Rep. Nunes for his party in the front/more party in the back 90s haircut, or his blindingly white turtleneck (complimented by some species of cardigan, which I elected not to include here, for fear of the whole thing tipping over into parody), or anything else about this picture specifically. He was a 90s teen, and that's abundantly clear from the yearbook photo, and that's ok. But while the article about Nunes describes his constituents' unwavering support for him even though he derailed a House investigation into a sitting president possibly colluding with a hostile foreign power (I still can't believe that that is something I have to write or say occasionally), I am perfectly comfortable pinning fault on him for that derailment. He either did it intentionally, in which case he's an asshole who has no respect for the rule of law, or he didn't know what the fuck he was doing and bungled the whole thing, in which case he's an incompetent idiot.
Monday, April 3, 2017
You know you're reading an LA paper when almost everything on the front page is car related, death related, and "Beauty and the Beast" related. All great topics for drawing, but maybe not all at once (sorry, cars. I deal with you enough in my day to day). Oh, and that photo of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch? You can ignore that, because Originalism is stupid.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
The Los Angeles Times made its own news today when it unleashed a withering assessment of Trump, not only as a president, but as a human being. I think the conclusion is, "he's sure as fuck not presidential, and we're totally on the fence about any claims he may have to be a member of the human race." All of which is a very fair assessment. Some folks might say it's a little too lenient, and you know what? Those folks have a valid point too.
All of this truth pouring out of the LA Times Editorial Board doesn't make me feel any better about the situation, of course. You know what does make me feel a little better about this monstrous clusterfuck? There are still a few adults in positions of power in our nation's capital. I'm looking at you, Rep. Schiff; make Burbank proud (and the rest of us significantly less terrified)!
Saturday, April 1, 2017
All those oddball font choices can only mean one thing---we have a guest paper today! Give a big, warm, flatlander's welcome to The Mountain Enterprise, a weekly paper serving the Mountain communities of the Tejon Pass, an area that connects Los Angeles to the Central Valley. We normally stick to daily papers here at mixed media daily, but news is news, yes? The story that owned the front page (and, in fact, many pages inside as well) was about a guy named Matthew Barr, who was reported to the police by an ex-girlfriend for something, and the investigation of this report led to a 14-hour standoff with police and SWAT teams and a hostage negotiator (although the way the story is written he doesn't appear to have had a hostage). It's not exactly traditional journalism, but it's a great story, full of meandering asides about Matthew's father, Kevin Barr, and the police personnel working the scene, and Matthew's bipolar disorder, and his relationship with an ex-girlfriend that set off a chain of events that led him to be holed up in a house, fending off a SWAT team with bear spray. The closest thing I can compare it to is lyrics to a Mark Kozelek song. That's not a criticism.
Mixed Media Daily will be back to regular old LA Times coverage tomorrow, so we can all get our fix of totally depressing national news.