Wednesday, May 31, 2017
If i had to pick a theme for today's front page, I'd have to say it was reversals of fortune. From a high-falutin' developer being brought to his knees by his own hubris to LAPD finding a promising lead in a couple of cold murder cases, changes in direction big and small were all over A1 today. Not to belabor the point, but LAT readers were also treated to a black and white image of Manuel Noriega, speaking of reversals of fortune. He died recently. When, exactly? Who the fuck cares, this is Noriega we're talking about. But you know what we can talk about? His hat. That is one jaunty chapeau de guerre.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
What better way to shake you out of your 3-day weekend torpor than the threat of nuclear annihilation? It's not enough to merely have the KGB back on the scene as the moustache-twirling villains du jour. To get the full-on cold war experience, you need a good old-fashioned nuclear arms race. Anyway, even while the North Koreans are trying their damnedest to get a functioning ICBM into the mix, we (and by "we," I mean our military folk and congresspersons) are debating whether we should keep our land-based nuclear arsenal or let all those warheads hang out on air force bombers and submarines. You know, I don't really have a dog in that particular fight, so my vote is for whatever scenario leads to the smallest chance of anybody actually using these unholy devices.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Clearly the front page knows what you're all doing with your time off this Memorial Day: A1 was dominated by articles about weed, Netflix, and doughnuts. I mean, that last one was technically about the boxes that the doughnuts are sold in, but you get the point. Anyhow, let's all take the rest of the day off from the really grim stuff (North Korea missile launches, Jared Kushner's sleazy backroom dealings with Russia), because it'll all be waiting for us tomorrow.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Yes, that is my poor attempt at Gregg Allman, who died on Saturday, tucked in among all those heads of cauliflower. If you don't know who Gregg Allman is, or why you should care, go listen to this version of Whipping Post they did at the Fillmore East. And then go listen to this 23 minute version of Whipping Post that appeared on the live album made from that series of concerts. And then, I don't know, go enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Sometimes the best part of an article is a minor detail embedded within the larger story. In the story about the Islamic state's use of drones in combat, there's a paragraph describing a variety of measures the good guys are undertaking to foil their use since they are notoriously difficult to shoot out of the sky in a normal fashion. Among the more prosaic solutions mentioned was a scheme to train eagles to hunt drones. Which, I don't know about you, but the idea of eagles flying around beating the shit out terrorist drones sounds like something from an Archer episode, i.e., it's something i think we all need to see via goPro strapped to said Eagles of Drone Death. The focus of today's mixed media daily drawing is not that story, however. There were some domestic developments to consider/get very angry about. More details of Trump's "make America fucked again" budget are emerging, and among the many, many items under the axe are California's and Alaska's early warning earthquake system, warning systems for tornados, and an array of DART buoys stationed in all bodies of water surrounding our once-great nation that can detect tsunamis. So never mind early warning for normal, non-Trump citizens, but make sure there's plenty on money to keep melania in New York City. That's your president's priorities. He's happy to watch all of you die so that he does not have to live in the same house as his wife.
Friday, May 26, 2017
You can just see the second panel, can't you? Where she's pouring that big glass of Chardonnay or whatever the fuck it is all over tiny sleazy trump's tiny toupee (or whatever the fuck it is), because of the Manchester leaks or the shitty attitude at the NATO meeting or just because he's exactly the kind of douchebag that needs a tall glass of something thrown on him once in a while, just to keep him in line. Of course, British Prime Minister Theresa May did not pour a drink on Trump's head, but if she did I bet the rest of NATO would throw her a goddamn ticker tape parade. Especially this guy.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
I felt a little bad that the last time I drew Pope Francis his face was obscured by one half of a pair of dice, so I made sure to include him today. We can hope that some of his kinder, gentler papal wisdom rubbed off on national embarrassment Donald J. Trump when the two met, but let's be real: Trump is a raging narcissist and an utter fool, and his only thought on meeting anybody is how he can use that person for his own gain. I imagine it was all just a fabulous photo op for him. I wonder if somewhere in Trump's dim, flickering synapses he was able to realize, when he came face to face with the pontiff, that this is as close to heaven as he will ever get.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
England would have been the focus today regardless, but Roger Moore's improbable appearance on the front page (he died recently) sort of put a weird spin on the whole thing. With everything that's going on in the world, the romanticization of National spy organizations and their stateless supervillain nemeses really feels like something from the most bygone of eras.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
All eyes are on Manchester today, of course, because some lowlife zealot decided that god wanted him to blow up children. Despite ISIS' best efforts to be the biggest asshole on the front page today, a photo of Trump touching the Western Wall is what appeared above the fold. I guess ancient masonry can't jerk its hand away when you reach out for a little suggestive rub, so it makes for a somewhat normal official photo. Oh yeah, and the White House released something it thinks is a budget today, but it's actually just a whole lot of wishful conservative thinking swaddled in incorrect math. In other words, it's one ugly baby.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sometimes the front page gets all Hometown Buffet on you--you get a little medical marijuana, a little Femi Kuti, an unappetizing dollop of Trump--and it's hard to know where the focus of the drawing should be. And then you read Frank Shyong's article about Lai Hang (I'm not even going to get into it here; just go read it), and it's so heavy and heartbreaking that you're just like, "fuck it, we're going with a guy wearing a hazmat mask and rocking the mic."
Sunday, May 21, 2017
I didn't have anything as splashy as a glowing orb to work with when figuring out today's drawing, but hey, cannibalism is always a crowd pleaser, right? I don't know if Trump's overseas trip to Saudi Arabia even qualifies as a political event. Isn't it just two filthy rich families getting together to figure out how to get more money for themselves and their friends?
Saturday, May 20, 2017
After yesterday's Roger Ailes drawing you might think today's doodle is merely extending that theme. Alas it is not (exactly). That's Donald and Melania up there, emphatically not letting their hands touch as they walk side by side on the White House grounds, mentally preparing themselves to spend a long time on an airplane together.. On the rare occasions where these two are actually in the same space, their body language is completely hilarious. Fake marriage. Sad!
Friday, May 19, 2017
Drawing Roger Ailes isn't exactly my idea of a rip-roarin' Friday night, but the news is the news is the news (I think Gertrude Stein said that), and draw it I must. I mean, look at this pig. This is the scumbag who engineered a bullshit news station that steadily poisoned journalism and American political discourse for a generation, culminating in our current disastrous, inept, criminal presidency, an administration which might, even if it does not serve for one full term, do enough damage to the American experiment that another generation might come and go before that damage is repaired. Oh, also Roger died recently. See how I turned it all around at the end of the piece? That's quality news delivery; take note, Fox and Friends.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Say hello to former FBI chief Robert Mueller, the guy chosen by Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to act as independent counsel for the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. All we're hearing from anybody---Republican or Democrat---about Mueller is that he's a take-no-shit, law abiding kind of guy. Those are pretty great qualities! I think we can move the national mood-o-meter up to "cautiously optimistic." For now. Go get 'em Bob.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Which Trump scandal are we all focusing on today? Is it Comey? Russia? Flynn? It's so damn hard to keep up. Anyway, let's take a break from cataloguing Trump's fuckups and pour a little out for Brad Grey, who passed away Sunday evening. If you don't know who that is, well, there's no reason you should if you don't work in entertainment. He ran Paramount for the past dozen years, but more important, he's the guy who brought The Sopranos to HBO. Now there's a man who contributed something to this crazy world. Thanks, Brad, and rest in peace.
Monday, May 15, 2017
An Aleppo not being bombed around the clock, Trump walking back some of his genuinely insane ideas about foreign policy, and refugees settling into American life in deep-red Idaho? It's like a paper from another world. Not that I feel any better. There's still plenty of stupid shit happening in the world (that Syrian war is far from over, for instance). But if we're occasionally gifted with a news cycle that's not across-the-board grim, that's....something?
Sunday, May 14, 2017
It's Mother's Day, but hey, it's also 2017 so I'm drawing these fucking asshats. The entire front page, in fact, was hilariously male: There was the pack of GOP politicians (the photo was from their "celebration" in the Rose Garden after they squeezed the universally maligned AHCA through the House, a bill that explicitly defunds planned parenthood and offers up the possibility of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition for which women could be denied coverage. But hey, Happy Mother's Day!), the gruff, gettin'-shit-done miners who dig tunnels for urban infrastructure (a legitimately interesting read, if only for the descriptions of the equipment they use to dig these tunnels), and a photo of the Secretary of the Interior on a fucking horse wearing a goddamned cowboy hat. It was a real Marlboro Man day at LAT. To be fair, there were pockets of gender-neutral reportage on A1 today. The piece about the total solar eclipse that's happening later this year, for instance. I mean an actual solar eclipse, not the metaphorical eclipse of American intellectualism and decency that has kept us fumbling in the dark since January 20. Although maybe I mean that too; it's so hard to tell these days.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Lee Baca's career seems to have finally reached its dire, sad conclusion, where he will sit in a jail cell for the next few years as Alzheimer's robs him of the only thing that actually matters. I get that the charges of which he's been convicted are really fucking serious, but damn, I can't help feeling a little sorry for the guy; that's a shitty way to spend your winter years. But that's the price you pay when you fuck with the FBI. I mean, what person in a position of privilege and power would be stupid enough to fuck with an FBI investigation?
This week began and ended as a hot mess. I'm not going to try to unpack it here. I am, however, going to draw a diminutive Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submerged in a cocktail-sized ice bath, because that's pretty much where he landed after the White House fucked him over. But it's cool. Rod's coming to the Senate next week to talk about Comey's firing. Hey, what's Trump doing this weekend? Working hard, I bet, in the Oval Office on all that legislation to help the poor, rural constituents who voted for him. Ha! I'm kidding, Trump is never in the Oval Office on the weekends. Also, he really doesn't give a shit about any of the poor people who voted for him. The weekends are his time to pretend he knows how to play golf. That's way more important to him than whatever poor people are dealing with.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Who's that fellow up there pulling the strings of that puppet president? That's Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister who made a visit to the White House the day after Trump fired Comey. The Los Angeles Times featured a photo of the pair's meeting on A1, but they didn't have a staff photographer on hand to shoot the occasion. No, they had to procure this photo from the Russian Foreign Ministry, because no American news outlet was granted access for this visit. Only the Russian Foreign Ministry. Still, as crazy as that little nugget is, it's hardly the most insane thing to happen in Washington in the past 48 hours. I'm not entirely sure what the craziest thing would be, at this point---Spicer hiding from the press in the bushes? Trump contradicting two solid days of spin issued by White House flunkies and the VP about why Comey was fired? Lavrov joking about Comey's ouster? Take your pick, I guess. It's nonstop crazytown over there, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
I guess there was little chance that I wouldn't be drawing James Comey tonight. I mean, he was literally the only picture on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, so I really didn't have a choice. Not that I would've selected anything else in lieu of our freshly minted ex-FBI chief. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be drawing a selection of the traitors and scumbags who fired him. Anyway, there you go. My gut feeling is that we haven't seen the last of Comey. He is (was?) scheduled to testify before Congress in a few days. I don't know if his firing changes that, but I don't see any practical reason why it should. And if Congress doesn't want to hear from Comey anymore, you know who does? The rest of America. Don't be shy, Comey. Tell us what's on your mind.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sally Yates's testimony that she did in fact tell the White House---twice!---about exactly how deep Michael Flynn moral cretinism ran was some pretty bombshell stuff. Of course Trump's own brand of moral cretinism is in a class by itself, and thus he pushed his way into the news cycle with the spectacularly stupid decision to fire James Comey, the FBI director, today (I don't want to say I called, because I totally didn't, but I would like to officially declare my May 4 drawing as some sort of bizarre precognitive act). Nothing quite screams "I am guilty as fuck!" like firing, for the flimsiest of manufactured reasons, the very person who is investigating your alleged crimes, thus allowing yourself the opportunity to appoint one of your spineless flunkies to the newly vacated post. We are in serious trouble as a nation if we don't get a special independent prosecutor on this mess pronto.
Monday, May 8, 2017
I know, politics weighs heavily on your mind these days, but clear a little corner for the demise of net neutrality, would you? Because it might happen under this regime. Ajit Pai, the current FCC chair, wants to eliminate net neutrality protections put in place by the Obama Administration. So, once more, and I'm sure not for the last time, we have an appointee hostile to the ideals of the department they are tasked to oversee spending their time there effectively neutering said department. That's all for tonight. Go on back to your surfing or googling or trolling or whatever it is you do on the internet while you still have bandwidth to do so.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Today's A1 drawing most certainly got filtered through up-to-the-minute news gleaned via social media. The LAT story about the French election was that Macron's campaign got hacked and, exactly one day before French voters went to the polls, thousands of documents were dumped, and fake documents were intermixed with the authentic documents. That's potentially a category 5 political shit storm for Macron (how do you say "political shit storm" in Russian? Just asking), but it turns out French voters are not easily swayed by stupid bullshit they read online. Macron won handily, with over 65% of the vote. Well done, France! Oh, and can a bunch of you move here and live in small towns in Pennsylvania and Michigan and get American citizenship by 2020? Merci, that would be great.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Hey, if you were worried about all the federal money (i.e., your tax dollars) that's being spent so Trump can go to Mar-a-fucktwat every single weekend (check your list of grievances; it's on there, probably about 30-40 items down), worry no more. He's decided to go to another resort in New Jersey that he owns and, according to him, it'll cost less. Which is another way of saying that it'll still cost you money. But really, what do you expect him to do? Stay at the White House? Go to his house in New York and pretend he has a real marriage? Not do something that is completely fucking idiotic?
Friday, May 5, 2017
Jesus, look at these smug pricks. That's Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Steve Scalise up there, and they're all super happy because they managed to squeeze some health care legislation through the House! In case you couldn't or wouldn't read the contents of their bill, let me give you a one-sentence summary: They took federal funds away from healthcare programs that aid the poorest and most vulnerable Americans and gave all that money---$600 billion dollars, give or take---to the wealthiest Americans and to insurance companies. And they are really fucking happy about it. They had cases of beer (shitty, shitty bud light, of course, because they are lacking in taste as well as empathy) brought into the white house so they could toast their victory, they were so fucking proud of the fact that they fucked over millions of their fellow citizens. But those people are poor, so fuck them. The rich people they gave all that money to, they're the ones who fund their campaigns.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Comey? Again? This guy floats to the top of A1 every so often, and every time I see him I think, "Hey, it's that Comey guy! Maybe this time he has the news we've been waiting for, i.e., the Trump-Russia smoking gun." Invariably, I am disappointed, because he's either in super-vague spy mode or he's talking about Hillary's goddamn emails. One of these days, I hope he'll do us all proud. Anyway, props to photographer Tomas Ovalle for providing an ominous photo of huge, gaping, industrial pipes (in an unrelated story about the crazy amount of snowmelt we're bracing for here in California), because they were really useful for this drawing.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Since the writer's strike is over, I figure this is great time to pitch new show ideas, so here goes: a bunch of supreme leaders and dictators and strongman-type presidents meet up to discuss their nefarious plans, but instead they realize that what was really missing in their lives was each other. No? The only thing more insane than this idea is the fact that these assholes are actually in charge of shit? I mean, at least if it was on TV maybe our authoritarian nitwit would see it and realize---what's that? Preposterous? He has no love in his heart? You're probably right. I'll, uh, work on it and get back to you.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The Los Angeles Times covered yesterday's local May Day march from the angle of, "how did the cops do?" Pretty well, in their assessment.In any case, big props to all who marched for worker and immigrant rights.
There was a little nugget at the very bottom of the front page that caught my eye. The new head of the USDA, Sonny Perdue, made his first act as Secretary the rollback of parts of Michelle Obama's Healthy eating initiative, because of course he did.
Monday, May 1, 2017
You know who has a logo that's really hard to draw? The United Nations, that's who. I wonder if our UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, has ever considered the visual complexity of her new workplace's emblem, or the fact that it centers the world around the North Pole, or if she wonders what's with the leaves surrounding the map, or if she's just too busy making veiled threats at the rest of the UN body on behalf of her idiot boss to notice such things.