Thursday, August 31, 2017
Well, today's theme seems to be marshalling aid from unconventional sources to address a real problem. So kudos to the folks who created Kymriah, a new leukemia-fighting gene therapy (but $475,000 for the treatment? Will anyone benefit from this novel cure?), and Kudos to the Cajun Navy for helping out with this whole Texas flood thing. And...and that's it for now; it's too damn hot in LA to do anything but lie down.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
I'm on my fourth consecutive day of drawing the great Texas flood, and I feel very much like the floodplain on which Houston sits: I can't absorb anything else but these waters. There are surely other things going on, but the flood has filled my brain to capacity, and four days in data still has the capability to startle. For instance: according to Jeff Lindner, a Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist, "In four days, we've seen a trillion gallons of water in Harris county...enough water to run Niagara Falls for 15 days." That fact, much like the volume of water it describes, is nearly impossible to absorb.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Today in "Things Trump is dismantling because he is an asshat and he has no actual legislative agenda:" the Obama-era policy of limiting how much surplus military hardware the pentagon can dump into local police precincts. Because surely if the police in Houston had tanks and rocket launchers, they could have blown up the hurricane and thus prevented the unprecedented flooding in Southeast Texas. I'm assuming that's the reason, anyway. It's no more stupid than the reason Jeff Sessions gave for reversing the policy, that "we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become the new normal." I got news for you, Grand Wizard Sessions: we let that happen the day Trump slithered into office.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Dear god, Southeast Texas has a hard, hard road ahead of them. If you have the wherewithal to donate food or blood or clothes or money, please do so.
In other sad Texas-related news, horror director and native Texan Tobe Hooper has left this mortal coil. If you've never seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Poltergeist, here's your chance to do some news-relevant movie watching. I've seen both of them many times, so I guess my homework is to see Djinn.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
It's always a little weird to do a drawing of a drawing, but sometimes the idea demands a little bit of illustration inception. So props to Cameron Cottrell, who's illustration for the cover of the Times' Pets section (not a standard section in a newspaper, to be sure) delivered Griffith Observatory and thus provided the foundation for today's mixed media daily scribbling. And Texas, well, damn--stay safe and stay dry, Lone Star friends.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Sometimes---not often, but sometimes---I figure out what I'm going to draw, then I pencil it, then I ink it, then I start to color it, and only then do I realize that the drawing is terrible. Well, fuck. Then I have to start over again. But then sometimes---not often, but sometimes---I realize in that heated late-night do-over that a man yelling at a sandwich pretty much sums up any news cycle, and I'm fortunate enough to have both a yelling man and a sandwich on the front page.
No Arpaio on A1 today, of course, because Trump snuck that pardon in late at night, while everyone was consumed with the weather in Texas. I assume we'll deal with that racist, murdering fuckwit tomorrow.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
It's crazy to think that there are still large, untouched swaths of land in LA where one could build, say, a scholarly institute, something akin to a 21st century monastary, should one be so inclined and should one have the coin to pay for it. Sometime in the not-too-distant future we will see that come to pass, when the Berggruen Institute sets up its new campus in the Santa Monica Mountains, just North of the Getty Center. Apparently we are still a society possessed of some lofty ambition. Of course, we're also a society that tortures and murders the mentally ill, so don't go patting civilization on its back just yet.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
It all sort of feels especially unstable these days, doesn't it? Like it could all come crashing down any minute now. If you're sucking up to Joe Arpaio fans, and you're not admitting to yourself that this is an act of pathetic desperation, well, you're just about fucked.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
When I did the first year of mixed media daily way back in 2011, the Los Angeles Times went through a change in leadership. Well, this year they're doing it all over again. Ross Levinsohn is taking over as publisher. He's not a newspaper guy, and he doesn't sport a moustache (if you were one of the three avid readers of this blog back in 2011, you might find that funny). The weirdest thing about this story is its connection to what is still the most bonkers story of this year, Carmen Puliafito's epic, USC-sponsored meth bender. According to a story in Variety, it was the previous Publisher's reluctance to send that USC piece to press that led to a mutiny in the newsroom, which ultimately ushered in this new era of moustache-free leadership (trust me, it really is funny if you---ah, just forget it). So here we are. And all because of one man's lust for heavy narcotics. Don't do drugs, kids! And, uh, stay in school. But not the schools where the deans do drugs. Try to avoid those.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Hey, I hope everybody's retinas survived the eclipse. And kudos to the LA Times editors for working "shadow" into one of today's headlines (for a story about Dr. Carmen Puliafito no less: a small, barren body who's insane tenure at USC is currently eclipsing the messaging of his former employer). And rest in peace, of course, to Jerry Lewis. Don't worry, your legend is secure; my kid is learning all about you while watching Animaniacs.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Today's front page took the bold move to have both of its main photos be black and white images (well, one was technically sepia-toned), and so we honoree that choice in the drawing as well. The looking backward feel of the whole thing was supported by the articles, even the obligatory weekly entertainment industry story (old TV sitcoms are finding new audiences on streaming services! Young people like The Golden Girls!). Hell, who am I to deny everybody a little comfort on a Sunday? Go enjoy your Golden Girls minibinge before you are cruelly thrust into another workweek and news cycle. But don't forget to watch Game of Thrones. You better be caught up come Monday morning, or your office chums will give you shit about it.
Also, rest in peace, Dick Gregory.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
It seems less like Steve Bannon is being fired than that he's being shipped offsite so that he can engage fully in underhanded dealings to further his deluded, fascist vision for our imperiled nation. Still, today he wears the mantle of cast-off rube that so many have worn before him in their quest to serve a man-baby who's only interest and motivating factor is his own material gain and poll numbers. The only saving grace here is that both of these idiots (Bannon and Trump) probably still think they can control each other and, you know, that could lead to some much needed mutually destructive behavior for both of them. Here's hoping.
Friday, August 18, 2017
If the past week has taught us anything, it's that when the Islamic State and the Aryan nation try to one-up each other, nobody wins. Can't these two worthless factions find a field somewhere and beat the shit out of each other, and leave the rest of us out of their delusions of grandeur? Oh, but one thing: that field is not here in California. None of you are welcome here.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Well now, it's a trick question, isn't it? If you think the alt left is an actual thing, you're probably some humorless white power dickstain. In which case, you need to lighten up, son. You could learn a little something from today's unwitting subject, Stephen Colbert. "Your move, lawn flamingos"---that's fucking funny.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Because everything in the world needs to be flipped on its head for who the hell knows why, the biggest threat to the U.S. solar industry right now is U.S. solar panel manufacturing companies, who are imploring the white house to impose heavy tariffs on foreign-made panels. This, of course, could devolve into a trade war with the countries who manufacture these cheap panels. Hey, what's one more war, right? Throw it on the pile with the rest of them, I guess.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Donald Trump is a lot of things--grabber of pussy, scourge of honest business, twitter addict, insulter of pretty much everybody (hell, with his long list of dubious honorifics, he's like the bizarro world version of Daenerys)--and I think it's high time we all add "fomentor of racial strife" to that list (that is, if you haven't already. I mean, you should have by now, but as of today there's really no excuse not to). This ostensibly American president stood in front of a room full of reporters and defended a group of people who swear allegiance to the Nazi flag. Tell me how it is in any way possible that this fucking traitor is fit to lead this nation.
Monday, August 14, 2017
All eyes are, understandably, on Charlottesville these days, but that doesn't mean the rest of the government is slowing down. Mexican negotiators are coming to DC this week to start renegotiating NAFTA. Yes, the same guy who couldn't be bothered to condemn murderous white power fascists is also allowed to tinker with trade deals we have with our neighbors.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Today's guest paper, for the second time this year, is the Ventura County Star! Welcome back, VC Star! Always a pleasure to have you on the drawing table.
So it appears that the local papers will not shy away from national stories when they are as dire as the shit that went down in Charlottesville. In that respect the VC Star A1 and the LA Times A1 (yes, I still read the La Times A1 as well, because I've become some weird fucking newspaper nerd, if that's even a thing) were very similar (and that gut punch of a photo by Ryan M. Kelly was featured in both stories, because it sums up the horror pretty completely). The VC Star, however, still has a local audience to serve, and so orbiting the Charlottesville story was some regional news, including a photo of a steer wrestling event at the Ventura County Fair Rodeo. And yes, the two images of human bodies being thrust airborne by forces they could not contain sort of came together for the drawing, but let's be clear: only one of these events qualifies as evil visited upon our nation, and it ain't the cowboys.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Apparently there's lots of gridlock in Yosemite! Oh, and Guam is being threatened with extermination by fire.
Tomorrow we'll be featuring another guest paper! So I guess we'll see if that Charlottesville mess makes it into the smaller papers in any way.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Call me crazy, but I feel like we're being goaded into making the first strike. I can't imagine why North Korea would want that, but this is certainly the first president in a long time that you could see falling into a trap like that. Or maybe this is all a big distraction. What's Mueller been up to?
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
You know, this project requires me to draw the same handful of deplorable idiots over and over again (at least until they're fired by the head idiot), so give me a good man like Glen Campbell to draw and I'll jump at it. And maybe I'll reappropriate some careless language by some careless people and put it to good use in the bargain.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Small villages in Ghana are being introduced to the joys of ruining your life via an obsession with gambling thanks to Chinese investment. Speaking of gambling, who's still got their money on species survival after all the North Korean and American saber rattling that went on yesterday?
Sunday, August 6, 2017
While our small-minded, idiot of a commander-in-chief is out there making bigoted declarations against transgender Americans who serve in our armed forces, the rest of us are moving forward to form a more perfect union, one step at a time. Local boy Pat Manuel became the first transgender boxer in U.S. history to compete as a man after having competed, pre-transition, as a woman. For once, throwing punches signifies progress.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
If you follow this stuff at all, you're well aware that the U.S. is not the only country in the world currently saddled with a cruel, vindictive, small-minded, autocratic leader. Turkey has been living under the reign of their own despot, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for some time now. Lately he's been spending quite a bit of time purging the government of leftists, academics, and anybody else who would question his absolute authority. Donald Trump loves this asshole, by the way, because Donald Trump loves everything that is not fair or democratic.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Yes, yes, that's two of your choices for the next governor of the Golden State depicted there, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa (John Chiang's running, too. Don't count him out yet!), but I want to talk about the stuff I didn't draw. Local cretin Suge Knight rated a mention on today's A1 for some fucking reason (he threatened somebody! Nobody saw that coming. That Suge Knight, always keeping us on our toes). Right below that was a mention of Portland suffering some gnarly heat wave this summer (Hotlandia! Not to be confused with Hotlanta). Two more signs of the apocalypse? Sure, put 'em on the list. There at the end. Yes, all the way down there. If there' not enough room, just start another piece of paper.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
I'm feeling under the weather, so let's quickly sum up the lessons to be gleaned from today's front page:
1. If you go hiking in the Sierras, be careful!
2. Don't fucking shoot rhinos so you can steal their horns.
3. Russia. Well, that's a tough little nut to crack, now, isn't it?
That's it! Off to bed, all of you.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Ah, yes, there he is. So long Scaramucci! We hardly knew ye. You will be forever remembered as one of a long line of schmucks to find his head on a pike in front of this mad king's debased white house. I guess you can be thankful that you won't be there when the real shit hits the fan.