Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cartoon for Thurs. Oct. 2

This ended up being the last cartoon I drew for the Mapleton PRESS- at least for a while. I don't know how long the hiatus will last, but my wife asked me to lay off of politics for a while. Democrats are pretty much a 20% minority where we live and not all of the 80%, but the most vocal extreme Republicans have made it hard on us.

I was pretty happy with myself. It's not often that I get it in one drawing. Usually I have to piece together several drawings or layers in Photoshop. Plus this is a local issue, going on in Denison, IA so I can give readers a break from the campaign. It should appeal to everybody- Liberals will like the pro-union stance, Conservatives will perceive it as being anti-illegal aliens.

Although, I have to say with only a month of Thursdays left before the vote, it's pretty hard to not draw an election cartoon- especially with McCain throwing another "hail Mary pass" by "suspending his campaign to focus on the mess he helped make!

Here's the original drawing too-

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The long drought is over! Welcome to the return of "Mal•Adjusted!"
I can't promise anything, but I will TRY to start drawing these more regularly again. Look for them on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Introducing a brand new feature!

For a while now I've been thinking that I should create a venue for religious commentary. My column says it's about "sex, politics, and religion," but it never deals with sex and only rarely deals with religion. I do have a religious blog, that ends up dealing with politics a lot. But not in cartoon form. So, here's an attempt. Just like with Mal•Adjusted, I can't promise anything, but I'd like to try to start drawing at least one a week. Look for them on Mondays (since Sunday is the day I'm most likely to be inspired either by the Lord, or the loony hypocrites who claim to follow Him.

These first two are pretty political in fact, being a donkey and an elephant. I'm afraid that you'll also find "h in wolves's Clothing" a little esoteric, that's because I want to encourage readers to think- and in the case of these first two, to look up a verse in Scripture. Because the best thing that any teacher or minister can say to you is "don't take my word for it, look it up!"

Here, I'll help you out THIS time- Ecc. 5: 10-15 is a great admonition for shallow, materialistic, upwardly mobile, day traders with a penchant for mortgage backed securities!

Whereas Ecc. 6:11 is something someone on the Straight Talk Express might say to someone more nuanced to let them know that they're not someone they'd like to have a beer with while watching hockey or NAASCAR.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jon without Garfield

This site was featured on the New Yorker's Cartoon Lounge (blog) and I just found it to be just about the craziest, existentially profound, DaDa-esque work of art I've ever seen. I've always found Garfield a little simple and commercial, the ultimate pop-culture on the comics page. About as far from Zippy the Pinhead or too Much Coffee Man as you can get. But take the lazy lasagna eating cat out of the picture and Freud and Sartre could both have a field day. You have to see it for yourself.

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Caricatures

Here are some caricatures from the summer including Grandpa McCain, Iowa Republican Congressman Steve-thinks he should be crowned-King, and of course, the self described pitbull in lipstick, Gov. Sarah Palin. I know this is a bad business model, but please right-click and save these images and attach them in emails or post them on your own web pages. Not only will that spread my name and cartoons around, it will propagate some satire during the last six weeks of this election!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More rejection

Got another rejection notice today. I thought going into this that it would never bother me, that it's all about the attempt, not the achievement. I figured I could be proud just for trying, after all, I can't really lose because I already have the most wonderful job in the world- helping kids how to see things differently as an Art teacher. But I have to admit that this is kind of a downer. Maybe it's just because somebody wrote a mile-long letter to the editor to the Mapleton PRESS recently raking me over the coals for being so hard on Sarah Palin.

Anyway, Washington Post Writer's Group is one of the more prestigious syndicates. They're Gary Trudeau's company. I've been a Doonesbury fan since I was too young to understand it- 10 or 12. Not only did it probably influence me wanting to become a cartoonist, but no doubt helped shape my politics and world view as well.

Who knows. Maybe it's not meant to be. There's plenty more syndicates that haven't sent a rejection letter yet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cartoon for the Sep 25, 2008 PRESS

One of the things I love to do is to use politicians own words against them. All of what Hoover is saying here is from two different McCain quotes. Like everyone else, I'm scared of a new Great Depression. Syndicates DEFINITELY won't be hiring cartoonists, and schools won't be needing Art teachers.
Here is how it will look in black and white when they run it in the Mapleton PRESS next week. And below is the original caricature from my sketchbook.

And in case anyone wants to save this sign and send it to all your Republican friends or turn it into a bumper sticker or post it on your MySpace of FaceBook-

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rejection #2

Well, here is my second rejection letter finally. This one was just for the column, no word yet from King Features on the cartoons. Those were two separate submissions. Pretty stationary, too bad my scanner didn't capture the watermark of their logo.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cartoon for Sept 18 Mapleton PRESS

Barks like a duck, attacks like a duck... Now- I never caller her anything that rhymes with rich- you're reading something into this material.

I loved how Obama clarified his comments on David Letterman, McCain's policies are the pig- Sarah Palin is the lipstick! McCain used the "lipstick on a pig" line months before Obama about supposed liberal Democratic policies anyway. And don't forget, Palin called herself a pitbull with lipstick, even before she was picked for VP. Although some people say she's more of a lapdog since McCain's campaign won't let the press ask her any serious questions.

Here, I kind of wanted to see ahead of time how it will look in black and white:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Writer's block

Here's a bad business model; offer to draw things free for a student who works somewhere so that the place can use it for say, tee shirts, sweatshirts and water jug labels, then don't even ask for a sweatshirt in lieu of compensation. I like Moose's Fillin' Station, I enjoyed drawing this moose for them back in 2001, but I'm bummin that I don't have a moose shirt. Lesson learned.

Maybe it's not writer's block, maybe cartoonists get "Cartoonist's Block?" Whatever it is, I don't want to do another fat Freddie and Fanny falling on the tax payers cartoon like everybody seems to be drawing right now and frankly Sarah Palin makes me so mad I can't seem to think of any way to lampoon her. What's worse, I'm afraid that whatever I drew would only embolden her supporters all the more rather than persuade anyone into opposing her. Blech.

If anything I'm a little too wrapped up in this election (which has given me a great idea for a column- but not for any cartoons). I wish I could lighten up and see the humor in life instead of just being so anxious and indignant about effective Republican election strategies. Maybe it's time for more psychologist cartoons so that I can get unstuck from my imagined neurosis.

Meanwhile, still no new rejection notices, in spite of all the self-addressed, stamped envelopes I included. Maybe this is a good sign, maybe some editor somewhere is seriously considering me. Or maybe it's a bad sign, maybe all the syndicates are SO inundated with submissions that they can't ever get through them all.

On another front, I received an email from a writer down in the Florida Keys who fancies herself something of a female Hunter S. Thompson and said that she's looking for a Ralph Steadman. Once I read some of her stuff I'll see what I can come up with. Anything for a fellow Jimmy Buffet fan. But this time, I'm gonna ask for a tee shirt up front!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I know, I'm just a sexist pig. That's exactly the strategy that the GOP had in mind- should Liberals attack their VeeP candidate and they'll get to cry "sexist" and make us liberals look like a bunch of hypocrites. Listen, I think I'm letting her off easy with next week's cartoon- as if she's the victim, when it's more likely that she'll be the attack dog. But don't get me started on what I REALLY think of her.

Yes, this woman has provoked my ire so much, I even started an anti-Palin Facebook Group! Come join-

No new rejection notices yet- maybe no news is good news. I feel really bad about not drawing all matter of Maladjusted cartoons (or any non-political cartoons for that matter) but school has just been crazy. Coaching is turning out to be a bugger too lately. Hopefully I'll muster either some self-discipline or better yet, some sense of humor next week. Whine whine, moan moan, gripe, complain.