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Adele Sings, Attorney General Sweeps, & Everybody Needs A Remote Flusher

June 27, 2012

I’ve been lobbying for a gig as a political cartoonist. I always think the best approach is simply to show someone what you can do.

I did 10 cartoons (Monday-Friday) during the 2-week period ending June 22, 2012. I checked news headlines each day, picked a topic, roughed out an idea, scanned in the finish, and added text and shading in Photoshop. Political cartoons require a very fast turnaround, so I worked as quickly as I could. Each cartoon took between 2-3 hours, start to finish.

Here are the three cartoons I liked the best.

The first one was inspired by two separate news items: 1) an Adele song was credited with bringing a little British girl out of a coma, and 2) back on June 8th, President Obama told a news conference that the private sector was “doing fine,” a remark he was later at pains to qualify.

political cartoon showing singer Adele singing and trying to revive a skeleton wearing an Uncle Sam top hat and representing American Economy, President Obama is saying why all the fuss, he's fine

Operation Fast and Furious was a “gunwalking” operation in which a U.S. federal law enforcement agency allowed suspected arms traffickers to purchase guns on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. The ultimate objective: to trace the guns, make arrests, and disrupt the cartels. Instead, guns were lost and used in violent crimes, including the murder of a U.S. border patrol agent. The operation was mounted without informing Mexican officials.

A Congressional committee is investigating the failed operation. The committee has voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for not turning over all subpoenaed documents in the case. Holder asked President Obama to invoke executive privilege to prevent certain documents from being released. Obama has done so– the first time he has asserted executive privilege during his presidency.

Reading about the case conjured up the image of someone furiously sweeping documents under a rug. ย political cartoon about Fast & Furious scandal, showing United States Attorney General Eric Holder trying to sweep documents under rug and rug is being lifted up by President Obama in oval office

The U.S. presidential election is more than four months away, but here in New Hampshire, a swing state, we are already being bombarded with television campaign commercials. The Obama campaign bashes Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, and vice versa. tries to monitor the accuracy of political TV ads and related assertions. It took issue with a number of claims in a recent Obama ad, including the assertion that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney “outsourced call center jobs to India.”

What Romney actually did was veto a bill that would have prevented the state from doing business with contractors who outsourced jobs, a practice which saved taxpayers money. Democrats controlled the state legislature at the time and could have overridden Romney’s veto. They did not.

When I watch any political ad, I find myself wishing for a certain kind of remote.

political cartoon about obama television campaign commercial which claims mitt romney outsourced jobs to India when he was governor of Massachusetts, guy on couch has remote flusher to put ad in toilet

What do you think? Has politics been completely co-opted by the entertainment industry? Are political cartoons just part of the noise, no different thanย YouTube clips
and late night comedians? Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

How Honey Ryder And The Prisoner Wound Up In Wyatt Earp’s Mustache

Paula Deen, Twinkies, And The National Debt

Pass The Popcorn And Embrace Your Inner Child!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2012 4:23 PM

    Mark, you already are a political cartoonist. I think you have a keen eye, a perceptive ear on how to boil “the noise” down and make it understandable. Love your drawings.


    • June 27, 2012 9:05 PM

      I read that comment and a shower of rose petals fell on my head. I can’t help thinking that’s a very good sign… : )

      Judy, you’re a dear, and I can’t thank you enough for your very kind words and good-humored support.

      P.S. Thanks for the petals, this is the best I’ve smelled in weeks!! : P


      • June 28, 2012 12:19 PM

        Mark …
        I’m glad I made your day. I recall I was practically skipping thru my house over a response to my blog. That tickled me.
        With your talent, I’m betting (and I’m not a betting person) you’ll soon have a paid job as a political cartoonist. Keep them laughing and thinking.


        • June 28, 2012 5:01 PM

          Whew! I’m all outta breath! When I read your latest comment, I went skipping all over the house– most exhilarating!! : )

          Thanks a million, Judy. That li’l ol’ vote of confidence is enough to put a spring in anyone’s step– I like the way you think!!

          Very sincerely appreciated, thank you.


  2. June 28, 2012 12:57 PM

    Funny cartoons, I particularly like the caricature of Eric Holder– it captures him spot on. I wish I could react as quickly as you do to political events. My posts are generally several days after everybody else has gone online.


    • June 28, 2012 5:11 PM

      Thanks, Mort, I sincerely appreciate your stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to meet a fellow cartoonist.

      Caricatures are always a challenge, aren’t they? Sometimes I feel like a baseball pitcher: you win some, you lose some, and hopefully you maintain a winning percentage… : )

      There’s a lot to be said for speed in cartooning. It gives the work energy, a spontaneous look. Keeps one from overworking a drawing, too, which is always a danger for me…

      I took a look at your site– great caricatures and really excellent work! Thanks again for your kind comment, and I wish you all the best! : )


  3. June 28, 2012 1:15 PM

    Because we have lost our ability to disagree with one another in the realm of politics and religion, “cartoons” have ignited fire storms of litigation and even death threats.

    I love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote: “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

    Knowing you as I do, I read as you described each of the facts behind each of the illustrations you created. You did just that, you covered the background for it and the basis for your interpretation. The way you can combine events and cleverly say without words what really happened is….tremendous! Here’s hoping your illustrations help develop more first rate minds:-)


    • June 28, 2012 5:32 PM

      Ah, my dear Tracey! Comments just don’t come any kinder or more supportive than that. You got me walkin’ on the ceiling here. I can see I’ve got a lot of unusual mopping to do… : P

      Boy, that’s a wonderful quote. There’s so much strict orthodox thinking these days, on both sides of the political spectrum. Reading that quote makes me wonder if many of us have lost the ability to hold opposing ideas and see both sides.

      Thanks for reading through the background info. I do think it helps put the cartoons in perspective. I think people are less inclined to dismiss them out of hand when they know the back-story, so to speak. Not something one can do with a stand-alone cartoon, of course.

      Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your support?? It means a doggone lot, my friend– thanks!! Well, time to go mop the ceiling… : )


  4. July 3, 2012 12:55 PM

    I think you’d do well as any type of cartoonist but your exceptionally kind nature has me crossing my fingers for more middle of the road type commentary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m voting for Jill Stein since both Obama and Romney are corporation driven. However my fellow New Hampshirites will do the right thing, I’m sure.


    • July 4, 2012 10:53 AM

      You’re the first person to ever publicly recognize my “exceptionally kind nature.” Even I was surprised to hear this! Well, I’m delighted… : )

      And that’s why I’ll be putting an Amelie For President bumper sticker on my car… : )


      • July 4, 2012 11:02 AM

        Superb. And you’d be willing to accept the position as White House Illustrator? Please? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. July 6, 2012 11:55 PM

    Mark these cartoons are excellent! Just superb! You really winnowed it down to the funny IMHO! And your summaries are wonderful and perfectly set up the cartoons . I love them all. So clever how you related the different headlines. I would think that would be very hard to do and you did them all so fast!

    You were born to be a political cartoonist. And I truly would like to get all my news through the magic pen of Mark Armstrong! ๐Ÿ˜€


    • July 8, 2012 1:51 PM

      The world is spinning! I’m holding on to the desk for support! So much praise is making me dizzy! You’d think a guy like me would be used to praise, honor, glory, hosannas, etc, etc… : P

      The image of McGiggles and his Magic pen reporting the news made me laugh. On the other hand, the news already gets spun more times than a sweatsock in a dryer– what’s a few more rotations, eh??

      Thanks for that fantabulous comment, Linda, and, as ever, for your wonderful support!! : )


  6. July 10, 2012 11:34 PM

    Your works are fabulous and very funny indeed!

    I don’t know how to answer your question as you know I don’t like politic(ian)s. ๐Ÿ˜€

    But sometimes I find that politicians are very ‘entertaining’ as well. They make me laugh most of the time. :mrgreen:


    • July 12, 2012 1:55 PM

      Yes, indeed– I remember that politicians are not your favorite people! I, too, look at them with a jaded eye. And I think I get more jaded with every passing year… : )

      But yes, one has to laugh. In fact, that’s probably the healthiest way to react to politicians! : P

      Thank you, dear Inge, for all your good-humored support!!


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