Your Guide to Townie Bars

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Hey, here’s a cartoon I did for the Phoenix. Look at it, if you don’t mind my aggressively-local sense of humor.

I’m an expert at this subject, but I will only share the location of my favorite townie bars with trusted individuals. All dives in my neighborhood are under constant threat of turning into hipster bars, so their locations have to be protected.

Newt Gingrich’s Science Fiction

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I hope it’s obvious that I’m as in-favor of NASA as a person can be. But Newt’s Moon-base talk was nothing but pandering to to the few space coast manufacturers, engineers, and Cape Kennedy motel managers in Florida who continue to vote Republican despite the avalanche of evidence showing that the GOP hates science and every part of government that doesn’t report to the Pentagon.

No one should get to advocate for moon-bases AND increasing the suffering of the working and middle classes. Space exploration should be a luxury for nations only after they have taken care of their poor. So what I’m saying is leave space to the Scandinavians.

Until we get our shit together, us space-nerds will have to make do with watching Orion splashdown in a giant bathtub and living vicariously through all the cool probe/robot shit that’s happening in the solar system, right now!

Grocery Prototypes

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Some  jokes about food, drink, and doo-doo water. A tenuous link to the news can be made with this one because of the Oklahoma state senator who wants to ban human fetuses in food, which kinda-sorta applies to my stem-cell Taco Bell gag, but I drew this before that happened. I just wanted to make a juvenile damaged sphincter joke, but some jagoff made it timely.

But yeah, don’t eat fetuses.

Potential SOPA/PIPA Revisions

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Since SOPA and PIPA were shelved following last Wednesday’s blackouts, this comic is kind of late to the discussion, but the bills’ backers will attempt to trot out a revised version sooner rather than later. I also wanted to draw Chris Dodd’s man-boobs. You’ll notice that since this was for the New York Times, I avoided coloring his nipples and going crazy with veins and hair. Because I am RESPONSIBLE.

Anyone who thinks it’s just Republicans who cravenly do their donors’ bidding should have been enlightened by who continued to support these bills following the widespread online opposition. Sure, supporting Hollywood’s mad grab for extending copyright privileges isn’t as bad destroying the economy, environment, and everything else, but it’s still shitty.

As for reducing (you can never stop it) online piracy, the solution’s simple: Price your shit fairly, and make it easy to use. I pay $8 a month to both Hulu and Netflix instead of a pricey cable package, and that keeps me pretty much up-to-date with pop culture. As for sports, that’s why bars were invented. Paying more than $10 a month for any content-related thing is obscene. It generally costs $30-$50 to get internet access, so if you think your one thing is worth more than a third of the Internet, you have seriously overvalued your product. And yes, that also applies to a certain newspaper with a soft paywall.

Mitt Romney’s 2012 Gaffe Preview

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I’m still confident cartooning under the assumption that Romney’s getting the nomination, despite this week’s crazy fluctuations in South Carolina polls. He’s the only one with the money and establishment backing to move onto the bigger primary states. And yes, Ron Paul will continue to come in second, but he is running for the Republican nomination. They love wars n’ stuff. No way they’re nominating an isolationist.

Mitt Romney’s rich. Insanely rich. Besides being out of touch, it also means he has always gotten his way. Notice how whenever he’s challenged, either in a debate, town hall meeting, or news interview, he gets really snippy. If his poll numbers get desperate, we might see that snippiness escalate into a rich person’s version of a punch: the limp-wristed tossing of silver dollars at his target, complete with tennis-style grunting.

Check out Jen’s comic about Romney’s strapped-on-shittin’-setter. She managed to make a point about it, whereas I just referenced it, for giggles.

Funyuns are gross. My emergency vending machine snack of choice is peanut butter and cheese crackers, because I’m not a $250 million douche who likes fake onions.

The Working Poor Electronics Show

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The Consumer Electronics Show was last week, and in between fluff pieces about ultralight laptops, cars connected to the cloud for no discernible reason, and dozens of other gizmos, a few stories about worker conditions at Foxconn trickled through. If you haven’t heard it already, the This American Life episode about it is probably the best overview, although the focus on Apple glosses over the fact that pretty much every electronics company uses parts made by the same company.

The bad press might have been enough to spur Apple to do more, since they announced they’ll be more open about their supply chain over the weekend. It’s obviously not a cure-all, but at least people are starting to become aware what the invisible hand of the free market has been up to in China.

The asshole in the rotary phone panel is Robert Rector, who wrote this charming bit of stupid last year. In addition to being an asshole, he has the worst mustache in the world.

UPDATE: I merely gave it a fleeting mention in the comic, but The Daily Show’s Foxconn segment on Monday was perfect.

Shitty Cinema Season

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During my mini-vacation, I caught up with season three of Sons of Anarchy, a dumb show I watch on Netflix when I feel like gettin’ stupid. I was a couple episodes in, when suddenly Stephen King appeared, doing a pretty shitty impression of Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction, which was directed by another guy who likes to act even though he’s perfectly good at the thing he’s famous for doing.

Obstruction Manual

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Congress’s record unpopularity is old news, but the recent jackassery surrounding the payroll-tax holiday and Obama’s recess appointments (and yes it’s a recess if nothing can actually be voted on) have taken it to new and disgusting levels.

I’m not exactly taking the centrist “everyone’s to blame equally” position, but the Democrats haven’t been helping themselves either. By twisting the parliamentary rules to require a filibuster-proof super-majority to do even the most basic governmental tasks, they’ve turned the Capitol into nothing more than a political theater, performing a play only Moe Phelps would approve of.


Know Your Iowa Caucus Safety

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If you think the campaign is dumb now, wait ’til the primary dust settles. Romney and Obama will spend close to a billion to pretend they have widely different opinions, when they’re only really in disagreement about a few minor tweaks of the status quo.

I took a mini-vacation over the holidays because I needed it. Now it’s a new year and I’m back to the fart joke grind.