Tom Tomorrow comics in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Comedian Tom Tomorrow spoke at the opening night of Yearly Kos in Las Vegas, NV on June 8, 2006.

From British daily The Morning Star:

A bright Sparky

(Sunday 16 November 2008)

The Future is so Bright, I Can’t Bear to Look by Tom Tomorrow
(Nation Books, £9.99)

MICHAL BONCZA has a chuckle at the understated wit of a futuristic penguin with a jaundiced view of US politics.

AN increasingly exasperated penguin called Sparky, wearing red single-slit round-the-head sunglasses, asks a man in a suit: “Can we forget all that crap about Democrats wanting the terrorists to win?”

Since no reply is forthcoming, Sparky persists. “Can we take it as given that secular Western liberals do not, in fact, secretly long for the imposition of sharia law?”

His interlocutor Jones, Mr Average White American in a ghastly blue suit and black tie, is impervious, confident and bullish.

“No, we cannot do that, terrorist lover,” he snaps viciously.

Sparky, who’s perhaps Steve Bell-inspired, is the alter ego of Tom Tomorrow – aka Dan Perkins from Wichita, Kansas – a kind of Noam Chomsky of US strip-cartooning “terrorists” and malcontents.

Whereas most editorial cartoons invariably direct their ridicule at the bigwig political establishment luminaries, Tomorrow’s strip This Modern World focuses on the prevailing and seemingly unalterable conservative mentality of white Republican Middle America, where ignorance remains bliss.

Not surprisingly, though, Tomorrow’s most exquisite venom is reserved for a special customer – US mass media which, like Chomsky, he portrays as cynical hired hands manufacturing consent through falsehood, distortion and sycophantic arse-licking at the service of the rich and powerful elite.

The acerbic irony of every speech bubble’s content is comically reinforced by a style of drawing that deliberately mimics the 1950s curiously static US advertising industry cartoons.

Tomorrow relies on minimal characterisation, which sharply contrasts with large swathes of flat and aggressive primary colour grabs and holds the attention.

It irks him that the US has been made to wither, trapped in the politically crippling and intellectually debilitating cold war and imperial mentality.

The strip started in 1990 and is syndicated across 150 newspapers and the online magazine and Working for Change. Both are well worth a visit. This collection offers 140.

Finally, after being ignored or sneered at for so long, Sparky watches Obama’s win on TV. The terminally bigoted Jones, clearly in post-traumatic shock, begs to know how anybody could vote for “the probable son of Malcolm X.”

Goaded to produce some “widely implausible left-wing rejoinder,” Sparky remains unperturbed until the last frame.

Here, perhaps weary of a future so bright he cannot bear to watch, he finally responds “Nah, just want to savour this moment a little while longer.”

Introducing Ladydrawers! In recent years, comics have grown into a legitimate – and big money – business. Yet, some in the industry haven’t felt the impact of the popular success of the now ubiquitous form. More often than not, it’s the female-identified creators who aren’t being encouraged to submit work, aren’t being sought out and aren’t getting books turned into big movie deals. In comics and elsewhere, women creators of all sorts of media are starting to ask: Why? Ladydrawers, a new semimonthly comics collaboration on Truthout, will look at a few possible reasons and impacts in comics form: here.


Bush puppets in Somalia ‘on verge of collapse’

This video is called Somalia: US Military Strikes Against Civilians; and is about a protest in Seattle, USA, against that.

From Associated Press:

Somali president: Government on verge of collapse

MOGADISHU, Somalia — President Abdullahi Yusuf has described his government as “on the verge of collapse” because disputes within its ranks have allowed its opponents to take control of much of the country.

Yusuf’s remarks to about 100 Somali lawmakers in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, late Saturday represent the first admission by any official that the government is losing control.

Yusuf appealed to the lawmakers to return to Somalia and take steps aimed at “saving a government on the verge of total collapse.”

The president and his prime minister have failed to agree on a Cabinet. Islamists have waged a vicious insurgency and are in control of much of southern Somalia.

See also here. And here.

So, apparently not even George W. Bush’s air force and the invading armed forces of Bush’s ally, dictator Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, can prop up the unpopular puppet government in Somalia. Many Somalis are not fanatically religious at all. Nevertheless, they see the Bush-Zenawi occupation of their country as even worse than militant Islamism.

The US role in Somalia’s misery: here.

The US has suffered a bloody defeat in the “third front in the war on terror” after Ethiopia announced it will be ending its occupation of Somalia at the end of the year: here.

Toxic scandal in Somalia gave birth to new piracy: here. And here.

More military vessels dispatched to Somalia: here.

Carnivorous dinosaur eggs discovered

Carnivorous dinosaurs

From National Geographic:

November 14, 2008—If it looks like a duck-billed dinosaur nest, it’s probably from a duck-bill—unless it’s a newly identified clutch of fossilized eggs from a private collection in Calgary, Canada.

The eggs, originally found in Montana in the 1990s, actually belong to a carnivorous dinosaur—either a creature related to the fearsome velociraptor (seen above, top left) or a birdlike, upright-walking dinosaur called a caenganathid [spelled wrongly; should be caenagnathid] (top right), a new study says.

Nests for neither of the predators have never been found, making the discovery a major one, according to University of Calgary paleontologist Darla Zelenitsky, who led the study in the journal Paleontology.

When Zelenitsky and colleagues first examined the eggs, they noticed some irregularities that did not point to plant-eating duck-bills, which are not directly related to birds. (See a duck-bill illustration.)

For one, the ancient parents left their eggs open to the elements, probably so the creatures could brood their young as a bird would. The eggs were also pointed, like bird eggs.

(Related: “Dinosaurs Were Doting Parents, Fossil Find Suggests” [September 8, 2004].)

The nest is also the first to be found that preserves the mound (above, bottom) on which the eggs were laid, added Zelenitsky.

—Matt Kaplan

Images courtesy University of Calgary