This is brilliant work. It's an excellent predator/prey metaphor and he did a truly great job of melding Putin's face with that of the self-satisfied lion.
Really, really nice work.
And then the son of a bitch agreed to go to the NATO meeting after all.
More frustrating, in my mind, is this multi-panel analytical piece by Ann Telnaes (go here to read the rest), a strong commentary on our health care system and not simply on the Republican's now-failed plan to undermine it.
Eagan's cartoon is about a specific situation that no longer obtains, so it had a short shelf life, but it can also be argued that the cartoon was among the straws that broke the camel's back, and, if Eagan can't claim all the credit for that reversal, he's certainly part of the reaction that caused it.
However, the alleged GOP health care "reform" was only the hook for Telnaes' commentary, and she's among a quiet chorus saying "Let's fix what we have."
Not only does that not change with the demise of RINOcare, but it still matters, perhaps even more now: The Republican plan to "watch Obamacare explode" isn't likely a plan to just "watch" but rather to continue to sabotage it, as they have in those states where it doesn't work because of failure to extend Medicaid or simply to rein in predators.
It's as if, in the 1900s, states had passed laws against opening gas stations so that they could declare the motorcar a failure.
Well, we'll see.
Reform of health care needs to continue, but progressives may be reluctant to push against an already embattled caucus and, besides, with RINOcare off the table, who cares anymore?
Staying relevant is hard.
Juxtaposition of the concussions:
The datelines look as if Alcaraz got there first, but they showed up online all but simultaneously -- his apparently late on the 24th, Anderson's apparently in the early hours of the 26th.
So, as ballplayers will know, Lalo only got there "first" in the sense of getting Nick's forehead right in the chops instead of vice-versa.
Alas, there's no system in cartooning by which you can yell "Got it!" and warn your teammates away.
At least it was a cool idea. It would be a shame to lose teeth over something lame.
Kal makes it look so damn easy. Trump-the-Magician is only so-so, but the expression on that rabbit's face turns a B- into an A+.
There didn't even have to be a rabbit, or we might have seen a bunnytail just disappearing into the wings. The empty hat would have been sufficient.
But you only get a B- for being sufficient.
Note the anatomical differences: In Horsey's cartoon, a huge, fierce mammoth makes an African elephant -- big and be-tusked as he is -- quake, while, in Varvel's, the clueless analysts also confront an African elephant, which could be scored a "miss" since the legend is Asian, but Asian elephants are far more tractable than their African cousins, so, again, the fiercer elephant is the better choice.
But de Adder goes not just for an Asian elephant -- the small ears and different forehead identify it as such -- but retains its baby hair, making it both absurdly clueless and also anatomically correct for the species upon which a howdah would be mounted. Or, in this case, under which.
Showing GOP leadership on the wrong side of a proud, fierce elephant would greatly undercut the message, just as the other two cartoons would have been blunted by a less than deadly animal.
You shouldn't lose sleep over such things, but neither should you ignore them.
Elsewhere in the same universe
Edison Lee weighs in with a non-political political commentary. As noted here before, many strip cartoonists are finding it hard to ignore what's going on, or to just make mild "alternative facts" gags.
This particular strip has never shied away from mixing politics in with its usual social commentary and, in fact, when it launched in 2016 2006,I felt it was a little ham-handed on politics. Since then, the strip has found its legs and, while I'm sure they'll get letters, the commentary is well blended with the strip's established characters and tone.
As for politics on the Funny Pages, you can't stay relevant forever by just stealing pies from windowsills and knocking off top hats with snowballs.
Juxtaposition of Technological Change
Frazz muses on the invasive nature of evolving technology and I laughed, but I also took the warning. We ponder the ethics of cloning humans, but there are other things we're capable of that seemed to go unquestioned.
Except by Frazz, and who cares what a janitor thinks? Or a little kid? Right?
But one benefit of new technology is that there's very little reason for crappy pictures of your kids. With good cameras in every phone and the advantage of being able to review and delete and try again, the only excuse for having really crappy pictures of your kids is that once a year they'll take one at school and bludgeon you into buying 100 copies of it.
Those photos of over-groomed, over-posed kids in front of fake backgrounds are as outdated as the old daguerreotypes where everyone had to sit perfectly still for way too long.
You have to wonder how much of the moment either of them ever really manage to capture.
Memories beyond the old photographs: