« Some of us think we've found the key, don't we? | Main | Government of the people by the privileged for the privileged »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bill R

The most interesting thing about this (until this morning's revelations about one of the cops having been charged with murder) is that South Africa doesn't do Trial by a Jury of Your Peers. Apparently in its death throes the apartheid government did away with that bit of business, and trials are decided by a judge, with help from assistant judges. According to the news report I heard this in, the current government "is looking into" bringing back jury trials. Wow.

Geoffrey Cubbage

I don't know if it's conscious homage to an earlier generation of comics or just unconscious use of the discourse, but those depictions of Chinese military personnel seem awfully "Yellow Peril" to me -- no visible eyes, buck teeth, and grotesque head/body proportions.

Pretty weird to see in a 21st century cartoon.

Sherwood Harrington

I came down here to make a comment, but see that Geoffrey Cubbage has already made it. Never mind.


Bill: In the US, we don't have trials with a jury of one's peers. Rather, you have a jury of people in the district in which you're being tried. The 6th Amendment states that the jury shall be "impartial", but we know that can be subverted and has been in many cases against black people in the Deep South.

Mike Peterson

Racial exclusion of jurors is not permitted, though I'll grant you can finagle your way around it, especially with a defendant who can't access a fair appeals hearing. But you can also get away with robbing a bank -- that doesn't mean it's legal under our system to rob banks.

As for the depiction of Asians, I'd start by noting that the depiction of a nerd generally includes glasses and Rogers doesn't draw eyes on people with glasses. To my eye, that skinny guy with glasses and a bad haircut (but not really a bowl cut) is a "traditional" geek.

As for the general, while his eyes are not as round as if he were, say, a "round eyes," they aren't 45-degree angle slanty and he's not yellow. So I guess my challenge is, show me a cartoon depiction (and not in a Marvel-comics realistic style) of a Chinese person that you feel is more appropriate.

Richard J. Marcej

Having seen several of Rogers comics before, these character depictions seem more in his style than some racial stereotype (IMO). Much like what Mike stated above, Rogers doesn't draw pupils in his characters with glasses. I do the same thing with my drawings, most notably, Larson did it all the time in his panels. I think you can achieve a nice characterization without resorting to text when you go that route.

Gotta add, I love Piraro's facial expression he uses for the dog's reaction to the doctor. It's very simple but he really gets the gentile happiness the dog is feeling to the news.

Lost in A**2

On movie blurbs: Yesterday, I passed a billboard advertising a dental office. One of the statements was, "Voted #1 in the state," with an asterisk. The text of the footnote was smaller, but large enough to read at 70MPH: "by our staff."

Mike Peterson

Hey, that's as valid as most of those restaurant polls the weekly papers run.

A little more forthcoming, mind you, but more or less the same electorate stuffing the ballot box.

Sherwood Harrington

Challenge schmallenge. I'm goin' on 66 and will feel however I want to about somethin', whippersnapper.

More seriously, my point wasn't going to be (and I don't think Geoffrey Cubbage's point was) that the depiction wasn't "appropriate", but rather that the similarity to Yellow Peril images was startling -- and it was startling to me. Just a fact.

In fact, it's obvious that it wasn't Rogers' intent to identify the people as Chinese by facial stereotype -- otherwise he wouldn't have included the "China" sign on the geek's monitor any more than Nast felt a need to put "Paddy" nametags on his ape-faced Irishmen.

Your "challenge" does bring up an interesting topic, though: how to identify ethnicity by means other than exaggerating facial features (and, again, I don't think that was what Rogers was doing here.) One way is evidenced by depictions of Irish from Nast's time to ours, and that's by use of clothing or other ethnically-identifiable items instead of facial features. For example: http://content.sportslogos.net/logos/33/789/full/2554.gif . While the Irish facial features are evident, the visual impact comes more from other things.

Mary in Ohio

Glad to see the point I've been pondering acknowledged here. It's been quite awhile since I lived with anybody, but I can't remember EVER hearing a noise in the bathroom when I woke up and thinking "INTRUDER!" In fact, now I only have cats in the house with me, and I STILL don't think of intruders. I would when I heard the allergic sneezing or the cussing because they'd stepped in a litter box, but "noises off" not so much.

And the nummber one cause of death in pregnant women is : homicide.

Mike Peterson

Notre Dame's leprechaun is a sign of how far we Irish have come, Sherwood. If we were still feeling even slightly oppressed, we'd view that Steppin McFetchit mascot the way Indians view Cleveland's "Chief Knockahoma."

D'anam 'on diabhal! I'm going down to Dinty's for a little corned beef and cabbage, a few hands of poker and several mugs of beer. Don't tell Maggie.

Sherwood Harrington

Oh, I don't know about that, Mike. Alabama oppressed you up pretty good just a while ago.


"It's clear to any fair observer that the president has made significantly more concessions than the GOP,...."

You can now give up your day job for that long sought career in comedy.


Mike Peterson

Sherwood: Haven't followed the team in years, though that game was embarrassing enough to even make me pity the fools.

Dann: Yeah, right. Oh, let's play link wars and I'll send you news reports and you can counter with Town Hall and Fox and Breibart.com analysis. No, wait. Let's not.


well, Mike did to to any "fair observer"



That's what I left it at that.


Mary in Ohio

As far as Chief Wahoo ("Nokahoma" was the Braves' mascot) I have to chip in with some cartoon-y info. The guy who originally drew Chief Wahoo was 17 when he did the first sketch, back in the 40's. Walt Goldbach grew up to run his own signage business, and I had his kids in school. He was a kid trying to make a few bucks, rather than a racist statement. Granted, times have changed and it may be past time to ditch The Chief. But as a person with a few drops of Amerind blood AND a long-suffering Indians fan, I must say that the protestors who came out in the 90's, when the team began to win after 43 years, gave me a laugh. The Tribe was more insulting to Indians in the years between 1960 and 1994, when they ought to have been named "The Cleveland Inept White Guys." Imagine THAT mascot. Oh, wait - you can see any number of them on MLB Blooper reels.

Mike Peterson

As I said in regards to the wee leprechaun (may the eel and the trout dine on his snout), much of the issue with these well-intentioned mascots is tied up in the status of their targets. I find the ND leprechaun and the entirety of St. Paddy's Day ephemera offensive, but I'm only half Irish and not very oppressed at all.

When I did a project with Sid Couchey some years ago (http://www.weeklystorybook.com/comic_strip_of_the_daycom/2012/03/my-friend-sid-couchey.html), I consulted the school superintendent by the Mohawk community and he agreed that, theoretically, the depictions were not racist, or at least no moreso than those of the Scots or French Canadians or anyone else in the series. But "offensive" is another issue, and we decided to forego distribution in his school district, unless someone, seeing the booklet in their paper that day, asked for additional copies. Nobody from the reserve ever did.

Mary in Ohio

On a related note (I am also Scots/Irish) a teacher friend always decorated for St. Pat's Day. My personal favorite was a flag saying "Erin Go Bragh" and, in teeny-tiny print: Made in Taiwan."

The comments to this entry are closed.

What's so funny?

  • I read some 175 or more comics a day. Each day, I post a strip or two here that made me laugh, made me think or impressed me with its artistry. It's my hope that you'll see some new strips here and decide to follow that artist's work, and perhaps even to support that work by purchasing a collection of strips. But, mostly, I hope you'll find this a place to get a laugh or share a thought each day. After all, comic strips are a very demanding art form, but the ultimate point of all that work and all those deadlines is to give readers a little pleasure each day. If you find a comic hard to read, clicking on it will open a slightly larger version. (You may find that right-clicking and opening in a new tab produces a better result.) All comics here are copyrighted by their creators. -- Mike Peterson

The Prime Directive

  • The Prime Directive is that we don't single out comics for snark and abuse. This may change once I've won a couple of Pulitzers and a Reuben or two.


  • Want a daily reminder and link? My Twitter handle is @ComicStripOTD and I promise that you will never hear about what I had for lunch or the cute thing the dog said.

Independent publishers

  • Independent comic collections
    Not all cartoonists market their collections through Amazon. Here's where cartoonists can list their independently published, and marketed, collections and where fans can find, and buy, them.

Blog Roll

  • Comics Worth Reading
    Independent Opinions by Johanna Draper Carlson and friends News and reviews of graphic novels, manga, comic books, and related subjects
  • Comic Riffs
    Michael Cavna's Washington Post column on comics and related media news.
  • Mike Lynch Cartoons
    Cartoonist Mike Lynch's blog: Fascinating archival stuff he's found and scanned, tips on how cartooning really works and progress reports on his garden (in season).
  • The Comics Reporter
    Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary
  • Cartoon Movement
    An international site with sociopolitical cartoons from around the world, curated by Dutch cartoonist Tjeerd Royaards. A real mix of impressionistic panels and short-form graphic journalism.
  • Africartoons
    Cartoons from across Africa, which has an extremely lively cartooning culture. Most of the material requires you to be on top of African current events and political personalities, but even when you're not sure of the specifics, there's some creative stuff to envy in the lively nature of the art form as practiced there.


  • GoComics.com
    Universal Press Syndicate's page. You can click on each strip and read for free, but for $11.88 a year, you can create your own page of strips and also avoid pop-ups. It's worth it.

Comics Kingdom

  • Comics Kingdom
    King Features' site, with free comics if you don't mind a truncated service, or a very good paid site for $20 a year. Some of the benefits, including Vintage strips, require that paid subscription. It's worth it.