Each week, the Comics Curmudgeon helps explain Today's Cartoons.

So, what with the recent Democratic victory in the midterm elections, everyone knows that the People Have Spoken and there'll be no more arguments or hate ever, right? Ha! That was a good one. No, in fact, there'll just be more carnage, because the Democrats not only have to tackle a Republican president, but will also have to take on the one enemy who is always most pernicious to any Democrat: other Democrats. It's going to be like an Elizabethan bear-baiting contest, but with fewer rules! And so, in honor of the upcoming carnage, we here at Cartoon Violence are pitting similarly themed entries from the week's cartoons to decide who is the cartooniest.

Rudy Giuliani is running for President, maybe


01rud.gifPro: Giuliani's grim, skeletal visage makes him a perfect candidate for transformation into a cartoon spirit of the damned, and a bad candidate for president.

Con: Since nobody in the Republican Party seems to take Giuliani's presidential chances seriously, we kinda doubt that Hillary is. Concept of Bill nestled in for a good night's sleep next to his wife is sweet, naive.


02rud.gifPro: This cartoon, no doubt from some podunk daily in flyover country, hilariously illustrates that WASP America views anyone who is from New York and/or who has a name that ends in a vowel is some kind of Sopranos-esque gangster.

Con: Uh, it's from New York Newsday? Hmm. Troubling.

And the winner is: Number 1. Now every time I see Rudy during his doomed presidential campaign, I'll think he looked like a doomed shade from the netherworld, rather than just a rat-faced old man with a bad combover.

GOP symbolic element is ritually mutilated for his party's sins


03rud.gifPro: Adorable waiter donkey is adorably smug; adorable butt-removed elephant adorably glum.

Con: Making the elephant's interior an undifferentiated mauve mass instead of full of blood and guts and organs and stuff is meant to be reassuring, yet is somehow profoundly disturbing.


04dem.gifPro: Dem donkey and GOP elephant are wearing smart suits. Because even during a reign of terror, it doesn't hurt to follow the rules of propriety. You listening, Jim Webb?

Con: Hands tied behind the back perhaps a little too realistic; one is tempted to imagine the amount of overly enthusiastic guillotine research that went into.


05gop.gifPro: Recently mutilated elephant ears area still shedding bits of elephant ear onto the street; elephants too stoic to complain.

Con: Yes, the one on the left is wearing some kind of pink thong/lederhosen combo. Yes, it's an image that none of us can ever unsee.

And the winner is: Number 3. I'm willing to forgive a lot for the "Welcome to Donkeytown" sign. "Won't you take me to ... Donkeytown!" Good times.

Vladimir Putin is your waiter ... of radioactive death!


06put.gifPro: Nothing says "down-home eating experience" like a charming portrait of Stalin.

Con: If you're doing some sort of crazy restaurant scene, Asian food is a gimmie! Don't go all generic bistro on us!


07putin.gifPro: Nifty hammer-and-sickle headband will be all the rage once Urban Outfitters starts selling it. Plus, Alexander Litvinenko probably wasn't poisoned by a dead whole fish left on top of a barrel of radioactive waste, but we all kind of wish that was hot it worked out, don't we?

Con: Knife really looks more suited for a radioactive Benihana than a radioactive Nobu.

And the winner is: Number 2, for Vlad's terrifying, reptilian eyes. Remember when George Bush said he looked into those eyes and knew Putin was a good man?

Murtha got his hand caught in the cookie jar -- literally! By which we mean figuratively.



Pro: Implies that John Murtha must go through life forever with a cookie jar labelle "ABSCAM" on one hand as some sort of ritualized penance for past corruption, which makes it hilarious to imagine him trying to drive.

Con: Implies that politicians would stoop so low as to stand in front of signs bearing their meaningless talking points.


09mur.gifPro: Good work on the background material, including the most lovingly rendered toaster you'll ever see in the editorial pages.

Con: Murtha's jowly old man head has been stuck onto the body of an obese child, creating one of the most hideous crimes against man and God you can imagine.

And the winner is: Neither. Do you seriously think anyone in America has the attention span to remember "ABSCAM," whatever the hell that was? Puh-lease.


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