Cartoon Violence In The Lions' Den

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

Wonkette readers: Let me dispense with my usual pretense of using the editorial "we" and address you directly. By the time you read these words, I will have already appeared as a panelist at the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists' big convention in Washington, D.C. I was invited to attend with great friendliness and enthusiasm, and was assured that my work was appreciated by the cartooning community; and every cartoonist I've ever met has been incredibly pleasant and charming and not at all self-important or prone to fits of murderous rage. But as the hours tick down, I have to wonder: did I really agree to speak to a room full of people whose life's work I puerilely mock every week? Am I completely insane? Do I really believe that I'll leave the Mayflower Hotel alive?

Anyway, in all probability I will not be stabbed to death by dozens of pens. I'm guest-blogging here on Wonkette Monday, filling in for a vacationing Alex, so if you see my non-comics-related posts as you return to work after the weekend, you'll know I survived. But till then, allow me to share with you my ghoulish ruminations on my own mortality.

01brk.gifCause of death: Bludgeoned to death by spouse.

Probability that it will happen to me today: Low. My wife has had many opportunities to bludgeon me to death here at home; surely luring me to another city entirely to do it would be needless complex.

Musing on mortality: I'm kind of at a loss to figure out the meaning of this cartoon. Does the apron-wearing wife support Hillary and/or Obama? Is the husband senile, and has already made this puzzling request, and the wife is only doing what's been asked of her, not realizing that it doesn't count if "Oh, to be young again" is in indirect speech? Do the two of them symbolize the infighting in the Republican party? Was she just planning on braining him with that baseball bat anyway?

02uk.gifCause of death: Crushed to death by giant chunk of metal (weight not specified, but probably several tons).

Probability that it will happen to me today: Fairly high. Do you ever watch Warner Brother cartoons? These things drop out of the sky all the freakin' time!

Musing on mortality: The old "giant chunk of metal falling out of the sky" trick surely has its origins in the aforementioned very American adventures of Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, et al., but the Brits became afflicted in the late 1960s, thanks to Monty Python. It's a little known fact that these iron menaces prematurely ended the Prime Ministerships

of both Anthony Eden and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and that Harold Wilson spent most of his second term with his foot caught under one.

03mon.gifCause of death: Vicious monkey attack.

Probability that it will happen to me today: Middling. I tend to avoid the lower primates, but they are crafty beasts, and may can sneak up on you if you aren't careful.

Musing on mortality: The whole "ha ha, Bush looks like a monkey!" thing ceased to be amusing sometime in the summer of 2001; this may be the first time since then that I've actually laughed a gag for which the presidential-simian resemblance was the underpinning principle. A message to satirists everywhere: if you're going to go down this road, bring your A game, which should involve pointless violence if at all possible.

04vot.gifCause of death: Brain removed by elderly poll worker due to little-known amendment to recent highway appropriation bill.

Probability that it will happen to me today: Low. Those old bats can't even figure out our voting machines! Surely I'll be able to dodge 'em when they come at me with the hacksaw and ice-cream scoop!

Musing on mortality: Do you get a brain-check ticket when you vote? Or do you have to root through the brain box, getting your grubby little fingers on everybody else's brain before you find yours? Man, I do not want someone else touching my brain. That's it, I'm never voting again.

05skl.gifCause of death: Beheading, followed by the flesh being cleaned off of my skull, which is then added to a pyramid used to support the president and prime minister of Poland.

Probability that it will happen to me today: To many factors to compute! I mean, the beheading and the flesh-cleaning and the Polish leadership pyramid ... I can't do the math.

Musing on mortality: If you don't follow Polish politics (and really, why would you), you may not know that that country's current president and prime minister are identical twins who were also beloved child actors in the early 1960s; their ascendency is the equivalent of a Mary Kate and Ashley ticket winning the American presidency and vice presidency in 2032 (and really, that's about as likely as anything else). Last I heard, they had not in fact turned Poland into a skull-strewn, Khmer-Rouge-era-Cambodia-style deathscape over which they reigned like demon kings, but, you know, the U.S. media's been cutting back on the foreign reporting lately, so I can't rule it out. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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