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

Greetings, Wonkette readers! Welcome back to that popular and intermittently recurring Cartoon Violence feature, "This Thing Looks Just Like That Thing!" Here, we pick on poor political cartoonists who happen to produce cartoons that look almost exactly like some other cartoons, and then arbitrarily declare one to be better than the other, which is probably really unfair of us. After all, there are only so many current events, easily lampooned images, and collectively understood icons to go around, am I right? Plus cartoonists are all chained to their drafting tables by their employers and forced to churn out comic after comic (some of which on the worst of the worst, the local political scene) and so they don't really have time to call each other up and say, "Hey, are you doing to a 'Blackwater/Creature from the Black Lagoon' bit? No? OK, I'll do one, then."


Nevertheless, we here at Wonkette are heartless bastards who don't care about human weakness or extenuating circumstances. Thus, this week: comics with thematic overlap fight it out for our approval! Who is the cartooniest?

Fred Thompson's silent cannonball

01can.gifIn this corner: Fred, jowly and pinheaded, knees clutched to chest in the traditional "cannonball" position, plummets silently into the water, trailed by radiating lines parallel to his flabby back representing motion. A plaque tells us the type of dive he is attempting. His first name is written on his ass. He breaks the surface with a surprisingly quiet "splish."

02can.gifAnd in this corner: Fred, jowly and eggheaded, knees clutched to chest in the traditional "cannonball" position, plummets into the water, trailed by two lines perpendicular to his flabby back representing motion. He bellows "CANNONBALL!" to indicate the type of dive he is attempting. His first name and last initial are written on the kicky piping of his swimsuit. He breaks the surface with a "sploit!" that is surprisingly quiet, but not so quiet that it doesn't merit an exclamation point.

And the winner is... This one was fearsomely difficult to judge; I spent a lot of time puzzling over various minute differences in the two drawings. For instance, is it somehow relevant that in cartoon one Thompson enters the scene from the right, but in comic two he enters from the left? And what of the dialog balloon vs. explanatory caption dilemma? But I have to award victory to the second panel due to its much more accurate Thompson caricature. Sure, both Thompsons are unpleasant to look at, but isn't Fred's specifically huge-foreheaded, fish-lipped unattractiveness the defining feature of his candidacy thus far?

Hey, remember that thing with Sandy Berger and the classified documents in his socks? These guys do, apparently

03san.gifIn this corner: Sandy Berger is a metaphorical library, not a simile who's like a library! If by "library" you mean "place where documents exist." His pants are also comically stuffed with no-doubt classified material, and he wears the sick little smirk of a man who likes government-issued reports all rubbing up against his area. Unrelated, but important: where are Hillary's legs? Surely the sides at least should be visible....

04san.gifAnd in this corner: Sandy Berger is just a guy with a lot of pockets -- pockets that are perfect for carrying "Secret Documents", which are as a rule labeled as such, obviously. Sure, the cargo pants/dress-shirt-and-tie combination is a crime against fashion, but dress pants just don't have the pocket space necessary for document-thieving, and it's not like you can see much of his tie anyway, what with his pants being hiked up above his nipples.

And the winner is... Number two, in which Sandy Berger actually looks kind of like Sandy Berger. In number one, he just kind of looks like Ted Kennedy. FAT CORRUPT DEMOCRATS DO NOT "ALL LOOK ALIKE," PEOPLE! As an added bonus, Sandy #2 doesn't look like he's in mid-frotteuristic ecstasy, which is always something I approve of in a caricature.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the comically oversized crown

05hil.gifIn this corner: The media relishes its role as kingqueenmaker in America's new corporate sham of a democracy, proffering not only a noble crown for the presumptive nominee but also a royal robe of the finest ermine. All the ordinary people (to the extent that someone dressed like a J. Edgar Hoover-era FBI agent can be considered "ordinary") can do is look on and grouse, since the media respects their wishes not at all!

06hil.gifAnd in this corner: Hillary's crown is even larger and nobler, and the lack of robe is compensated for by some kind of ermine crown-pad thing. Rather than being anointed by the media, though, Senator Clinton has received her symbol of office from ... Howard Dean! Oh no -- FORESHADOWING!!!

And the winner is... I was going to give it to number two, just because the crown in it is so ludicrously large, and also seems to be gleaming nicely. Plus the crown's label includes "scare quotes." However, that was before I noticed that the media stand-in in cartoon number one was a terrifying allegorical figure with a camera for a head and a single, unblinking eye with which to view the world. Since I'm trying to encourage more creepy hallucinogenic imagery in the comics, I must give the crown (ha ha, get it?) to number one.

Children's health insurance in the news + Britney Spears's children in the news = comedy gold!

07cus.gifIn this corner: The Democratic Congress, unable to override President Bush's veto of their child health insurance expansion plan, have struck back the only way they know how: by using their little-known but Constitutionally protected ability to award custody of the President's adult children to a well-known pop starlet/train wreck! Of course, this may just be a diversionary tactic that will allow the Dem donkey to snatch the President's veto pen and prevent any further vetoes from happening; fortunately, Bush has a backup veto rubber stamp at the ready, as the bill he holds indicates.

08cus.gifAnd in this corner: George Bush terrifies a pair of innocent upper-lower-middle class urchins with the ultimate in horror: a big mouthed, martini-toting, thick-thighed, wall-eyed Britney Spears! But it's just this kind of "outside the box" thinking on child- and health-care issues that brought Bush to the pinnacle of power in the United States in the first place.

And the winner is... Number one by a long-shot, because can you imagine if Jenna and Barbara were required by law to hang around with Britney Spears all day oh my God SO AWESOME. The drunken antics would reach never-before-imagined heights of awesomely antic drunkenness! I don't want to make any promises, but we might get to see some genitals, here. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON

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