Cartoon Violence: It's Never Too Soon

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

The teeming throngs of you who follow this feature no doubt noticed that we here at Cartoon Violence were off waging our annual War on New Years last week. Normally, this wouldn't have mattered, as all we would have missed was a bunch of retarded cartoons featuring little baby 2007s in diapers and stooped old 2006s with scythes and hourglasses, but all that was disrupted when good ol' stumbly Gerald Ford dropped dead around the time we were struggling to digest our Christmas Day dim sum. Since all aspects of America's favorite appointed president, up to and including his demise, are unmitigatedly hilarious, Wonkette has of course gone to town on this for the last week and a half, and we were hesitant to do a Gerald Ford cartoon roundup, mostly because we didn't want the tasteless snarking to go on for longer than Ford's presidency itself.

That was before we saw the cartoons, though. They're fucking nuts, and we would be very remiss if we didn't share them with you. So this is our way of not saying ill of the dead: for all his Nixon-pardoning, Kissinger-retaining, Cheney-and-Rumsfeld-hiring, fall-of-Saigon-presiding-over, inflation-non-whipping, and Poland-forgetting ways, he certainly didn't deserve the majestic eagle/St. Peter banter/Diogenes of Sinope bullshit you're about to see.

01nix.gifIn a nutshell: "Gerald Ford is become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Awesome factor: If Ford were actually an enormous winged angel-being instead of an avuncular ex-football player from Michigan, he surely would have ruled America as its god-king down through the ages instead of being defeated by a diminutive peanut farmer. Even Ronald Reagan would have hesitated before challenging such a majestic seraph for the Republican nomination.

Nitpick: In real life, Ford pardoned Nixon and allowed him to live out the reminder of his life with a modicum of dignity, rather than crushing him to death with his huge, muscular wings.

02los.gifIn a nutshell: "St. Peter: Not as politically neutral as you might have thought."

Awesome factor: Though billed as someplace where we'd all like to spend eternity, Heaven has traditionally been depicted as somewhat stark and cold. It's good to know that the blessed dead are in fact allowed to personalize their work areas with kitschy ephemera from thirty-year-old political campaigns.

Nitpick: Simon ben Jonah, a Judean and subject of the emperor of Rome, has no business participating in American electoral politics; stricter rules on voter identification are needed to prevent illegal immigrants like him from voting.

03quo.gifIn a nutshell: "Communist Chinamen find the wit and wisdom of our 38th president to be hilarious."

Awesome factor: Most cartoonists were satisfied to salute Ford by covering some aspect of his career and possibly drawing a funny picture of him; creating a trio of vaguely racist buck-toothed Chinese caricatures laughing uproariously at a nonexistent book is what we call "thinking outside the box."

Nitpick: No, but seriously, what the fucking fuck.

04frd.gifIn a nutshell: "Diogenes of Sinope jokes are a bottomless well of hilarity."

Awesome factor: If you could take someone who was politically cognizant in the '70s -- Pat Oliphant, say -- and take him back to 1975 and have him meet his 1975 self and tell that earlier version that thirty years down the road he'd be desperately searching for someone Ford-esque, wouldn't it be fun to watch that earlier version cry?

Nitpick: Diogenes of Sinope jokes: Annoying to the overeducated few who get them, baffling to everyone else. We send this plea for sanity to the political cartooning community: For the love of God, no more!

05eag.gifIn a nutshell: "Majestic eagles: Your all-purpose symbol of dignity and American majesty. And dead presidents."

Awesome factor: Some cartoonists are not afraid to buck America's monotheistic hegemony and speak their own spiritual truth: namely, that the great-soulled among us do not die, but are transformed into mighty birds of prey that watch over us from the skies, and subsist on carrion, fish, smaller birds, and rodents.

Nitpick: Shouldn't the Statue of Liberty have been crying to mourn the ex-president's death? Because if you're going to go down this road, you've got to go all the way to the end. --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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