Cartoon Violence Thinks It's Like This But Really It's Like This

It's time once again for resident curmudgeonly comics analyst the Comics Curmudgeon to take a stab at explaining Today's Cartoons. Someone's got to.

This week, metaphors! Learn why they should be left to the experts, after the jump. Also, there is semen.

Before Cartoon Violence launches into its usual weekly screed, let's have a moment of silence for the Boondocks, which looks to be leaving the nation's newspapers indefinitely. While some at Wonkette have hated on it, we have to admit a great deal of affection for it, based on its pre-September 11th qualities when it actually had characters and wacky antics, rather than just burning hate. But even that burning hate, despite the fact that it threatened to turn the feature into Mallard Fillmore with liberal black people watching TV instead of a conservative duck doing nothing, was a gazillion time funnier and realer than anything that happened in Blondie, ever. Plus, unlike Doonesbury, the Boondocks did not exude contempt for everyone born after 1960 with every fiber of its being.

Plus, you know what the Boondocks never did? Make some sort of confusing, half-assed metaphor and expect you to laugh at it. Look, cartoonists, we've told you before and we'll tell you again: the purpose of a metaphor is to enlighten! To draw parallels that make things clearer! To elucidate as well as entertain! Let us tell you what a metaphor is not meant to do: it's not meant to piss us off. Why do you people do us, huh? Why you gotta make us so mad about your incomprehensible metaphorical drawings?

Well, here's what you get: you get Cartoon Violence making fun of you this week, that's what you get.

01hil.gifThe thing is: Bill Clinton's possible negative impact on his wife's presidential ambitions.

The thing is like: A Bill-Clinton's-face-shaped ... stain. Of ... some kind.

The thing might have worked if: Hillary was prone to wearing shapeless white smocks instead of smart pinstriped power suits. Also, if the cartoon had been in color so we could tell if that was supposed to be ink or blood or ... oh God, I just realized what that's supposed to be. It would have been easier if it hadn't been black. Christ, I don't even want to think about this any more.

Bonus annoyance: Hillary's aid appears to be a grown-up version of Ida Mae, the annoying, Hillary-worshipping liberal strawwoman from cartoonist Doug Marlette's daily strip, Kudzu.

02ss.gifThe thing is: The tax burden that local government expenditures place on property owners.

The thing is like: A miniature cruise boat. Bulled by a guy wearing a horse collar. Through a field. Um.

The thing might have worked if: We could have picked a metaphor and stuck with it. Guy in a life preserver, trying to tow a cruise boat through the ocean? Sure. Guy in a horse collar, trying to pull a freakishly oversized plow through a field? I'd buy it. This? No.

Bonus annoyance: The metaphor-related clusterfuckery distracts from an otherwise well-executed slow burn.

03kit.gifThe thing is: George Bush and his Iraq policy.

The thing is like: Charlie Brown and the kite-eating tree.

The thing might have worked if: George Bush was anything like Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown won the hearts of children and adults alike with his poignant observations on life. He was well-intentioned, but he never, ever got what he wanted. He was deeply introspective and wracked with self-doubt. You see where I'm going with this, I trust.

Bonus annoyance: If ever there was a place for the evil, disconcerting grin that Charles Schulz sometimes added to the kite-eating tree, it would be here.

04cia.gifThe thing is: The Bush administration's handling of suspected terrorist detainees.

The thing is like: Diogenes of Sinope, a Greek philosopher from the 4th century BC. No, really.

The thing might have worked if: Anybody had a clue who Diogenes of Sinope was. Or what his relationship to torture might be.

Bonus annoyance: "Waterboarding" is one word, you torturing philistines! Sure, we must be ready to give up haebeus corpus in times of ill-defined war, but good grammar costs nothing!

05cup.gifThe thing is: The black vote in the governor's race.

The thing is like: This sassy and wry black lady and her overflowing cup of coffee.

The thing might have worked if: Everyone involved were twelve years old, since that's about the last age at which "accidentally spilling something on" could be reasonably interpreted as "lavishing with attention and affection."

Bonus annoyance: This might have made more sense if I knew exactly which governor's race it was referring to. Oh, wait, it could pretty much apply to all of them! Sorry, black people! --THE COMICS CURMUDGEON


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