Cartoon Violence: Viva Alberto Sangre Derramada!

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

Greetings and buenas dias, Wonketteers! This week, we peek once again at the political cartoons that arrive at Cartoon Violence Headquarters via international couriers from the vast, blighted wasteland we call "the non-America part of the world." What makes these kooky foreigners tick? What comes into their swarthy little heads when they decide to

scrawl out non-American cartoons using berry-juice ink on tree bark or whatever it is they use over there? If this batch of the cartoons are any indication, they sure love ex-Vice President Al Gore. Or at least we think so -- some of them aren't even in English! But there's a general tone of Nobel Prize-winning smugness that you'll get in full effect after the jump. (Fun fact: Did you know that the Nobel Prizes are handed out by foreigners?)

071102-1.jpgCountry of origin: Honduras

Suggested title: "Only animal-human hybrids can save us from global warming"

What are those foreigners thinking? Obviously, "AMBIENTE" written on the tree trunk acknowledges Al Gore's tireless effort to raise the profile of ambient dub music. He took David Toop's maxim that ambient dub "turn[s] the rational order of musical sequences into an ocean of sensation" seriously, using ambient music to provide a psychological underpinning to his speeches on climate change. The disturbing image of the man-headed bird is a node to the mind- expanding hallucinogens so popular in the ambient dub club scene. As he once noted to Daniel Lanois ... oh, wait, "ambiente" is Honduran (or, as they call it in Honduras, "Spanish") apparently means "atmosphere." So, the atmosphere ... is ... holding up Al Gore somehow? I like my version better.

071102-2.jpgCountry of origin: India

Suggested title: "Al Gore's triumph shall be heralded by magnificent bear-seraphs"

What are those foreigners thinking? Presumably this polar bear is supposed to be imagining himself as the noble dove of peace, personally flying to Oslo to drape his olive branch laurel on the head

of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. But the image also could have a darker interpretation: namely, that Gore's efforts will ultimately be futile, the tiny ice floe will melt, and the bear will drown, becoming an adorable Angel Bear and inspiring an entire line of beloved Build-A-Bear products.

071102-3.jpgCountry of origin: Singapore

Suggested title: "The last temptation of Al Gore"

What are those foreigners thinking? Combining the qualities of St. Francis, Christ, one of God's own angels, and an Olympic gold medalist, Gore truly exemplifies the divine dignity we all expect of our Nobel laureates. But what's this? This donkey-eared (or is that devil-horned?) tempter is trying to drag him into the Inconvenient Truth of the political ... ocean? Desert? Quicksand pit? Whatever it is, there are tiny, stick-like hands reaching desperately out of it. Or maybe they're actually sticks. But it's

definitely "politics." That I know. Because it's labeled. In English.

071102-4.jpgCountry of origin: Honduras

Suggested title: "Uncle Sam's hat has stars and stripes ... or WAIT THE STRIPES ARE REALLY POLLUTION-PUMPING SMOKESTACKS DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND"

What are those foreigners thinking? Seriously, dude, look at those things coming off of his hat. They start off as two-dimensional stripes, then become three-dimensional smokestacks. They're like a damn blivet! No wonder our proud national icon looks so disgruntled. It must be uncomfortable having an impossible object perched on your head.

071102-5.jpgCountry of origin: Israel

Suggested title: "2007! What a year ... first Oscar, and now Nobel."

What are those foreigners thinking? Ha ha, because you see, Al Gore won an Oscar and now the Nobel, and ... OK, really? This is what passes for political cartooning in Israel? Public figures standing in front of a featureless backdrop relaying their recent achievements, for those who missed them? Because that's crap.


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