cartoon violence

Things To Electrocute And/Or Screw

By the Comics Curmudgeon
Is there any more poignant word in the English language than “avuncular”? Literally meaning “in the manner of an uncle,” it has come to denote the sort of interactions that you might have with a relative of an older generation, a relative that you’re fond of, but not really close to: there’s a certain chummy pleasantness, combined with perhaps more license than one expects from someone your parents’ age, masking an underlying lack of true intimacy. Thus it is not inappropriate that our national symbol is not a father or mother figure, but rather a stripey-pantsed Uncle, with whom our relationship might be somewhat ambivalent. It’s still sad to see him get tasered or sewn to a French dude, though!

These comics look small, but click on them and they shall be enlarged!

President Obama: he’s a handsome man, am I right? The ladies, they can’t get enough of him. Well, have you ever considered how much pressure that puts on him? Bill Clinton was a lovable hillbilly and could get as fat as he wanted and still get all sorts of intern ass, but Obama’s sexiness brand is pretty much focused on him staying trim and athletic. Thus, you should be unsurprised to find out that he’s developed a terrible eating disorder, all because he thinks you only love him for his tight buns, you awful beasts. He spends his nights barfing up state dinner after state dinner, all for you and your unrealistic beauty standards.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, Uncle Sam. Yeah, so Uncle Sam, like everyone else in America, can’t be bothered to dress in his traditional eccentric but still formal outfit anymore. Instead, he just tucks his t-shirt into his belted, pleated khaki pants, like the rest of you slobs with no class. He’s even wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap! There are few things more depressing than seeing an elderly man wearing a baseball cap, but seeing your beloved national symbol doing so may be one of those things. Anyway, he’s lost all claim to our respect, so frankly nobody is going to speak up when he’s viciously tasered because he failed to show proper respect to some bored, surly rent-a-cop.

Supposedly a “mild” electro-stunning from a taser doesn’t have permanent effects, but ol’ Uncle Sam never was the same after that incident. He pretty much lost whatever initiative he had, let his beard grow out all hobo-like, never washed his clothes, and basically just sat around shooting the shit with one of his foreign friends. It was sad, really, but everyone felt kind of bad for him, so nobody would speak up about it.

Still, nobody expected things to end quite as unpleasantly as they did: with Uncle Sam and his Euro-bud getting so fucked up on moonshine that they got into a vicious fight that left both so injured that doctors had only one desperate recourse to save them: combining the non-mangled body parts to create a single merged organism. Since this did not entail Human Centipede levels of horror, a jaded populace mostly ignored it, but you have to admit that it sure would be traumatic to wake up after a bender to find the be-bereted head of your foreign frenemy permanently attached to your shoulder.

It’s probably almost but not quite as upsetting to wake up in your dingy, lower-middle-class apartment to find that you and your flabby, slovenly wife/aged, decrepit husband (choose as needed for the role in which you as a rule visualize yourself) have apparently just had a three-way with a donkey. I mean, yes, all of us in long-term relationships, even those whom the coastal media elites might dismiss because they wear the wrong clothes and watch the wrong TV shows, need to do what they must to keep their relationship fresh, but donkey-fucking? (Or, in the argot of liberal extremist and elderly Mormon Harry Reid, donkey-making-love-to?) This is a sad place to be at in your life, and I’d imagine that you’d mostly sit around reading the paper together in awkward silence until the donkey finally decides to get up and leave.

Oh, in case you were wondering, this right here is the greatest political cartoon published in 2010 so far. It is from China, and it features a jet plane, sporting the top hat and cane and bow tie one associates with comical plutocrats and Mr. Peanut, getting punched in the face by a volcano, twice. The panels are numbered, in case you’re unsure of the sequence of events.

About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • Mad Brahms

    “Welcome to Air Monocle. Please keep your ascots in a fixed and upright position for the duration of the flight. In the event of an emergency, we may require your assistance shoveling coal into the infernal combustion machine in the rear of the plane.”

  • ttommyunger

    I can’t believe I read that whole fucking thing!

  • JadedDIssonance

    I do love that Volcano Cartoon. Timeless.

  • JMP

    The right-wing obsession with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is so ridiculous, and they’re still doing it. The companies were a small side part of the mortgage crisis, and their role was as victims, yet wignuts just can’t allow criticism of the mega-banks that were actually to blame, or that the Free Market failed, so they just stone cold made up this story that somehow Fannie and Freddie were magically responsible, and that they were still entirely government-controlled.

  • Dashboard_Buddha

    Ahhh, that makes it more clear. I thought it was a shark. I guess I better learn how to read Chinese.

  • dum librul

    I thought that was a shark getting punched in the face by oil. It’s like a choose-your-own catastrophe political cartoon.

  • freakishlystrong

    Haven’t even gotten to the cartoon madness yet. I nominate this post’s title as winning the day on the tubez.

  • V572625694

    One approaches our Wonkette Overlords, particularly the avuncularly-named “Josh,” (whose own blog is a source of much hilarityevery single day) with trepidation in asking: Would it be possible to have the clicky-linky things open in a new window when you clicky on them? Because right-clicking and selecting “Open in a new window” is soooo much trouble.

  • CapnFatback

    Thanks, China, for spoiling the ending to Lost.

  • SayItWithWookies

    I was wondering if that was Charlie the Tuna, or maybe Europe was being represented by the noble cod, the very staple of so many diets and the actual impetus for discovering America, and delighting in the possible metaphorical possibilities of such an erudite metaphor. But no, it’s an airplane. Wheee.

  • JMP

    [re=582579]V572625694[/re]: I hope not; I hate new-window links, because while you can always right-click if you want a new one, there’s no option to avoid getting stuck with a new window/tab if the link is set to so automatically.

  • edgydrifter

    It’s nice to see Jabberjaw has slimmed down for summer. Too bad about getting his ass kicked by a mountain, though. Fucking volcano bullies.

  • bureaucrap

    So this is china’s admission that they control volcanoes? ‘Bout time.

  • Josh Fruhlinger

    [re=582577]freakishlystrong[/re]: And yet I had to change it, because communist Ken demands that we keep swears out of headlines, for the poor saps at work. Boo hoo!

  • Elephants Gerald

    Didja notice that Kurt Vonnegut (holding the newspaper from Greece) is holding his cigarette backwards? ‘Sup with that?

  • give us a bob

    So, our economy has the same animus and intelligence as a teenage prankster trying to outrun security while wearing low-riding pants?

    Sounds about right.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Also, that dumbass Ramirez cartoon is more confusing than it needs to be, since (and apparently it’s my day to misread cartoons) Uncle Sam and Cap’n Trade look like they’re side-by-side instead of one running away from the other. So I stared at it for a while thinking it was an unfinished poster for some new buddy-cop film, and wondering why the usually obvious Ramirez was reaching for some obscure point. Of course expecting him to be subtle is like expecting King Kong to play the oboe, so I soon realized my error.

  • freakishlystrong

    [re=582599]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: Oh fuck, I’m at work!

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    you only love him for his tight buns

    I do not deny this.

    you awful beasts

    *sniffs* You know me so well.

  • mercure

    Josh, are you sure that last cartoon isn’t showing a comic giant plutocrat *shark* (who lives on land), being punched out by the rough, working-class-type volcano?

    Because that would be the best comic of the Millennium!

  • Suds McKenzie

    The only avuncular relationship I have is with Larry King.

    “Mazzulla Falls!, your on the air”.

  • gurukalehuru

    One of these days, I’m going to have to find out what cap and trade actually means. In the meantime, I will continue to operate on the working assumption that since the teatards are against it, it must be a good thing. And what’s with Greece, etc…The cartoonist couldn’t think of any other countries, so he just figured…all of them.
    And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that airplane was some sort of sea creature.

  • mercure

    Reading back, apparently I wasn’t alone in seeing a shark. And reading those post gave me a new interpretation, this is clearly a veiled threat to the U.S. from the ever-sneaky-and-subtle Chinese supervillains.

    To wit, the U.S., used to be fairly wealthy and saw itself as a real “shark” on the geo-political scene. But now it’s been made so poor, by the economic collapse and everything, that it can no longer afford to pay the salaries of the pack of sharks (it’s military) it used to travel with for protection, so it’s alone and vulnerable.

    And if it’s not careful, China will use their awesomely powerful super weapons to call on the world’s volcanoes to erupt and destroy the U.S., after knocking them around a bit with giant fists made from clouds of ash.

  • Josh Fruhlinger

    [re=582605]SayItWithWookies[/re]: To be fair to Ramirez (ugh), he’s based the compositiont pretty closely on this instantly iconic photo:

  • taylormattd

    What the hell is wrong with the Chinese?

  • finette

    That would be a flop hotel in the second-to-last one, actually. See the checkout sign?

    But it’s OK, I thought the last one was Charlie Tuna as well, somehow representing…Iceland?

  • Jim89048

    I get the smoke monster destroying the plane, but where’s the reference to the submarine?

  • 13ollocks To The Rules

    [re=582618]gurukalehuru[/re]: I like that – a universal “Teatard Test”: “If the Teatards are against it, it must be a good thing”. There are worse rules to live by.

  • bjkeefe

    [re=582579]V572625694[/re]: You could try “middle-clicking.” This opens the link in a new tab without having to right-click and then choose from the context menu.

    If you don’t have a three-button mouse, odds are you have a scroll wheel between your two buttons, and odds are, this will work as the middle button, just by pushing on it.

    Takes a few times to get in the habit, but it is truly wonderful once you build the muscle memory.

  • ArkansasFred

    [re=582605]SayItWithWookies[/re] and [re=582630]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: You need to keep up with your quasi-sports news more, Nerdlingers.

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @V572625694: Can’t you just middle-click to get a new tab/window? Or is that only a Linux thing?

  • Jim89048

    [re=582638]bjkeefe[/re]: You are correct, and I never knew that about my scroll wheel thingie. Thanks for the tip.

  • TGY

    So, what you’re saying is that cartoonists are basically retards?

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Wonkette: Educating the public one comment at at time.

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=582630]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: [re=582639]ArkansasFred[/re]: Oh, okay — I had only seen the footage from the home plate angle of that incident. And since we’re being fair to Ramirez (what, did he threaten to behead someone?) — I do like his artwork. Also, he probably has his papers.

  • the problem child

    [re=582630]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: And this is why cartoonists should not use telephoto lenses on their pencils.

  • FCINO Davis Eyes

    I got the Ramirez allusion right away because the photo was in the paper, and so few of us still read them.

    Last cartoon however – Charlie Tuna all the way. I had to open it three times before I saw the hint of airplane-related features.

  • AggieDemocrat

    That’s an airplane? Fuck, I could have sworn that was a shark.

  • Extemporanus

    DAMN! That volcano just cold bitch slapped our Wagg upside the Bogg!

    This aggression will not stand, man…

  • PineyWoodster

    I thought it was a shark until I spotted the jet turbines on the arms/wings.

  • Extemporanus

    [re=582599]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: “Things to Electrocute And/Or Shit“?

    [re=582703]the problem child[/re]: As someone who’s actually MacGyver’d a small magnifying glass to various art implements — pencil, brush, blade, penis — when doing super-detail work, I find this comment absolutely hilarious.

  • GOPCrusher

    [re=582618]gurukalehuru[/re]: As far as I can figure, Cap And Trade is code for taking the white people’s money and giving it to the brown furriner peoples. Or so I was informed by a Tea Bagger that felt the need to scream that in my face.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    Morons, Charlie Tuna would not be caught dead in a top hat and monocle. The man had good taste , man.

  • Rock Ripsnort

    You ignore the true horror of that fourth cartoon — Cap’n Euro HAS NO PULSE! He’s DEAD! Imagine looking over at your conjoined twin and finding him DEAD.

  • Potater

    I can only imagine that had Ramirez been alive and kicking during the sixties (confirmation that he was?) he would have drawn the Cap ‘n Trade nonsense like such

    Fat Rent-a-Cop: Civil Rights Act

    Uncle Sam: American Business

    Lookit me! I’m Rand Paul!

  • Mr Blifil

    I’m pretty sure Mr. Peanut would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act.