12 Months of Boston

12 Months of Boston

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I started drawing this before Friday’s car chase, shootout, manhunt and lockdown (which was voluntary, martial law whiners) craziness. Boston (And its neighbors, who I didn’t forget, because I’m using “Boston” as shorthand for Greater Boston.) will return to normal. The bombings will cast a pall over the year, but we’ll still find reasons to day drink and get way too worked up over our sports teams.

I’ve had a lot of people on Twitter ask if they can buy a print of this cartoon. The answer is yes. Just put “12 Months of Boston” in the info field. I would’ve done something that gives the proceeds directly to The One Fund Boston, but that’s a lot of paperwork. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I’ll donate 20% of the sale of each print ($5) to the fund.

Cartoonist Chit Chat

This afternoon at 4ET/1PT, Matt Bors and I will be having our weekly Google hangout. We’ll be talking about the Marathon Bombings, the terrible news coverage it inspired, and how the story is all about me, since I live 10 miles away and frequently eat cheeseburgers near Copley Square. Plus some other news that slipped under the radar.

Here’s last week’s, and I’ll post today’s chat on the blog as soon as we start.

The Super-Negotiator

The Super-Negotiator

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Yesterday’s bombings render my critique of Obama’s terrible negotiating skills rather pointless this week, but I’m sure it’ll be relevant again soon enough. While devouring any scrap of info about the events in Copley Square yesterday, I ran across a few news items showing how immigration reform and gun control are being turned into toothless legislation at this very moment.

I might have more to say about the bombings later, but I have nothing insightful to add. In addition to the first-responders, a hearty thanks to all the Boston area hospitals and their trauma surgeons, nurses, and staff. Without them, the death toll could very likely be much higher.

Lawn and Garden Tips

Lawn and Garden Tips

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Another year, another oil spill. This time it’s the whimsically named “Pegasus” pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. The 850 mile pipeline is 65-years-old and was originally designed for thinner oil to flow in the opposite direction. With the great tar sands boom, oil companies are desperate to get the heavy bitumen to the market. Since it’s thick asphalt, they need to dilute it with all sorts of chemicals to get it to move through pipes. When one bursts in your neighborhood, presto bango, your yard’s all fucked up.

The extent of the damage is not known at this point, and ExxonMobil is doing its damnedest to prevent anyone from knowing by instituting a no-fly-zone over the spill. And thanks to the fact that this is bitumen pumped with chemicals, the mess doesn’t technically qualify as “oil,” so ExxonMobil’s exempt from paying for the cleanup.

As for Monsanto, one of the congressmen (Cough, Bloy Runt, cough) who’s attached to agribusiness’s teat slipped an anonymous rider into last week’s appropriations bill that has been colloquially dubbed “The Monsanto Protection Act.” This’ll expire in September, and isn’t the end of the world, but shows how disproportionately influential a company with deep pockets can be.

Despite what the final gag in the cartoon might imply, I’m not reflexively against all genetically modified foods. I just wanted to draw Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors.” GMOs have done wonderful things like improving yields in drought-ridden parts of the world, and making tomatoes that don’t turn to shit on their way to my grocery store. My beef with the rider is that it blocks any oversight or regulation on untested GMO crops. Factor in their aggressive protection of their GMO “intellectual property,” even when it’s their crops breeding with their neighbors’, disregard for damage done to the environment, and their resistance to labeling GMOs, Monsanto is as bad as any oil company.

The Quest for the Next Wedge Issue

The Quest for the Next Wedge Issue

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Thanks to the Supreme Court, same-sex marriage was back in the news all week. I’ve been drawing comics about this for what seems like forever. It’s been legal here in Massachusetts for nearly a decade, and my state hasn’t fallen into the ocean or become littered with the corpses of spontaneously-divorced straight couples. The arguments against it are looking increasingly ridiculous and are on the verge of self-parody.

So I drew a cartoon about future wedge issues Republicans will try to use to fire up their base, now that virtually everyone acknowledges same-sex marriage is going to happen; either via a SCOTUS ruling, or when today’s young, tolerant Americans start voting and old homophobes die off.