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53 Comments

    • Donna C.
    • Posted August 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm
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    Zack!! One of the best yet! Pied Piper, indeed! Absolutely brilliant!

  1. Many thanks, Donna, and also for your fascinating give and take with Chris recently. I need to start giving awards to visitors… would “Most Feisty Commenter on a Cartoon” suit you?

  2. Oh wow. That is cold…

  3. Wow! Outstanding! So 3Dimensional! Revealing! Significant! Professional! I’m speechless, Excellent Art Work!

    • ikabod
    • Posted August 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm
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    It appears that Diversity has seen the danger ahead. And just in time too.

    • buckitz
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:00 am
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    I feel bad for the second guy in the wash. The first guy was a dupe, but the second guy saw it coming and still followed through.
    Guy 2 will go all his life falling on his face like a drunken clown.

    • Mark
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:49 am
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    Chris, you do of course realize that your attempt does at least two things:

    1. Reveal how lame your understanding of political humour is (ie. it needs to be relevant, and, as far as I’m aware, the man hasn’t been in the White House for MONTHS)
    2. Offer pretty high praise to Zack as you obviously consider what he creates WORTHY enough to try to tear down. (ie. if the original was lame, you wouldn’t bother)

    FAIL.

  4. I agree with mark with one addition, these aren’t human beings folowing in Zach’s cartoon, they’re lemmings

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 6:09 am
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    Zach-

    Good cartoon, but might you consider giving Mobami the face that he has in “Bully of Color”? Having him look so very much like The Narcissist In Chief but with a evil sort of grin is just really creepy.

    I have noticed that the NIC does smile a lot when he talks-although I try to avoid seeinh him or listening to him as much as possible. Unfortunately, my husband and son haven’t given up on T.V. so I see NIC more than I care to. I don’t trust his smile and I don’t like it; It’s oily. I just imagine him saying “Sal Alinsky’s maifesto is right in my pocket and I’m really pulling things over on you inferior clueless slobs.” It’s the same kind of expression as is in your cartoon.

    But you’ll have a wealth of material to use if Mobamabi ends up at the same school Diversity goes to. ;^)

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 6:13 am
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    Oh, yes; I really like the cartoon titles too. They are quite clever and add to the
    humor. “Psycho-path”: Spot on.

    • Norman Hines
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:42 am
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    I noticed that one can only see the danger if one looks to the Right, but all these kids can only look to the Left.

    How’s that for subtle, Mark(xist)?

    • Jake
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:54 am
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    The sign “Danger” is on the left of the children who have gone around the bend. The sign is on Diversity’s left. The actual collapse is straight ahead.

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am
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    Wow; Some of you folks can really read things into a cartoon. Next thing you know you’ll be looking for hidden phallic symbols in the background. ;^)

  5. Mark,

    I think both versions of the cartoon (mine and Zack’s) fail in that it’s a completely substance-free claim of “this guy is bad”. You could swap out the head of Barack Obama for George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Glenn Beck, Tom Brady, Steve Jobs, the producers of LOST, literally anyone with a position of leadership and implied trust.

    SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS GUY IS A GOOD LEADER BUT HE’LL DESTROY US ALL!

    Previous strips, even if I thought they were cynical misinterpretations of “Obama’s secret intentions, not the ones he actually says or does, but what he BELIEVES”, at least came close to criticizing Obama for something specifically, be it socialism, totalitarianism, or race-baiting. This just says HE’S BAD.

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 11:51 am
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    What it portrays is that Obama is steering people the wrong way-many of whom are paying no attention. Zach is obviously well informed about politics and thinks that O’s policies are disastrous and will lead to more troubles. So, it’s more of an impressionistic cartoon than on a specific issue. What’s the problem with that?

  6. It’s simplistic fearmongering propaganda.

    [Obama] is bad! (What is bad? Whatever you want to imagine)

    Obama will lead us to [Danger]! (What danger? Whatever you can imagine!)

    People who support this bad dangerous man are [blind/stupid]!

    You might as well just put a picture of his face with a big Ghostbusters NO symbol through it.

    • Max
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm
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    Error can easily be forgiven if it is funny, but Chris’s version of the cartoon is both humorless and inaccurate. “Now is not the time to question the Commander-in-Chief”? What? Where? Here? In fact, Commanders-in-Chief in this great nation have always, and without exception, been questioned–sometimes even vilified. Witness Chris’s criticism–which, I’m sure, has be nothing if not consistent over the years. Yet, in spite of this, when were Chris or any of his ideological ilk–the Orwellian group-thinkers in academia, the media and mainline churches–ever prevented form saying exactly what they wanted? Never.

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm
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    Nonsense; It’s not fearmongering. The people who don’t support many of the policies and decisions of Obama will see truth in it. Those who support his policies,decisions and behavior will not. I’ve read about Obama since he entered the primaries, and I think he’s dangerous to this country.

    Chris, If you’ve never seen political cartoons that are based on a attitude towards the overall policies and behavior of a political leader rather than always focusing on one specific issue, perhaps you haven’t seen many political cartoons.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:29 pm
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    He didn’t say he’s never seen one like that, just that it’s bad writing. “This thing is bad!” is pretty weak with no explanation. See: Chris’ reply to Mark. Anyone’s head could be put there, as has been evidenced already.

    I do agree with you tho on something Methodmint (I’m just being cute, no offense intended. I’m guessing it’s shorthand for Methodist minister?). His face looked better in the last strip.

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 6:37 pm
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    Hello, Manuel-

    I already addressed the issue of who I thought would have problems with the cartoon and who would not, and so far it seems to be playing out that way. No surprise. ;^) I can’t imagine Zack doing any cartoon that some of the liberal posters here would ever apprerciate, but I still don’t understand why they click on the site if it causes them so much angst. Surely they could hang out a DailyKos or something along those lines?

  7. Zack…..you are by far the best political/social cartoonist there is……I look forward to your work unlike any other and it always makes me think AND laugh.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for all you do…
    And ,yeah, I live in the sticks for the same reasons you do …

    • Mark
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 7:31 pm
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    Chris, sure you could put anybody’s head there, but even leaving aside the pure contemporary irrelevance of Bush’s head you put there is the fact that you see no problem with following a personality rather than evaluating policies. My impression is that this cartoon is not about ‘Obama is bad’. It’s about the exploitation of perception over substance. Even if Mobami and/or the kids think they are going somewhere fun, the pure fact of the dangerous waterfall undermines all their fuzzy feelgoodness. I have a hunch if you tried to pin down the average Obama voter on issues, you would get nothing but well-intentioned drivel. “Yes We Can” “Hope, Change”, etc. What a crock.

    The mere facts of Obama’s history should’ve been enough to consider him profoundly unworthy of the office of President long before the election last year. Methodistmin is right. Many people are acting surprised about Obama’s direction, but it is entirely consistent with his background.

    Huh? What’s that waterfall doing here?

    • Donna C.
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm
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    Mark…living in Illinois, we knew all too well about BarryBoy’s past, and how it would be played out on the national stage, if he were selected. We tried to warn people. We gave it it our all, and still it fell on deaf ears.

    Just as Zack has portrayed in this latest installment, it is never a safe bet to follow anyone based on feelings, as opposed to facts…nor has it ever been.

    People are starting to wake up, and wipe the proverbial sleep from their eyes. The question I see being asked in Zack’s drawing: Is it too late?

  8. I’m seeing Americans turning back from that road……..they see what’s ahead and aren’t having any of it.
    This is terrific, Zack….so glad you’re getting so many visits, too! xx

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 12:33 am
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    “but I still don’t understand why they click on the site if it causes them so much angst. Surely they could hang out a DailyKos or something along those lines?”

    Some people don’t need to dwell only in echo chambers that reinforce their own beliefs. They are confident enough in their own understanding to venture forth into territory that may present them with new or conflicting ideas. Perhaps one day you too can engage in such a journey.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 12:40 am
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    But the internet, Jake, is filled with trolls and people who have no regard for truth.

    Life is too short to waste much of it with people who won’t listen. Once you’ve figured out 2+2=4, “new or conflicting ideas” aren’t worth discussing.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:04 am
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    “Once you’ve figured out 2+2=4, “new or conflicting ideas” aren’t worth discussing.”

    Tell that to the Creationists.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:09 am
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    You picked the wrong person for that fight, but I’ll bother to engage if you can give me but one example of life (as we know it, with the ability to reproduce) coming from non-life.

    Note: example, NOT theory.

    Now, back on topic…

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:41 am
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    Abiogenesis is not evolution.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:47 am
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    Evasion. Pure and simple. You are selling naturalism, so defend it, if you can.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 2:27 am
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    I’ll bother to engage if you can give me but one concrete example of the existence of God.

    Note: Fictional morality tales and hypothetical “proofs” do not count as examples.

    I’m not selling anything. In terms of science, Evolution is like unto 2+2=4. Abiogenesis is a completely different field, and the debate on education is over evolution. By demanding proof of abiogenesis, you are in fact the one engaging in “Evasion. Pure and simple.”

    I think I’ll take your advice: “Life is too short to waste much of it with people who won’t listen,” and leave you to your own devices. Cheers.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 2:38 am
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    Ah, I see – didn’t like the terms when your own bluff was called so you changed the rules (or attempted to)

    Oh well, bye bye.

    (If anyone thinks this was being unreasonably harsh, consider that Jake wanted to give the impression that facts are meaningless to people such as myself. Naturally I resent that.)

    I’m happy for others to ignore this ridiculous tangent that has absolutely nothing to do with the cartoon, but everything to do with smearing.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 4:51 am
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    “Ah, I see – didn’t like the terms when your own bluff was called so you changed the rules ”

    Whatever floats your boat. Your ignorance of science is not my problem.

    • Methodistmin
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:10 am
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    Jake-

    I talk with quite a few people whose beliefs differ from mine and have been doing so for my entire life. I generally chose not to talk with people on the internet who are rude for no apparent reason and engage in trollish behavior with patronizing remarks. Your behavior for today with me and others and elsewhere indicates that you are one of those people. There are, of course, a number of people who wish to engage with you.

    I wish you well, but I responded against my better judgement; I will not allow myself to be baited again.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 6:30 am
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    You called me a troll a long time ago after you tried to put words in my mouth, so don’t try to act all sanctimonious now, Meth. After my first exchange with you, it was quite clear to me that you are not interested in a real discussion and dismiss all who do not share your views as “trolls.” Since you seem so keen on having people leave if they don’t like what the see, feel free to hop on your high horse and gallop away. (The original saying is not quite appropriate for this site, so I have modified it a bit.)

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 8:33 am
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    Since you asked and I haven’t answered MM, I’ve only been to DailyKoS once to read a thread about Freepers. I’ve never posted there. I only post at a few forums that aren’t political (though two do have Politics subforums, I don’t really post in them much.) I come here to read the commentary. You guys can actually debate, compared to your “contemporaries” over at, say, iowntheworld. We may not agree, but I can better see where you’re coming from.

    Also, I want to unironically echo the echo chamber comment Jake made. Also, considering the topic… he is right about abiogenisis not equating to evolution.

  9. Thanks Vegas, and glad to have you back lately. Cold, who– me? Stay tuned, it gets worse.

    Thanks Ikabod, and just as you say, Diversity sees the consequences early enough to escape the hike from hell.

    Chris, nice try but I still prefer my cartoon more.

    Mark, Methodistmin, Max, Donna– thanks for your stellar defense of my little creation. Your comments are highly insightful– often when I read you I myself learn details and conceptual adumbrations about the issues at hand.

    Chris: Besides, who says every artwork has to be complex and multilayered? The error America made in electing this man, largely out of sloppy sentimentalism, was a simple (though ultra dangerous) mistake; therefore my message in denouncing him will also be at times quite simple. When a small child reaches for a hot stove you slap his hand away or shout “NO”– you do not build a long, thoughtful disquisition.

  10. Thanks a lot, christmasghost, and love the moniker. Calls to mind my all-time favorite story, “A Christmas Carol.”

    Good point buckitz, at this point you’re finding things even I didn’t think of.

    Thanks again Z for taking the time to stop in… I know how busy you are creating that amazing blog of yours.

    Another outstanding and fun observation, Norman. You tell ’em.

  11. Manuel: Appreciate your input, and glad to hear that others (such as you) are appreciating my commentors: I fully agree that they reason amd argue superbly and am myself very entertained and educated reading them.

    Jake: I may disagree with you (in spades) but I certainly can’t fault you for lack of persistence. You may have been a Pit Bull Terrier in a past life.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm
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    Jake – let me spell it out for you.

    My reference to finding truth (or, the best answer) to a problem is generally about describing a simple approach – it means that if I have encountered a solution to an issue that has not been bettered, then it is a waste of time to continue to be presented with “new or conflicting ideas” when I have actually heard them before or they are clearly inferior. You may think that arrogant, so be it. Now of course I don’t mind conversations where one is willing to learn from another, (indeed, we never have complete knowledge) but my interest (or even, responsibility) to engage anyone diminishes rapidly if they show a lack of interest to understand their own failures. The problem is no longer the issue itself, but what level of evidence would ever convince them to change their minds about anything.

    I grew up with an evolution-believing scientist, an atheist, and also an activist leftist in my family, all of them older than me. There is not a lot (in a general sense) that impresses me with those subjects as being in the “Well, I’ve never heard that before” category. What you have done is to set up certain criteria (naturalism) as the highest measure of truth and to assume that I must adhere to the same standard. I do not, but I can hold you to your own, and if you are unwilling to be logically consistent with your own assumptions, and on top of it all, to accuse me of ignorance as well, then you are simply not worth the time. But it is fun to make an example of you.

    If you continue as a broken record to uphold this standard as the best there is, you will continue to get this ‘broken record’ request. Either provide evidence to support your idea of a completely naturalistic beginning to life – entirely consistent with your completely naturalistic view of the development of life, or stop the nonsense. (and you can get off your own sanctimonious high horse too)

    Better still, get back to the cartoon.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm
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    The commenters over on IOTW are really depressing and catty Zack, assuming you don’t read the commentary over there. BFH in particular. He just gets me feeling sick.

    But yeah, comic. Just wanna repeat that I prefer the “Bully of Color” face. This one and his intro are to photo-realistic to mesh with your style Zack. It’s your comic and all, but.. he just looks out of place like that.

    I am curious, also, why you draw Diversity as well, frumpy. The forum where I found out about your comic has described her as “a young Limbaugh and drag” and it’s…well, eerily accurate. Any thoughts of making her a little more cheerful , or at least giving her a more contemporary outfit? Not high fashion and revealing, just a little more current.

  12. I can certainly see the “frumpy” angle, Manuel, and that description of her as a young Limbaugh in drag is truly hilarious– one of the best things I’ve read about my own stuff. But I dunno, she just sort of developed this way and I kind of let my instincts guide me. Maybe I had in mind the innate conservatism of “just plain folks,” who as we all know can be far from glamorous or even “cute,” yet– in my view– possess the good sense that keeps our country relatively sane and together. As far as the Mobami character, he’s a work in progress and I hope to eventually nail the caricature, though it’s not the easiest thing to render a famous adult personality as a young child (yet still be immediately recognizable as their adult self). Anyway– good input, thanks.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 1, 2009 at 11:00 pm
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    “though it’s not the easiest thing to render a famous adult personality as a young child (yet still be immediately recognizable as their adult self)”

    The easiest way to deal with that would be to include an easily recognizable visual cue, like an Obama logo pin on his shirt or something. I believe you did something similar in one of the other comics in this current arc. It is difficult to render an adult as a child without distorting features in such a way as to make the caricature appear grotesque.

    The other issue is that your style seems to use exaggerated foreheads on many characters. This looks fine in instances where the face is drawn in a stylized fashion in order to maintain internally consistent facial proportions and serves as part of your individual style. However, in this particular comic and the initial “Mobami” comic the faces are photoshopped/draw with realistic human proportions, but the head maintains your stylistic exaggerations. Without drawing the face in such a way as to accommodate your style, the character looks as though he suffers from hydrocephalus.

    I’ll echo the sentiment of some other posters and say that the “Bully of Color” rendering was much more aesthetically pleasing.

    As a quick note, for me, Diversity’s frumpiness is less an issue of her style of dress and more a result of how she is typically depicted as being unhappy, irritated, angry, etc., and rarely drawn as though she is enjoying herself.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 2, 2009 at 7:43 am
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    Jake’s last point was something I was trying to make to, but didn’t make it so clear. I understand why, given the situations you draw her in. But she’s never been anything but irritated with a, well, “>:C” face as far as I’ve seen.

  13. Interesting points, Jake and Manuel– especially considering the fact that statistically conservatives are happier than liberals. Still, one does know dour types (of all persuasions) and I must confess to simply enjoying her discontented demeanor. A matter of taste, no doubt.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm
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    Where’d that statistic come from? I’d say I’m pretty happy, other than being a recent college grad with no job currently. Beyond that, I’m happy with my life as it is.

    And yeah, in the end her look is up to you. Just giving some artistic feedback since you’re actually listening to us and being a good guy :3. Heck, taking that “Rush in drag” comment in stride is a great example of that. I didn’t make the connection, but it does fit strangely well. I don’t doubt you’d be a good guy to hang out and talk with, barring political differences of course.

  14. Manuel: it was a 2006 Pew Research Center poll, as well as a 2008 NSF poll.

    If you google “conservatives happier than liberals” you can see a lot of analysis and speculation on the numbers from a variety of angles.

    I don’t know the nature of the questions, if anyone can find the actual polling data I’d be interested to look at it.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 3, 2009 at 7:07 am
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    Same here. Polls are meaningless without the questions, because it’s so easy to schew your results one way or another based on the language of the question.

    • Buckitz
    • Posted September 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm
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    ugh. I’m in a completely different camp in regards to Diversity’s appearance. I think it’s fine the way it is, she’s made of arch and wry pencil lines.
    I like her “Warner Brother’s plaid” dress, I imagine that as she moves through life, her plaid stays stationary in time and space, akin to a moire pattern crossed with a fifties couch.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm
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    Now I’m picturing her dressed like Stan from Monkey Island…

    • Buckitz
    • Posted September 6, 2009 at 4:08 am
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    Is it not sad and funny that I know who you are talking about? and know the name behind your name?

    • Jake
    • Posted September 6, 2009 at 4:58 am
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    Good old SCUMM and GrimE.

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted September 6, 2009 at 7:42 am
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    Not sad at all, Grim Fandango was their best game I think. It’s my favorite game period :3


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