Sunday, September 27, 2009

Look. Up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a...bus???

So what brilliant overpaid consultant came up with the name "Airbus" anyhow? I've always thought that's one of the more bonehead product names of recent times. "Hey, I know," said some hotshot ad guy,"Let's call it Airbus! It's like a bus, but up in the air! A flying bus! Everybody loves to travel by bus, don't they? So now they can do it up in the sky!"

Those crafty Europeans.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Me, smiling, in hell

I'm actually in this cartoon. Sitting there in hell. I remember when this one ran in the papers. My god, the glee with which my non-banjo-playing friends pointed it out to me. Rascals. And no matter how many times I look at it, it's always funny. That's the genius of Gary Larson. He's a guitar player of course. 

A spacial great big howdy to ye

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

If you've ever done a school program, you've had this happen

Richard Thompson (not the Richard Thompson guitar genius but the Richard Thompson cartoon genius, or maybe he is a guitar genius too for all I know) draws Cul de Sac, the wonderful comic strip. He also is a gifted caricaturist and showcases all that and more on his blog.

He posted this strip recently and wow, does it resonate with me. My friend Aaron Fowler and I are putting together a presentation for Wichita area school kids about Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. He's Woody and I'm Pete. I'm a pale imitation, I know, I know, but anyway...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Winfield toons - 2007

Caricatures here of super hot banjo player James McKinney and guitar master Steve Kaufman.

Here's James' website and here's Steve's.

The Winfield toons - 2006

Some sad anniversaries and one happy one came along at the same time in 2006.

The Winfield toons - 2005

We had all just watched the terrible images of New Orleans' flood. I, for one, was ready for some musical diversion and Winfield always offers that.

The Winfield toons - 2004

It's great how conservatives and liberals can come together and make beautiful music at bluegrass festivals. This was, of course, an election year. 

The Winfield toons - 2003

I love all the little kids at Winfield who pick. It's always a treat to watch them and know that there's a whole mess of great players on the way up.

The Winfield toons - 2002

This was the year of the wonderful movie, "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou." Hence the take-off. Me again in this one with wife Karen and daughter Haley. And assorted monarch butterflies.

I loved that movie but I was irritated that they used a great Ralph Stanley song in a KKK scene. Couldn't they have found a better context for it?

The Winfield toons - 2001

The year of 9/11. 

Caricatures in this one: Dale Britton is the speaker; behind him is Andrew McAlmont and Jim Brasher (the Hank Williams of Ozawkie, Kansas); on the right with the harmonica is our late dear friend Kelly Slack who is now jamming with Bill Monroe in the clouds.

We miss Kelly especially during Winfield. 

The Winfield toons - 2000

It was one of those drought summers here in Wichita. Not like this year at all. We are a land of extremes, weatherwise, are we not...

By the way, I snuck in a caricature of Bob Redford, founding father of the Winfield festival. He always reminds me of Jimmy Martin.

The Winfield toons - 1999

Yeah, I know. What's a banjo player doing drawing a banjo joke. Can I just say in my defense that I also play guitar?

Anyhow, 1999 was the year the creationism craze hit Kansas so it was a natural for a metaphor.

The Winfield toons - 1990

I got a lot of mileage out of this cartoon. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine published it as an illustration and the Kansas Bluegrass Association used it on a t-shirt. It's my personal favorite of the Winfield toons I've drawn over the years.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rest in Peace, Big Mon

It's the 13th anniversary of the passing of Bill Monroe. Here's the cartoon from the time it happened.

Return of the ark?

Now they say land rush will be postponed until Saturday. I never thought this cartoon would ever be relevant again. Here it is a week before the festival and we seem to be back in the same place. Groundhog Day in September?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mark O'Connor on his new instruction method

The immorality of health insurance


I came across this passage from a posting at the blog Blondetwit. I think the writer makes a powerful point. Here's the quote:

Health Insurance is NOT health care. Health insurance at its core, relies on risk versus reward, which equates to one thing: profit on human suffering. 

It was forcefully posed to me that I must also be against car insurance, fire insurance and life insurance. Those who know me would absolutely laugh at this. I come from a long line of life insurance agents, and was one myself. I consider it one of the most important purchases for any family, or any business. Everyone WILL die. Life Insurance allows survivors to carry on without financial tragedy, etc. Car insurance is based upon any individual's ability to maintain their PRIVILEGE to drive a car. Some fail that test, and there are always alternatives to driving, and not having coverage or not being able to drive does not create a moral dilemma. Fire insurance for your home or business, same thing basically as car insurance. No one lives or dies based on an insurance company's decision to cover or not to cover. 

Health Insurance, by it's very nature, the same as car insurance or fire insurance, can exist based only upon a healthy and robust business model that can attract investors, or others to be mutually insured (as in mutual insurers, not stock insurers).

By the very nature of the business model, someone, somewhere, will make a decision about a human life. Actually, about millions of human lives. 

An insurer will make the decision as to who lives and who dies. That decision is for God, the Universe, or how or whatever you believe - not a pencil pusher in a cubicle.

We must permanently unlink "Health Care" and "Insurance". The two cannot co-exist in a moral model.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cartoonist Hero

Dwane Powell at the Raleigh News and Observer has always been one of my favorite cartoonists. He's one of the unsung masters of the editorial cartooning craft, especially sharp on national politics, but come to think of it, especially sharp on local North Carolina politics too. Just especially sharp, I guess. And a hell of a nice guy who picks mandolin to boot.

He got laid off about the same time I did last year, but was able to come up with an arrangement that puts him back in his paper more frequently than I am in mine. Good going, Dwane. 

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

My very tentative toe-dip into animation

Our very exuberant but somewhat clumsy Airedale Ollie, lives to chase the manic gibbering squirrels in our neighborhood. I can safely say that he will never catch one. But dreams can come true in the world of animation.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Take a ganda' at some propaganda

I love propaganda. The fact that it exists, persists even, is a tribute to the power of the graphic image. Or at least the power that some folks attribute to the graphic image. There are some wonderful examples of WWII propaganda at this website, images from all sides of the conflict. Powerful stuff.

Clown plane