Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Euphemisms (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon -cease fire in the middle east means wait 'til the next war.

This is Mr. Shuldig as he was thirty years ago, in 1976.
Early on I had established a rule of seven hairs in his mustache. 4 on one side, 3 on the other.
Back in those early days of Dry Bones I did not draw my characters with pupils in their eyes.
Looking at the 'toons now, the "no dots in his eyes" Shuldig has an annoying freaky look.

This cartoon deals with our disturbing and ongoing habit of trying to fool ourselves into thinking that the glass is half full, when it is clearly completely empty.

And we're still doing it... Thirty years later.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Tunnels of Hate

Dry Bones cartoon -Gaza Terror Tunnels

Yes, they've been hard at work, burrowing underground like invading colonies of rats or moles. Dig dig dig. The Gaza tunnels won't be a big story in the Western media until Israel bombs them.

Which could be soon.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Israeli Jets, German Warship

Dry Bones cartoon -Israeli jets in incident with German warship

There are conflicting reports about what happened.

Al Jazeera dutifully reports that:
Israel Denies Firing on German Ship

but the anti-Israel propaganda brigade has quickly sprung into action:
Israeli Jets Deliberately Attack German NATO Ship
Shades of the USS Liberty: Israeli Jets Attack Another Ally

While others see the incident as proof that
Judgement Day is Approaching!

What next?

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Rained (1996)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon -It Rained.

Israel's rainy season has just begun. Rain is a blessing and we pray for it to flood into our reservoirs, to fill our lakes and ponds, and to soak the fields after the hot dry summer.

Last night we were hit with a series of lightning-packed cloudbursts of driving rain. The electricity went out, the streets and traffic lights went dark. Without computers I couldn't select a golden oldie or write a posting for today so I went to bed. By morning the on and off electricity failures had ended (as had the rain) and the next-door neighbor guy stopped by to see if OUR phones were dead.

With little time to research and locate an oldie that would relate to the political situation, I decided to just pick a 'toon that was published on this very date.

Obviously I lucked out.
This cartoon was published exactly 30 years ago today. On October 26, 1976.

It rained.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

President Shimon Peres?

Dry Bones cartoon -Shimon Peres - Israel's Next President?

Shimon Peres is an Israeli politician who has negotiated his way into one powerful government position after another.

Speculation has started about who will be chosen as our next president. Shimon clearly has his eye on the job, but at the same time there's talk about reforming our system by giving power to a president who would be independent of the legislature.

I put the two stories together in this cartoon.

I like to think that Peres would appreciate and laugh at the cartoon. If not a hearty laugh, perhaps an amused chuckle? On the other hand...

Dry Bones cartoon -Shimon Peres - Looking stern.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Israeli Government (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon -Israel deserves better governments than it gets.

At the time of this writing, the current government is involved in coalition negotiations.
This is a constant of Israeli politics and is viewed cynically by the public. We deserve better than the governments that emerge from the usual "horse-trading" that goes on in smoke-filled rooms far from our sight. Yes, we deserve better. I did this cartoon in 1997. It hangs on my wall and never fails to get a laugh.

Most Drybones cartoons have no backgrounds, but in this one I wanted a feeling of Mr. Shuldig "speaking for the people" so I drew a typical Israeli cityscape in the background behind him.
On the left side of each background is a typical Israeli residential building, complete with box-like balconies and an old TV antenna on its roof. To the right of our hero we can see a tall, lovely palm tree, but the sure sign that this is an Israeli city is the black box leaning back on the roof of the building just to the left of Mr. Shuldig. Another of these black boxes is on the roof of the building to the extreme right (hard to see 'cause it's cropped by the right edge of the cartoon). These are Israeli solar energy rooftop hot water heaters! And they are everywhere!

We have strong legislation promoting the use of solar energy. The law requires all apartment buildings, hotels, hospitals and schools to install these solar water heating rooftop devices. Inside each, A black pipe snakes around behind a class window to bring us our hot water (after it's been pre-heated by the rays of the sun). In the photo below you can see two such rooftop solar heaters. Next to each is a cylindrical water tank.

rooftop solar collectors


Monday, October 23, 2006

UNIFIL in Lebanon

Dry Bones cartoon -UNIFIL threatens to shoot down Israeli jets over Lebanon

You cynics who thought that UNIFIL would deploy in Lebanon and just do nothing have now been proven wrong!

UNIFIL is NOT just doing nothing!

UNIFIL is threatening to fire on Israeli jets??

"French peacekeepers in southern Lebanon are equipped with anti-aircraft missiles, and the French commander of the expanded Unifil force in the area has said his men may at some point resort to force to prevent Israeli overflights." -more

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Royal Screw-Up

Dry Bones cartoon -Israeli President Katzav's sex scandal

An Israeli President doesn't have his finger on the bomb. He can't send in the troops, or pull them out either. His job is to bring honor to the country and to express its highest ideals.

So our current president is being accused by 10 women of sexual misconduct. And it's turning into a big International story.

The story is all over our media and a popular source of chit chat at parties.
Some people say that the media and politicians who criticize President Katsav are exhibiting shameless behavior!

I asked a Tel Aviv cab driver what he thought and his proud response was "The President is a Real Man!"

I was going to write about that piggish Israeli cabbie but then the news came in! Rusian President Putin was meeting with Israeli PM Olmert about the Iranian threat.

"As the leaders prepared to leave, journalist Andrei Kolesnikov told the BBC he heard Putin say 'greetings to your president. What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women - I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!' There reportedly followed loud laughter among the official delegations." -more

So what's your take on the story?
Whaddya' think?

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Love Story (1991)

Click on this "full page" cartoon to open a larger, more readable version.
1991 Dry Bones cartoon -Love Story The Madrid 'Peace' Conference in 1991

I had a British friend who once told me that I couldn't understand the Middle East because I'd grown up speaking American English rather than British English. Bombings and terror attacks in Ireland, he explained, were called the Irish "troubles".
Troubles means suffering, pain, tears, stuff like that. The word "problem" (an American favorite) implies that there is a "solution".

So the naive American approach of assuming that there's a "problem" in the Middle East whose "solution" can be scripted, just doesn't work.
Sometimes you can't just write a happy ending.
And that's what this cartoon from 1991 is all about.

* - * - *
Fast forwarding to the 21st century, when similarly naive Americans liberated Iraq... they expected that the Iraqis would rush out of their homes, set up local chapters of the League of Women Voters, and embrace Western democracy in a grand Hollywood ending to that tragedy.

If only it had been so.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Wait and See" Strategy

Dry Bones cartoon -The Iranians are waiting to see what the UN DOESN'T do about North Korea!

I often use these two coffee buddies in cartoons. But today's cartoon has an unusually dark "feel" to it.
The guys are worried, posed in a "shoulder to shoulder" position, and there aren't even cups of coffee!

As the world continues to waffle, the clock keeps ticking, and, in the end it may indeed be that we Israelis, (with our homes in their cross-hairs, and our destruction in their publicly declared goals) who will need to battle the evil forces on our own.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Madrid Conference (1991)

Click on this "full page" cartoon to open a larger, more readable version.
1991 Dry Bones cartoon -Shotgun Wedding - The Madrid 'Peace' Conference in 1991

Back in 1991, 15 years ago at the time of this writing, America seemed to believe that Peace would come to the Middle East by just bringing the parties together, with, of course, a little "pressure" on Israel.
I saw it then as being a variation of the traditional American "shotgun wedding."

It was a kind of Sadie Hawkins day.

"Sadie Hawkins Day was named for a cartoon character developed by Al Capp for his Li'l Abner comic strip. Sadie Hawkins was so ugly that her father, Mayor of Dog Patch, U.S.A., feared he would never marry her off. In desperation, he decreed a Sadie Hawkins Day. All unmarried men in Dogpatch would get a ten minute head start before Sadie and the other unmarried women began running after them. The man each woman caught would end up in front of Marryin' Sam for a shotgun wedding."

Li'l Abner gets Caught!
Above: Li'L Abner Yokum about to get hitched in a "Shotgun Wedding" performed by Marryin' Sam

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Two Koreans

Dry Bones cartoon -The New Secretary General of the UN To Face Kim Jong Il!The Koreans have a reputation for violent demonstrations and for their willingness to use force in everything from labor disputes to university quarrels.

2 Koreans!

So now it's a family fight?
. . . With a Korean heading each side?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Simhat Torah

Dry Bones cartoon -Simhat Torah!This cartoon shows Mr. Shuldig dancing with a Torah scroll on Simhat Torah. Tonight, Friday evening, is the start of the 8th day of the 7-day Succot holiday. It is a holiday called Shmini Atzeret (8th assembly) which features the Simhat Torah festivities. For me, the highlight of Simhat Torah is the dancing with the Torah, thus today's cartoon.

Newspaper cartoonists are often frustrated by our inability to make our creations actually move.
But, hey! This is the digital world... So why couldn't I make the dancer dance?
I thought about it and decided that I could.
I carefully cut the 4 dancing figures from the 4 panels of the cartoon, pasted 'em together in different sequences (with different "timings" and at different heights), and saved them as an "animated gif". The gif flips through the 4 static images to "animate" Mr. Shuldig's dance.

Dry Bones cartoon -Simhat Torah - Shuldig Dances!
By the way, I wasn't precise enough in my cutting and pasting ...And a teenie tiny red line at the bottom of the animation flashes my mistake in one of the "frames".
Did you catch it?
Before I mentioned it?

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Holidays (1991)

Click on this "full page" cartoon to open a larger, more readable version.
1991 Dry Bones cartoon -You know you've been here too long- Holidays

This full page cartoon from 1991 was being nostalgic about a series of cartoons I'd done decades before. Those earlier "You know you've been here too long" cartoons traced the way we "New Olim" (immigrants) were going native!!
They'd been super-popular and in 1991 I paid homage to those even earlier "golden oldies" with this page about how we handled holidays.
Note that in the title panel one character asks the other "You remember this page?"... And the second character clearly doesn't.

(To properly read the cartoon you'll have to click on it and open a larger version)

I chose this particular cartoon to share with you because we here in Israel are still in the extended holiday season which began with Rosh HaShana and continues 'til next week. These days are sort of half-holidays, people are going on picnics, and yesterday I, with a bus-load of friends found myself stuck in a line of traffic like the one in panel 3.
Stuff gets put off during this period. Repairmen etc. will be available "after the holidays".

I assume that those of you who live or have lived in Israel will appreciate this cartoon.
But what about those of you who haven't? Is it too much of an inside joke?

Should I try to find some of the really old "You Know You've Been Here Too Long When..." cartoons?

Or not?

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brazilian Nuts - And The Cartoon War Continues

Dry Bones cartoon -Brazilian cartoonists shine in Iranian Holocaust-Denying Cartoon Festival
The Story So Far:
When a Danish author complained that he could find no-one to illustrate his book about Muhammad, Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, wondered whether there were more cases of self-censorship regarding Islam in Denmark and asked twelve illustrators to draw the prophet for them. Carsten Juste, the paper's editor, said the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark.
The 12 drawings were totally innocuous.

And after all, it was just a Danish newspaper.

Then, in October 2005, during Ramadan, all 12 cartoons were reprinted in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr. No outrage. No uproar. No Rioting. Nada!

Four months later, riots were staged around the world in a campaign which ended with an Iranian-sponsored Mock-the-Holocaust cartoon competition.

I needed to point a finger at the Brazilian cartoonists who had lent their support to the vile Iranian pseudo-Nazi propaganda show. I did the cartoon even though the whole Danish cartoon thing was getting cold.

But Suddenly:
After doing and uploading the cartoon, as I write these words, news is coming in of Danish Cartoons Part 2. Part 2??!!....Yup! The Danish Cartoon War is back!

Danish Cartoons Part 2

Oh, wait! I almost forgot!:
The Brazilian cartoonists.

One of the Brazilian cartoonists who eagerly joined the anti-Semitic cartoon fest is a guy named Latuff. Here's a picture of him.
The woman he has his arm around is Leila Khaled.

"Leila Khaled's march toward fame began in 1969. She served as part of a team that hijacked TWA Flight 840, a plane they assumed carried Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Rabin, however, was not on the plane. So the hijackers forced it to land in Damascus, and after the passengers and crew deplaned, the terrorists blew the plane up.
Khaled then underwent a series of plastic surgeries. Having successfully altered her appearance, Khaled, in 1970, boarded El Al Flight 219 in Amsterdam for yet another hijacking."
Cox & Forkum:
C&F are two guys who do an absolutely incredible editorial cartoon. They are really super! I just took a look at what they had to say about the Iranian contest. And, more importantly, what they drew and did. I won't spoil it for you. Take a peek yourself. Just click here.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The World in Chaos (1992)

Click on this "full page" cartoon to open a larger, more readable version.
1992 Dry Bones cartoon -Land For Peace

This "full page" was published 14 years ago in the Jerusalem Report during the 7-day Succot holiday that we are observing this week.

Interesting to note that although I, Doobie, and Mr. Shuldig worried about a rebirth of Nazism, we saw it rising in the new Germany. We did not foresee the world-wide Islamofascist movement that would combine Islam and the Nazi Final Solution.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

The North Korean Bomb

Dry Bones cartoon -Kim Jong il's North Korea Detonates a Nuke. They've got 'the bomb'!Two hours ago in an Australian newspaper:
"Stalinist North Korea announced today that it had conducted its first ever atomic bomb test, defying global opinion to send a nuclear shiver around the world. Australian Prime Minister John Howard Prime Minister John Howard strongly condemned the test, which comes despite international pleas that it not proceed."

Today's cartoon raises the question of how the North Korean bomb will impact the Islamofascist war against the West.

In WW2 the Japanese war machine joined the Nazi/Fascist effort to crush the Western Democracies. Are we about to see the North Koreans join the Islamofascist effort to crush the Western Democracies in what seems to be WW3?

What happens next?!

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Friday, October 06, 2006

The Feast of Tabernacles

Dry Bones cartoon - the Succot holiday
The Jewish Harvest Holiday is called (in modern Hebrew) Sukkot or Succot. In the west it used to be pronounced Sukkos or Succos. In any case the word is the plural of succa (or sukka). The spelling variations in English impact my cartoons, in that each year I argue with myself (or an editor) about the spelling.
Succa (or sukka) means hut (or booth). Translations into English call the holiday "the Feast of Tabernacles" (a fancy word for temporary shelters). The Israelite Harvest Holiday (which begins this evening at sundown) is described in the Bible and is becoming more recognized by Christians.
"And ye shall take to you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it as a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It is a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall keep it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths - sukkot - seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."
- Leviticus 23, verses 40 to 43

Picture of a succaThe holiday (which begins at sundown this evening) is filled with lovely practices, the building, decorating, and covering with palm fronds and branches of a succa being one.
Happy holiday!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Land for Peace (1991)

Click on this "full page" cartoon to open a larger, more readable version.
1991 Dry Bones cartoon -Land For Peace

I'd love to start posting some of the classic Dry Bones "pages"... but showing them the same size as a "normal" Dry Bones cartoon forces me to scrunch them down to where they're hard to read. So please click on the above cartoon, which was a full page in the Jerusalem Report in 1991, to open a larger version.

Then tell me if it's worth the effort (mine, not yours).
Let me know if the smaller version was "good enough", etc.

What's your opinion?

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Condi in the Promised Land

Dry Bones cartoon -Hamas has now smuggled hundres of tons of weapons into Gaza. And the Bush administration can't blame Clinton for this one..
"Hundreds of Tons" of rockets, missiles, rifles, etc, smuggled by Hamas into Gaza since Israel pulled out?!! In preparation for launching a war against the Jewish State?!!

Says who?!

Says a PLO report (from PA Pres. Abbas' Fatah Party) that's who!

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Palestinian Authority Promises (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon -Arafat Promises to Fight Terrorism... (for the hundreth time)
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is coming to visit.

I figure that America will be looking to PA President Abbas to promise to fight terrorism.

By that, I don't mean they'll ask him to fight terrorism again, they'll be asking him to promise again.

So I dragged out this "Golden Oldie" from 1997, about the previous promiser.

Nuff said?

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Yom Kippur Confession

Dry Bones cartoon -On Yom Kippur, we list our sins. The rest of the year we have the UN to do that.
Sundown Sunday evening, Oct 1, 2006, ushers in the observation of Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement.
On this day Jews stand before their God, list their sins, and beg forgiveness. The deity we stand before is neither the "turn the other cheek" entity nor the "kill the unbelievers" god of our "daughter religions."

It is to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that we turn. The Justice-loving, "Thou Shalt, Thou Shalt Not", Righteous God of the Torah.

A deity who requires that we beg forgiveness not just from him, but also from those against whom we sinned.

In the spirit of the moment permit me to openly confess that the above cartoon is an example of plagiarism!
I stole it!

You see, Dry Bones runs in a number of newspapers and (like every year for the past thirtysomething years) I needed to do a 'toon for Yom Kippur... And, well, I stole this year's Yom Kippur cartoon. I lifted the idea from a Golden Oldie from 1989, thinking, like the Danish cartoonists, that no one would notice.

Forgive me.

And may you be inscribed in the Book of Life.


This posting was put up before the start of the Holy Day.

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