Monday, May 31, 2010

CARTOONS of the WEEK: Our Freedom Isn't Free

The News-Herald - May 30
The Press & Guide - May 26
In both The Press & Guide, and The News-Herald, I wanted to remind everyone that many of our fellow Americans paid the ultimate price for the freedom that we enjoy.

I've written in my "Downriver Diary" about my Uncle Vittie's service in North Africa and Europe during WW II, and in previous Memorial Day cartoons, I've paid tribute to my peers who served in Vietnam, and to the current generation serving in the Middle East.

From Bunker Hill to Baghdad, our freedom isn't - and never has been - free. Thankfully, no one in my family, throughout our generations, has paid the ultimate price for their service. Many have, however, and it's all of them - and their sacrifice - that we honor today.
That's the Point!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CARTOON of the WEEK: 'Carrying' On

The News-Herald - May 23
Taylor, like a number of Michigan communities, is facing the issue of local ordinances regulating firearms being out of sync with state laws. I think the core issue is individual rights; but that core issue gets obscured because the right to gun ownership, and the right to carry, are such social hot buttons.

While I am a handgun owner who completed classes with my local police department and enjoys target/sport shooting, I've never had a desire to carry one of mine, either concealed or open. That said, I support the right of those who choose to do so lawfully. I just wanted to acknowledge the issue with this cartoon, and perhaps prompt a few smiles over an issue that much more frequently prompts furrowed brows.
That's the Point!

Friday, May 21, 2010

CARTOONS of the WEEK: Careers Down the Drain (no, it's good!) and Take 2 on the Film Biz

The Press & Guide - May 19
Not since I had the I-696 development to comment on years ago while working for The Daily Tribune, in Royal Oak, have I had an ongoing project to revisit like the CSO! With the recent extension of the deadline to 2030, it was a cartoonist's dream to be able to give the announcement this spin!
The News-Herald - May 19
This is the second time this week I had the chance to comment on Michigan's just-emerging film industry; and both comments were inspired by the Unity Studios/Allen Park dispute. This take, however, focuses more on how the uncertainty of the future of Michigan's Film Tax Credit has a negative impact on the growth of the industry. For our economy to grow and prosper, we need to diversify - and that includes into film, and related, industries. Let's keep the cameras rolling and put a wrap on our economic recovery!
That's the Point!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CARTOON of the WEEK: Matinee Melodrama

Crain's Detroit Business - May 17
The confrontation between Unity Studios and the city of Allen Park over the studio's facility rent read like a (bad) old-fashioned movie script. While this cartoon was fun to pen, it's sad to see this kind of issue come up just when the state's film industry is beginning to show how it can help rebuild - and re-invent - Michigan's economy.

Not highlighted in this cartoon, but a big concern, is the opposition to continuing Michigan's attractive film tax credit. We mustn't let it be cut, or worse, done away with ... this industry needs time to grow. Let's put things into perspective - the auto industry wasn't built in a day ... or a week ... or a year; but rather over many years of commitment and investment. The film industry needs the same.
That's the Point!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

CARTOON of the WEEK: Cruisin' Through the Spring and Summer

The News-Herald - May 16
Cruising ... I've loved it since I cruised most Friday and Saturday nights with my buddies in my '67 Mustang, back in the early 1970s. We didn't really go anywhere, we just - well - cruised. That's not entirely true ... sometimes we stopped and got burgers; and sometimes we'd race a Camaro or a Barracuda from one traffic light to the next.

That sometimes got me into trouble - like the time I set a personal record of three tickets in one night - in three different municipalities. I was never ticketed for speeding (there wasn't room from one light to another to really open it up ...), rather I collected tickets for "Unsafe Start from a Traffic Light."
Well, these days, we all spend more time parking than cruising; but the season is gearing up (pun intended!) and soon we'll be gathering at local cruise nights at pubs and drive-ins, Cruisin' Downriver, getting ready to for the annual Telegraph Cruiz, and taking the annual Dream Cruise on Woodward in August.

I'm working on a blog about cruising - past and present - for "Downriver Diary" (watch for that soon); but this Sunday, I'm celebrating the opening of the season with this cartoon salute.
That's the Point!

Cartoonist's Note: My '67 Mustang is long gone. These days, I cruise in a Viper Red Dodge 2005 SRT-4 (one of the last built); it's Stage 1 modified, with a Quaff limited slip differential, and 18" alloy wheels. I've hit 118 with it and that's still a long way from redline. And so far, no tickets for speeding or "Unsafe Start from a Traffic Light" - I may be older, but I'm also a little smarter!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CARTOONS of the WEEK: Aerotropolis Ready for Take-off; Mutts Fun

The News-Herald - May 12
I've commented several times in Crain's Detroit Business on the Aerotropolis project, but with John Dingell's co-sponsorship, this was my first chance to localize a comment for Downriver through both his involvement and the location of the development. And by the way, I agree with the sentiment I have Mr. Dingell expressing ... the sooner we "get this thing off the ground," the better it will be for metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan!

The Press & Guide - May 12
Sometimes, it's just fun to highlight something positive and lighthearted in our community; and the "Mutt Strut" certainly qualifies. Besides, I like to draw dogs! (Let's hope the weather cooperates this weekend ...)
That's the Point!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CARTOON of the WEEK: Celebrating a Life, Even in Loss

The News-Herald - May 9
When Ernie Harwell passed away last week, the whole community suffered a loss, and the loss was as personal as the memories that each of us holds of Ernie's years as a broadcaster and a part of our lives. Memorial cartoons are always difficult to do, because it means someone important to us has been lost. Ernie Harwell, through his demonstration of faith in everything he did, left us with not only memories, but hope as well. I offered a few of my personal reflections on Ernie in this Sunday's cartoon and in my "Downriver Diary" blog this week. A life as great as Ernie Harwell's should be celebrated.
That's the Point!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CARTOONS of the WEEK: What are rare opportunities for a local editorial cartoonist?

The News-Herald - May 5
A young man who is a native Downriverite appears on "Jeopardy" over a span of three days and wins a total of $33,ooo. What is a rare opportunity for a local editorial cartoonist to give a cartoon a national spin and play off TV's most popular game show?
The Press & Guide - May 5
The Dearborn Animal Shelter has made a lot of news over the past months for its efforts to rescue abandoned and abused animals; but recently the shelter itself needed to be "rescued" from a rat infestation. I took the opportunity to both comment on the situation, and pay tribute to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, creator of "Rat Fink." I grew up copying and learning from Ed's work and I jumped at the chance to have his most famous character "guest" in this week's cartoon!
That's the Point!

Monday, May 3, 2010

CARTOON of the WEEK: (Don't) Light 'Em If You Got 'Em

Crain's Detroit Business - May 3
When Michigan's workplace smoking ban went into effect on May 1, there was concern over its potentially negative impact on business at bars and restaurants. I anticipate that the desire for food and drink will not be diminished by patrons' inability to satisfy their desire for a smoke. Besides, there are plenty of posh places where we still can smoke. I may not be able to enjoy a fine cigar at Gracie's or Edison's anymore, but I'll still go to both places for a Crown on the rocks; then I'll retire to my garage for that cigar ...
That's the Point!