Thursday, December 29, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Resolved!

The News-Herald - December 28
For more than 50 years, I've been making New Year's resolutions that - just weeks after the first of January - are nothing more than good intentions unfulfilled. This year, in the wisdom of my age, will be different ... I'm making resolutions that I KNOW I can keep. So what if I end up over weight, deeper in debt and alienated from my loved ones? At least I'll finally have a sense of accomplishment in resolutions kept.
That's the Point!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Christmas Cards' to my Readers!

The Press & Guide - December 21

The News-Herald - December 25
These are my "Christmas Cards" to my readers Downriver, in Dearborn and in Dearborn Heights. Heartfelt best wishes for the happiest of holiday seasons; and many thanks for having me in your homes every week throughout the year! February of the coming year - 2012 - marks the beginning of my 26th year penning cartoons about life Downriver in The News-Herald; and in May of 2012, I'll celebrate 10 years with the wonderful folks in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights in The Press & Guide. It's a privilege to be a part of your communities and your lives.
That's the Point!

Friday, December 23, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: We'll Miss You Jim!

Friday - December 23
For decades - for most of my adult life - Jim Harper was a part of Detroit radio and a part of all our lives. Harper and St. James, Harper and Gannon, Harper Gannon and You, Jim Harper and the Breakfast Club ... "Harper" was always the constant (and best) element of morning radio around here. But Jim was much more than that.

He was a dedicated supporter and fund raiser for Toys for Tots, the Humane Society and many other organizations in the metro area. And he was a dedicated supporter of all the communities in the metro area, appearing regularly to meet with fans and followers. My favorite appearance by Jim was in the Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade (full disclosure, 'cause it's my home town).

We all owe Jim a big "Thank You!" for the years he spent lifting our spirits, sharing our lives and making us feel a part of his on-air family. Goodbye, Jim ... we'll miss you every morning.
That's the Point!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Resolved for Michigan

Crain's Detroit Business - December 19
Governor Snyder is a believer in delegating responsibilities and holding individuals accountable for delivery on those responsibilities. For the New Year, this seems like an natural situation!
That's the Point!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: The Joy of Reading

The News-Herald - December 18
There's no better investment in the future of any community than one made in the education of its children. In Taylor, there's a dedicated group of caring volunteers who are making the future brighter for all Downriver.
That's the Point!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cartoon of the Day: He's a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Crain's Detroit Business - December 12

There's a lot of speculation about whether or not Detroit will end up with an Emergency Financial Manager in 2012, and a lot of speculation about who that might be, if it happens. However, there's no speculation, in my opinion, about what will happen if an EFM is put in place by the State of Michigan.
That's the Point!

Monday, December 12, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Shop 'til You Drop

The News-Herald - December 11
In many stores this time of year, it's not "Deck the halls ..." but rather, "Get decked in the halls ..." with all the elbows and hips being thrown, as shoppers go after each weekly "Best Sale of the Year" special. My advice to holiday shoppers is the same advice I give friends and family about winter weather - don't go out unless you have to; and if you must, be careful out there!
That's the Point!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: What's Up Docs?

Crain's Detroit Business - December 4
I have a Beaumont doctor, and luckily Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan is not my insurance provider, so I don't have to worry about coverage in 2012. The current stand-off between Beaumont and BCBSM has too many facets to go into in a single cartoon, but one thing's for sure - it's the patients/policy-holders who are getting headaches over it; and they don't even know if their treatment for those headaches will be covered!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Remembering Pearl Harbor

The News-Herald and The Press & Guide - December 7
Most of us grew up with the painful memory of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor as a part of our collective consciousness. Our parents solemnly observed the anniversary every year; but that generation is rapidly vanishing. It's the duty of the next generations not only to "Remember Pearl Harbor," but also - and perhaps more importantly - remember the sacrifices made by the generation that lived through it and preserved our way of life.
That's the Point!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Holiday Helpers Need Help

The News-Herald - December 4
Even Santa's helpers sometimes need help this time of year. Whatever community you're in, find an organization that's dedicated to helping others; and give them a hand through a donation of a warm coat, mittens; maybe it's a donation of cash that's needed ... and often, what's needed most is your time and talent. This season of giving, make sure you give to those who need it most.
That's the Point!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: It's a Downriver Miracle!

The News-Herald - November 30
Allen Park Police and Fire Department layoffs rescinded just before the December 1 deadline that was established - and after the passage of the millage earlier this month. But hey, didn't minimum staffing in the collective bargaining agreements prevent the layoffs anyway?
That's the Point!

Monday, November 28, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Full-Contact Shopping

The News-Herald - November 27
I didn't do any shopping on "Black Friday," didn't even do any on Saturday or Sunday. My wife and oldest daughter, however, napped after Thanksgiving dinner so they could wade into the fray at midnight. I'll leave the store unidentified (I'm sure the scene was the same everywhere), but the experience they described was far more physical and stressful than any of the football games I watched all weekend (... including Ndamukong Suh's dust-up with Evan Dietrich-Smith!). Full-contact shopping is not my idea of recreation. Besides, I have my own holiday shopping tradition (learned it from my dad) - I go out just before the stores close on Christmas Eve!
That's the Point!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CARTOONS of the DAY: I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For!

The News-Herald - November 23

The Press & Guide - November 23
As Irving Berlin wrote, and Bing Crosby sang, in the 1942 film "Holiday Inn" ... "I've got plenty to be thankful for ..." and I celebrate that every Thanksgiving Day in my cartoons for The News-Herald and The Press & Guide. I'm thankful, especially, for my readers, who welcome my work into their homes every week; and for the wonderful editors and writers at the papers, with whom I collaborate. Without their work, I'd have nothing to cartoon about! (... hey, you could sing that to the same Irving Berlin tune!)

One special note this year: I'm thankful for the help from my daughter Juli Saad, who is studying art at Bishop Foley High School ... she inked my (our!) Press & Guide cartoon this Thanksgiving. Thanks Juli!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Thankful for Detroit

Crain's Detroit Business - November 21

Despite the struggles that the City of Detroit faces, its residents - and all of the greater metro area - should be thankful for all that Detroit means to Southeast Michigan, and to the Midwest U.S. I grew up in Detroit ... Cass Tech Class of '72, Wayne State University ... held my first three jobs in the City, too. Where ever I travel for business or vacationing, I always tell folks I'm from Detroit. This Thanksgiving Day, add "Detroit" to the list of things you're thankful for - for the history it's provided and for the promise that it represents to us all.
That's the Point!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Holiday Jingle

The News-Herald - November 16
Sleigh bells aren't the only thing that ring every holiday season - so do cash registers, with area retailers counting on recording up to 75% of their annual income between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. I'm sure the sentiment in this cartoon reflects the "wishes" of every store owner in the metro area.
That's the Point!
Note: This post is the 200th "Pen Points" ... thanks for reading, and thanks for your notes and comments!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Good Work From These Goodfellows!

The News-Herald - November 13
Some "early" signs of Christmas annoy me - holiday music on my radio while jack-o-lanterns still sit on neighborhood porches is one. However, it's never too early to see our neighborhood Goodfellows selling special newspapers in their decades-old holiday mission to make sure there's "... No child without a Christmas." (Sidebar from this old newspaper veteran: There will NEVER be an online Goodfellows edition!)
That's the Point!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Always in Debt to Our Vets

The Press & Guide - November 9
Each and every one of us owes a debt of thanks to every veteran who has served the United States in every era of history. Keep their service and sacrifice in mind this Veterans Day ... and if you're lucky enough to meet a Vet in person, say "Thank you!"
That's the Point!

Monday, November 7, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Voting is Good Exercise

The News-Herald - November 6
I plan to exercise my right to vote on Tuesday, November 8 - at my age it's just about the only exercise I get!
That's the Point!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

CARTOONS of the Day: What time IS it?!

The News-Herald November 2

The Press & Guide - November 2
I'm getting too old ... it's just physically dangerous for me to keep up this annual "spring forward, fall back routine," I mean a man my age could break a hip or something!
That's the Point!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Signs of Fall

The News-Herald - October 26
Our local politicians and their supporters provide us the most ubiquitous signs (literally) of the fall season. Do they imagine that these eyesores have any impact on how we vote? Well, maybe the do have an impact ... I'm so annoyed by them, that I take note of the names and issues littering my neighborhood lawns and vote the opposite.
That's the Point!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Trick or Treat - NOT What It Once Was ...

The News-Herald - October 30
When we were kids Downriver, our Halloween treats included homemade popcorn balls, homemade candy apples, cider and doughnuts, and pumpkin cookies made (lovingly) by neighborhood moms for the special night. OK, it ain't the late 1950s or early 1960s anymore, but wow - you have to wonder of Trick-or-Treat is worth all the worry and trouble these days!
That's the Point!

Monday, October 24, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: BUS-ted Budget?

The Press & Guide - October 19
Budget cuts to the SMART Bus System have Dearborn (and other area) residents wondering, "Can I get there from here?" Those who are most dependent on our very limited mass transit are hardest hit by developments like this.
That's the Point!

Monday, October 17, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: It's Not Rocket Science, It's Detroit Science (Center)

Crain's Detroit Business - October 17
With the financial troubles at The Detroit Science Center and its subsequent (temporary?) closing, children throughout the metro area - but especially within the city of Detroit - are deprived of a wonderful learning experience. Our future is in the hands of our young people. We need to challenge them to be innovators, to keep our hometown viable. The Detroit Science Center needs to reopen and we all - together - need to find a way to make that happen.
That's the Point!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: A Dog's Life

The News-Herald - October 16
A new Downriver clinic offers spay and neuter services to homeless dogs and cats to reduce the number of homeless strays on our streets. Efforts like this, combined with the shelters who rescue and place animals in happy homes are worthy of our support.
That's the Point!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CARTOONS of the DAY: Image Polishing - Two Takes

The Press & Guide - October 12

The News-Herald - October 12
The Dearborn Fire Fighters are sponsoring a pumpkin sale to raise funds for their local Burn Drive, worth applause and recognition. Downriver, in Romulus, the respectable and hard-working Romulus Police Officers who remain on duty, protecting the community after the recent scandal, are left with the job of "polishing up" the image of the Romulus PD badge.
That's the Point!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Who You Gonna' Call?

The News-Herald - October 9
As municipal budgets are cut due to the struggling economy, first responders feel the cuts as much as non-essential service providers. That raises the question, when the people we rely on in emergencies need help, who do they call?
That's the Point!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: What are YOU Smoking?!

The Press & Guide - October 5
How often have you heard the phrase "What are YOU smoking?!" in response to some ridiculous statement? Well, that same phrase can be applied to the current social debate over marijuana - are you smoking "medical marijuana" or simply "smoking dope"? Nobody - not the courts, not the legislature, and certainly not law enforcement - really seems to know for sure.
That's the Point!

Monday, October 3, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: There's No Business Like Sports Business

Crain's Detroit Business - October 3
We've been economically and psychologically depressed for far too long; but our "Boys of Summer" and our "Boys of Fall" are coming through to lift our spirits - and to give the local economy a boost as well. With Tigers and Lions logo wear selling as hot as the teams are playing, and bars and restaurants filling with patrons to watch the games on TV, it's enough to make you want to say, "Bless You Boys!" - to quote Al Ackerman. (... look him up!)
That's the Point!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

CARTOONS of the DAY: 'PENCIL' Points

Sometimes cartoon ideas never get beyond that stage - the ideas (well, and pencil roughs). After discussion with my editors, we sometimes go in a different direction. Sometimes that suggestion is preceded by a statement like, "What made you think that would ever see print?!" (But not often.) More commonly, something topical comes up on deadline and we shift focus to keep up with the next edition. That said, I LIKE a lot of the cartoon ideas that I never get to ink, so I thought I'd share a couple here today.
That's the Point!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Down this Road Before

The News-Herald - September 18
Telegraph Road? Under construction? That's hardly news - we've been down this road before!
That's the Point!

Monday, September 26, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Over the (Sports) Rainbow!

The News-Herald - September 25
The Lions are 3-0 and some national sports commentators are actually referencing "Lions" and "Super Bowl" in the same breath. The Tigers have secured the AL Central Division title and are playing for home field advantage in the first round of the AL playoffs. We're not in Kansas anymore, kids - we're in Detroit and we're thinking "championships" again. Let's hope we're following this Yellow Brick Road late into October, and again late into January!
That's the Point!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Old Fashioned Education

The Press & Guide - September 14
All school systems are facing tighter budgets because of shrinking financial support, as taxpayers struggle with shrinking incomes and home foreclosures that are at an all-time high. Dearborn Public Schools administrators are considering smaller, down-sized schools for the future. Maybe there's a model from the past that can be helpful.
That's the Point!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering, Reflecting and Looking Ahead

The News-Herald, The Press & Guide - September 11
Mayor Giuliani's words in the hours after September 11, 2001 resonate today. While we stop to remember the tragedy and the sacrifices of so many heroes; we must look ahead to the world we are building together, that will leave no room for another 9-11.
That's the Point!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CARTOONS of the DAY: Back to School Blues

The Press & Guide - September 7

The News-Herald - September 7
Back to school brings on the blues for everyone involved, I think. Kids, of course, miss the freedom of summer vacation and the clock-free lives they lead for nearly three months. But the old cliche of parents being happy to see kids return to school so that their lives return to "normal" is a relic of the 1950s and 60s. "Normal" life for parents now not only involves getting kids to and from school, but to and from sports practices, dance lessons, Scout meetings and play dates as well!
That's the Point!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Beautiful! I 'Like' It!

Crain's Detroit Business - September 5
I've visited Sleeping Bear Dunes many times and they are, indeed, a beautiful natural wonder; but I've seen other breath-taking views in Utah, Wyoming, Virginia, and many other states - and it would be impossible for me to name one "most beautiful" (home state pride aside). Sleeping Bear Dunes' status as "Most Beautiful Place in America," according to the recent Good Morning America viewers' poll, is more a testament to the power of social media - I think - than a testament to nature's handiwork.
That's the Point!

Off the Drawing Board: One of my alternative ideas for this week was about GE hiring locally, in the metro Detroit area, to keep our best and brightest (and young and talented) from migrating to other parts of the country to build their careers.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Kick Off

The News-Herald - August 31
High school football season began last Friday. I attended the first game of the season for the high school my two daughters attend and noticed an interesting phenomenon. The students don't actually watch the game! The talk, they wander, they consume soft drinks and hot pretzels; but the game is just a backdrop for social interaction.
That's the Point! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Government "Help"

The Press & Guide - August 24
Anytime the government says they're here to "help" ... hold your breath and hang on to your wallet. When Uncle Sam showed up at the Rouge Complex clean-up, with $10.8 tucked in his waders and his sleeves rolled up; he looked ready to help ...
That's the Point!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Alarming Decisions

Crain's Detroit Business - August 22
With the recent decision by Detroit Police officials (due to budget constraints) to discontinue responding to automatically placed burglar alarms, I began to wonder what it would be like if that philosophy was extended further throughout the city.
That's the Point!

Monday, August 22, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Make Every Vote Count

The Press & Guide - August 17
We may not always agree with everyone's political position or point of view; but everyone's position and point of view - and vote - has to be respected, or the system and our republic don't work.
That's the Point!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Full Contact Sport

The News-Herald - August 21
It's a tough game ... your opponents will exploit any weakness and you have to take and deliver some pretty bone-rattling hits. Instead of running for a local office, you might want to consider trying out for the Downriver Roller Dollz, of the Roller Derby, at least they have some rules and even a referee!
That's the Point!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: Do You Recall ...?

The News-Herald - August 17
I've been doing editorial cartoons for The News-Herald for more than 25 years, and for Downriver publication for more than 28 years, and throughout those years, I've had many, many opportunities to cartoon about various recall efforts in the city of Taylor. Really, it's almost a seasonal topic like snow storms or potholes. But it never gets old.
That's the Point!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: 'Creative' (municipal) Financing

The News-Herald - August 10
It's said that there's no such thing as a new idea, so why not - when facing municipal budget problems - get really creative and "borrow" ideas from other sources? It could redefine "creative financing!"
That's the Point!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

CARTOON of the DAY: A Tale of Two (Really Different) Cities

The Dearborn Press & Guide - August 10
A "solution" in one city means (a whole series of) "problems" for another. The cuts that brought about the debt ceiling deal in Washington D.C. will have some serious consequences in our own backyard. Federal lawmakers may be breathing a sigh of relief, but our local officials are holding their collective breath.
That's the Point!